~~February 22, 2014~~
A year ago today, a Friday, I was sitting in my office doing my job.
I had a regular, full schedule of patients to see that day. Neither my co-workers nor my patients knew what I was up to. I didn’t say goodbye to many. I sent an email at 3:30 PM informing administration that February 22, 2013 was my last day. I wasn’t coming back!!
A friend of mine had prepared some graphics for me which I used as my cover picture on Facebook.
These depicted a countdown …. my countdown to freedom!!!
I had a fulfilling career with the Veterans Administration as a Primary Care Provider for almost 28 years. Prior to that I had worked as a physician in Puerto Rico, my home country.
I was drawn into a healing profession since I was young. I wanted to help people. I wanted to make a difference. Once I became a federal employee, it was a great honor to be caring for those who had served our country. I had to give back to those who had given to me. I had to “pay it forward”.
I still felt that there was more in me to give, I still felt that I could go on. However, the working environment at my last post had really become toxic. It was sad to see how the “system” can get to you. How you feel you are being persecuted, in a sense. How you felt that some who you thought were friends really weren’t. Many things were not what you thought they were. And that … can be a heart-braker.
The worse part was the direct supervisor that I had, another Puerto Rican like me. One, who I thought, was my “friend” … wasn’t what I thought he was.
This was his picture for his numbers on my cell phone.
But that would be another story! Or … another $20, like we say in my country.
~~My patients always came first~~
I wrote a letter to give to all the patients who had been assigned to me. I wanted to let them know how much I appreciated their involvement with me and how much I had learned from them.
TO ALL MY PATIENTS ….
~~February 21, 2013 at 7:56 AM~~
After almost 28 years of working with the VA, and having the honor to be your health care provider, the time has come for me to move on.
But before I do that, I need to let you know how important this journey has been for me. I started working for the VA in 1985 while living in Puerto Rico. All these years have been a learning process that has brought me to where I am today. This includes personal, mental, spiritual and significant growth. These years in my life have been marked by your presence. Without you, I wouldn’t be where I am today, in many different ways. You have allowed me to come into your life … allowed me to get to know you … in your good times and your bad times. You have allowed me to enter into your innermost and personal emotions and feelings.
For this, I feel honored. We have worked together to try to get you better …. to manage your medical and emotional conditions. I consider all of our interactions very special and unique. For this …. I thank you!
I thank you for all that you have taught me. I have become a better person, a better doctor, a better listener because of you. I thank you for every little detail that you’ve had for me ….. when you show me your appreciation. This is a bittersweet moment. I know I need to move on; life never stands still. My personal journey is taking me along another pathway. I’m at a crossroad now ….. Part of me wants to stay … but another part of me says that it’s time to move on.
I want you to know, from me, that you have been instrumental in the growth that I’ve experienced throughout all of these years. I appreciate each and every lesson that I have learned from you.You know what our interaction has been. I will remember of you for the rest of my life. There will always be a warm spot in my heart that has your name on it. I carry you with me. It has been an honor to take care of you ….. thank you for letting me in. I will keep our relationship in my heart and my memory forever.
Thank you, my friend,
~~Happy times while working in my chosen field~~
Would you believe that they didn’t allow my letter to be distributed to my patients?
But, again, that would be another story.
I was totally freed from the daily routine of an 8 hour job, under an ingrate system. Now, what was I to do? Initially, it felt like I was on vacation. And it felt good. I was looking for options of what to do … go back to school, teach medical/biology topics at local schools, find a part-time job, do some research, be a WalMart greeter?
The same friend who did my graphics told me: “Why don’t you star writing about the way they treated you and the way they treat the patients at the VA? I know the perfect platform you can use to do that.”
And that, my dear visitors, is how “It Is What It Is” was born!!
I have found a true calling. I still sit at my computer like I did at work. I took over our main computer in such a way that we had to get another one for general use.
I must say that I’m enjoying this much more than I did when working. I feel that I still educate myself, I share the knowledge that I have, I educate some who ready what I post. I still research topics to post about … similar to my research at work. I still talk to people … through technology now.
It has made a difference in my life. I have made great friends who I haven’t seen. I have made great connections. Some that I think will be lasting and enduring.
~~I AM VERY HAPPY~~
Today I celebrate a very personal achievement.
I’m very proud of my professional career. I’m very proud of what I did with it. I celebrate an accomplishment as well as a liberation. I’m heading now into a new direction … into a new stage of my life.
Forever Young – Retirement Song – By Bryan Claasz
We ALL are ONE!!
~~”More love, less hate”~~