Two days ago, I emailed my tutor. I had told her that regardless of today’s outcome, I will always be grateful to her for keeping me on this programme during the time I was in a coma. She believed in me; even at this early and uncertain stage, she believed I would survive and go on to continue with my studies. Whatever happens today’s outcome will never impune or influence the gratitude I have towards her in any way whatsoever.
Today’s events will determine the direction my life will be heading towards, it will determine the route my life will follow. It is arguably the most important day of my professional career, if not then it’s certainly the most profoundest.
I feel grateful to have be given this opportunity. I feel lucky, because I believe it is only by having our spirit pushed to the limit that we find out who we really are. If this experience has taught me anything, it has made me realise who I am again. After four arduous years this; you might say, has been long overdue.
I have spent the last month living like a monk. Every morning I get up; and with every step I say the words ‘thank’ and ‘you’. I leave the TV alone. I eat my breakfast and then I meditate. I sit in meditation for 3 times a day. I’ve spent most of my time in solitude, reflecting on who I really am and what direction I am heading towards. I have worked my bum off.
I understand that in order to do this, I need a miracle. I realised this fact when the whole thing began, so that is what I asked for. I knew the only way I could beat this is by searching for my true self, and listening to what I found.
This might all sound a bit namby pamby; a bit over the top, but I’m just being honest about the direction my life needs to take.
Regardless of today’s outcome, I need to find peace again. I need to find my TRUE self and stop acting on external stimuli and responding to the effect of what is happening around me, and ignoring my ‘inner being’. And I think I’ve found it.
I see life as a journey, one that we are not in total control of. Finding peace is allowing the driver of your life to do what they need to; steer the wheel when they need to and you need to allow yourself to deal with what see out the passenger window.
‘I don’t know about you, but my heart is pounding for you!’ My tutor had admitted to me.
I stepped calmly into building 67, accompanied by my representative who has been advising me over the last month and my tutor. I am totally focused at this point; no raised heartbeat and no butterflies in my stomach. I know what is required of me, I know what I need to do.
As I am waiting to enter the meeting room, one of the lecturers approached me and put her hand on my shoulder, looking sympathetic, but encouraging, like she wanted me to win. ‘You’ll be ok. you can do this Mikey’.
That meant a lot to me.
I entered the offices where the meeting was to be held and noticed a few faces look up from their desks towards my direction, smiling encouragingly. I know what I have to do. It feels like my whole life has come down to this moment actually. I felt like Martin Luther King or something. Except I’m not black and I grow a shit moustache.
He has the same nose as me.
My tutor had come out to greet me before we had entered the offices.
‘It was amazing to see what your peers and colleagues wrote about you in their character references’ she had said.
‘It means more to me than they’ll ever realise’ I had replied,meaning every word.
In the meeting room I was greeted by and seated in front of 7 medical professionals; a mixture of doctors, nurses and deans of medicine. They asked me questions and I answered them. I listened to the case being presented; the falsehoods, the lies and deceitful comments that had brought me here, the long list of inaccuracies that had been presented to the faculty.
I remained calm and remembered who I was, the person I have been spending so much time searching for this past month. I answered all questions candidly and openly, I had nothing to hide.
Afterwards my tutor told me that I couldn’t have done a better job, that I was a credit to the profession and that she was so proud of me. These words touched me and I greatly appreciated them. So I bought her a coffee; and she helped discuss how the meeting went with my parents, who had come along for moral support.
My tutor knows what we’ve all been through. How much the nursing means to us all, how much we’ve had to go through to get here. I was never supposed to make it this far.
Somewhere out there; at this very moment, around 7/8 people know my future. They know where I will be heading this year. But I must wait 5 working days to hear the news myself.
Fair is fair. After all, I am grateful to have been given this opportunity to explain my situation and respond to the issues raised. I am so proud to be part of a profession with such high standards, that you will need to answer to a reputable panel if there is ANY concern of your conduct, professionally or privately.
I was asked what advice I would give to future students who find themselves in this position. My answer was
‘Understand that regardless of your actions in your private life; you must be seen to uphold the reputation and privilege of being a nurse, and know that you will be questioned if there was ever any doubt of this. Being a nurse means handing over your life to the profession, and that is something to feel honoured and privileged about. It’s worth every sacrifice’.
How amazing to be part of something so special, where we can help influence people’s lives when they need us and we are totally accountable for everything we do.
I have learned many things from this experience.But I do believe that whatever happens, I have stayed true to myself and spent enough time searching that I have find my real self again. What an incredible privilege.
Regardless of what happens; there has been one person at the forefront of my mind during this entire ordeal, every breath I’ve taken, every step, every blink of my eye, every moment I wanted to give up, every time I doubted or questioned myself, she’s been there.
Despite my imperfections; my talent for attracting unfortunate events in the past, I know I have behaved in a way I know that she’ll respect. I know that Reese will be proud of this one day. She will know that today I handed my heart back to the real Mikey and stood up for what I believed in.