Fin.

It’s never ending.

We’re gonna charge you for the overdraft you took out with us 7 years ago

I took this out when I first started my nursing. They think I’m graduated and should be paying it back. They don’t seem to take my explanation as the truth.

You’ll no longer receive a bursary as your be been receiving it for too long

Fair one. Everyone has an expiry date. I’m like a banana that’s starting to go brown through the eyes of the NHS. Bye bye my number one income.

You’ll no longer receive PIP payments from the government

Then again they’ve been rejecting me this for 6 years, even though it’s my second biggest income, so it’s understandable.

You can no longer have a permit for work. I’ll now need to pay £11 a day to park at work.

TBF I didn’t see this one coming.

I can’t talk about my court case on here.

But I will say that there’s shit loads I have to do to keep on top of this, endless medical reports hundreds of pages long, email after email, foreign reports of the accident, the (alleged) lies being told by foreign professionals under duress, it’s endless. And it’s not easy.

But I’m learning all I can about oncology

It all comes down to this. Can I handle it all and pass my final nursing placement in the summer? We shall see soon enough.

I knew this was all coming

All of this because I want to be a nurse.

Conflict is constant sometimes life hurts

Mum is taking Reese to see Paddington today at the cinema. Reese asked if daddy was going, and I’m desperate to! But I’m fatigued and need to sort out some of the above.

It’s been a journey.

The bruised pictures that I kept for the police from being attacked

The people I’ve lost along the way

The misunderstandings and lies told to my uni about my competence as a nurse

The divorce papers in my cupboard

The pictures of my daughter who I hardly see due to my health

The empty packets of tablets that litter my kitchen

The endless discrimination I face from people every day

The lack of understanding from doctors and people who’s help I need

The emails, the lies, the paperwork, the application forms, the solicitors letters, the delightful prognosis, the financial pressures, constant headaches, the medical interviews, the pending results for further medical conditions, the fact I’m on my final nursing placement, all topped with the intimate and misunderstood relationship I share with my head.

But what’s going on around me isnt important.

What’s going on around us all is just a dream, that’s all it is. What’s inside me and real Is this:

Fin.

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Shaun

It’s 10pm. I’m fatigued beyond words and freezing. My car never warms itself up enough. I’m driving though Westbourne, and as always, I feel a pang of guilt as I drive pass a homeless man lying on the floor with his duvet.

You all know the ending to this one

Remembering I had a spare fiver in my wallet, I pull over. I get out and give it to him, he’s grateful as always and says goodbye. I walk back towards my car and I’m greeted by two lads, one of who’m is in the state of inebriation I always aspire to reach when I partake in a G+T session.

‘Hello mate! Give me a kiss eh come here I want a cuddle!’ 

He staggers towards me. I laugh inside. I won’t lie, as well as laughing I got a bit excited too, he decided to get balchy. I just watched him, ready to defend myself if necessary. Not  exactly a new situation. However his mate, who was decidedly less drunk than my new friend, was there to talk some sense into him.

‘Leave it mate he’s twice you size he’ll knock you out!’ 

I told him he should take his bravery jacket off and listen to his friend. I always remember something someone said to me:

If you’re ever in public and you find trouble, always put your hands up to show you mean no harm. That way the police can say you acted in self defense

Remembering this, I put my hands up, but luckily his mate dragged him away, telling him to shut up.

Then I realised. My homeless mate, Shaun, was in their path of the direction they were walking. My new drunk mate was still shouting at me as I got into my car, his mate hushing him. So I waited with my camera ready (and superhero cape) to jump out,  record, and help if they decided to give Shaun a hard time, but they didn’t.

Ok. Home time.

Then I had a thought. I turned my car around and drove back to Shaun. I rolled my window down and said:

‘Mate. How much do you need to get a hostel for the night?’

He told me £12. So I pulled up at the bank (where my two new friends were also standing) and fetched the money. So I paid it to him and was relieved when he started gathering up his belongings, telling me:

‘I’m not staying here unless I have to! Time for a shower, a hot dinner and a bed’

Am I skint? Yep. Does it worry me? Nope.

For the regular readers of this blog, you’ll know my thoughts towards people who do not have a home to live in, so I won’t waste my breathe. Shaun is one of many friends who sleep rough, so I often hear all sorts of stories from these guys.

Money has never meant a great deal to me anyway tbh.

But I’m safe. I’m home and don’t have to worry about pissheads starting trouble with me. I was chatting to Shaun as I was getting his money, and he says he’s used to getting a beating and leaving it at that, it’s commonplace. I suppose I’m just writing this to remind anyone reading it to think of the small things you have in your life. They make all the difference.

Throwing in the towel

I’ve chosen to not see Reese for a while. The pain in my head is still raging after 4 months with little break.

No television, minimise cognitive demand.

7 years of fighting and I’m running out of funding.

Financial case which determines my ability to live without working is looming.

Government have rejected PIP payments. My capital I’ve been using to live off has almost gone.

I have a potential undiagnosed health condition which is the result of my injury and not helped by my over exertion over the years.

Not epilepsy or dementia…

..although they could be imminent the way I’ve been pushing myself for so long and making my symptoms worse.

I could end this pain and suffering now

If I throw in the towel now my life would be liveable at least and all these facets would be manageable. Perhaps I could maintain human relationships again too.

Throw in the towel and the pain in your head will go away

But it’s not just about becoming a nurse now.

Children learn most from what you are, not what you teach

I have an opportunity to stand on a platform to be who I am and help children and their families.

That’s my ‘Wembley World Cup final’.

It’s also a chance to achieve the impossible.

I know I could end it all if I throw in that towel I mentioned earlier.

But all the pain is worth it to me. And besides, I burnt the towel fucking years ago anyway.

Pain

The pain in my head hasn’t left me for the last 3 months, I literally couldn’t tell myself the last time I didn’t have a headache.

Heaven and hell aren’t geographical places. Each person can go through their own types of heaven and hell throughout their lives, I can attest to that having visited both many times these past 27 years.

Doctors have said I’ll probably get dementia very early. I say: well who the fuck would notice?

I’m back here again. It can’t be put into words so I don’t. This blog is for me.

I’ve got this far by using the pain

Not just the pain in my head. I carry a lot of pain with me, so it’s a double whammy when my head decides to give me the good news with piercing pangs of lightening throughout every second of my day, whilst I’m told by others around me working 3 days a week as a nurse is concerning.

Well and truly isolated. Again.

But it’s a state of mind. Not physical. This will take the biggest miracle I’ve experienced yet to accomplish. I know I can do it, but whether I will remains yet to be seen. I know I shouldn’t be doing this anymore, yet I still am.

Fear in all its totality

I walk alone. I alive alone, this journey is my own. Unfortunately no one can understand, that’s just what it is.

Addicted to pain

Pain, like every emotion in life, should be celebrated. I celebrate life in as many ways as I can. Without pain in its totality, I wouldn’t have got this far. It just fucking hurts sometimes.

Tattoos cover up the pain so I can carry on pretending

Here we go again. Square one. If I fail, they’ll have to drag me out on my knees. But if I give it my best, there’s satisfaction in knowing i did all I could do. There’s victory in that.

Becoming a nurse isn’t winning. Fighting 7 years to get there is winning, whatever the outcome.

Doubt me now

There was a knock at the door to my room in the hospital which woke me up. It was mid afternoon, and I was enjoying my second daytime sleep.

A nurse stepped in.

‘Mikey. We know you love nursing and you want to go back to it. But after your accident, the haemorrhages and haematomas on your brain were so severe that regaining any type of employment will be difficult. I think you should consider another job, nursing is no longer realistic’

I remember these words vividly. They were said to me only days after I had come out of my amnesia following my accident.

Each week of every month of every year since, someone or something has told me I can’t be a nurse and done everything to make it impossible for me.

The nightmares, the terrifying experiences I’ve lived, the physical pain I live with daily, the betrayal of those around me, the isolation, the depression, the anxiety, the headaches I experience every single day, the vertigo feeling and having the ground sway underneath me every day at work, the sickness that follows and everything else I experience every day will always remain.

I can see why I’ve been told I could never be a qualified nurse. I don’t have anger towards anyone who’s told me I can’t do it

Last week, I met with my neurologist. He’s been there since the beginning, when I was standing on my hospital bed and throwing blankets over nurses during my state of traumatic amnesia because I thought I’d been captured and locked up in a prison.

He told me ‘I didn’t think you would get this far’

A lecturer told me the same thing after the fitness to practice panel last year. ‘We really didn’t think you’d get this far’ she’d said.

This blog isn’t an ego trip. It is a truth trip. I’m a truth seeker and exposer. That’s all.

My next placement might discriminate against me, most have up until now (aside from a few). But remember this:

On the placement in summer they all knew about my condition and symptoms. They said they saw them everyday and had concerns. But I knew this was false.

Yesterday, I told my mentor on another unit about my brain injury after having worked with her for four months (Nobody on this unit had known about my injury including her). I was sent to this unit to see if the concerns were really true.

My mentor told me she nor any other staff members had not witnessed any type of symptom of any sort.

The only other ward that I didn’t tell my about injury last year said the same thing, having giving me all A*s and As.

People have doubted me and discriminated against me from day one. Hopefully I’ve shown these ‘doubts’ to be false now.

Next month I start my final nursing placement after 7 years of not giving up, of fighting daily discrimination battles and completing three years of academic degree- level work. Doubt me now.

The truth is like a lion

It’s important that I write this blog in the right way so that part of the truth can be known, but I also need to be professional to avoid any breaches in confidentiality. Therefore I will state only fact and avoid opinions or misrepresentations where possible. Confidentiality will be maintained throughout by using pseudonyms.

June 2017

I started my +++ nursing placement after finishing my previous one with all A stars and an invitation to represent my university in London, the idea of which was pushed by the dean of my university.

‘How am I doing on this placement?’ I had asked three separate member of staff once I’d started.

‘You’re doing really well!’ They’d all said, but they’d been avoiding giving me any kind of responsibility and often asked me to just play with the patients. The same staff then sneakily told my mentor a different story. I was also told on a number of occasions that “today won’t be a learning day Mikey, we’re very busy’. 

After three weeks of being ignored, ostracised and criticised for having a brain injury with comments like ‘it might not be normal that you’re so obsessed with nursing. Have you seen a psychiatrist?’ or ‘You struggle a lot with concentration don’t you? You talked to that parent for too long’. 

I was ignored daily and given menial jobs to ‘keep me occupied’

I finally got a chance to have a meeting with my mentor. We sat down and she said:

‘Mikey, staff have raised concerns about your ability to be a nurse’. 

I could have guessed this was where they were going with their behaviour towards me

So I thanked her for her time and left, telling her I would not be back. Well, I wouldn’t come back as a student nurse anyway.

The following 6 months…

..I spent sat around at home watching my other colleagues finish their degrees, now severely doubting my ability to be a nurse. The university had to take the allegations seriously, so they sent me to the most cognitively draining type of nursing there is to see whether the allegations were justified.

September 2016 – present day

For time efficiency I will just be honest about the feedback I have received on this next placement where I will be scrutinised, a placement where nobody knows I have a severe head injury.

  • ‘Mikey’, one of my mentors said, ‘you’re amazing at building rapport with parents you know’. 
  • ‘After I told the matron you wanted to work on ward X when you qualify, she told me that you’re so good can’t you persuade him to stay?’ 
  • ‘Daisy was raving about you, she told me ‘thank god Mikey was working when we had the clinic he was so good”
  • ‘I know you’ll finish your degree when everyone else has already applied for a job, but I can sort something out for you if you want to come back to us here’
  • ‘You’re doing so well, everyone seems to know you here’
  • ‘I don’t usually like students doing these jobs for me but I know I can just leave you to get on with it. You’re such a hard worker’. 

 

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No one can ever know the hurt my experience back in June caused me. And then, stepping onto such a specialised unit, knowing that my university would be waiting to see me fail at the technical side of the job whilst battling (and now hiding) my symptoms, was one of the hardest things I’ve had to do. But I also learned to find peace within the storm again.

blessing buddha

I have no anger towards anyone. But I have learned that although nobody should be defined by their health status, there will always be some form of bias/discrimination (unconscious or not) inherent in society. I live with this every day, I understand and empathise with it.

Drop the emphasis on the importance of how you are perceived by others, put your head down and know the truth, don’t let others try to sway your inner being.

I wrote recently that I know I can be a nurse, I don’t have to believe in it.  I’ve suffered appalling treatment and felt so much pain from chasing this dream for the past 6 years.

But just like the fitness to practice panel,  I knew the truth when nobody else did and everyone doubted my story and I know the truth now.

Doubt me or not, I don’t care. But manipulate and try to derail my journey with untruths at your risk, because the truth always stands strong after the dust has settled, and I’ll be standing right next to it, and I’m not scared of making sure everyone can see us both.

Lion-Quotes-The-Truth-Is-Like-A-Lion-St-Augustine-Quotes-1200x800.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

Will

For nearly 10 years now I’ve been trying to become a qualified nurse when in actual fact, I will admit to you today that I do not actually believe I can now become one.

Believe
verb (used without object), believed, believing.

1.

to have confidence in the truth, the existence, or the reliability ofsomething, although without absolute proof that one is right in doing so.
This has to be the cheapest (yet one of the most popular) words used in the English dictionary.
By believing in something you’re inadvertently admitting that it might not be true. Do you believe in the sun? No, you know it to be existential and very real (although perhaps not in the UK). After my most recent betrayal, I lost nearly all faith and hope.
Earlier in the year, once again I found myself being exposed to the sinister side of human nature. As a result I no longer felt I could become a nurse and I forgot who I was.
In my darkest moments I could barely get out of bed. I no longer liked myself, my confidence was non-existent and I didn’t know what I should do about my future.
This is where the word belief serves it’s purpose in the english dictionary for me. I no longer felt I could become a nurse anymore, so I just held onto the belief that I could do it, with no real conviction or understanding of how it could be done.
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But I realised that sadness has a beauty of it’s own and I’ve learned when you stop fighting it and become at peace with it, it disappears.  Unlike ‘happiness’ (which is loud and short-lived), it should be something to celebrate if it’s something that keeps cropping up in your life.
I had to remember why I started
faith
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Everything I do, every spare moment I have is dedicated to getting my head around all the things I was told I ‘should have known by now‘ on previously ‘less supportive’ placements I’ve had, who were unwilling to understand my getting to where I am on half the amount of hours or to accommodate my symptoms whilst learning how to be a nurse.
This is my mentality
Any quiet moment and I’m learning. If the current unit I’m working on can’t teach me about something, I will go elsewhere to other departments in the main hospital and ask someone to teach me. This is where special people come into it, and I realise how lucky I am knowing some of the people I know.
I had to remember who I was
Yes, 80% remain in vegetative states. Yes, 80% never return to employment. But you need to think about these little titbits for them to exist. If you drop the mind and all it’s ‘desires’, then all you’re left with is truth. And the truth is I know I can do this job, regardless of those who have tried to stop me up until now. 
Try and get me arrested with lies, try and fail my nursing placement with lies, try and kill me in a minibus etc (there are so many more lols) But it’s ok, I have no anger towards anyone.
I’m moving forward with no anger or hate for the people who have tried to undercut me using foul play. Instead I’m moving forward with forgiveness for those who haven’t helped me and compassion for all those who have.
Most importantly, I’m moving forward with a willingness to achieve what has become hugely improbable for me over the past 6 years. That’s improbable, not impossible.