'Why are you putting yourself through this?' I've been asked on more than one occasion. When searching for those elusive references to back up what I've written I often think 'why indeed'. After all there's not much personal gain to be had from the process. I'm a clinician who loves seeing patients and realistically there's nowhere to climb upwards on that particular career ladder.
I've had to be very clear about why I'm doing this to sustain momentum. It's not all about me. There's only so much self nurturing that you can do before it becomes over indulgent! For a long while I've wanted to do some studying to improve the lot of those that I care for. Being given the chance to do that, by getting money for postgraduate study, was too good an opportunity to turn down.
Writing my first essay has opened my eyes to recognising and treating apathy in people with dementia. The catalyst for looking at this subject was visiting residential homes and seeing so many people with no purpose, maybe just waiting for death to take them. And this passivity is often tolerated because it makes for a far easier person to look after than say someone who is being aggressive or who is exhibiting outward distress. It's so, so sad. I'll write about what I've found out in another post on another day. But for the moment it's back to the task in hand - finding yet another one of those bloody references!