I have 2 good friends who are married to TIMs … pity they can’t have this FREE personalized license plate!
And how crazy is it to see 1 / 15 on there … JANUARY 2015!! Wow. I still remember 2000 all too well – once we got past the whole Y2K thing, it was a great year – I was pregnant from March til November with Annie-Belle!
Anyhow, back to the license plate. It is for the vehicle Daniel drives now – yes, we finally got all the paperwork, title lien release, property tax assessments, etc together so he could FINALLY take one more step to officially becoming an Arkansan (btw, I asked – residents of this state are NOT Arkansinian or Arkansonian or Arkanseans or whatever I previously made up – offically, it is Arkansan … or Arky!).
Hard to believe as well is that ONE YEAR AGO (actually on January 28, 2013), he began his orientation for his NEW JOB here!! It was the beginning of a long 6 months until we all could move here … but has now resulted in his probation year being over (not that we were ever in fear that he wouldn’t make it!!) and having quite a good knowledge of at least the inpatient side of the hospital he works for – the people, patients, and procedures.
There have been some pretty hectic days for him – like today: the ER nurse wanted to transfer a patient to his ward … and the ward/charge nurse wasn’t ready to fix up a new bed/room … and Daniel was stuck in the middle. BUT he works things out as smoothly as he can and has again been labeled as a “calm under pressure” guy. He’s met lots of interesting people – the medical personnel and the patients, all of whom are veterans of the Armed Forces. Some were only in a year or so, some were “lifers” … some saw some pretty intense combat in World War II, Korea, or Vietnam, others just served on the home front. Some are young – others old – many middle aged. And they all have a story. Daniel is a great observer and story keeper – and I wish I could tell you about some of his experiences – but there is this privacy protector called HIPAA that prevents that!
There are some funny things that happen occasionally that merit mentioning (and don’t violate any privacy laws, I don’ think?!): for example, last night, Daniel was working some overtime hours on the Psych Ward, doing what they call “one-on-one” with a patient who needs constant supervision. This patient was truly a little bit — well — not quite there. Daniel had told the man about his own Army experience since the guy asked – and mentioned he’d served in Iraq. Well, from that point on, the patient was convinced that Daniel himself was an Arab and kept trying to console him that he didn’t think that “all Muslims were so bad as they make them out to be …”. Later that night, a male nurses aide came in, and he was dressed in all black scrubs. The patient asked Daniel who had called for the “Padre” (ie priest) – and he addressed the man as such any time he saw him.
Another psych patient pointed out that Dan’s eyes had really dark circles around them and asked him, first of all, if he did that on purpose and then asked what family or nationality he came from. Daniel just calmly told him that he was descended from the raccoon family … and left it at that. Sometimes maybe it is Daniel that is the crazy one?!?!?!
Of course, it isn’t always bliss and happiness and joyfully serving veterans who are always extremely thankful to be receiving care. One of the angriest patients Daniel spent a few one-on-one hours with was so upset because he was really trying to prove that he had “PTSD” (to get a disability rating and potentially money from the government) … having served just a year in the military, without seeing any combat situations at all. Instead, the doctor diagnosed him with Severe Alcohol Abuse, having sent this man to detox over and over again over a course of a long period of time.
(A disclaimer for that situation above: I have several friends who have been diagnosed with PTSD, and I realize it is a very serious subject and would NEVER EVER make fun of it in any way. Alcohol abuse CAN BE one of the symptoms of it among many others … but in this case, the patient was truly just an alcoholic with no other evidence or cause to be diagnosed with PTSD.)
This thought leads me to the sad stories … the veterans who die alone, with just a nurse on the pallative care unit with them. Or some have messy family situations – and as an administrative assistant to the hospital ward, it is part of Daniel’s regular job to put the pieces together of who is related to the patient and how – and who is authorized to receive information about the patient and all such technicalities. It all makes for interesting experiences each day!!
In the end, they are all PEOPLE … no matter what their circumstances. People who God loves and Jesus died for … who deserve respect and kindness. People who Daniel has gotten to serve for a whole year now. And hopefully for 19 more years to come!!