Wednesday, March 19, 2008

My job provides new prospective

Today will be my third day at work. I have the type of job where you learn mostly as you go. One thing this job gives me is the chance to feel how people feel who work in Skid Row.

Yesterday, I received a call from an elderly lady. She informed me that she was sick and that she wanted me to leave a message for her daughter to come visit her today in the afternoon. The lady was sweet over the phone and kept apologizing for taking up my time. I would have spent all night helping her if she needed it.
I had been watching the news a great deal and I they have been discussing alzheimer's disease and how it could effect the baby boomer generation. I, of course, have a mother who is suffering from that type of dimentia so that is always on my mind.

Whenever I can help an elderly person, I try my damnedest to do so.

Late in the evening the daughter of the lady came in. I was glad she came in on my shift as I could personally give her the message from her mother and KNOW that it was done. The daughter was confined to a wheel chair and she was very sick herself. I sat there and wondered who was more sick, the daughter or the mother.

I felt helpless to help either one. I felt helpless one day when my own mother said to me "what are they going to do with me, walter?" as if she had no choice or say in the decision. I remember feeling helpless and a failure in my life because I had no credibility and what I had to say would not have any weight towards my mother's future.

I imagine those types of things happen every day on Skid Row. People who care feel helpless to impact the lives of those with whom they come in touch. I know my employer gave me a number to call if I get down. It is a hotline of sorts that is provided to those that work in social services field. It is stressful and I guess people get depressed. I heard on television yesterday that caretakers of those that have alzheimer's can lose anywhere from 5ive to eight years off of their own lives from the stress of taking care of an alzheimer's victim.

From what I have experienced in my first couple of days, I can see where all of the above could be very true. Things effect you and you see that so many people struggle with everything on a day to day basis.

Yes, I have felt nice warm feelings when I have been able to help someone. However, when I can,t I feel terrible. I guess there are many people on Skid Row that feel terrible every day because they can not be more helpful to the people that they come across. There are thousands of problems and many of them are complicated.

This experience gives me another side to think about. Another perspective. It makes me think more and appreciate my own health and wonder what the future has in store for me along those lines.

I wonder when I will start doing research on vegetables and write about it or talk about exercising and fitness in my blog. All of these things are things that I have had planned but now there is an urgency to start in those areas.

I am of the baby boomer generation and I would like us to try to be as healthy as possible. I know what it is like to exercise and eat healthy foods. I also know what it is like to lead an unhealthy lifestyle. Hopefully I will provide content that will encourage and motivate people to enjoy healthy lives.

Take care.

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