Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Goodbyes Suck...

Yesterday I was subjected to a stream of tears as I said goodbye to my best friend. For the third time.

Goodbyes are never easy. She cried, her mum cried. I held it together and waited until the walk home to have a little sob as the rain and hail poured upon me. I didn't stick around to watch the car drive off into the distance because I just wasn't strong enough to do it.

She has jetted back to what I suppose is now is safe to say her official home in China, where she teaches English.

We discussed the possibility of my sister and I going to visit her in June time, which I hope will happen as I would love to see the area where her new life is.

We even spoke about the possibility of myself also going out there for a year come this September time. I like the idea. Very much so, but it is safe to say I am a home bird, and that it would be a very big step for me. One of the reason's I didn't end up accepting my unconditional offer at Manchester Met University is because of the fear of being to far away from my family, the fear of being alone and not making new friends. Fear of losing my old friends. (There are other reasons which I wish not to name at the moment)

I didn't make a firm decision because I have several commitments here which need attending first, besides I would only have to give her about a months notice or so if I wanted to join her. Also 8 months is a long time to be able to change my mind, who knows what might happen here in that time? I might fall desperately in love like the hopeless romantic in me craves. But then again, I may be throwing away an opportunity of a life time for something that isn't definitely going to happen.

I suppose all I can do is live life as it comes for the moment, battle my inner demons of fear of the unknown, and see where I go from there.

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Handbags at dawn...

Slippers at the ready.

If my time working within the care sector has taught me anything, it's that the elderly are not necessarily as frail as they are often seen to be. Many a times have I had to step in to stop fights. I'm not talking about argumentative fights, but full blown fistycuff fights. People often wonder why I call them Ninja Bids...

Take the other day for example. I walked into the lounge to see one elderly woman with an iron grip hold of another old lady whilst being slapped with a slipper. In order to break this fight up I was in the firing line of a few swift hits myself, whilst across the room there was two other ladies grappling over a seat which they both claimed to own, and just next to them was one old man threatening to hit another.The other week an old lady had thrown a table (The over bed hospital style) across the room in order to try hit another resident. Luckily they failed. Unluckily I received a punch as I walked by to pick it up.

I posted the other week about escorting one old lady to hospital and it made me think about another time when I had to escort an elderly gentleman who was suffering with dementia to hospital a few years back, we'll call him Arty for the sake of it.

Arty had to attend A & E for some particular reason which I can no longer remember. Arty to look at was the typical cute looking grandfather type. Except he wasn't if he wanted to do something, he would do it, be it eat something, kick something or relief his self somewhere.Whilst in A&E Arty had decided he wanted to relieve his self, and decided that it was going to be on the half conscious man laid on his bed on the corridor.  Obviously I tried my hardest to persuade him not to, and slowly, and with a hell of a lot of effort lead him the toilet, all the while receiving Chinese burns and nails dug into me. I managed to get him there toilet, but I hadn't planned what would happen within the toilet. I literally came out looking like I had been fighting with lions, scratched like a cat pole, and my uniform shredded, literally shredded to pieces.

My boss at the time had called me to see how it was going, I explained what Arty was being like and what he had done to my uniform, I was told to "stitch it back up". It wasn't until he came to pick me and Arty up in the car that he had realised just how bad I had had it with Arty.

There are so many times I have been unprovokingly attacked its unreal. More so at my last place of work, with it being a specialism in Elderly Mentally Impaired, mainly taking on residents that had been kicked out of their previous homes for violence.

There has only ever been once when I actually feared one of these attacks, it was when escorting an elderly man to his bedroom, his mood all of a sudden changed, and he had strangled me for the whole journey from the ground floor to the second floor. That lift seemed to be going extra slow that day. On finally reaching the second floor the other carers tried to release his grasp as I went blue in the face and gasped for breath.

What did I do?

I got my breath back, took a little time to compose myself and continued to do my job.What else could I do? They attack us - nothing happens. We attack them, we go on a Potection Of Vunerable Adults (POVA) list.

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Bollocks... Bloggers Block.

Well Hello BlogBuddies!!

It would seem it has hit me.

The awfulness that is Bloggers Block.

I wouldn't mind so much if it wasn't for the fact I had met up for coffee with a girl yesterday (and had a very enjoyable time too might I add) and throughout ort talking there was so many times that I had thought, and on occasions announce that that would make a good blog post. Great. Plenty of future post ideas here. How wrong was I. As soon as I got home and thought "I'll write a post" it all went. All the ideas I had had.

Now as of the beginning of this year I have been carrying around a small notebook in which to write ideas down, in order to prevent the little mishaps like this occurring. But alas yesterday my notebook did not make an appearance I didn't wish to come over too much of a geek.

I mean really if you had met for coffee with a girl and she started taking notes on the conversation you would think she was a little weird right?

I was going to attempt to blog everyday next month, in order to complete one of my DayZero tasks. I picked next month with it being the shortest month, 28 days. Normally anyway. My friend reminded me it was a leap year this year. So now I have 29 posts to attempt. Not 28 as I had originally thought.


Thursday, 19 January 2012

Emotional Wreck at Work (Part 3 of 3)

So this is the third and final installment of this series of posts.

This title doesn't particularly fit per say, as this particular event was during my stint as a student nurse. So Emotional Wreck at Uni would of been more suitable, but hey ho. I wasn't an emotional wreck in the sense that I cried, but more so because I was so angry with what had happened.

It was during my first ever placement in 2007, I was "working" in one of the hospitals on a surgical ward. I'll always remember my time on this ward, not only for the incredibly hot freshly qualified nurse that worked there but also because of an elderly woman which was a patient during my time there.

The lady, who I will call, Hilda for the purpose of telling this story, was about 90 years old, and to my recollection had had some form of lower gastrointestinal surgery. Not only this, but she was suffering from slight Dementia also. Emphasis on the Slight.

On coming onto shift one morning and receiving the handover it was passed on that Hilda hadn't eaten whist her stay on the ward.
Me: Why is she not eating?
Nurse: I don't know!
Me: Well have you tried asking her why she isn't eating?
Nurse: Of course we have! (in a rather sharpest tone)

I thought it best to leave it at that, after all I was only the student.

That lunch time I observed Hilda, as it turns out the people what had been giving her her meals would walk in, plonk down her tray on her table and walk out. On seeing this I went into the room and started speaking to her, explaining to her that her food was there, I pulled up her table and asked her if she would like her meal cutting up. She did, so I cut it up for her and handed her knife and fork. She ate her full meal that day. Basically all she needed was a little more time and patience.

Hilda would also often soil herself, and the Nurses and Health Care assistants would often go into the cubicle, clean her up, and not once interact with her whilst doing it. They often complained about having to deal with her.This really infuriated me. At the end of the day she was a living person and needed their help, she had had major surgery for her age and they where acting as though they where just doing the dishes or mopping the floor.

She would often sit in her room, in silence, even though she had a TV in there, just because she wasn't able to turn it on herself, and no one could be bothered to go turn it on for her. In my opinion she was denied her basic rights.

Again Hilda was a very comical old lady, as many old people often are. If you actually give them the time and patience to live to them.

I'll always remember one thing she said to me.
Hilda: Don't worry, your Aunty Hilda still loves you, and your mum will come round.
Me: What do you mean Hilda?
Hilda: It doesn't bother me you know.
Me: What doesn't?
Hilda: That your one of them...
Me: ...one of what?
Hilda: *Looking around and whispering* A lesbian.

I still sit and laugh about this. I think it was one of them be there things.

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Emotional Wreck at Work (Part 2 of 3)

Another time I became an emotional wreck at work was in December of 2011.

There was a female resident, A, who had been living with us since early 2011, and I can honestly say she is the first resident I had truly took to. She was down to earth and funny, and called a spade a spade. She was in fact an amazing woman to look after. I enjoyed going to work to go see her, and to talk to her.

She made me laugh as she had dubbed me a new name, despite knowing my actual name.
A: Michaela whens yourbreak?
Me:My names not Michaela A.
A: I know but you look like a Michaela so that's what I'm going to call you.
Me: Okay fair enough.
A: So whens your break?
Me: Why A do you want a fag?
A: Yeah.
I don't know A you'll have to ask the senior.
A: Oi, When's it Michaela's break
Senior: Now if she wants it.
A: Michaela take me for a fag please.

So off I used to trot to make us a cuppa and out for a fag, where we would often sit chatting about A's family and her past life and her pet dog.

It would seem she liked the men in her younger days, and in fact still did in her senior years. I recall one day when she had tried to grab one of the workmen's bottoms as I pushed her past in her wheelchair. On another occasion there had been work men on the roof and she was heckling to them to turn around as it was the front she had wanted to see.

I think its safe to say I loved this woman as if she was my own Grandma.I think it's also safe to say she quite liked me. She would complain to her family when I wasn't on shift. Or if had had a few days off she would ask if I had left.

In her latter weeks she would spend most of the days calling the various names she had come to call me, even when I wasn't on shift. She would refuse care's unless it was carried out by me.

It's the most horrible feeling walking out of a room to hear the family shout you back in because she needed urgent attention. Something had happened, and she was not breathing or responding. I did what I could until the ambulance had arrive. The family invited me to the hospital as she (in there words) Loved Me, and they felt I would like to see her, as they had been told she wouldn't live long. So I went and stayed with the family for 4-5 hours.

She lived a few days longer than expected. I visited her whilst in hospital and then when on shift the day after the manager came and told me that she had passed.

I cried. I cried as though I had lost my own Grandmother. I often walked into her empty room and looked around it.

A's funeral is the first I have ever attended in my time of working in care homes. I had to act professional as I had also been sent to represent the Home, but either way I was adamant on attending it. If I'm honest it was hard fighting back the tears as saying goodbye, and more so when my own Nanna's funeral song was played.

I can honestly say that this looking after this woman was a pleasure, and having her in my life, and meeting her even for a short amount of time was an honor.

I have had many memorable conversations, and memories with this lady. She will always stay with me for ever.


Read Emotional Wreck at work Part 1

Monday, 16 January 2012

Emotional Wreck at Work (Part 1 of 3)

In my 8 years of working in care homes and within hospitals during my stint as a Student Nurse there I can honestly say there are only a several occasions that I have come near to emotional wreckage.

In fact as awful as it sounds there are only 3 instances that come to mind (to date) . And I find myself asking myself, is it because I am professional or just damn right hardhearted when it comes to my job?

The latest happening within the last 12 hours of this post.

On going to do some personal cares on a client, my colleague and I went into the elderly mans room to find he had passed away quite unexpectedly. As awful as it sounds I was not phased by his passing. It had been expected (he was in his 90's and was ill), but not so rapidly. We went through the correct procedures. Ambulance, Police officers (Due to it being officially unexpected as there was no DNR or palliative nurse in place), all the correct procedure.

Saturday, 7 January 2012

Age Discrimination and the NHS

The NHS must never discriminate based on age – that was the message given by Care Services Minister Paul Burstow when he announced that the Department of Health will not be seeking any exceptions to the planned implementation of the Equality Act 2010. (Original here)

The other day I had to escort one of the elderly ladies I look after to hospital due to a fall she had had. There was concerns with the bruising and swelling around one of her eyes, She literally looked like she had been in 10 rounds with Mike Tyson.

After waiting for a few hours to be seen by the consultant in order to be referred for a scan, the consultant in question had said "At the age of 89, even if there are any major concerns I don't think anyone will be taking her to surgery, do you?".

This disgusted me, he had already decided this lady would be unsuitable for surgery because of her old age? So because she is old she is unfit for surgery why?

I'll have you know this lady, does not look nearly 90. In fact other than memory problems she is indeed very fit for her age! In fact on waiting for the results to be confirmed by the senior radiographer, I had to leave early, as because she was sick of waiting she was beginning to kick off, so I had to make arrangements for them to call me if there are any abnormalities.



This "frail old lady" who was assumed unfit for surgery proceeded to cause quite a show in the hospital, and had to be escorted from the hospital to the taxi by myself and the 2 security staff.

I can tell you from experience, she packs a hard punch!!

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Brotherly Love....

Oh yes! I am doing so well with this DayZero project lark!

Another one completed :-) HUZZAH!

I actually completed this a few days ago, and in all honesty totally forgot it was on my list. Maybe I should keep a copy of the list in a note book? :/

I bought my brother a 360 game which he has been wanting for longer then I can actually remember. I think it's safe to say he is happy with this purchase as I have rarely seen him since he got it.

It's some viking game or something? I don't actually know in all truthfulness.

But hey. I've marked another of the list.

Go Me!!

Monday, 2 January 2012

Happy 2012

So the new year is upon us.

And it is around this time of year people make new years resolutions. I often make them, and like many others, its unlikely that I will stick to them. So the other day I was sat thinking about this years resolutions, listing them in my head. Then a thought came into my head, the majority of things I was listing already appear in my DayZero list.

So rather than more or less repeating them here, go read it there. I am slowly achieving them. And I have a longer time scale then 365 days to complete them, although this year being a leap year would make it 366 days.

I have vowed although to no longer allow people to treat me like a mug.