Grovesner Hotel, London – 2013
I sat there squinting as the overhead lights shone harshly in my eyes. They lit up the table I was seated on, revealing my name on a gold tinted plaque placed in front of me on the table. Viv Bennett was a stone’s throw away, she was chatting to Jayne Cummings on the next table.
Telephone conversation with Jennie Middleton, editor of the Nursing Times:
“The team and I cannot think of anyone better to represent the student edition of the magazine. You’ll also be invited to give out an award in a prestige hotel in London”
“Well Jennie, I’m flattered. But why me?”
“You’re like a nursing celebrity!”
I’d created the first major online twitter chat and published the debates in the nursing times’ magazine, I’d worked on their first podcast and helped out with a nursing documentary aired on Sky living. The twitter chats had gone national. I had my dream and I was going after it like a man possessed.
The director of NHS England and the director of the NHS would be there – I could finally get my chance to meet them.. to make my mark, THIS was what I had worked for.
I tried to continue my nurse shift twitter chats after my injury, but I just couldn’t. I would get too dizzy, then I would feel so nauseous I’d either throw up or have to sleep.
Oh well, I still have my chance at the awards ceremony to make my mark…
Grovesner Hotel, London – 2013
I was shaking. I didn’t touch the 4 course dinner prepared for me, I felt nauseous and dizzy. When I walked it felt like I was walking on a bouncy castle.
Then, I overheard a nurse on the next table speaking in a portuguese accent:
Instantly, I had flashes of images of blood dripping from the CVP line in my chest, doctors shouting and running around me, resuscitating and intubating me. Poking and prodding, I couldn’t breathe. Lumps of my hair were falling out from the trauma. The smell of hospitals, the smell of sterile plastic.. the pain
“And now, please give a warm welcome to our student nurse editors who will be handing out the awards!”
I told Jennie moments before that I just couldn’t do it. I watched each of the editors go up to an astounding uproar of applause, as I felt a hot tear run down my cheek. I ran out without saying goodbye and made my way back to the hotel I was staying in. Pathetically, I literally cried myself to sleep that night.
Nobody ever understood what that did to me.
Present day – back to reality
I never look back, or forward. I am too busy living for this moment. However, I wanted to write about this blog today for a reason.
I love anxiety when it dares to show it’s face, which it rarely does now, because I love confronting it and saying, “You know what, yeah, here you are. Now watch this” and I’ll do something so outrageous and contradictory to what the anxiety is telling me to be scared of.
I love being challenged, I’m so determined to be different and at times outrageous, it’s who I am. I love being pushed to my limit, my endurance tested, emotionally and physically.
I’m sometimes controversial and I never follow the norm, whether that be my appearance, my personality or whatever. I’m outspoken, but never rude. This experience has helped me come even closer to finding the real me, the one I am no longer fearful of portraying after my injury.
Since the awards I have never refused a challenge, whether that be a dare or attempting procedures at work.. there’s nothing I say no to.
This was one of many painful incidents that I experienced after my injury
In the words of my tutor…So what?
I have no fear, no anxiety. I fear nothing. Not death, people, I feel no embarrassment. No cares. No thoughts. No plans. Just now.
If used in the right way, pain really can contribute to strength. The inner and real you can majestically shine through when you discard such trivial behavioural traits society has forced upon you if you can let go of them. Nothing is impossible.