Since starting this blog I have become increasingly aware of the fact that I predominantly talk about myself, and my own challenges. Although that’s what a blog is for I guess, I hate doing that!
My mum will tell you I am the centre of attention, that I like talking about myself. Well, she’s right. I used to dance around the house naked just to be seen. I used to strip to the song “you sexy thing” in public discos form the age of about 5 (the same way Robert Carlise did in the film “The full monty” in the garage scene) But I’m not keen on droaning on to everyone about how difficult my life is, how hard it is being brain injured etc etc. I am the lucky one, I have been truly blessed and I am thankful every single day for this. So thankful!
I’m going to write a very short and quick blog here today. So thanks for reading.
Only joking, I could never say so little, either in a blog or during conversation. Instead, I’m going to write a quick little piece on something that is very important to me. I’m going to write about the kindest thing anyone has ever done for me. It is pointless me writing these blogs and taking credit for my resilience and everything else without letting you in on this: letting you all know about this amazing act of kindness. It is as simple as this; I would not be here today if it was not for this person. I had planned on writing about this at some point for sure, but as I have started to write spontaneously here today, I feel that now is the right time to mention it.
While I was in my coma, after I had sustained severe injuries to my brain – Dani’s side of the family helped us out hugely back home by keeping people in the loop of what was happening. My mother in law (MIL) was frantically ringing round all the people that needed to know I was not in great shape, such as my university, and telling them that I would not be retuning the following week as planned.
The only down side about writing spontaneously is that it has meant I’ve been in the middle of other things. I just have to get Reese out of the bath and then I’ll carry on.
Done. Little monkey wanted mummy which got me off the hook. Handy.
As I was saying, my MIL was in touch with the uni. She had told them what was happening: we had our accident on honeymoon and I was in critical condition and still in my coma. As this was early days and none of us were sure what the outcome was going to be (except for me, I wasn’t going anywhere). However, the uni had to decide on what the best action was to take.
They had a meeting. And only recently did I find out that this special person was my number one advocate from the start, even in the early days when I was asleep.
So time months go by. I start to realise that it will take me a long time to recover from my injury enough to return to my child nursing studies. I became severely depressed as time went by. I tried to go back after a year, but was unsuccessful. I was so ill when I had returned to university the first time I had to go and sit in the toilet to rest my head on the wall in the cubicle.
My head was so bad.
At the start of the day I ended up sitting in the toilet cubicle resting my head against the side of the wall to try and stop the dizziness and pain. The smell of poo from next door didn’t help the situation I must admit. Tears fell down my cheek as I realised I couldn’t do this and I would have to turn my back on my dream of being a nurse, never knowing if I would be well enough to try again. This was my last chance of trying, as the NMC have strict rules that say once a nursing student has started their training, they have to finish the programme within five years or they cannot be registered as a qualified nurse.
The week following I was due to go up the London to the Grovesnor hotel to give out an award at the Student Nursing Times awards event. I had written to the lady I was in contact with to tell her I would not be returning to university.
The person in question had been on the other end of the phone to my family since I was in my coma, so she understood how much it meant to me to be a nurse. I’m not going to name the person as I haven’t asked her permission, but it will become clear who she is to the people who are in my tutor group.
I walked into the awards room, my head spinning. The first person I saw sat at the table closest to me was the very person in question: my contact at the university. She had read my email, and knew I wouldn’t be coming back to university. She sat and watched the awards ceremony unfold without me (I was too unwell to give out the award in the end, and was not acknowledged because of this) which was another soul destroying aspect of my ongoing misfortunes!
Another month or so goes by and I receive an email from her asking me to come in for us to make my leaving the programme official, for me to get some closure. That’s when the miracle happened, and in my eyes it was nothing short of that.
Dani and I sat down opposite the lady in a meeting room and talked about things, how I just wasn’t well enough to continue my course as a nurse etc. As I was getting ready to say good bye, she said:
“It has been arranged for you that if you want to, you can try and return to the course in a year and a half when you have recovered a bit more, and you won’t have to reapply for the programme.”
I was perplexed. Had I heard right?
“Really? But that’s not allowed, who authorised this??”
This lady had put her reputation on the line by vouching for me and keeping my place at university open for a longer time than is accepted and permitted by the NMC. I have been through a lot, come pretty close to death and remembered every last second of it……
But only here can I say I had an outer body experience!
On my journey it has been all too easy to lose faith in me. It has tested and tried a lot of people. I am not perfect. I have made a lot of mistakes, and I’m sure I’ll continue to make more than the average bear.
But I won’t forget
Those who have stuck by me; those who have tried their best to understand, knowing that they will never fully be able to help or understand my problems.. I can’t and won’t ever forget. I can honestly say that this simple act of kindness gave me hope, the only hope I had since my accident. It inspired me beyond any words and reminded me that I was not totally useless, that I was still wanted by people, that someone out there still believed in me. O.K. it is fair to say that this person did not live with me, had not had to put up with my behaviour problems etc – but she didn’t have to do what she did. If it wasn’t for her, goodness knows where I would be. When I get to where I am going…
I will always remember!
I always looked up to the lady in question before I had had my accident. She is strong figure for paediatric nursing, has even been to see the queen for her services to the job. I was inspired by her beforehand, now I am in awe of her!
If at anytime I struggle with my fatigue, dizziness, impulsivity, being a bit too truthful, embarrass myself with my weird social screw ups, act in a really inappropriate way, am sick because of the nausea from my fatigue.. all I do is think about how much I owe this individual, how much she believes in me: and how much I believe in myself as a result.
Nursing is a profession where compassion and empathy should always come first. This act of compassion embodies what nursing is all about. She demonstrated to me the true meaning of empathy and compassion. I will become a better nurse because of it. That is another reason I wanted to share it with you. This lady is a credit to our profession, she deserves a mention (directly or indirectly) at the very least and I will not rest until I have proved her right and MADE SURE she is acknowledged for this. This is a perfect demonstration of a good nurse, and is a characteristic that I will teach to Reese, my daughter.
In a world dominated by selfishness and money: this is proof that there still are amazingly caring people out there
I know these are strong words, but those of you who really know me understand how much my job as a nurse means to me – these words don’t even scratch the surface to the depth of my gratitude. I would go to hell and back for my job.
Then I’d do it again just to be sure
On behalf of all my family and anyone that has ever truly known me, from the bottom of my heart….
The hard work starts here… bring it on.