Write Our Story: Injured workers or human trafficking victims?

This is the continuation of the story that began as part of my faith walk, as noted in http://thecommonlanguage.com.  It is the thread of my story that includes the nursing career that began in my childhood, perhaps 50 years ago, when I answered a call to care for God’s creatures.  At first I mostly took care of His horses and cats and dogs, but slowly that evolved into caring for human persons, their bodies, minds and spirits, as those person’s occur in relationships with others, God, and creation.  Now, eight years after my own miraculous healing, it has evolved into an intense desire to care for the human body, mind and relationships through the human spirit.  Why the human spirit?  Because our spirit, our heart, is our motor.  Our heart is what drives us to make the decisions that we make about –everything.  About what time we get out of bed, whether or not we pray, our attitude towards other people.  The eyes of our heart focuses our perspective on what we do with our money, to whom we offer our talents, and how we spend our time on Earth day by day, minute by minute.

But we are made in the image and likeness of God. That means that in the heart of the person is the power to do good, and to honor what is true and beautiful.  This power is directly given to us from our creator, God.  And whatever does not accord with one’s belief is sin.

The Premise

But before we go on, let’s agree on this one premise: Bedside nursing is nursing in the trenches.  It’s hand to hand combat in the fight in the war against life-taking and body mutilating infections.  A nurse does her best to protect herself, but she is at risk for succumbing to those infections, too.  It’s a fight against time in the event of shock trauma, and shock in general -ever have a person who is obviously incapacitated and bleeding to death look you in the eye and beg you to save his life?

It’s also a fight against laziness and a bad day.  It’s a fight against hunger and needing a smoke, needing to pee, needing to hear from home.  It’s a fight against drug abuse and theft of company time in the form of gossip and loose speech.  But, more than anything, our battle is not against human forces but against the principalities and powers, the rulers of this world of darkness, the evil spirits in regions above.  You must put on your armor of God if you are to resist on that evil day…

But the good news is this: through the love beheld to us by His Son’s (Jesus) crucifixion, and the power beheld by us in His resurrection, God has given his followers authority, “Go into the whole world and proclaim the good news to all creation.  The man who believes in it and accepts baptism will be saved; the man who refuses to believe in it will be condemned.  Signs like these will accompany those who have professed their faith: they will use my name to expel demons, they will speak entirely new languages, they will be able to handle serpents, they will be able to drink deadly poison without harm, and the sick upon whom they lay their hands will recover” (The Gospel of Mark, chapter 16, verses 15-18, i.e., Mk. 16:15-18).

But before you “non-Catholic” Christians, and others, get too excited, note this, “It was John who said, ‘Master, we saw a man using your name to expel demons, and we tried to stop him because he is not of our company.’  Jesus told him in reply, ‘Do not stop him, for any man who is not against you is on your side’” (Luke 9:49-50).

So, referencing my faith walk and my online testimony, in the first section, “Healed”, you read about how I hurt my back attempting to move an old confused patient who was found soaking in his own pee because the nursing unit was not staffed sufficiently to care for him in a more timely way.  In that injury I tore my rhomboid muscle, which went undiagnosed for a year because the worker’s comp doctors would not literally touch my back due to being afraid of being sued by me for (?).  If they had touched my back they would have felt the torn muscle, and that part of it had flipped around to the other side of the bottom of the shoulder blade, and was trapped there until a private PT practitioner was hired by me and diagnosed the problem and dug it out and thus allowed it to finally heal.

On that same site is a second writing, “Healed: Life takes Miracles. A follow up.”, which is an update of “Healed”. In that second writing you read how I was working in Hospital A and not supporting their heart for chronically short staffing their units. I attempted to teach the other nurses about Ohio’s law to prevent chronic short staffing, which ended up in my getting canned (let’s be honest), as well as marking the beginning of my formal schooling and informal ministry as a Chaplain.  In that scenario, in not accepting assignments that were based on their values for chronic short staffing, values that were in conflict with Ohio State Law -a state law that has written into it no recourse for those effected by administrators who break the law- I was asked, “Susan, what are you going to do about it?  You belong to US!”  To that I retorted, “I do not belong to you, I belong to Jesus Christ, and He says you are a criminal and I am not to be your accomplice.”

Hospital Groups A, B, C, D, and also E.

So, as I walked away, I wondered –what has Ohio come to?  Are all hospitals like this?  What has happened to people treating other’s as they themselves would like to be treated?  I went on a quest.  I went to 4 different hospital groups, A, B, C, and D, and this is what I found:  A and B did not follow the law, C and D did.  C and D are under nursing unions, A and B are not.  C and D voiced no concerns with my following the law and looking at their staffing stuff, A and B had royal fits.  Because of their royal fits, and their non-compliance with Ohio nursing law, I turned the Chief Nursing Officers into the Ohio Board of Nursing with an accusation of malpractice.

At some point, a couple years later, I decided to seek nursing employment –but who would employ me?  I remembered a little private hospital I used to work for, before all of this, and sought employment there.  They hired me!  The government wanted all people to have good healthcare, so healthcare regulations changed right about then.  With that change came uncertainty for a while in who would be paying the healthcare bills, so our patient census dropped.  Instead of sending the nurses who have kids home without pay, I told them to send me home.  They sent me home a lot, through no fault of their own.  So I left there and went away to graduate school.

Then I came back a couple years later. I tried to get a job with the same hospital group in a hospital that was affiliated with Hospital C, a hospital who shared my same safe-staffing values.  But they were on a temporary hiring freeze, and graciously hired me at another of their hospitals.  On my first day of work I found out it was 49% owned by Hospital B.

On Easter Sunday, 4/16/17 I injured my back at work.  Desiring no conflicts of interest, the little hospital group that I love sent me to the ER of hospital A.  There I was given great care and a prescription to see a specialist, a neurosurgeon.  When I tried on Monday to make an appointment I was told I need to see a worker’s comp doctor first.  So in finding out where such a doctor may be, I was told to go to an occupational health department affiliated with hospital E.  I had been to Hospital E, which is close to me, over the previous year for various mostly minor things, and had been misdiagnosed several times.  So I was not happy about going back there.  Think, think…who has the best spine care?  I called our Level I trauma center, Hospital D, who also values safe-staffing laws, and took a 200 dollar round trip cab fare there yesterday, Tuesday, 4/18/2016.  I’m not driving right now because my right leg and foot keep going numb.  They agreed, based on my symptoms, I should receive an MRI prior to beginning any physical therapy, and have written me off work for at least 3 weeks because it typically takes Ohio worker’s comp 2-4 weeks to decide to allow that $2500.00 test or not.  In the meantime I will suffer and my employer will suffer.

Go ahead, A and B, continue to write our story…