I decided I wanted to volunteer at one of the local hospitals (Providence St. Vincent Medical Center), after a dear friend of the family passed away from cancer. She offered her free time until the very end, and I admired her for it. Now in her honor, I'm offering my time.
When I first started volunteering, I was still undergoing chemotherapy for my cancer. I think it was because of this that I was assigned duties that didn't require much time with patients. Chemo tends to lower the immune system. Whatever the reason, I was asked to work in the gift shop.
On one of my first days there, I had a meltdown over a simple task--inventory. I got frustrated because it took me too long (in my mind) to check off a list of what the shop was missing. I had to keep referring to the printout on the clipboard, because I would forget what I had checked. I even cried, "I've only got only 3/4 of a brain!"
Any other business, I would be shown the door, but in volunteerland, the powers that be more or less roll with it.
I've been volunteering now for two years, and am beginning to hit my stride, and thanks to my "I don't care" pills, no public outbursts. However, I've been surprised by the number of people who purchase items at hospital gift shops. Most of the time I enjoy it. When I worked the other day, I had fun with a customer, who couldn't see me behind the register. I sort of played peek-a-boo with him.
As I have written before, I feel the need to contribute, and with my enormous head injury, frankly I feel more comfortable having a job, where it's okay for me to screw up now and then. I did not have this luxury at my previous jobs. There's a saying in broadcast media: You're only as good as your last show.
The last news program I produced went "over" by a minute--an eternity.