Sunday, August 10, 2008

An Amazing Nurse

On the weekend my husband again became unwell - Metaphorically speaking Ian has an enormous heart and he has the constitution of an Ox. What Ian has to remember is that he does not have the strength of an Ox and physically he has a weak heart. It amazes me at the total lack of insight some men have and how quickly they forget how sick they once were. Also how they ignore the signs their body gives them, they just do not want to bother any one and feel like a fraud. Needless to say Ian was not in a good way. After being admitted and treated on the weekend he is again on the road to recovery and his heart is ticking over nicely. Now again we contemplate the life style changes we have to make.
I will take this opportunity to say that Ian received wonderful care by all the nurses that attended to him. However this blog is about an amazing nurse I met during this time. My first impression of this nurse was "gosh you look a bit old to be working in coronary care" it just goes to show you that first impressions are not always the best, it is better to reserve your judgement. As my husband was showering I had the opportunity to talk to this nurse, her name is "Mary" (a pseudonym) she is 67 years old, at a guess I would have put her at 60. Mary is small, trim, sprightly she has auburn coloured hair, not one grey hair and she is amazing. Mary was forthcoming with information and enjoyed talking about her life. When I asked Mary why she was still working she said "I am working to help pay my grandchildren’s HECS fees, and I love the social interaction". Her husband died 20 years ago, and her life is dedicated to her family and work. Mary admits that she would not physically be able to work in elderly care or surgical/medical wards as it would be to physically difficult. Mary says this job is perfect; I am mentally very alert which I need to be for this position however it is not to physically demanding. Mary works full time for 6 months of the year and then for the next 6 months (unpaid leave) she does volunteer work for Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders) working in war torn countries (MSF). This work has taken her to many countries, such as, Uganda, Congo, Tanzania, Ethiopia, China, Afghanistan. India, Sri Lanka and a few more I cannot remember. The few stories she shared with me were heart wrenching, such us the women from Afghanistan live a life of hell, the immense poverty in China, and the thousands of children that suffer in all these countries, and that is why she goes back to make a difference to these children’s lives. Providing basic nursing care, immunisation programs, health education and setting up AIDS clinics. Mary said “it is amazing what you remember when you have to, about your nursing training, every day presents a new challenge and there is certainly not as much paper work”. “It is always good to come home to Australia, I am glad I live here it is the land of opportunities”.
I was truly impressed by this woman’s endurance, and passion for her work. I found her an inspiring woman.


If you want to know more about about volunteer work follow the link below.
http://www.msf.org/msfinternational/invoke.cfm?component=article&objectid=E41CFB75-5056-AA77-6C2D2AF22A4D50C8&method=full_html

3 comments:

Sarah Stewart said...

wow, what an amazing woman!

Anonymous said...

It would be fantastic to have this nurse share her experiences with students. Perhaps to share with them a little of the vision of what nurtsign can offer - encourage them to look beyond geographical barriers. Also loved your description of Ian's capacity - both physical and metaphorical. Wiashing you both the best in this time of reflection.

Jennie

infomidwife said...

Thanks Jennie for your comment, great idea, I will ask her if she would like to do that and let you know.
Ciao Pauline

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