Thursday, January 10, 2013

A Malpracticed Life


I have been filling out applications to go to work for nursing travel agencies for the last 3 days.  You can't imagine the relief I feel that I am able to mark all the above questions " no."  Relieved and humbled and guilty.  I don't deserve to be able to mark those little round "no" dots.  If the questions had asked  "Have you ever driven drunk or impaired?" That little "yes" dot would be marked.  If they'd asked have you ever malpracticed?  My answer would have to be, "Yes, I malpracticed every time I came to work hungover or with traces of last night's booze in my blood and brain and I was unable to dedicate my full faculties and concentration and care to my patients.  I malpracticed for all of my 30 years as a nurse because even if I wasn't hungover or legally impaired, I now know that booze leaves a lingering haze of apathy long after any physical proof of it's presence has been leached out.

And, yes, I should have had disciplinary action and yes I should have had malpractice suits.

I just didn't get caught.  I flew under the radar.

And I believed that I was a damn good nurse.

If I'd ever been caught, my life as I know it, would not be.

And that's just my professional life.

I malpracticed every day of my personal life, too.

I practiced the same disregard for others, my family, friends, and strangers on the street.  I put them in harms way everyday.

Once again, I just didn't get caught

Does that matter?

The harmful effects on them, the harmful effects on my patients were the same, whether I got caught or not.

I relied, I sat in wait, for that validation, that DUI, that reprimand from the boss, when I already knew what I was doing was wrong.

Why did I do that?

Thank God, I finally made the decision to stop without any of those validations.  Would they have made a difference?  Maybe not on my past, but they sure would have limited my future.  A future I am so undeserving of.  I am obligated to honor that privilege fully.

Thank you, God.  Show me the way.

P.S.  If you are sitting in wait for that gavel to come down that convicts you of being guilty.  Stop! Stop right now, because that gavel is a sledgehammer to your future!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  1. I had to answer yes to the DWI,, it is what I wrote after this that permitted my acceptance into the CD Counseling program. You were led into sobriety before the legal issues or being reprimanded occurred. For me, I needed a higher consequence. We're all SO VERY MUCH THE SAME, yet different with when, where, and how we got into recovery.

    Good luck with that job search and kudos for the humility despite not getting caught. Says you got it.

  2. Thank you for this well written reminder that luck is the only thing that kept many of us from suffering devastating consequences. Instead we have to do the right thing and give luck a day off.

    Best wishes in the job search...sounds like an exciting new path in your career.

  3. I was arrested for DUI but I managed to get out of it with the help of a shrewd lawyer. That was in the 1980's. Did I quit drinking then? Of course not. Getting finally sober took another 25+ years.