In my book ‘Schicksal’ I draw on my own experiences of hospital life, that of my mother on whom Reine’s life is based and on my daughters who has followed us into the jaw of the lion. In a hospital, one has the unique privilege of meeting a person in a trough not on the crest of their wave. They are unwell and vulnerable trusting nurses, doctors and allied health workers to help them.
The environment is a leveller as most wear if not the memorable white gown with ties down the back, pyjamas. I have found it hard for folk to be pretentious in PJs. On the whole the environment is safe and the hands gentle. Those of us with big hearts go there willingly even though the pay is poor, hours long and smells atrocious. The smile or softly spoken thanks light us up, spurring us on.
Within the walls a fraternity binds us. We look out for each other supporting each other. It is a place of great learning; most of us can recognise the chocolates from the wrapper alone, saving time, no need to read the box. The gravity of some situations drives us to seek solace and the perfect way is by sharing homemade goodies.
Nurses whilst being loving and accommodating are also among the world’s best cooks. The food is not always showy but it is infallibly tasty and hugely comforting. Reaching out to another, offering help and support, feeds the soul. Paradoxically it nurtures us. Touching another’s pain can be quite confronting but if we examine our reactions and delve deep inside, it provides amazing opportunity for personal growth.
Philosophy is part of the journey.
As years elapsed and we time and time again front doors of the hospital many feel a deep sense of belonging and purpose. Like a big comforting hand, it soothes us and we slip effortlessly into our role, wondering what the day may bring. Around each corner is always a situation previously not even envisaged which demands calm, rational thinking.
The tapestry of life is complex and varied. Each person is unique in their reaction to their situation. Although a common vein unites some scenarios, they are never the same. Although I am now the world in which I have served for thirty-four years, I look back on it with gratitude. My patients have taught me great things and to them I am very grateful. Along with my children they have been my greatest teachers.
Do any of you have something to share on this topic?