Journal entry, January 8, 2016:
Was thinking a little about Debbie today. She was a girlfriend around 1999-2000, and today’s her 53rd birthday. How time flies when you’re having fun.
Debbie worked a lot of different jobs, from taxi driving to construction to working with special-needs kids. But she was in the nursing-home biz for a while. A CNA, I think. She loved it and she was a real people person, but there was a problem. She tended to get attached to her people.
Her mom told me about it. A problem with people in nursing homes is they tend to die, and when you’re attached to them a little bit of yourself dies. That’s what happened to Debbie. She finally got to where she couldn’t work any more.
Okay. Situation was different for her. She was a hireling, and she didn’t know her people before taking care of them. Not quite the same as taking care of a close family member, but some things remain the same.
I think it’s a thing of detachment. Maybe it’s my journo training, but I’ve always been able to suspend the feelings, step back from the situation and take care of business. When wiping Mom’s butt I never looked at her face. Made it easier to forget for a minute who I was taking care of.
Can everybody do that? Probably not. But it’s one of those things, like a sense of humor, that can keep you from going nutso on the job.