The last week has been stressful and I have not been in a sharing mood, so no posting. I have been helping my cousin deal with her mother's procedures and her sisters griping and complaining. On Saturday morning, I went and sat with my aunt and enjoyed some time alone with her. She is stable and seems in good spirits. She is in her early 70's and this recent episode drove home the fact that she is fragile, very fragile. My cousin knows this on one level but does not want to face it. It's been tough. I am the oldest and everyone looks to me for answers and I have none. All I can do is to offer support, comfort and be a sounding board when venting is in order.
I thought I would take you on a little journey with me today. I often make allusions to my job. I am a social worker/case manager at a community mental health center. My job entails lots of things but mostly it's helping people with serious mental illness get the medications and other help they need to live their lives. I also run groups in our social rehabilitation program (I do interpersonal relations, medical issues and medications, and arts and crafts).
So, here we are on the jughandle turning off of Rte 30, the White Horse Pike, onto the access road to the Lindenwold High Speed Line station. Don't know what a jughandle is? It's a traffic device used to help people make left turns on a busy road without holding up lines of traffic behind them. Usually, they are on the right side of the road and you exit off the road and follow a little turn so that you are perpendicular to the road you were just on. Understand? Good, cause now we are on our way to the train station. Straight ahead lies the Patco line. Patco stands for Port Authority Transit Company and they run the Speed Line which is an electric train across the Ben Franklin Bridge into Philadelphia. It's a little over 30 years old and one of the best bargains around. 4.90 round trip with a dollar a day for parking. Parking in the city alone would cost more than that. And here is our train. I don't have many photos of the train because after the Sept. 11 bombings, officials get real nervous of folks taking photos of trains and bridges and stuff. The train ride takes about 25 minutes so let's take out our knitting and sit. Usually, I am on the train at 7 and at work around 7:30. The train stations in NJ are above ground and all have lots of parking. The stations in Philadelphia are all underground and parking? No way, no where, no how.
After a trip over the bridge, we get off at the second Philadelphia stop. 9th and Locust. When we come above ground, we see this lovely leafy lane.
That is an assisted living facility for elderly folks and often I see them sitting outside on my way home.
And this is my building. It is Hall Mercer Community Mental Health and Mental Retardation Center. It is part of Pennsylvania Hospital (the nation's first!) and part of the mighty University of Pennsylvania Health System.
We'll take the elevator to the second floor. I usually take the steps but I twisted my ankle over the weekend and it's still a little sore. We get of on the second floor, walk down the hall and at the end, in the corner is my office. I share it with
a man named Paul. Here is my desk. It looks cluttered but I know where everything is and it's set up conveniently for me . That's my ugly sweater on the back of my chair. The a/c is icy cold here in the summer. Here are the socks I made for my supervisor waiting for a band which I printed out and put around them. It took me a week to knit them. Fastest pair of socks ever. It doesn't hurt that she has small feet.
Once I get in, I check the emails and voice mails and put out any fires that have arisen in the overnight. Then I get ready to do medication appointments on Mon and Tues with the psychiatrists. Wed and Thurs, I run my groups. It all keeps me pretty busy and often at the end of the day, I am beat.
So, there's a small glimpse into my morning. I showed you mine, you show me yours.