Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Feeling like Humpty-Dumpty

I went to bed last night not able to decide what to blog about today – our camping trip last month, our trip to the Brewers game last weekend, more about my travels to Kenya in April or maybe just a complaint about the crazy weather we’ve been having or even world events. I woke up this morning thinking that instead of all of that, it was time to come clean about how I’ve really been feeling the last five months.

It started around the first of the year when we started losing people at the clinic where I work. When fully staffed we are at four physicians and four advanced practice providers (i.e. nurse practitioner or physician assistant). Right now we have two NPs, two full-time doctors and one doctor working three days a week. A new NP just started, but she is not up to speed yet and won’t be for a while. We have two doctors coming in to help out a few days a week, but they are mostly seeing walk-ins and not really picking up the slack of our regular patients with their chronic needs.

You would think that at least this would mean we have plenty of help with these few providers, but we have lost as many patient care staff as we have providers. Also, management has made cuts to some of our ancillary staff as well, so those of us who are left are doing multiple jobs.

And finally, add to that that we went to a new electronic medical record on February 14. No one cares too much for the new system. Everything we do in it seems to take a few extra steps and I am getting too old to remember all of that. I come home late from work every night wanting to do nothing but crawl into bed.

Then, as you know, the very next day, my mom passed away. I was ready for it and have written about it here already. I know that a person doesn’t just get over the death of a loved one and I have to deal with it over time. Shoot, I’m still not over Dad dying 24 years ago or Pat 18 years ago. I suppose that’s part of the problem. How many people can I keep stored up in my heart without giving them wings to fly free?

I really, really, really thought I was coping, though. Then I went back to Africa. Only people who have done volunteer work in a third world country can understand what kind of a loss one feels when they return from such a trip. And having returned from Kenya four times now, each time that feeling is stronger.

Since October the one bright star on my horizon has been that my first novel, “Where the Sky Meets the Sand”, was going to be published this spring. However, through a series of events on not only my publisher’s part, but mine as well, that process continues to get moved back. All of the internal work on it is now done, I am just waiting for the cover to be finalized. But I still don’t have a date for when it will be released. I’d like to start marketing it, but without that date as well as the finished cover, it makes it tough. Besides, along with not feeling like doing anything else, I don’t feel like doing that.

So, my to-do list, which I have not been tending to includes: marketing that novel, scheduling some book-signings, writing a business plan for my writing career in general and that book in particular, cleaning the spare bedroom where a bunch of Mom’s stuff ended up, scanning all the old family pictures I inherited from Mom, starting to plan the next trip to Kenya with Tumaini Volunteers, promoting Tumaini Volunteers, setting up some arts and crafts sales for Tumaini Volunteers, finishing writing the second novel that I am half-way done with, trying to work out and getting in shape and I am sure there are about ten more things I should be doing.

So, yea, it’s overwhelming and I try to sit back and not worry about it all. Try to just enjoy the simple things, appreciate family and friends, my house, my yard. But I feel like Humpty-Dumpty – just don’t see how the pieces are all going to fit back together. Hoping that getting it off my chest is cathartic. 

But right now, I really should be getting ready for work. I will keep you posted. 


Denise said...

My dear friend I love you, you know you are not alone at any time.

Chris Loehmer Kincaid said...

Thanks, Denise, I really do appreciate you.

Shan Jeniah Burton said...


You must know by now that i think you're much too hard on yourself. The kind of stress you've got going on at work would lay many people flat. So would the loss of a parent, or the vastly different realities of where you've been and where you are.

You've had so much happening, so much IS happening, and there's so much waiting to happen, it's no wonder you're overwhelmed.

Maybe you could just ask yourself this one little question at least a couple of times a week:

What would make me feel better right now?

If you keep it to something small and concrete, you could build cumulative improvement on the taking-care-of-Chris front, at least. Good things are bound to follow.

Chris Loehmer Kincaid said...

Shan, the only problem with asking the question what would make me feel better now is that the answer is always "ice cream". There are those fortunate souls who when under stress at least lose weight. Not me. Food is my stress-relief. And I have indulged, but only on days when I have exercised as well.

Thanks so much for your concern and support. Right now I'm counting the days until I can retire from the day job. Today it is at 3 years, 362 days. I know - wishing my life away is not healthy, but it gets me through the work week.