Thursday, December 11, 2008

A New Motivation

I have been thinking about "quitting" my volunteer spot with hospice.

The last person I was assigned to visit was on her 2nd hospice admission and said she wanted someone to read to her, but when I would go to visit she would either toss me out or I couldn't find her. And as messed up as this sounds, I never felt like she was dying (anymore than any of us are, I suppose) and irrationally it bugged me, like she was milking the system. I was not a good volunteer to this woman -- I made selfish decisions with my time and often chose to do anything else than do this. Guilt is not something that I need more of in my life. She was discharged at the end of October, and in talking with the volunteer coordinator (an amazing human being)the words "I'm out" were almost out of my mouth but never quite made it.

I met a new person today -- he is actively dying. He is a young guy spending every day in a nursing facility for the last eight months while multiple sclerosis breaks down his body. We talked about jazz and the Redskins. I instantly liked him.

My previous experiences have been with elderly ladies who either couldn't hear, couldn't see, or couldn't think clearly. The only time I've spent with a man was the son of my first lady who was shockingly mentally unstable and kept multiple TVs tuned into the news in every room, had every ink pen he'd ever owned, and occasionally wore a dress over his clothes like a robe.

I think this experience will be a life changer, and may be just what I need to get myself out of my own selfish funk. And while I think this is going to be a tough one, I'm so glad I didn't quit.

1 comment:

EliandMe said...

That is the toughest job, voluntary or otherwise, that I have ever heard of. But I'm glad you didn't quit.