Posts Tagged ‘nurse’

Introducing…. Mrs Massey

So the other day, I went to see the Vagina Monologues. When I went to pick up the tickets, they had the name Mrs Tracy Massey on them. I didn’t notice it at the time but it was pointed out to me later and I thought that this could be the opportunity of a lifetime. The opportunity to remodel myself as…

Mrs Tracy Massey

I could live a whole different life as, like, an MI5 double agent or something. I could live my Mrs Massey life whilst also being Laura. In the daytime, I could leave the house in my National Trust t-shirt all innocent, then when I get to the end of the road, I could put on my black ninja outfit, which makes me almost invisible and I could use my powers of secrecy and stealth to go to the river and swim underwater to the Houses of Parliament (on one breath), where I use the secret underwater entrance.

In the secret changing room, I change out of my ninja outfit and into a business woman power suit, where I go straight into a meeting about the state of the country’s security and discuss the imminent threat of the giant lizard people who disguise themselves as newborn babies but then become lizards and eat all the nurses. Some days I dress as a nurse and use my ninja powers of extreme intelligence to save people’s lives all day while also doing undercover work into the giant lizard people babies.

For lunch, I would eat gold leaf and caviar made by small dragonflies from the Fijian rainforest. Cause that seems like a thing that a Mrs Tracy Massey might do, do you think?

In the evening, I underwater swim back down the river, sneak to the end of the road, change back into my National Trust t-shirt and walk into the house, super casual and all like, “O hey, how’s it going? I’ve had such a lazy day today.”

So, um, yeh. I could do that. I could become Mrs Tracy Massey, right?

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Two year anniversary

Today is two years since I got the biggest shock of my life.

Two years since being driven by a worried Danda at 2am to hospital with stomach pains.

Two years since having an unreasonable number of doctors look in places I would never have dreamed they needed to look!

Two years since I was stuck all over with needles which would live inside me for next six days, leaving me tiny scars that are still visible today.

Two years since a lovely kind doctor approached me with the terrifying news that he’d have to stick a tube down my nose and to my stomach to empty it.

Two years since being told I was next in the operating theatre and waking up hours later, literally stapled back together.

Two years since the every day functions of life were torn from me and I needed nurses to wash me, a tube to feed me and a catheter to wee.

Two years since being put on a geriatric ward and becoming a delirious TV addict with access to self medicating pain killer.

Two years since developing a fear of food and living off a spoonful of mash a day.

Two years since I became unable to stand for more than a few seconds without being exhausted.

Two years since telling Danda, “I don’t wanna go a walkies.”

And two years since I thought things were falling apart.

But they didn’t. Wonderful things happened. Friends and family were all mixed together and stuffed into a cubicle during visiting hours and it was brilliant. I would never have invited that combination of people to be together anywhere but I had no control over this and it turned out really really well.

Danda visited every day. Every single day. Every available visit. Twice a day. Him and my brother paid for vouchers so I could watch the TV or make phone calls, which I did. I made long rambling morphine-induced phone calls where I babbled and sniffled and sobbed and raged.

When I tried to understand the logic in what had happened to me and needed someone to blame or hate, everywhere there were people ready to support me and let me rage at them and at everything.

When I hobbled down the road for a cup of tea at the deli, fellow customers came to sit with me, bought me lunch, kept my spirits up when I felt low.

The doctors who repackaged my wide open scar every day were supportive and kept up constant chatter while I looked in horror at my insides on show!

And while it would be an exaggeration to say the process was a good one or that I’m glad it happened, if it had to happen, I had the best possible experience of it.

And now, right now, where I am in my life at this minute, I can’t remember ever feeling this great. Things are just lovely. I don’t have the anxiety of the teenage and early 20’s years. I don’t have the indecision of university years. I don’t have to always ask myself ‘what I’m going to do with My Life.’

And things are nice now. Very nice. I cook. I bake. I eat. I write. I read.

Two years ago, I thought I’d be angry forever over what happened to me. But I’m not. I’m just very happy and chilled out.

Lazy Laura and the big hospital strop

Almost two years ago, as mentioned in C is for…, I had a bit of an emergency. Like a life-threatening, I-thought-it-was-some-mild-food-poisoning, extremely-rare colon thing.

It was a Wednesday, any old Wednesday, no forewarning, nothing out of the ordinary. I ate my dinner, felt a little ill, it got worse and worse til, by Friday, I hadn’t slept in two days and was becoming a little delirious. By 3am on Saturday morning, it dawned on me that it wasn’t going to be ok and I got scared and went to hospital.

It was supposed to be my first day back at law school after the Christmas break. I had all my books ready. I was hoping they could just give me a little painkiller and send me on my way and I could still make classes at 10am.

Then things went crazy. I didn’t have any time to prepare myself for it. I honestly thought I was going home in a few hours. Then all of a sudden, there were things being jabbed into me with liquid painkillers, there were x-rays being taken, I was in a ward full of people waiting for operations and, wait a minute, I was waiting for an operation! And they were talking to me about my colon and I couldn’t hear them properly through the haze of fear that was throbbing in my ears.

Anyway, I woke up from the operation later that day and proceeded to spend the next three days in bed, sulking over why I had become ill, “why me?” etc. Doctors and nurses would come round and be nice and friendly but I had turned into Little Miss Grumpy. I was having a tantrum at ‘Life’ and that’s how it was going to be!

I spent all day asleep, too terrified to eat anything so sleeping through meals or refusing them, then spent all night awake, with my headphones in, watching Supernanny or Gordon Ramsey’s Hell’s Kitchen on my little TV, gently weeping to myself like an idiot.

I was allowed visitors but mostly just watched while they talked. I think I had convinced myself that I was quite legitimately ‘depressed’ and that was that.

Then Danda came to visit.

“Try and get her up and about,” they had said to Danda. “She lies in bed all the time, she needs to be a bit more active if she’s going to recover.”

So Danda came to my bedside and shook me awake. I was sleeping, as usual.

“Come on, Laura. Let’s go for a little walk.”

I looked at him with my No Face.

“Come on. It’s been four days since the operation. You need to pick yourself up a bit. Don’t you want to get well so you can leave the hospital?”

I did my best quivery-lip, I’m-so-sad-and-ill face, which he ignored. What?! My sad face wasn’t working?! Panic set in. I’m busy sitting around feeling sorry for myself here! You’re interrupting me! Don’t you get it?

“Come on. Put your little slippers on. Let’s go for a little walkies,” as though talking to a child.

That was it. I had had it.

‘Danda, can I tell you a secret?”

He nodded and leaned close so I could whisper in his ear.

“I don’t WANT to go a walkies!” And I stuck my bottom lip out.

And suddenly he was laughing uproariously. He had to sit down and clutch his stomach. I heard what I had said and realised what a baby I was being and put on my little hospital-issue slippers and went for a walk down the corridor, which tired me out for the rest of the day.

But that, that little strop, that was the beginning of the recovery period.

These days, if I don’t want to go a walkies, I at least come up with a more decent excuse, like “It’s a bit cold,” or “I’m far too busy making this cup of tea” or “Family Guy is on.”

Signs of the times?

It’s that time in the week again, time for the guest blogger to take over….

“Forthwith this frame of mine was wrenched
With a woeful agony,
Which forced me to begin my tale;
And then it left me free.”
(Keep reading to find out where these lines are from if you don’t already know.)
I went on holiday recently; it turned out to be a real assignment. Congratulations to the weather which had been very wet for many weeks but which gave me a rain-free, hot, sun-filled week. I visited Norfolk, in a part of the UK called East Anglia, and stayed in a cottage in a small village called Ringstead: it’s a few miles inland from the seaside town of Hunstanton popular with traditional holiday makers. I soon became aware that there are many signs which are meant to give info but sometimes don’t actually say what they mean or don’t say it correctly. On day one (actually a Friday), I took a walk round the seafront there and, in the fairground which had closed because of earlier bad weather, I was surprised to find the following:
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Can you see the mistake? Go on, look again if you missed it.
A short distance away was this one:

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Apart from the obvious danger of getting into a barrel, can you see the (4) mistakes in this one? Not too hard, eh? Easy to see how kids pick up the bad habits when they do their own writing.
By the way, did you know there is an Apostrophe Protection Society in the UK? It’s actually been featured in a prog on TV some years ago. Here is a quote from their site:
“We are aware of the way the English language is evolving during use, and do not intend any direct criticism of those who have made mistakes, but are just reminding all writers of English text, whether on notices or in documents of any type, of the correct usage of the apostrophe should you wish to put right mistakes you may have inadvertently made.”
Although I am not a member I do think they’re making a very valid point and if they don’t highlight the issue who else will? Check out the “Examples” tab on their site (www.apostrophe.org.uk) and look at some of the howlers – including stuff written by teachers!
Back to the pics. Well, clearly I was on a roll. I’d been going for only 10 mins and had two signs bagged already. I could see another one on a fence in the distance so ran over to see what it said:

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Doh! No mistakes and after me eagerly running all the way over.
Then further along the Promenade was this one:

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Now I know some people might say you should beware of Cliff Richard but after asking the locals it seems no-one knew who this Cliff Falls guy was. Anyway we had a lovely walk along the beach under the overhanging red rocks and we waved back at all the people who were shouting and waving at us from over on the promenade. We couldn’t tell what they were saying but we thought – this seems to be a really friendly town.
A couple of days later I was in a Craft Centre and came across this one:

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Pointing to the sign, I suggested to the Craft Centre lady that perhaps Harry could help. She was not amused. Oh well…
However, was wondering if LLM might want to apply. Why? Well, it seems she might be good at it. If you read her blogs regularly you will have come across the following examples (there are more):
31.7.12 – An Admission – “I pottered over, friendly mission face on….”
27.7.12 – I came, I saw, I passed – “After work, I pottered off home….”
20.7.12 – To Aslan’s Mountain with a wisdom stick – “As we pottered along, admiring the views….”
13.7.12 – Searching For Agatha – “…and potter about in the countryside for a while.”
I like that expression “to potter” or “potter about”. It gives a real sense of relaxed meandering; while others frantically push and shove or drive manically you are in no rush, plenty of time to look around and take in the landscape (or townscape). It speaks of a detached air, of being happy in oneself, unconcerned with the normal daily grind. Yes, pottering about is good. I must have a go at it.
Just across the road was this:
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You know what happened? I went in and…… that’s right, there were no ancient mariners! Fancy having a pub just for ancient mariners. I reckon they’re probably a dying breed! (By the way the verse at the start of this post, if you hadn’t guessed, is from Coleridge’s The Rime Of The Ancient Mariner.)
On the Sunday, we went to a Flower Festival in a nearby village. At the entrance to the church we saw this sign:

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Yep, you’ve guessed it…….. inside there were no guide dogs….. just loads of people!
There were a number of historical displays inside. This one was about the Norman Conquest. I approached with caution believing it might be one of those things which when people get close it suddenly jumps out at you (and shouts something scary) because there’s a real human being inside who was just keeping very still. There wasn’t……so it didn’t. (I suppose if a person had had an arrow stuck in his eye it would have been quite hard to stand still):
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Now apparently the idea that King Harold II (Harold Godwinson) was killed (1066) by an arrow in the eye comes from the pictures on the famous Bayeux Tapestry. However, it also shows what some believe to be another figure also representing Harold being killed by a sword. So it might have been arrow, might have been sword or could have been both.
Another display sign was this one:

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Can you spot the mistakes this time? (I count three. Did you get them all?)
Towards the refreshment area and other stalls was this one:

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Just one this time. (Apologies to American readers who, I know, do spell it this way).

On Tuesday we went on the Wells to Walsingham Light Railway. The sign told me this amazing fact:

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I was impressed – the longest 10¼” gauge in the world! Where did the idea for that width come from? You might think it must be one of those Victorian oddities from long ago but surprisingly this one was built only very recently (1982). You probably won’t be surprised to know that there is actually a Ten and a Quarter Inch Gauge Railway Society and there is a website if you’re really interested.
Thanks to the Wells & Walsingham Light Railway for permission to use the following two photos from their website (as mine didn’t really come out that well).
We travelled on the blue engine. It was called the Norfolk Hero (began in service in 1987 & named in honour of Admiral Lord (Horatio) Nelson. He was born in 1758 in Burnham Thorpe, just 5½ miles west of where the railway starts & 9½ miles east of the village where I stayed):

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There is a second engine (new in 2011) called Norfolk Heroine. It is named in honour of Edith Cavell, a British nurse who worked in Belgium during WW1, born 1865 in Swardeston near Norwich in Norfolk. She was shot, in Oct 1915, by the occupying German forces, for helping prisoners escape.

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Also nearby was the following warning sign:
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You might have to enlarge it but it’s typical of the signs organisations like this have to put up because of the (blame and) claim culture which infects everything these days. It’s a steam train, it runs on coal, it puffs out smoke – what do people expect? However what I didn’t expect was to get hit by one of “the smuts” in a very painful place. Just 15 mins into the journey I suddenly found myself blinking like mad as a piece of smut (prob coal dust) blew into my eye causing me to rub like mad to try and get it to the corner where I thought it wouldn’t hurt as much. Apart from that it was a really enjoyable day out on the little train.
Here’s another ‘spot the mistake one’:

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Easy that one? Hope the art was going to be better than the spelling. (I wouldn’t still be there to find out though.)
I like this one because it’s a good pun-like trade name:

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Check out the barber’s name in line 4. Hair salons and barber often do call themselves distinctive names. An unusual one I remember from some years ago was called – “Curl up and Dye”.
I’ll finish with one from the main road in the village where I was staying:

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It gave me a good laugh anyway. Again you’ll need to enlarge it to see the small text but noteworthy bits are: the price – one quacker, published by – Eggsactly Newspapers and the motto (top right) – “Out for a duck, not run down”. And there are two of them near to the pond. What wags these local rustics are, eh?
I’ve decided – I like signs, especially when sometimes they DON’T say what they mean, sometimes when they’re just fun to read and sometimes when your response is tongue-in-cheek. I didn’t intend to take pics like this but, after the initial spots on day 1, looking for more just became routine. You’re probably asking yourself what assignment was he on about at the beginning of this post? He’s not mentioned it at all. Can you see it now? What assignment? (Do you see what I did there? What a sign meant – haha).