Tuesday, 15 May 2018

Smoke And Mirrors


Nursing helped me to read people.
Especially those in stress, illness and crisis.
My speciality has always been rehabilitation, where encouragement, occasional bullying and humour was the order of the day.
Yesterday a friend from the village asked my advice.
Her elderly mother had been poorly and after treatment had retired to her bed.
As we all know Bedrest in the elderly can be a one way ticket and so I offered to give her a pep talk.

I used the old  " smoke and mirror" approach
I took along my old sphygmomanometer and after a bit of banter I checked her pulse and blood pressure and asked questions about tablets and pain. I was courteous but relaxed and we laughed with my face level  with hers before I finally suggested that she needed to sit out of bed at least every morning and every afternoon .

She agreed without hesitation .
It must have been just a tad galling for the patient's daughter who had spent hours cajoling her mother into activity to finally see her move her arse off the bed but the outcome was worth it, with everyone happy.

I was reminded of a teenage paraplegic patient from long ago who refused to get into his wheelchair for the very first time. His named nurse, who was a blowsy, big busted and big hearted girl called Ruth had  approached the situation appropriately for a while. She had sat the patient up in bed over a few days, explained the procedure of getting up, listened to the patient's fears and supported his anxiety and had used a former patient who was already up his his wheelchair as a peer support but the boy was steadfast in his refusal to get up.
Ruth decided to use a more unorthodox method of rehab.
She pushed her cleavage to its max and vamped things up with wry smile.
A bit of harmless flirting, did the trick as the proximity of a straining bust, the threat of a less than motherly hug had the boy calling out to me  with a resigned and playful "okok get me up get me up...get me out of here"! 

Like I said. Smoke and mirrors....smoke and mirrors.....
And a small bunch of flowers from the daughter , delivered last night, proved that smoke and mirrors do work when things need to get done.

42 comments:

  1. I have come across more than one nurse without your skills. Or your heart. You say nursing helped you to read people, I suspect it is an innate skill.

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  2. Is this situation now known as "PJ paralysis"? I need you up my way to talk to my dad!!

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  3. It takes a special person to do what you do: Care for people and help them help themselves!

    Nursing is a challenging and essential profession. Like any profession, there are good apples and rotten ones. In my experience, I've found most nurses to be amazing at what they do. And often, there are much more trustworthy, resilient, caring and empathetic people in the nursing field than any other profession.

    Your people skills and experience and wisdom are awesome and integral. Thank you for using your superpowers for good, taking care of people and critters!

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  4. You must have developed a lot of skills during your long career and I imagine it was quite satisfying.

    Thank heavens for old sphygmomanometers!

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  5. Anonymous11:37 am

    Getting motivation from someone does depend on the person who is trying to motivate. My physiotherapist in Wales was a great motivator to me, my husband could say the exact same things as her, but I didn't feel the same motivation, likewise with my current physiotherapist who makes me feel that anything is possible.

    Your mention of a sphygmo brought back memories of having to send them back to be recalibrated. Those were the days!

    Joan (Devon)

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  6. Critism as well as praise is taken more notice of when it comes from someone just outside the inner circle of family and friends. And any advice to do with health given by someone with either Dr before their name (or a couple of gadgets tucked under their arm) is always heeded by the older generation.

    Needless to say you did well ☺

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  7. What a loss to the local nursing profession when you retired! A good nurse with your people skills is worth his or her weight in gold!

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  8. It's a lovely bouquet, in a vase that is just right for it.

    I'm glad you were able to help out, but is it really smoke and mirrors when you are a bona fide professional? :)

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    1. Anonymous1:18 pm

      Sometimes I wish there were an option to give an up vote for a comment. Have a few.

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  9. Glad you could get her up and moving.

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  10. Yes, there' a knack to everything, and not everybody has it. Same in all jobs.

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  11. Sometimes people will readily listen to and agree with an authority figure but not with one of their kids. You would make a charming authority figure!

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  12. Sometimes, and probably mostly, people need to 'sit' with themselves for a bit. Some will listen to family members, some won't. An 'outsider' can be instrumental in giving sound advice to a patient that needs it. You, John, are just what the 'doctor' ordered here. You are a pro a this.
    We all need and require at certain points in our lives someone who will gently knock us back to reality.......using whatever methods that will work.
    I was good at getting my mother out of bed when she was depressed. I have no clue where I learned how to do this. But it worked.....mostly.

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  13. It may seem a little queer, but I rather like the idea of a big busted and hearty blowsy women. What to do with one such person is problematic.

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  14. The village will certainly miss you and your ability to help in a crisis. x

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  15. Every time my mom wanted to take to her bed I promised to make her favorite cookies if she would stay up and keep me company while I baked! Worked every time.

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  16. I shall remember the smoke and mirrors approach John - never know when I might need it.

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  17. Mothers sometimes don't take daughter's advice, but a more official medical practitioner works wonders. Daughter is lucky to be able to call on you.

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    1. I agree. When my mother was in an assisted living facility the last year of her life, the decision was made to move her to a room closer to the nurses' station. When the woman who was the manager told my mother about this, my mother asked her one question: "Was this my daughter's idea?" When she said no, my mother immediately agreed to the move. lol

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  18. It must feel good to be able to put your skills to use and make a difference in people's lives, even though you're retired! Some talents are always needed!

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  19. Oh, how delightful.

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  20. One does what one has to do. As a mother of 4, being creative helped keep things on track and moving in a good direction.

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  21. My nursing friend, Val, was endowed with a generous bosom. We worked in male ortho so lots of young men. Being a kind soul she would often hug patients. The young men caught on quick and were particularly weepy on her shift, just waiting to be pulled in to her ample bosom.

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  22. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  23. One of the gals in my dental hygiene class was a double D cup (at least.) There were many smiles from her male patients when she asked them to turn toward her as she was cleaning their teeth.

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    Replies
    1. My motto: if ya got 'em, flaunt 'em.

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  24. I didnt miss many episodes of emergency ward ten. It was my youthful dream to have a nurse in a starched uniform have her wicked way. Now I'd be content with a bed bath.

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    1. Not from me you wouldn't

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    2. he he... you walked right into that one Gwil W

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  25. You have great intuition and generosity John -You really are a blessing x

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  26. You can catch more flies with honey !

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  27. No one on this planet can get my mother to do anything she doesn't want to do. Frustrating, but that's just how it is. As she spirals downward from Parkinson's disease, I wonder if she will become more or less co-operative? Hopefully there will be someone like you, Mr. Gray, to motivate her.

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    1. Feel for you Lori - so hard to watch your mother being disabled by that terrible disease. All the best

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  28. Good one John - you no doubt lightened both those ladies days. There are days we all need a bit of a boost to keep soldiering on :)

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  29. Without a doubt . . .
    You have “a way” with people.
    Patience, charm, zest . . . I think are yours!

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  30. Many moons ago we rented a house in Florida with a pool. My youngest was probably about 6. My ex's solution to teaching him to swim was to throw him in the deep end! I figured we'll try something different so I kept telling my son to stay out of the deep end because "it was too difficult for him to swim to the other end". I kept going and telling him to stay out - all the while my mother-in-law watching me. Of course eventually he threw himself in the deep end (with me standing in the middle "just in case") and doggy paddled to the other end! At which point pap gave him 20 dollars. I could never figure out how my ex was such a twat as to think his way would work! Anna

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  31. Ah, yes, that is always a good nursing trick!

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  33. Great to put to use some odd those nursing skills. And of course I love the vase/jug. Mardy 🇨🇦

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    1. Not odd those nursing skills.....some of those nursing skills.

      Autocorrect.....grrr.

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