Practicing gratitude

Day 19: What do you love about your job?

I love people.

I am a Licensed Social Worker, Chemical Dependency Counseling Assistance and Certified Case Manager at a Medicaid Managed Care Plan. It sounds real fancy and I did work hard for all those letters behind my name. The reality is I am kind of everyone’s mom. I know a little bit about a lot of things.  I am a matchmaker really; I have lots of friends. Friend A has a problem and Friend C has the solution to that problem.  A and C do not know each other. I am friend B; I know both and hook them up. I talk to people all day long. When my wise brain is functioning properly, I can speak clearly.  I meet people where they are at. What stage of change are you in? What’s the goal?

When I was 16 my 27-year-old sister died of Ovarian Cancer due to Divorce, Poverty, Abuse, Lack of Education, Poor Preventative Health Care. 27-year-olds should not die like that. Parents should not lose their children, children should not grieve the loss of their siblings, friends should not be lonely. I outreach to people to educated them on the importance of their preventative health care screenings.  Getting a pap smear is not really a priority when you cannot buy food. I help people get food. Mammograms don’t matter when you cannot pay your rent. I help people find money to pay the rent. Going to the dentist for that abscess tooth, that is about to make you septic, is not on the to do list when you are homeless.  I help people find low-income housing.  It is all perspective; you could say she just mailed a list of food pantries or made a phone call. I don’t see it that way. I kept that kid from going to bed hungry today. I helped that mom keep her kids warm and I helped that family find safety. We don’t need to feel sad, stressed out or like a failure today. They give me a problem and I offer a solution. I care about the feelings; I understand the feelings I just don’t sit around processing the feelings with them all day. I am not a therapist.  They trust me now; my word matters to them. Now that I have your attention lets talk about those doctors’ appointments. I don’t want anyone dying before it is time. If you ask me, I cure cancer for a living. I don’t know what you do all day but I am busy making miracles happen. I am tired, that’s a lot of work.

My dad died when I was 25 of Lung Cancer, he was 60.  He smoked a lot of cigarettes, smoked a lot of pot, and drank a lot of Black Velvet when he was busy not showing up for me. Why? I don’t know, unprocessed childhood trauma?  Daughters should not grow up without their dads. I talk to people about their substance use issues, connect them with resources to get help so they can show up for their kids today or tomorrow. There is always tomorrow; we keep waiting. No judgement, we can talk about it when you are ready. I have time for you, here is my card when you want to talk. Like I have room to judge? You want to know about my 20 years of smoking, my period of binge drinking, or the coke I did when I was 17? I understand.

My mom died when I was 32; she was 66. I was home cleaning out my closet and I got call from my brother crying that I needed to come over. She had heart attack and died on the kitchen floor. I was thankful that I was with her for dinner the night before. She had chronic health problems my whole life. She missed my high school graduation because she had a CABG. I left graduation to go see her hooked up to a ventilator. In 2011 I was 6 months out of college trying to start my career and she had her leg amputated due to diabetes and vascular disease. I loved her a lot but she was kind of a burden. I was always taking care of her because she didn’t take care of herself. It really put a strain on our relationship. I outreach to people to help them obtain PCPs, Specialist, Medical Equipment, Home Health Care. I try to get people the education and supports they need to improve or manage their chronic illness and take the burden off the family. I want them to enjoy their relationships and not be overwhelmed or resentful.

I have spent my entire life worrying about everyone else; I gave purpose to my pain and I give meaning to what I do. My biggest strengths are also my biggest weaknesses. I don’t really know how to be any different but I am trying. I am a mom now and I need to take care of me. My baby needs a healthy mom! My entire family on both sides suffer from diabetes and heart disease. Unfortunately, I followed in the footstep of my family and I am diabetic; It is on my to do list.  I also have high cholesterol but I had a Cardiac Calcium Score done when I got my Mammogram.  It is a CT Scan that measures the amount of calcium that has accumulated in the walls of the coronary arteries to help interpret your risk level.  My Score was .25; see God gave me a pure heart! Stop harassing me about that Statin, I am not taking it! The doctor said ok. I like him, we can be friends. He is married too, just my luck.


0        Very low

1-99   Low

100-399        Moderate

400 or greater         High

I do apparently have a nodule on my lung but my doctor did not seem alarmed by this and said we will check again in 6 months. Don’t worry about the lung nodule as he writes my prescription for the anxiety medication I am here for. Lol

I googled that. According to the American Cancer Society A lung nodule (or mass) is a small abnormal area that is sometimes found during a CT scan of the chest. Most lung nodules seen on CT scans are not cancer. They are more often the result of old infections, scar tissue, or other causes. But tests are often needed to be sure a nodule is not cancer.

We will trust God with that one and say a little prayer about it.





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