Oh dear, May is over and I am only now getting to write about the last couple of months. Life as a nurse is busy, very busy. If it’s not busy at work you often are sent home, so down time when you are not running around to catch the transfusion before it runs out or trying to get the dressing done before lunch, or completing the notes before you go home very rarely happens. It is for this reason amongst others that I decided to resign from the nursing profession (well not quite, I am still marking student assignments). The few days that I spent running at work and the sheer physicality of moving people was just to exhausting to continue. Not to mention the shift work, finishing at 10:30 pm then getting back by 6:30 am was exhausting. Perhaps, I have been spoilt in my past career but in order to take control of my health and life I had to take back my time.
Needless to say my last day was very full of nurse things, blood transfusions, antibiotics delivered into the veins, medications, sutures to remove, and dressing to be done. I loved every bit of it and most of all the last experience I had with an elderly blind patient begs to be documented (besides she said that I must go home and tell my family).
It was my job to admit her to the ward, a time consuming task that often takes us away from the other 20 patients calling for our precious time. I was determined to take the time to admit this women and to give her the respect that she deserved at her age. She was such a sweet and kind lady, who thanked me for every task that I did. But what she said that I hope I will always remember is that she could ‘feel my kindness, and that she gave thanks to the Gods that I was her nurse.’ She said that while I was out of the room another nurse walked in and pushed her around and left, she was so grateful that was the only encounter that she had to have with this other nurse. What a sweet and kind note to leave on after 35 years of nursing. She looked at me in face, closely, very closely because she couldn’t really see clearly and said, ‘ you’ve been around a long time (how right she was) and you are not jaded by your career you must be a kind person.” I tucked her in and said good night and with that the lights went out on my final days on the wards. I felt as if it was a shared space that we together appreciated. For me it was respect for her existence at such a grand age and her thankful not to be rushed, but treated with dignity.