Tuesday, September 25, 2007

still thinking...

Minority Midwifery Student's got me thinking again.

Our Research prof was talking last week about how she had this radical discovery after her first focus group in the Latino church. She wants to know if cardiovascular interventions for Latino folks like education on risk factors and exercise and whatnot are more effective if they are sponsored by the church. The church members interviewed said - We are glad that you are here and wanted to ask us questions and listen to what we say. And so we really feel that we have to tell you that we don't have time to talk to you about cardiovascular health and diet and exercise. We have enough other things to worry about - like when to buy food, keeping the car running or enough money for bus fare, and making sure that someone can always be home with the baby."

I'm getting all these messages lately that I'm not listening to what I am hearing. from newFNP, MMS, and my own District Health Action Committee that does not in fact want to talk about health disparities in the schools of my district, but would rather continue to advocate for compostable lunchtrays. I love the idea of corn-plastic cups, and composting lunch, and organic food for all school children. Get that Fast Food Nation guy in here right now for a sound bite. But also, there's shit going down that I would like to be working on, and instead I'm real busy jacking around.

I've been writing scholarship and election essays about how I want to work community health after I get my MSN, and after I spend a couple of semesters taking more conversational and health-care focused Spanish. But the more I edit those essays and really pay attention to what I'm saying, I realize that they are not reflected in my current day-to-day. In fact, I could be practicing my Spanish at the store up the street instead of driving past it to go the big chain store. I could be listening to Spanish on my mp3 player on the bus.

I wonder if I'm putting off the idea of working at the clinic until I am an FNP because I'm really scared to do that. Part of it is that I haven't had Community Health yet, but since when do I wait for the nursing school to come bring me the shit that I want to learn? I've trotted out to the workshops at the Pharmacy school on Plan B and over the library to meet up with the gay folks.

I guess I have this idea that once I go into the clinic as a practitioner, that I'll only be able to stay so long before my motivation/energy will be used up. Seems like that was my experience as a patient or the parent of a patient at the clinic - after a few visits, when I knew that being treated like shit was the norm, not the exception, I would go in with these high hopes, trying to muscle through as much bureaucracy before my momentum wore off, like that slow motion football player throwing off tackles left and right, and finally leaping over the goal line by inches... She finally... gets... the prescription... and she's clear.

Workshops on incontinence are important, yes. Seminars on the IRB process for the survey/honors project I want to do on nurses' cultural competency w/r/t LGBTQI folks, good. But following up on the shit that I said I was doing is also critical. And it's bugging me that I say I'm doing it for the people who will give me money, but I'm not doing it yet.

maybe that's why I'm still awake at 2am?

1 comment:

Loving Pecola said...

Man, man , man I understand. I feel like all day I talk about my community and yet, I'm never really *in* my community because I'm always at school, at a meeting, at the library. The dean asked me if I was going to apply for this new minority faculty scholarship program for students continuing on in academia and I said yes, of course! BUT at the same time I was thinking "4 more years of school for a PhD...when in the hell am I going to get back to serving the people I'm doing all of this for?" It's frustrating, and I bet it *is* one of the reasons you're up at night-it's the same reason I'm up all damn night - what I'm doing is in line with my purpose in life, but right now it feels so useless. So much talk, very little action. I keep thinking "But what am I doing RIGHT NOW?"

I know I will be useful later, but I could be useful right now, too. But I'm so friggin exhausted, AND it's overwhelming trying to figure out where and how to start fixing some of the things I feel are in dire need of fixing...

I understand what happened with the church community. There's so much going on, it's hard to know where and how to start. The last thing on people's minds when they're hungry and broke is whether or not they have a well balanced choice of foods in front of them that's only 1/4 carb, 1/4 meat and 1/2 vegetable...it's always going to be "do we have enough for everyone tonight?"

Try not to lose focus (this is for me, too) sometimes you gotta wade through the seemingly trivial to get to the obviously substantial.