So, just when I thought I was having a really horrible time with work, an unexpected reminder of why I do what I do happened on Friday afternoon.
If anything, it was God's response to my question of "why am I still in this job?"
We have walk-in gyne hours on Friday afternoons called, "With Women Fridays," where we help women of all socioeconomic backgrounds get the care the need and deserve- our goal is primarily to help women without insurance get coverage for (at the very least) their well-woman needs and help promote sexual well being.
Yesterday, I met a woman who was so nervous to leave her house that she was literally shaking. She came up to my window and I asked her how she was doing, to which she responded "very, incredibly nervous, if you couldn't tell."
She almost couldn't write her name down because she was shaking so bad.
I asked her why she was came in and she said, "problem." I asked if it was a pregnancy verification and she said, "god, I really hope not." All my red flags went off inside of me- I asked her if she had insurance and she burst into tears at my window. Instant momma-mode went off inside of me and I asked if she needed a tissue, to which she said: "I already have them with me because I'm so scared." My heart broke, this woman was clearly upset. So I explained the process of applying for Select Plan for Women, a PA state program that covers well-woman care for uninsured or under insured women under a certain monthly income. I got her on the phone with them and quickly informed our providers that I suspected this woman could be a victim of sexual assault, and to tread carefully as to not upset her.
I later learned that the woman did not come in for rape follow-up; however, had PTSD as a result of rape that had happened years ago. It got to the point where she could barely leave her house, but her problem had become so painful that her husband had brought her in to us. What killed me more was that this woman had been a client of ours about 8 years ago, and in her archived chart was a photo of her, her husband and son back then. She was so radiant and happy. I can't imagine what it was she went through in 8 years that brought back a woman so upset that she physically couldn't hold a pen, barely could make eye contact and kept referring to herself as "useless." I kept having to tell her that she wasn't- and she waited for me to come back from my lunch to bring up her paperwork (something she could have given to any of my co-workers). It's good that she came in because she is likely with cancer, and my prayers have definitely been with her these last few days.
We give out bags at the end of the visits on Fridays. They aren't much; there's a chapstick, little bag of coffee and some other small goodies, but when we gave it to her- it was like she had gotten this awesome Christmas gift. She lit up and remarked about how she loved the purple bag and matching pen- it was a look that made my whole week, including the parts where I was yelled at or mistreated in anyway, worth it.
That's right, feeling as though I made a difference in one person's life made my whole job worth it- It made the last 1.5 years of grunt work absolutely worth it.
I couldn't ask for more.