Okay, so... I really need an update on my blog. Its so hard to motivate myself when I have work in the afternoon [starts about 4pm and goes to... 11pm] and I have the morning off. I like to fluff around and take my time doing everything because I know I will be pretty busy in the evening during work. And if I work all day [so like 7am - about 4pm] then I am just poopered after having walked around and around for the whole shift!!!

However... work is awesome. And that's right - not studying no more - just working now. The girl I was studying and on placement with... and myself are now un-officially employed where we had placement. Which is SUPER because we already know many of the things there are to know. We get officially employed this coming week. 

Its so nice to work with people who I am familiar with and pretty much everyone [residents included] are great to be with... most of the time. Some other carers and nurses are REALLY rough and rude to some of the more difficult residents, which I struggle with alot [the attitude and care they take... not meaning the difficult residents, who I do have some struggles with aswell... oh whatever]. Many of the carer's dont want to spend the little bit of extra time with the residents to allow them to do some things themselves because we are all so busy and have so many other people to take care of too, and understandably, it makes you late for other things that need to be done. But this takes away their independance, their dignity and their respect, so this is something I have to master in order to keep people being actively apart of their care, while at the same time, not spending forever with one person [when there's usually about 12 in all -per section- also requiring your help].

I think dealing with difficult residents will help me better deal with difficult pre-teen and teenagers [I guess I am inclining to the day I might have my own, hey God!?!]. Because, many of these people act like they are -truly- children. They throw tantrums, get mad when they don't get what they want, smack others who they are angry with, follow you around nagging or complaining or abusing you, slam doors and things and scarily remind me of myself when I misbehaved as a teenager.

But they also love you, like to help you, talk to you, laugh and joke with you and appreciate what you are doing for them.
We've had now 3 people pass away since I started placement. The first one affected me mostly because I saw her decline while working with her that day, and then seeing her moments before she passed, but understanding that she was close to the end, not realising it was SO close. That hit home a little bit, but it was a experience I have to get used to. I haven't as yet 'found' someone who has passed away, and I think that will affect me more.

I have been trying to pray through my day for those who are more sick or more frail, in hospital, or are really just waiting for death to come. One lady, who has barely eaten in weeks, is as frail as thin paper over a simple frame, and is now remaining in bed being too exhausted for her legs to hold her body up. She has outlived all expectations. She is also bringing up many discussions from the other carers who work there that 'if there really is a Bloke upstairs' that He wouldn't let this lady continue to live in her condition. Its hard to not say "Christian" things - plus I'm not really allowed to either-, but I try and show that maybe its not just this lady waiting to die, but maybe its her family too... that perhaps she has yet to pass because she is still 'hanging on' for them. Today, I told her "its okay", something that we are encouraged to say to those who we know are close, not for any reason but sometimes they just need that one tiny bit of permission that they can go. I will be sad when she passes, but I know that it will be a great relief to her and her family.

I am also very stuck if people say "Someone just needs to end it"... not meaning it in a mean way, but I guess in their head its the humane way.
Its funny, I see death and mental health illnesses so differently now. I think I am reacting to my normal friends and those people I will see in everyday life differently... to mood swings or outburst of verbal abuse [not like my friends are prone to doing that - haha] or to the fact that sometimes, people just need someone to listen to them. At the same time, there are a few residents who I am VERY frustrated by, and wonder if they play on their mental health illnesses to get more attention.

One lady asks EVERYONE the same question... and sometimes you have to be quite blunt with her in order for her to understand, which I struggle to do. Eg, she will usually say one of the following statements: 

"Will you help me? I am so lost..." so we take her to her room or point in the direction for her to go;
"This stick [walking stick] says my room is number 18, but I don't know..." so we confirm her room and do the previous actions;
"Do you know who I am?..." why, yes we do;
"Will you shower me now?" and we tell her "soon", or just after *insert something here*

EACH time that a person gives a response, she then goes to the next person and asks them, like she is playing people off of each other until she gets a response she likes. And, I'm all for understanding that she has dementia, but her family doesn't experience this extreme behaviour. Interesting!

However, I truly love my job!! I clean bums, front-bottoms [girls] and some tackle [boys], but I really don't think about it - much like changing babies. Sure, they have bits there, but you do get all weird about it. I have a weekly task of viewing under many boobies, and can I just say that some of these women are well a-breast!!! We have special lifting machines for two ladies who are bed- or chair-ridden. We make breakfast, serve morning tea, lunch [3 courses], afternoon tea, dinner [3 courses] and supper. The nurses and those of admin importance say the residents are getting overweight or gaining weight... I wonder why. Its like a 4.5 star hotel. 

I get to be kissed by many of the women [the double-cheek-kiss that Europeans do... because these residents are from Ukraine, Croatia, Russia, and Poland] in the morning... and in the afternoon get abused in foreign languages [which just makes me laugh really] by the same people. I've been kicked in the face, slapped, punched and bitten by a lady who has no teeth. Strange feeling.

And yet, I know this is exactly where I am meant to be right now. I have been challenged to 'tone down' on my enthusiasm - but not to completely stop being me...

I hope this update has found you in the most fabulous day today...