Many, many moons ago, before I was Your Aunt Becky, I was Nurse Becky. However, Nurse Becky had a problem – namely, she didn’t want to be Nurse Becky.
(okay, that’s me being done talking about myself in the third person)
No, I’d given up my medical school dreams for a young lad I’d indelicately booted out of my crotchal regions at the tender age of 21. Me, not him. That would be pretty weird – pushing a 21-year old outta my vagina. Mental picture of a full-grown frat boy (including crappy shamrock tattoo from one drunken night in Cancun) climbing out of my vagina is full of the awesome, though.
The biggest problem I had was that I had no desire whatsoever to actually BE a nurse. Which came to light day one of nursing school. I held on, worked my ass off, and graduated at the top of my class, hoping something – anything – would change my mind.
Of course, it didn’t. The same way I’d make a terrible teacher because, hello, it’s not as though I should personally be ministering to small, impressionable minds. Parents would take one look at me and run for the hills quicker than you can say, “bong water.”
So there I was – freshly graduated, diploma in hand, mind not magically changed to, “Imma let you finish – then Imma administering you some morphine – can I have a drag?”
Blithely, I applied – and got – a job working on a cardiac floor at a hospital in Elmhurst. That lasted six weeks before I quit. I’d been told that the floor I was on was one that “made a lot of people ditch nursing a career.” Apparently, I chose even more poorly than I’d thought.
When we moved to our current house, faced with the prospect of dueling mortgages (this was almost immediately before the housing market bubble burst), it was decided that I’d go back to work. After spending a few months sitting alone in our condo with a small autistic boy all day, I was more than happy to get back on the (work) horse and ride that fucker all the fuck over the place.
This time, I knew better – I wasn’t going back to a hospital – oh no. That shit was for the GOOD nurses out there. Instead, I chose a desk job working for a major insurance company. I’d be approving certain claims as well as finding ways to extend the benefits for people who were using in-home hospice.
Now hospice, if you don’t know, is for people who are no longer pursing active treatment of their terminal illness. Hospice is designed to let you die with some dignity at home (or in the hospital) as comfortably – and pain free – as possible. Hospice is also one of the last options for people who are terminally ill, which means that most people don’t stay in hospice for very long before they pass.
However, some people had certain hospice benefits provided through my company – but the terms and conditions were, as many people forget, set by the employer – and some of their hospice benefits were way weird. So it was my job to look for loopholes, draft care plans, and show the insurance company as well as the employer that being in at-home hospice was far cheaper than being hospitalized.
It wasn’t as glamorous a job as, say, BLOGGING, but I liked it – I was actually helping people in a way I knew how – by finding and exploiting the system.
But elevator conversations always turned sour:
Someone Else: “What do you do for a living?”
Nurse Becky (prays they’ll stop questioning there): “I’m a nurse.”
Someone Else (warmly): “My [insert relation here] is a nurse! That’s so wonderful! You’re a very special person for doing all that you do. Where do you work?”
Nurse Becky (mumbles): “[Company that shares a name with an airline]”
Someone Else: “Oh, FUCK YOU! That’s a fucking BULLSHIT company. I fucking HATE them – you know they denied my claim for a routine appendectomy? HOW THE HELL COULD YOU WORK FOR SUCH EVIL CORPORATE BASTARDS? You’re one sick puppy, you know that?”
Nurse Becky (mumbles): “Well, I’m one of the good guys – I look for ways to….”
Someone Else: “Fuck you and fuck your mother for birthing you, you soulless bitch.”
Nurse Becky (crestfallen, to herself): “I gotta remember to say I’m an astronaut or something.”
Eventually, the soulless heart-slurping company switched my job to that would primarily involve cold-calling people and giving them health examinations over the phone – not my cup of tea. This, at the same time I’d found out I was pregnant with Alex and couldn’t stop yarfing everywhere meant that it was time for me to mosey on down to greener – nicer – pastures. Like blogging. And wearing ass grooves into my couch.
At least then, only my couch could really bitch at me.