Perhaps unsurprisingly this is among the most frequently asked questions (with a tone of incredulity no less) posed to me upon completion of the book (or even into the first couple of chapters). While surprising to me initially, when I take a step back, I can understand why readers would be so inquisitive.
Hyperbole. Great word.
And used so often in today’s extreme partisan world of mud-slinging and fake news.
This is precisely why I wanted to be as ‘real’ and ‘authentic’ (as is the buzzword in today’s lexicon of vernacular trendiness) as possible in my writing. You may not agree with my delivery or tone throughout the book but I trust you can’t deride the fact that it stands as an irreverent beacon of honesty. And that has to be refreshing, if at first somewhat suspicious. I chose not to hide anything and, sadly enough, people aren’t used to that.
In fact, as I wanted it to be helpful as an introductory guide to long-term care, I felt that, in service to that goal, a foundation of trust had to be established – and you really can’t have trust without honesty. I am especially hopeful that families can use it as a reference and source of basic information, guidelines and processes. A solid point from which to start all the conversations necessary (recognizing that they’re not the easiest) around what both work and life are like in long-term care. While my writing may hit a little too close to home – or simply a nerve (again in this instance, I defer to what I wrote: a bomber only gets flak when it’s over the target) I set out genuinely by wanting to do right by the reader, with the intent of never steering anyone wrong – regardless of whether you agree with me or not.
Tough love, indeed. But then again, what do you expect from a veteran nurse? They’ll always tell it to you as it is – not the way you wish it were. Don’t bother with the rose-coloured glasses.
So, let’s circle back to the original question.
Did everything I describe really happen? In short, yes. And so much more.
As I said, I didn’t share half of what I’ve seen. But then again, anyone who works in a healthcare environment would tell you the same. And they’d add that you simply can’t make up how unpredictable people and circumstances can be. That’s just the nature of it.
Curious? Read the book to find out.