How Mini-Strokes Affects My Performance as RN

I received my RN license in 1981. Yahoo! I’m a nurse I thought. Time goes by, I learn a lot, wanted to be in ICU but my blood pressure said “No!” Got on BP meds, stepped down to PICU, then to home health care (“ahh, I thought at last Nursing Mecca!”). Went to Alaska>Utah>Florida>Arkansas back to Oklahoma. Had stroke 2006, now things changed and I could tell it.

Processing information, thinking fast, memory problems (after stroke I had 10 days of confusion but by the grace of G_d I recovered, I thought) I could tell something had changed, found on have occlusions in left frontal lobe and carotid artery, so change of meds continue. I changed at work, it was subtle but my relationships with other nurses changed and not for good. I tried to continue to charge but had the stroke “crying” at a drop of the hat. The manager and I agreed I had to step down. Then depression, then wanted to commit suicide. I walked in my manager’s office and resigned. I knew I had to leave or go berserk. I moved to Tulsa, OK and hold on to your seats, got a job in jail.

Jail changed companies, had to adapt to changes, recognized within myself could’t remember anything if I didn’t write it down, anxiety set in, began fearing going to work, finally did myself in by leaving my phone off when the administrator was trying to contact me, came to work when I wasn’t scheduled as admin disciplined me with 2 weeks w/o pay, then found out I was in trouble for not instructing LPN I worked with on proper procedures on patients health issue.

I look back and realize I definitely had a “NOT HOME” sign in my brain, I had another mini-stroke before this happened and didn’t say anything as this was not the first time and I thought, once again adjust meds, go on. Not this time. I didn’t tell the admin, and why? Just sound like an excuse, who cares anyway. I sat there thru her dialogue, no tears, no nothing, not hardly finding words to speak, so I remained silent. I resigned with c/o of not following and instructing in proper procedures. I felt nothing and walked out. I think my days of nursing are over. I never married, no kids. I don’t feel suicidal. I just don’t know what to do from here. I’m living in my van, time is ticking. I have to restart my life. I’ve just been stuck in the nurse mode for so long, have to get out of it.