Frustration, saddness, mixed emotions...(apologize for the length)

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TammyGrl0528
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 1345
   Posted 5/1/2008 8:29 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi there guys.  I haven't posted on the wonderful anxiety board in a while.  I have been doing better with the help of Klonopin, and Effexor XR.  I am in no way, shape or form agoraphobic anymore.  I come and go as I please, which is a very comforting feeling.
 
My panic attacks are pretty  minimal, though they do still come about once in a while.  I am doing good in controlling them though, as they are no longer controlling my life the way they once were.
 
I have been feeling pretty good for the past few months, so I decided that I am once and for all, ready to go back to work.  I decided to start at part time.  My profession is nursing, but I was a little leery about going into a hospital or nursing home again, for the fear of the panic attack.  I decided to go with home health care on a part time basis.  I figured with home health care, I can kinda come and go more so than if I am stuck in a building.  So, I did end up getting a job.  The orientation will be taking place within the next week, and then off to work I go.
 
Well, I also felt that I wanted to do some volunteer work, because I want to get more experience, and helping people out is something I love to do.  So, I applied to be a hospice volunteer.  I figured hospice is a great place to go because I have experience working with hospice patients from the nursing home, and it would be a very rewarding feeling to work with them.  So, I filled out a very long application for hopice, and sent it in.  It asks all kinds of things about yourself, including if you haven't been working for a lenghty period of time, what is the reason.  I am a very honest person, and have nothing to hide.  In the past year or so, I have had a tough time with anxiety, and panic attacks, and I felt that I didn't have to hide that from anyone, and that they would appriciate my total honesty.  Well, this morning, I got an email, and I don't think it was meant for me.  It was from one hospice director to another saying this...
 
We recieved Tammy's application to be a hospice volunteer today, and before anyone contacts her, I want you to have a look at her application, she seems to be a "red" flag.  Thank you.
 
So, I replied to the woman who did this email, and asked her why this came to me, and why she feels I am a "red" flag.
 
She replied back with...
 
I don't know why this came to you.  I described you as a "red" flag because you have recently experienced death, therefore, hospice may be a bit much for you to deal with right now.  Don't take what I said personally.
 
I replied back with...
 
I can't help but take what you said personally, as what you said is about me.  Also, I haven't experienced death in about 2 years, and death is a part of life.  If I felt I couldn't handle dealing with death, I would not have applied for this position.  I am very interested in volunteering for your company, and I wish I was not looked at as a "red" flag.  I have been in nursing for several years, and have dealt with death on more occasions than one.  I know what I am capable of dealing with.  Thank you for your time.
 
I don't believe that calling me a "red" flag had anything to do with my expiereincing death recently, because as I said before, I haven't experienced the death of someone close to me in around 2 years.  I strongly believe the "red" flag comes from my honesty about my anxiety issues, which I expressed were comepletely under control, and have been for several months.  I expressed that I wouldn't go back into the world until I felt ready, and I am ready.
 
I guess this is more of a vent than anything, and I do apologize for the length.  I guess I am being forced to feel like I should "hide" my "mental" issues, and that I shouldnt' be honest about them, and that isn't fair.  Maybe I am wrong here, but I feel that my anxiety is putting up this flag to this woman, and that shouldn't be the case.  I think everyone deals with all sorts of mental issues, like depression, anxiety, panic attacks, and so forth, and no one should have to hide them, or be judged on them.
 
Does anyone else agree that the "red" flag has to do with my anxiety and panic attacks that I was so honest about?  Or, am I over reacting here?
 
I don't even feel like I want to volunteer for these people anymore, and that makes me sad, because I was very excited to do it. 
 
I also know that email was not meant to go to me.  I was never meant to see that. 
 
Well, thanks for listening everyone, and I hope you are all doing well!
 GERD Forum Moderator
    Please share, only if you can spare! 
 Diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) and Panic Attacks.
 Clickable Link that may be of interest to some...as I find I often like to check drug interactions...Drug Interactions
 
~Tammy~


percycat
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 1952
   Posted 5/1/2008 7:40 PM (GMT -7)   
Tammy,

What a shame! On the surface, the "red flag" might have been about anything, but when the sender gave you a reason that doesn't make sense, it certainly gives the impression that she's creating a smokescreen.

Please try not to let her negativity rub off on you. You know who you are and what you're capable of, and if she doesn't, that's her loss. I understand your frustration, but before you withdraw from this entire opportunity, which you were really excited about, think about whether her judgmentalism is likely to be widespread, and whether you'd feel comfortable working around her or folks with that attitude.

I had an ER nurse not long ago who told me she'd suffered from anxiety for a few years, and it actually made ME feel better, knowing that she understood what I was going through. I'm really glad she went back to work, and I say, more power to you for doing the same!

percycat

Howlyncat
Elite Member


Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 24909
   Posted 5/2/2008 7:16 AM (GMT -7)   
Tammy
I dont think is about NOT experiencing death ...........alone
It may possibly be a bit of both and mixed together them knowing you have had A/P and will be around ppl that are going to die might be an issue for them
IT should NOT be at all IMHO but in sad reality thats the way it is hun and I totally agree it was great input that Percy gave you as well

I know that as a RN I had a/p all thru my career and it never affected my job or my abilities to be the empathetic and caring Nurse I was........

Like Percy said think hard before you fire this out the door....
She may just be the judgemental one and the only one ......

Kudos for you in going back into Health care
'I did home care for many yrs and found it to be very rewarding ........
You come to know the ppl so very well especially if you are going to go part time and end up having the same clients on a regular basis......

Do not beat self up over this you have come too far to let this LIL woman put you back IMHO

Keep us posted plz

LYN
  DX With Crohns,Pyoderma Gangrenosum,Anxiety/Panic,Fibro & Other DD
 
Moderator @ Anxiety Panic..Alzheimer's..Co mod @ Crohns
                               FIGHT the FIGHT with all YOU HAVE
 
   
 
                   
 


TammyGrl0528
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 1345
   Posted 5/2/2008 7:44 AM (GMT -7)   
Thank you percycat and Lyn for the kind words. I haven't heard back from the hospice lady yet, so I guess that isn't going to go anywhere. I am still very interested in hospice care, so I think I will go ahead and look into volunteering with a different company.

This "disease" is frustrating, because people look at me differently because of it, and that just isn't fair. My anxiety issues are not going to affect my life. Ugh, I dunno.

Thanks for letting me vent, and of course, thanks for the kind words and thoughts!
 GERD Forum Moderator
    Please share, only if you can spare! 
 Diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) and Panic Attacks.
 Clickable Link that may be of interest to some...as I find I often like to check drug interactions...Drug Interactions
 
~Tammy~


Howlyncat
Elite Member


Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 24909
   Posted 5/2/2008 8:07 AM (GMT -7)   
Anytime
Vent away
WE know what you are feeling

LYN
  DX With Crohns,Pyoderma Gangrenosum,Anxiety/Panic,Fibro & Other DD
 
Moderator @ Anxiety Panic..Alzheimer's..Co mod @ Crohns
                               FIGHT the FIGHT with all YOU HAVE
 
   
 
                   
 


Junebug05
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 717
   Posted 5/2/2008 10:08 AM (GMT -7)   
First of all, Congratulations on your progress.  You've come a long way and have so much to be proud of!  I'm sorry that you are dealing with this other situation though.  It's hard to say exactly what this woman meant about you being a red flag, she could be being honest with you or as percy said creating a smoke screen, to avoid her real reasoning.  I've always found it hard to know when to tell people about my condition and when not too.  I've been burned badly by telling the wrong person, so it's always a tough call.  I, like you, agree that there should not be any stigma attached to this disorder, and we should all be able to be honest. 
 
I'm sorry that you are possibly not going to get your first choice of places to volunteer, but I know you will find the right place for you and those people will be the fortunate ones to benefit from your generous, caring spirit.  All my best wishes for you to find the perfect place.  Keep us informed as to what happens.
 

stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 5/2/2008 10:50 AM (GMT -7)   

Dear Tammy,

Hey there, no way do you let this woman's comment make you change your mind about Hospice.  You know my background and I am interested in hospice too.  I worked as ER RN for 26 years and managed that ER for 8 years.  My son was killed in a car accident and after his death I used my strength that I had learned living the experience  to help other parents deal with the parents of a car crash.  I knew exactly where they were coming from.

Who leads the grief groups..........the people who have experienced the loss of a loved one.  Who better to relate to the relatives and patients whose anxiety is high during the last months of life...............a nurse with her own experience and that is you. Most people that volunteer to work with Hospice patients have lived through the loss of a loved one, it is what drives them to the reason to volunteer.

The email should have never come to you and I would just let it go.  This lady owns the problem not you.  You know how far you have come and don't start to self-doubt. :-)

Yes, some people still know nothing about the issues of mental health. We can only hope through advocating and education people will learn to understand the disorder for what it really is.

Look for another Hospice, and when you fill out the application use your nursing background as a reference point.  We are not required by law to share everything on an application.  What exactly her "red flag" was doesn't matter.  You are strong enough to move past it and keep on going.  Kick that ole red flag to the curb and be proud of your new job.

My prayers for your Father and family.  Many hugs for you
Hugs
Kitt


 
Kitt, Moderator: Anxiety ~ Panic 
Not a mental health professional of any kind
It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.~Mahatma Gandhi~
 


TammyGrl0528
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 1345
   Posted 5/4/2008 10:58 AM (GMT -7)   
Junebug, thank you for the kind words and praise...and yes, you are right, I have come a far way, haven't I? I look back to where I was a year ago, and I couldn't even leave my house, and now, I am totally ready to go back to work, and better myself, and in all reality, become a "person" again. You are right.

Kitt, your words were awesome. You are right about everything you said. I know I would be good for that position of volunteering, and if they don't want me for any reason, including my anxiety issues, or my experiences with death, then it is their loss, and I will give myself to someone who wants and appriciates me.

Mental health is hard to deal with. We all have problems that often times people don't understand, and in some cases, the people don't want to uderstand, or belittle us, or our conditions. It is a sad reality that we all have to face everyday. I feel that my mental illness has made me a stronger person. I use to be ashamed that I had "mental issues" but I am not anymore. I am actually proud. I am proud that I was strong enough to make it through the condition, and although it is going to be with me forever, it hasn't beaten me. I am proud to have this illness. I accept it. I think hospice helped to open my eyes a bit. I learn new things about myself and this illness everyday. I am no longer upset with this woman for sending that stupid email to me. I am no longer upset with her thoughts and opinions. I don't care what she thinks of me. Today, I feel really good.

Everyone's kind words today, and over the past year have helped me get through this. Wow, this is just great. What a great day!

By the way, no results on my Dad yet. He and I will probably talk tomorrow. Guess we will see what is what then. I will fill you guys in then.
 GERD Forum Moderator
    Please share, only if you can spare! 
 Diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) and Panic Attacks.
 Clickable Link that may be of interest to some...as I find I often like to check drug interactions...Drug Interactions
 
~Tammy~

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