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Welcome to My Story

In the medical world, I used to think there were a bunch of “quick fixes” to get people healthy again.

  • Have diabetes? Take insulin, watch what you eat.
  • High Blood Pressure? Take an antihypertensive drup, stop eating salt.
  • Pneumonia, UTI, Cellulitis? Get those antibiotics. 

Obviously that’s a pretty simplistic view, and cases are more complex, but in general, if there’s a problem, there’s usually a solution. 

And then I started working as a nurse care coordinator on a multidisciplinary team. 

It’s called the M3 Team. It’s a federally funded grant, and stands for “Mobile Medical and Mental Health Team.” It’s a team of a Nurse, two Rehabilitation Specialists, a COPSD (co-occurring psychiatric and substance use disorder) Specialist, and a Peer Specialist.

All of the clients are referred to us by different agencies in Austin, and they have to meet four requirements:

  1. Chronic Medical Condition 
  2. Severe Mental Health Diagnosis 
  3. Diagnosed Substance Use Disorder 
  4. Chronically Homeless

I loved my job- I had great coworkers, great bosses, amazing patients, and I found so much joy and purpose in what I did. They don’t have a thirty minute time limit or have to push people in and out the doors of a clinic, and they have a holistic approach and a patient centered treatment plan.  They meet people where they’re at (literally, like under bridges or in the woods or at doctors appointments) and they move at their own pace. 

I learned terms like Second Hand Trauma, Stages of Change, Harm Reduction, Systemic Racism, Compassion Fatigue, Motivational Interviewing, Mental Health Stigma, IDDT, etc..which I’ll discuss further in blogs to come.

Through this job I also learned so much about myself. I became open to new ideas, questioned established thoughts… experienced anxiety attacks, seen and experienced trauma, formed OCD tendencies, and struggled a lot. Sometimes I would dig deeper into my faith for answers, and sometimes, honestly, I would drink alcohol to try and forget what happened during the day.

What I’ve learned though, is that nothing is a quick fix. Not my patients, and not me. I have a lot to learn, and I want to share this crazy story with you because I believe that stories are powerful, and we can all learn from each other. So whether you’re here because you’re a nurse (and maybe you hate it and want to quit), you work with people experiencing homelesness, you love Jesus, or you deal with your own mental illness- know that you’re not alone.

There is strength in shared stories, and I’m here to share mine. 

Exploring the Ideas of Nursing, Mental Illness, Homelesness, Christianity, Photography, and Everything in Between. 

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