Wednesday, 13 May 2020

Day Eighteen

The amount of forward planning that goes into these blogs ranges from negligible to non-existent.

But I did actually think about today’s subject in advance, noting that it would be particularly appropriate for International Nurses Day. Yep, the International Nurses Day that was yesterday.

I’ll blunder ahead anyway.

It’s a simple story, about one encounter with one nurse. It’s not about the palliative nurse who took such care to explain everything when my mum was dying. It’s not about the nurse that helped distract my daughter as she had to fast for a morning when doctors tested her growth hormone levels. It’s not about the nurse that put her arm around me as my girl went in for her spinal operation and I almost crumpled. It was a definite crump, but not a full crumple. 

No, it’s this one.

Seven years ago, I spent five hours in a waiting room on a busy Saturday morning, hoping  a consultant paediatrician was covering what seemed like half the wards in the hospital could hold good on his promise to squeeze my daughter into his list. It was at a time when my girl had started going through bouts of sleepless nights, culminating in hallucinations, outbursts of laughter, anger, and even swearing. For f***’s sake, no-wonder I was worried - she hates swearing. Yes I do know it’s hard to believe with her being the daughter of Potty Mouth McGrew here. The sudden, terrifying, and totally uncharacteristic behaviours had me desperately worried that she might have a brain tumour. Spoiler alert: she didn’t. It turned out to be a mood disorder, which has since been managed fantastically well with medication.

Soon after we arrived, exhausted from four nights without any real sleep, feeling pretty hallucinatory myself, I asked to speak to a nurse in a side room, away from my daughter, so she couldn’t overhear. I told her what had been happening, and everything hit me and I broke. I absolutely broke. I’m not certain if I actually fell, but if I did the nurse caught me, because I ended up being held up and hugged tight. I couldn’t speak, she didn’t offer any platitudes, she just held me and waited. It took a while.

That’s it. There’s no spectacular ending for you. She didn’t perform a life-saving operation. She didn’t discover a hitherto unknown medical disorder. She just did exactly what was needed. Then got me a cuppa.

And that’s why nurses are f***ing awesome.

Song is Etta James - Something's Got A Hold On Me

As part of the 2.6 Challenge (which is asking people to fundraise and donate towards small charities that are threatened with closure because of the effects of the Covid-19 crisis) I'm currently writing 26 blogs in 26 days.The PWSA UK is a charity which is absolutely vital for people with PWS, their families, carers and professionals who work with them. Without urgent help, PWSA UK will fold. This charity saves lives and for some people makes lives worth living. If you can, please go to my Just Giving page and donate anything you can spare - a few pence or a few pounds, it all counts. The PWSA UK works with medical professionals, you know, to help them know exactly what do when it's a little more specific to Prader-Willi. 

1 comment:

  1. Wow x great story x while we celebrate our nurses right now, I wonder how long it will be before we go back to expecting the world from them taking all our stress out on them while we wait to see the "real" medical professionals x amen for nurses everywhere, every single day 🎉