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#133501 Sep 24th, 2007 at 05:49 PM
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Many of y'all have been following my seemingly long and torturous journey toward (hopefully!) ordination in a few years. Last week I began an important phase of my training when I became a Chaplain-Resident up at the big premiere teaching hospital in my state.

Today I received my assignments and I'm a bit intimidated by both of them!
First, I will be serving in the children's hospital -- on a unit for sick infants and children up to age 13. Second, I will be serving on a palliative care unit for patients with AIDS, TB and CF.

TUFF STUFF!

Today was stressful and emotionally exhausting!

On top of which I am having desperate troubles with my transportation. On Thursday I am going to the human resources office to inquire about a message board or something so I can hopefully find a carpool.

I have to be there from about 7:30 AM to 4:00 or 4:30 (depending on how long it takes me to finish making notes in patient charts). That is a LONG day for me and I am so not used to long days away from home. The hospital facility is so huge, this would be daunting for a full-bodied person and my units are on opposite ends of the place ---- miles of long hallways and elevators galore!

But this is so clearly what I am meant to be doing right now, that I am really PSYCHED about it and delighted to be having this opportunity! Daunting or not, it is WONDERFUL!

Merme

Last edited by Merme; Sep 24th, 2007 at 05:50 PM.

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We were given two hands to hold, two eyes to see, two ears to listen & two legs to walk. But why were we given only one heart?
The other heart was given to another for us to find.
Merme #133504 Sep 24th, 2007 at 06:03 PM
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Reading what Nana posted to me in Coffeehouse about my "capabilities" reminded me of something else I forgot to tell you about.

Today we did role-playing. The Rev Dr. gave us scenarios. He described the role of the patient -- age, gender and circumstances -- and we were to practice being chaplains to that person.

I stupidly volunteered to go first!

My "patient" was an 18 year old boy who had caused a car crash the night before and his best friend was killed. The chaplain who played the patient was REALLY convincing and he pretended to be angry.

His anger caught me off guard and I couldn't think of a single thing to say hardly! Any other emotion demonstrated and I would have been okay. But the anger made me shut up and back off.

Later on, I got to be the patient -- an older woman dying of cancer and undergoing her first chemo treatments as a last resort. I had everybody convinced it was real -- there wasn't a dry eye in the house! Your Merme can really put on the dog when it comes to acting!! hehehehe

But oh man, that role playing was TOUGH! Plus, having all the other students and instructors watching and evaluating! yipes. I will be reluctant to volunteer the next time to go first for anything!

Merme


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We were given two hands to hold, two eyes to see, two ears to listen & two legs to walk. But why were we given only one heart?
The other heart was given to another for us to find.
Merme #133645 Sep 24th, 2007 at 09:24 PM
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Well Merme.... I know just how empathetic you are and your usually right on with your understanding of others...as for not getting the anger I wouldn't either...thats a hard emotion to deal with - and unfortunatly one you will be dealing with, people do get angry at being hurt or ill... I bet you will find a way to get thru to them .... I bet the role playing helps a lot and they use a lot of real experiences too- you know both sides of being a patient and being a person of faith... you will do well...
Good for you for going first too- !
Nana


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Merme #133646 Sep 24th, 2007 at 09:24 PM
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OH, My, Merme: such an involved difficult road you have in front of you... But I h ave no doubt but that you will do well. if God did not think you were capable to doing this, you would not be there now beginning it.

Take care of yourself & have Faith!! The time will go faster than you realize now. thumbup kissie


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JunieGirl #133667 Sep 24th, 2007 at 10:44 PM
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Thanks you guys. All I can say is I will do my best.

Merme


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We were given two hands to hold, two eyes to see, two ears to listen & two legs to walk. But why were we given only one heart?
The other heart was given to another for us to find.
#133677 Sep 25th, 2007 at 04:22 AM
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Merme, you sure are one tough cookie kissie



~~Tam~ You can bury all your troubles by digging in the dirt.
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Sunflowers #133739 Sep 25th, 2007 at 11:14 AM
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yup thumbup


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We were given two hands to hold, two eyes to see, two ears to listen & two legs to walk. But why were we given only one heart?
The other heart was given to another for us to find.
Merme #134351 Sep 27th, 2007 at 04:24 PM
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Somehow, I thought this would be easier.

But there is nothing easy about seeing drug addicted newborns OR children in palliative care at the end of life.

These are things you expect to see with older people, not children.

I'm worn out tonight and too sad to be sad, if that makes any sense?


Merme


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We were given two hands to hold, two eyes to see, two ears to listen & two legs to walk. But why were we given only one heart?
The other heart was given to another for us to find.
Merme #134374 Sep 27th, 2007 at 04:52 PM
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Oh, Merme... I can just imagine how very difficult it is to see all that!
But I do know that you will make a difference in each and every life that you touch there - thanks so much for that!!!

As an aside... we have a friend who married for the 3rd time and moved to Hawaii about 10 years ago. Since she already had a teenage son from her first marriage, she and her new husband adopted twin infants who were born to a drug addict. The trials and tribulations they've been through with them is enough to bring anyone down, but they are also the joys of their lives!!!


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Merme #134560 Sep 28th, 2007 at 05:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Merme
Somehow, I thought this would be easier.


I'm worn out tonight and too sad to be sad, if that makes any sense?


Merme


Take care of yourself Merme, this is an emotionally draining experience. kissie


~~Tam~ You can bury all your troubles by digging in the dirt.
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Sunflowers #134574 Sep 28th, 2007 at 06:16 AM
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Tamara is right, Merme--If you don't take care of yourself then you cannot take care of anyone else.

Good luck with all of your new duties--i am sure you will do well. :wink: kissie


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JunieGirl #136384 Oct 4th, 2007 at 05:03 PM
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flwr UPDATE! flwr


Thought you'd all like to hear about my first evaluation which was this morning, conducted by the director of our program. I was a nervous wreck going into it because on Monday I'd turned in two papers and I knew he'd be commenting on them, PLUS evaluating what he'd noticed in class and had heard about me from the unit's staff. Nerve-wracking!!!

First, he said he believed I am doing a very good job so far. He recognized how hard it is on me physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually but stated that I also seemed to be on very solid ground as I gain in experience and understanding.

One of my papers had been about my "learning goals" -- what I hoped to learn through the course. The goals had to be professional and personal. He thought I had set excellent, reasonable goals for myself. He liked my outlined plan of how I meant to achieve those goals and how we might measure my progress in them. Then he recommended several books I should begin reading right away and do reports on to further my advancement toward my goals.

The other paper was a "reflection" -- thoughts on the experience so far and what I sensed myself recognizing and learning. I wrote it over the weekend when I was feeling awestruck at the profound responsibility of these tasks entrusted to us. He was pleased I had recognized so many key issues so early on and thought my reflection was good.

The next evaluation is in two weeks. And in the meantime, I have to write other papers and meet with my mentor. Plus, this Monday I am responsible for the Chapel service at noon.

Today it felt a little odd to realize that staff and patients are accepting me at face value. I AM chaplain. No one scoffs at the notion or challenges my suitability for the job.

It was heartening when a mom who has been through much with her infant hospitalized for the last 10 months referred to me as Chaplain and opened herself to share more of their story with me. They've been through he// and back and she thoughtfully, carefully explained it all, bringing me into the story. I felt honored to be trusted like that!

There is something terribly poignant about seeing toddlers on tricycles with IV poles or drug-addicted babies being cradled by student nurses who are monitoring them very closely.

That place is awesome!


I just want to do well by these people who are so fragile in so many ways.


Merme


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We were given two hands to hold, two eyes to see, two ears to listen & two legs to walk. But why were we given only one heart?
The other heart was given to another for us to find.
Merme #138179 Oct 8th, 2007 at 07:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Merme
I just want to do well by these people who are so fragile in so many ways.
Merme


Merme you are a loving caring person and I am sure you will do very well.


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Life isn't about how to survive the storm, but how to dance in the rain!! .....

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