Friday, 3 April 2020

I See You


It's almost 5 am
I wasn't sure if I was going to blog today.
My life has became smaller , not only with self isolation but with night shifts.

Certain phrases have become synonymous with trauma and moments of crisis,
I've just been thinking.

I love you
Is the example that springs most readily to mind
In 9/11 the protagonists in buildings and aircraft were quick to repeat these words to their loved ones
So important it was to share the most fundamental and vital of emotions

Patients, indeed everyone of us have difficult times during a day.
The wee small hours on a night shift can be especially hard if nerves are jagged and resolve is low.
At these times nursing is often a visual and very human vocation.

The patient needs to know you are there.
You are present
You are available, alert and focused
Like a hen sat on her chicks,
like your mother when you were a sick child,
Like a vigilant lover when you're asleep

And the phrase that is most relevant to say is the reassuring

I am watching you.

72 comments:

  1. "All you need is love"-as the Original fab4 say and of course in your case the occasional Scotch egg or 2 x

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  2. I'm noticing a lot of people saying "take care" with extra sincerity.

    I'm sure being watched is super reassuring to the very ill

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    Replies
    1. Being watched is reassuring to us all
      I miss it

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    2. But you have Winnie and Dorothy, and Mary too desperately trying to fill that gap for you. Albert will watch you too, especially while you open his cat food :-)

      Delete
  3. I loved watching my children sleep. I would do it now if I could get away with it but their spouses might complain.

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  4. I just recalled "that feeling" when just over a year ago I was in Dorchester Hospital with appendicitis.I was scared at first but eventually relaxed and felt comfortable just knowing that someone else was helping me.During the nights a nurse would softly say"can I just change the bag" or whatever.Once a male nurse whispered that he was sorry the needle had broken,he couldn't get the needle in and would have to go and get a child's one-I felt cared for and loved in a way like you describe John."Thankyou" I whispered x

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  5. Just 'I'm here' is comfort beyond measure.
    It must be especially lonely for the deaf this self isolation, that has only this very second struck me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Being deaf is a little like self isolation all the time Su.

      Delete
  6. As Su said a simple "I'm here" means so much and I find also a heartfelt "I care" to be helpful. Knowing you are not alone is so important in times of illness or stress.

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  7. "Someone Who'll Watch Over Me" by Pippa Blake.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Indeed...I'm glad someone got the connection

      Delete
  8. We are watching over you John everyday I go to your blog more to make sure you are checking in. Don't forget your support group in us readers. GO JOHN!

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    Replies
    1. Agree, you said it first. I was thinking the same thing, we look on John every day, to see how he is doing.

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  9. YP got there before me. Yes, knowing that someone cares about you is all important.

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  10. Very poignant post for Pippa Blake.

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  11. Sit on me like a hen and I shall bite your arse

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    Replies
    1. Mavis-I'm sure you would just lurve someone to stroke your brow and purr-"there,there,darling"x

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    2. I'd rather they stroke my balls 😁

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    3. Oh yess,my dogs have those-they are scattered all around my home at the moment x

      Delete
  12. The stroke club is closed and I'm really missing the fortnightly break I used to get when Steve was there. The club coordinator is keeping in contact via email, d he is signing off with "endure" and that is all I can do, endure, whilst trying to cope with Steve who's mental health is suffering in this isolation.

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  13. John you are the first blog I check in on and also the last one of the door. Hoping you are doing well with your furry friends each time.
    Take care, please.
    Kathy xxx

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  14. I would be very comforted if you were watching.

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  15. I now singing (in my head) 'He Watching Over Israel' from Mendelsshon's Elijah. Beautiful melody and sentiments, just adjust the words to suit your personal beliefs.
    I do miss choir.

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  16. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  17. You can watch more at movieboxprofession.com with your family.

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  18. All of our worlds have been reduced. I was just yesterday commenting that this sheltering in place is like retiring but with big limitations.
    It's always important to know somebody is watching over us, that we are both needed and cared for.
    Maybe that's why blogging has become so important to me these days.

    XOXO

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  19. I can only try to imagine what it would be like to be in hospital now (or hospice ever) or to be working there and finding ways to cope with the even longer days and nights. While we pass our days mostly inside, I've been receiving truly kind and loving messages from friends and acquaintances. Grateful for everyone. And hope mine are making a difference to them, as well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous7:15 pm

      My partner is a terminal, now palliative patient. He's been an in-patient 3 times this year. We are in Australia, so our experience may be a little behind what others are seeing, but I can tell you what our hospital looks like now from a patient/family perspective.

      Our hospital used to have market days, and a very loud quartet of elderly musicians, and indigenous community events - all in and around the main foyer/ entrance. Those people, who used to be a happy, complete nuisance to navigate about - are gone, and I miss them.

      The pathology clinic that always had a full waiting room, and spilled out into the hall - now empty. The ED used to be a cess-pit of sick, broken, and mentally ill people - with wait-times of 2+ hours is now ruthlessly efficient and empty. There is a guarded, taped off treatment area, and language about "droplet control".

      The current regulations ban visitors under the age of 16, and the move to zero visitors is coming. All ward visitors sign in, and leave contact details.

      The changes from usual business are profound, and as you can imagine, there is a buzz of grim anxiety. Ward staff are short of aprons and gloves. I hope they are just ruthlessly rationing, but I suspect there is genuine shortage. It's definitely a stressful time for patients. The vast majority of nursing, and medical, and admin staff are being absolutely brilliant. We've had many compassionate and genuine interactions (appropriately distant) with people who,ordinarily we wouldn't speak with - all of those interactions are sort of like the blog world at the moment - checking in, sharing experience, showing we're all on the same team, uplifting experiences. This week, I had to try to convince our 3 year-old that aprons and gloves were dress-ups with the help of the nursing supervisor (who definitely wanted to tell us to bugger off, and save the PPE). We had a senior doctor show us how he doesn't touch the walls, and opens all doors with his elbow - fun stuff...

      We are still in the (teeth gritted) outwardly calm before. My admiration for our caring professions has never been greater. Strangely, while I'm worried about patients. I'm terrified for the ptsd that seems inevitable for the medical/nursing staff.

      Delete
    2. I've read every reply includingthis honest and searing one xx

      Delete
    3. Anonymous9:14 pm

      Thanks John.

      Delete
  20. There's been a lot of media discussion about the upset caused to people who aren't allowed to be face-to-face with their dying loved ones, or aren't allowed to attend the funeral. I think there needs to be some relaxation of the isolation guidelines. What's your view?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The experience of the 1918 influenza epidemic was grim, on allowing people to gather for funerals, it is difficult, the effort is to try to reduce the number of funerals. We need to find different ways. I sent a handwritten card to the father of a co-worker who died, describing in details the ways his daughter will be remembered. He as her only immediate family was not allowed to get out of his car at the cemetery.

      Delete
    2. I think about this too. If my child were dying, I’d want to move heaven and earth to be there to comfort her. But if I were dying I wouldn’t want that child to risk her life to be with me.

      Delete
  21. I know how you feel.....sending hugs x

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  22. We are doing a lot of watching and checking in from afar. seems like forever.

    ReplyDelete
  23. The Police: Every Breath you Take [I'll be watching you!]
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OMOGaugKpzs

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Police:
      Don't stand
      Don't stand so
      Don't stand so close to me

      Delete
  24. Once again you have brought me to tears.

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  25. You've actually made me cry.

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  26. Ah, thank you for this.

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  27. Your ability to put feelings into words is amazing, John. You have a gift. I feel privileged to have found you on the internet. Thank you.

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  28. And what a comfort you must be John in the wee small hours.

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  29. And God is watching us all...

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  30. So true, John. We don't always need help but there's great comfort in knowing there's help if we need it. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Anonymous3:33 pm

    That's a great painting. Who is the artist?

    ReplyDelete
  32. I said those words, "I love you", to my friend and next door neighbor over the phone last Monday, not knowing it would be the very last time. Lori replied - "and I love you Mare" - and on Tuesday afternoon she died after her long struggle with COPD. We couldn't get close or hug, we just cried out in the garden when the Hospice nurse came, followed by the funeral director. There can be no funeral now but later a memorial service.

    Thank you John, and all the people like you on the front lines during this terrible time. Please stay well - and yes, "I love you too."

    ReplyDelete
  33. I started a diary of what’s been going on in my daily life and what I’ve been thinking about. I send to my family and friends daily. It’s my way of keeping in touch. I’ve been influenced by your blog. I’m finding it reassuring to get messages back.

    ReplyDelete
  34. We ARE watching you John. I check in with you every morning. Last night my kids arranged a family face-to-face on Zoom and it was lovely to hear them chatter. The sun is shining today in Michigan and I have a new outlook. I have reached out to five people to check in and keep in touch and I have arranged a gentle stroll with two friends, safely distanced, through a local rural graveyard where we should be safe from the crowd! I hope you get some rest and peace of mind. Please remember you are valued John.
    Joan

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  35. I found your site about 3 years ago and check in the first thing every day fromNew Jersey USA. I am very disappointed if you have not updated your blog. As a fellow nurse now retired I enjoy your blog. I am 87 and retired 24 years ago. Keep your chin up. It will get better.

    ReplyDelete
  36. Barbara Anne6:16 pm

    For whatever reason, I find "I'm watching over you" more comforting than "I'm watching you." Go figure.

    Wishing you peace and tranquility as you keep the nightwatches.

    Hugs!

    ReplyDelete
  37. No one should feel they need to be blogging at 5 AM. You need your sleep.
    No need to blog about BIG issues, you could take us on a tour of your garden in spring, or show us your mom's hand embroidered tablecloths...the welsh pitcher collection in detail, maybe read the old markers in the church graveyard. Go for a small walk around town, house tour. Revisit old blogs, and how things change, like what happened April 4th in 2016. etc etc. Tell us about your first day of school or your tenth birthday, was there cake? Bake a pie and show us as you work.
    All fodder for a post, but then, Hi how are you? works fine too.

    love

    lizzy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was on my break at work xx

      Delete
    2. Stay well and safe. Thank you for your work.

      Delete
  38. Thanks for this post. It touched me. Stay healthy...

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  39. We all love you, John. We're so proud of what you're doing x

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  40. They must feel so reassured just to know they're not alone.

    ReplyDelete
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  42. I too pop by every day to check out your daily discussions. I would be happy to have you watching over me if I was unwell. Thanks for what you do John. Take care.

    Jo in Auckland

    ReplyDelete
  43. John, you are so good!

    ReplyDelete
  44. I've just watched Frank Sinatra on tv and heard him sing "Someone to watch over me" x

    ReplyDelete
  45. Your patients are lucky to have you present in the flesh and understanding the importance of that contribution. I guess as readers (and I’m in Australia too) we are watching you and present to you in a different way. I think of this as being still real, sometimes even significant, despite missing all that physical presence can bring?

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  46. You have amazing strength. Stay safe.

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