Nurse

 I didn’t want to be a nurse today.

I didn’t want to check scores of drug calculations, too many in most hours to cope with….
On cards and in books and at bedsides and with a tired colleague who smiled when she didn’t want to.
I didn’t want to carefully fill greedy little syringe drivers and set them up bleeping like tiny box robots under pillows and duvets as their patients relaxed and slept
I didn’t want to explain to lost families about the process of dying and I didn’t want to use a quip with a patient in order to make their tearful son laugh for the first time in weeks.
I didn’t want to teach a student nurse about complex pain in a way she understood as buzzers rang and jobs mounted up
And I didn’t want to write up notes , proving to auditors what I did that day and how I did it.

I wanted to lie on a couch in the warmth with someone rubbing my hair until I fell asleep.
And I wanted to eat a meal I hadn’t cooked myself 

But instead , I was a nurse today

….and it was ok 



 

70 comments:

  1. Anonymous9:09 pm

    Ooh John, I’ve tears in my eyes reading this and can empathize to a little degree being a retired nurse and have questioned so many things I’ve done while a nurse. I love your humanity, your insight and you just being you and describing so well what real life is like. Hugs and please keep blogging and writing. It means so much to me and so many others. Big hugs and lots of love, Noreen

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  2. You didn't want to, but you did, because you are a professional, you care, you have sympathy and empathy. I wish I lived close enough to have popped round with a warming meal, then stroked your hair while you off loaded your day. Feel free to imagine. Hope tomorrow is a better day for you. xx

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  3. And I didn't want to be a carer...whose husband is choosing palliative care despite being offered an operation to remove a tumour and various other bits and pieces..which would give him the life he wants although he can't..or won't..see that. I can't push, I can only inform. It is, after all, his choice.

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    Replies
    1. I had been worrying about you and Pirate. So sorry to hear this. Be strong.

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    2. I wish there were something to say that would help, but there isn't. All anyone owns is their own life.

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    3. I am sorry to read this, gz. I admire your wise approach: to offer counsel while understanding it is not your choice.

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    4. Do you know I’m fine
      I was tired and feeling every bit of my 61 years
      I was also feeling a bit sorry for myself

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  4. So many hard lives XX I’m sorry

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  5. Anonymous9:37 pm

    Oh John, I am so sorry. My Mum was a head nurse for geriatric patients for 25 years. She retired at 55 burnt right out. Thank you for what you do every day.❤️
    Robin

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    Replies
    1. I had a good sleep and a day in the library , I’m fine

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  6. I have always had deep respect for nurses. They keep us going when we are unfortunate enough to need care. You're at the top of my list for sainthood, John.

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    1. Anonymous9:46 pm

      I think john would appreciate but hate that comment
      This post is about professionalism and real life and the balance between being human and a being a human with a vocation

      Keith

      Xx

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  7. Thank you for what you do. A relative died today, having had care from an excellent nurse who could have been you if you live in our area. Respect and love to all end of life nurses xx

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  8. Anonymous10:02 pm

    A simple and honest blog ( x2) today
    It was lovely
    Lee

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  9. Yorkshire Liz10:30 pm

    Just get yourself and the dogs into Bluebell and head east down the M62. Roast beef and head rubs for all are waiting. I can but offer.......

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  10. The world is a better place for having you being a nurse.

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  11. I knew that even though you did not feel like being a nurse, you would do just that because you have the heart of a nurse....and you always follow your heart.

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  12. So you have resorted to deleting anyone who does not give you unconditional support rather than the real thing? Shame.

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    Replies
    1. Does being such an ass make you feel like somebody special?

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    2. Yorkshire Liz7:04 am

      Sorry, but what are you identifying as " the real thing?" And do you understand how corrosive and undermining trolling and undue criticism are to a person driven - as John is - by honesty and compassion? Or is it just the rest of us that get what he says and does because we have all also been there in so many ways?

      Delete
    3. It seems to me that John has spent all of his working life caring for others. Now is the time for him to care for himself. Liz is right, constant trolling by those who think they are always right, is corrosive.

      Delete
    4. Tom, over the last year or so your comments have become sporadic and often critical . I think , like nurses blogland gets burnt out
      Perhaps it’s time just to stop reading Going Gently,
      It’s an acquired taste for sure ,

      Delete
  13. Barbara Anne11:07 pm

    Yes, we nurses continue doing all we can for all who need us and hope for restful sleep when we get home. Dinner in the slow cooker is the best invention for a lovely welcome home.

    Hugs!

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  14. Hoping you sleep soundly & restfully tonight.
    Also hope you awaken refreshed, with a lightness of spirit & heart, and more than ready to successfully finish your poster tomorrow.
    Stay safe & well, John dear.

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  15. I don't think people realize how hard nursing is and how much grief we carry around with us, not only our own grief, but the grief of others as well. I still remember my first patient that died thirty-eight years ago. And I remember the last one who died on our unit, bleeding out of her mouth.
    Sending hugs.

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  16. In the pandemic we put up big signs declaring all health workers heroes. In Britain, and much of Europe, they picked one day/night a week to all go out and applaud you. It doesn't put extra help on the shift, buy perhaps it helped. Bless you all.

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  17. Anonymous1:06 am

    Beautiful writing, evoking in me empathy, sympathy , caring and relief. For all of you!

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  18. I don't know how you do it. "OK" carries you far.

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  19. I too am amazed how you and the others in the nursing field do it. I am glad you are there though. Very.

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  20. And you did it all anyway being the good nurse and good man you are.

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  21. Anonymous4:59 am

    Ditto, but also what a great day to be alive. Goodnight sweet man

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  22. Anonymous5:15 am

    And you did what you do because you have the heart for it; and you are well trained and a total professional. I hope you rest well and get up in the morning with a slightly better perspective for a different day. Thanks for doing what you do!

    Jo in Auckland

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  23. All I can say John is "thank god for people like you".

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  24. I can't write anything more like every one so far but I teared up at your post. I thought of the wonderful Nursers who watched over my baby Nicole who was in a NICU intensive care unit. We knew she would never recover they were so wonderful to us and when she did die they sat with her till we could get there. She was full term and beautiful, Thank you for all you do for everyone even us crazy Americans
    Thank You, John

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  25. You describe a day at work which draws so heavily not only on professionalism and experience, but also on deep reserves of empathy and humour. Not a vocation for the faint hearted. And this when you yourself are weary and in need of loving care yourself. I'm so sorry you are at a low point and hope you can recharge and strengthen your spirit soon. Sending caring and positive thoughts.

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  26. I know l have said this to you before, but speaking as somebody that runs away from other people's bodily functions, let alone the emotional toll it must take to be able to withstand all this on a regular basis. I salute you sir and all your colleagues.
    Sadly these days, there appears to be more of 'my' type of person than ' you'. Maybe that is why we are all in such a mess. No need to go rounding on each other though. Go take a walk/bath/sleep or get a life you type who always think they know better. Leave your comments to the positive sort. If you can't be nice then zip it! Tess

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  27. I cannot imagine our society without nurses like you who make the horrible things in life a little more bearable. I, for one, am truly grateful.

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  28. I dont know how you can do it John - toilets and everything make me queezy - unless it's dogs related - The man upstairs is now residing in the front parlour - using a commode occasionally which I tentatively empty - I 'm drained and its only been a few days - You must insist to yourself that you recharge your batteies x

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  29. batteries x 🌄

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  30. I can understand you're not wanting to be a nurse some days. But I'm glad it was OK. SO much better than being a corporate raider.

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  31. A THOUGHT FOR ALL

    Thanks for your comments, such a blog entry really doesn’t need comments though
    Good ones or bad ones
    I think people forget what Going Gently has always been , and that is a journal
    This post was how I was feeling yesterday and I wrote about it
    My batteries were low and didn’t want the day that was mapped out for me.
    I also didn’t want negative thoughts and comments, they are not helpful when your batteries are low, they just serve to make you feel worse, but then you know that !
    You as intelligent, human beings that experience the lows of life, even the short term ones when emotions are thin and physically you are not at your best , you know, what you don’t need is more negativity , so why share that negativity with me. .?
    Why do that knowing only further sadness could result.?
    You would never say such things to my face
    Politeness and social etiquette hopefully would govern your responses, and if you disagreed you would grumble internally rather that try to teach me a lesson, I neither need or request,

    I’m off to the library now to complete my poster. Then I’m shopping, and may buy myself another Christmas jumper

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    Replies
    1. Anonymous6:20 pm

      Most people who write journals keep them private, by putting yours online you're laying yourself open to critical comments. I think you're mixing up "journal" and "blog" and your writing is certainly more blog than journal. You say you write purely for yourself, why then do you display it to the world and invite comments? Or embellish your writing to entertain readers? Today's example - 'greedy little syringe drivers'
      Is that how you speak in everyday conversations?
      Your posts have become calls for sympathy and praise, you delete the comments that aren't saying how wonderful you are. What does that say about you?
      No doubt you will delete this too.

      Delete
    2. Barbara Anne7:00 pm

      I hope you find the perfect Christmas jumper that floats your boat and is on sale!

      Hugs!

      Delete
    3. Interesting you have shown yourself to be the Anon troll that haunts Going Gently … by the use of your opinionated and somewhat pedantic comment , I will reply this time,
      I write because I enjoy writing. I write because by exploring my day, what I see, and describing it in my own way in my own words , pleases me.
      I know you are bothered by the WAY I write, you constantly accuse me of being too flowery, too dramatic, too entertaining…
      And I don’t agree with you nor do I care it bothers you so
      It pleases me , I enjoy thinking of ways to describe my home life and if it also pleases others GREAT
      If it doesn’t just leave, leave the blog which irritates you so. Your constant need to educate me and others won’t work. I will continue to write and perhaps the one thing I should do is to stop comments totally
      Today’s blog was one I think didn’t need ANY comments
      I said that in my first sentence
      Perhaps next time I feel like this, I will turn them off

      Delete
    4. Yes an excellent idea xx

      Delete
  32. Dear John, it's a tough time of year. Hugs - wish I could take you out for a coffee, or even a Scotch egg. Jxx

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  33. No they would never say those things to your face. Too cowardly. Behind a computer these people are super critical, harsh and often just nasty.
    I am grateful for caring nurses, how hard it must be to do the job when you are not feeling well or happy yourself.

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  34. Sending hugs from afar.

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  35. Yes. I am sure that being a nurse has its tensions but try being married to a nurse for 42 years! Nobody thinks of us do they? Nobody comes out banging pans on a Thursday evening and nobody ever says, "I have always admired the spouses of nurses!" Our huge contribution to society is entirely overlooked.

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    1. My husband would agree with you! The nights he slept alone, the meals that were made with shortcuts. The whinging, crying that he puts up with when I come home and am done with the world

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    2. To be honest, its not just the nursing profession. Everyone has bad days,lol. There have been days I wouldn't want to be married to me.

      Delete
  36. John, I come to your blog and am enlightened, entertained, and made to pause and think about my own feelings, emotions and actions. You're a thoughtful and delightful writer. Being given a peek into your life feels like a privilege, and one I cherish. There are those whose sole aim in life is to dispel their own hurt by hurting others, and blog comments are a way for them to do just that. It's easy pickings for them. And I think that blog comments have become microcosmic examples of the troubles in this world that the hurt people have caused. I am thankful for you, John, and thankful for the nurses and health care workers who've taken care of me and my loved ones. You are right special souls.

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  37. Anonymous12:23 pm

    You are welcome to hop on a plane, come and stay for a few days, get some hugs and hair pats, and forget everything for awhile. You just need a mini break! Gigi

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  38. Traveller12:38 pm

    Looking forward to hearing more about the academic poster…was sure it was a typo at first and you meant academic paper!

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  39. weaver12:46 pm

    Not just any old nurse John - a special one . But I am sure what you write here is now very many overworked nurses felt today. Bless you xx

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  40. Hope your shift went well and today is a better day, John.

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  41. Here's the thing- I, too, write about the way I feel and that is often not great. But it's the way of it. And I think that many of us have days that we should get some sort of award for getting out of the bed and if there are people that don't understand that, then they should consider themselves lucky as hell.

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  42. Anonymous3:37 pm

    My eldest GrandDaughter will be starting her Nurses training next year, I hope she meets a nurse and mentor like yourself John, she has so much to learn and not all of it can be learned from a book.
    I hope you had a good nights sleep and feel a little brighter today - Take care CraftyNan Shropshire

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  43. And I for one will be thankful beyond compare for that nurse that you obviously are when I'm in hospital.

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  44. Anonymous6:19 pm

    I didn’t know what a syringe driver was. When I looked it up, I was shown how to set one up on YouTube. It seems like such a finicky device. I marvel at how nurses manage all of the tech, data, recording and still mange to be caring toward patients and the families. Blessings to you, your work and your home. Llynn

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  45. Anonymous6:23 pm

    Beautifully said as usual. You captured the soul of a nurse in one paragraph. Thank you. Lini from petaluma

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  46. I don't know John; after the post about your friend who mentioned your weight I think sometimes we should all think before writing a reply. In that particular case many people jumped in to say what a horrible person he was after reading just a few lines about how you were hurt by his words. He was being psycho analyzed and people acted like they knew all about his type as he.was a policeman. I thought that was awfully unfair to him. I understand your intent with that entry but everyone came to your rescue and were so ready to condemn him. It was admirable of your loyal writers to come to your defense and only a few said they thought he had no ill intent. Meanwhile his mate read the entry and he ended up apologizing and all was right with the world and you were more upset with yourself and your weight gain. You were writing what I would consider a private journal entry but it was given a public audience and people.reacted without knowing much information. I guess what I. Am saying that I enjoy your blog greatly but sometimes the audience has to watch their reactions when your stories include other people who cat give their side of the story. I hope I didn't cause any ok offense to yiu.

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    1. Linda
      Good points well made
      And in hindsight I totally agree
      In future if I post something like that post or indeed the one I wrote yesterday , I will turn off the comment
      It’s a fine line here linda, I sometimes forget the public nature of the blog
      And other times I know I’m playing to an audience , the storyteller in me likes that

      Point taken xx

      Delete
    2. You are right,it is a fine line. And when fresh,we take words differently than we might a day later. I do love the honesty of your blog and we can all identify with things you go through. Believe me, I have been insulted due to my weight. At first I will be mad at the person ( and yes it is rude but sometimes just very innocently blurted out) and later I have to remind myself that I have nobody to blame but myself. Anyway, happy holidays John and wishing you all of the very best in the new year!

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  47. John can say Whatever he wants - It's HIS blog ☕

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  48. Anonymous12:43 pm

    Blogger wont let me sign in so have to do so anonymously sorry. I can thoroughly understand your dont want to Nurse today comments as my eldest two are staff nurses. One on Community and one on Gastro and if I knew then what I know now there'd be no way I would let them go into the profession as its grim. I cant count the amount of times my Daughter has come home sobbing because one of her patients has died and she was fond of them or my Son comes home heartbroken and defeated because a representative from another department has arrived on his ward for a consultation and called him useless and a failure of a Nurse. As a Parent I want to punch their lights out and take it more personally than they do but I doll out the hugs and consolation whilst swallowing my anger. People can bang all the bloody pots and pans they want in appreciation for the NHS but the toll taken on their mental health is astronomical for the nursing profession is horrendous. Normally I would say sod 'em all and call in sick but I know thats just adding to the burden of the staff that do turn in and thats not fair and theres no bloody answer to it than to soldier on

    Lesley xx

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I love all comments Except abusive ones from arseholes