Christmas has come and gone, so did Boxing Day. How’s the shopping going, guys?

It dawned upon me on Christmas day that what I actually enjoy more than Christmas itself, were the days leading up to it. The anticipation, the excitement, the surprises. That said, I had a wonderful, quiet Christmas with the boyfriend & his family. I helped put up the Christmas tree aaaaaaannnnnnnnndddddddd I also got a bunch of Christmas presents (yayyyyyyy!) – total kid at heart here. My first proper English Christmas & the boyfriend wanted to make sure I enjoyed every single bit of this festive season. And I did, I really did. ♥

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In the short month that I was away (from the blog), there have been a couple of happenings. Things that I won’t be thoroughly detailing out. Let’s just say that as much as I can hardly wait for the new year to begin, I am wary, so so wary, of what will be in the new year. I am uncertain, and so is my future.

“New beginnings are often disguised as painful endings.”

I’d like to believe that. After all, tough times never last, tough people do. Right?

I ran into yet another brick wall and once again I am stumped, almost defeated & kneeled helplessly in front of said brick wall. Despaired as I was, I actually have so many things to be thankful for. I am surrounded by friends & family who love me, applauding me for my successes as of date. They held out their hands and told me it is not the end of the world. Their words of encouragement mean so much to me, what would I have done without them? I admit I was tired, it was a stupid brick wall that shouldn’t have been, but yet there was. In the darkest corner of my heart, I felt the little flame of fight went out. It was scary, I honestly felt like I was already defeated and the worst is simply yet to come.

It was then that I realised that it wasn’t the fear of failure that paralysed me, it was the fear of not being able to stand up again after the fall. That was the fear I felt in the darkest corner of my heart. It was that fear that gripped my whole heart and turned it cold. And still, I have more things to be grateful for. The fact that I am here, with people I love, still able to go on and celebrate Christmas. It really wasn’t the end of the world for me. My friends reminded me: “You have come this far, you mustn’t give up now. You are so, so close. Closer than anyone has ever been.”

And they are right. I am SO CLOSE. Closer than I can ever imagine. I am here, & I am going to complete this journey. I just got to keep trying.

One of my closest friend said to me: “The brick walls are there for a reason. The brick walls are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something. Because the brick walls are there to stop the people who don’t want it badly enough.”

I want it so bad.

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It is painful for me to share that Bobby, the family dog, had left us and went seeking for dog heaven yesterday. We are all shocked & devastated, and I worry for my parents the most. Bobby had been such a joy for them both, they are still in denial. Maybe I am, too. We still can’t accept that he’s gone. I hope my sister is okay too.

Grief. Grief has not hit me this hard in such a long while. But with grief, there is also love.

And life goes on, like it always does. Life always goes on.

May the new year bring new beginnings. One can only hope.

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Happy New Year, everyone.

 

Toodles. ♥

 

Today, we received news that one of our ex-patient passed on last night; cause of death – sepsis.

Of course, we are used to deaths.

But we certainly did not see this one coming.

Mr. T had been with us for a fair amount of time, nearly a month. He had dementia, yes. He was this tall, rather huge old man who was still able to walk (with assistance) and was able to engage with us (even if he went off track sometimes). He was mostly pleasant & grandfatherly in some ways. He was also a very proud man. He liked his autonomy, and would be most displeased if you try to force something upon him. He was catheterised when he was warded with us, and was very protective of his urine bag. Although he did not exactly understood what it was, but he seemed to get that it was connected to him, therefore, it was his property. Try to take it away from his curious hands and you will come across a very grumpy man indeed who would tell you to mind your own business and go away. Often times, he successfully disconnected his urine bag and would simply refused to have us put it back. It also did not help that he had trouble processing information/instructions. We would be asking him questions/his permission to do certain procedures and he would most gladly nod with agreement – only to have him resist & fight you off the next second.

Despite all that, he was a quiet & gentle (when not provoked) man. His son was one of the nicest person we’ve ever met. His family were supportive and kind, and most of all, they were willing to take care of him, even when they do have other pressing problems within the family. They’re a rare gem in today’s society.

We patted ourselves on our back when we’ve finally managed to sort out care arrangements for Mr. T & family, and discharged him some time mid last week, thinking that he would be discharged well with no major issues. After all, he stayed for so long in our unit and he had been fairly well throughout. Little did we know that he would develop an infection over the weekend and then got readmitted. He deteriorated quickly and then death comes like a thief , silent and unexpected. I say unexpected although he was aged, because throughout his stay in our unit, there was never a need for a “what happens if and when Mr. T collapses/deteriorates/falls terminally ill” conversation. Which is why when we received this piece of news this evening, all of us who had taken care of him were shocked.

I still can’t quite digest the fact that Mr. T is gone, I can still picture him quite clearly in my mind, sitting on the geriatric chair, watching the TV. I can only imagine just how difficult it would be for his family now. Trying times for the family, indeed.

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May you rest in peace, Mr. T. ♥

Hello, everyone.

 

My final internship has begun. I know we don’t really call it internship here, it’s more like a clinical placement, but it’s really just the same thing. It’s our final run. We’re reaching the finishing line and it’s both exhilarating and scary at the same time. I’ve been trying to adapt to the working lifestyle and hours of a full-fledged nurse, in hopes that when I am finally working for real (like, next year!), I won’t have any troubles conforming to it. It’s been tolerable so far. I’m really taking one step at a time. No doubt, I will admit, I’m not good enough. Yet. Unlike my other friends who did their one  month posting locally, I was overseas. And although it was indeed a once-in-a-lifetime experience for me, to live like another, it was also somehow a downfall for me. Unfortunately. Everyone else had their chance in practicing their skills and what not. For me, I had to start from a level way below anyone else, because I haven’t been working properly for a long while now.

 

The good news is, although I am somehow struggling, I know I am slowly picking up. Slowly but surely. Also, I find that I’m no longer dreading to go to work. In fact, part of me is excited, and I guess this helps because it somehow prepares me mentally. So I don’t know everything, but it’s definitely a little burst of hope, this small burning flame in the depths of me, glowing and giving me the strength to go through it day by day. It’s my motivation. And I am happy enough. Happy enough to say I have nothing to complain about my life now. Sure, I don’t have my weekends anymore but, I saw this coming the  minute I decided that Nursing is what I want to do.  Actually, I didn’t LOL – I didn’t know back then that nurses don’t get their weekends and sometimes even their nights free. Now I do, and who said every other job is a piece of cake?

 

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I found this on Tumblr, and thought I’d want to share. I bet you, everyone else has felt this before.

 

I love that feeling. You know, the one you get when you take a deep breath and suddenly everything feels like it’s going to be okay. When you’re hopeless as can be, and life is going nowhere, there’s those moments we have every now and then where we just stop, and we get this feeling, that can’t be described, but you just.. you just feel like everything really is going to be okay. Like the world stopped spinning for a second, and everything was clear. I need more of those moments.

— The X

 

You have, haven’t you? 🙂 Word.

 

And gladly, I can say that sometimes, when I feel even slightly demotivated at work, about work – all I need to do is close my eyes and take this really deep breath and yes, everything feels like it’s going to be okay again. Like a surge of energy passes through all of me, from my head down to my fingertips and toes and I know I’ll be alright. I do need more of those moments, it keeps me alive.

 

It’s already the third week, and I have 9 more weeks to go. By God’s grace, I will pull through and come out victorious. 😀

 

 

I don’t usually talk about my work, simply because I realized it’s like I’m living another life. Like a separate side of me, one that I don’t envision myself to be. Strange. One would think that you’d be in sync with what you may perceive as your life’s calling. Not so for me. I realized that when I am home, with my family, I am simply almost a different person. Maybe cause there would be no work involved LOL. But this is a strange feeling indeed.

Anyway, just the other day I was at work, doing the usuals. I’m currently posted to the geriatric department, i.e. elderly (just in case you didn’t know). And I know from the start that I don’t wish to work here for long term. Simply because, when I see these sickly elderly, I can’t help but think, someday my parents/grandmom/parents-in-law/best friends’ parents – everyone who matters to me – are going to be like this too. God forbid they will ever be this sick, yet the thoughts are there. There IS a possibility. And the possibility is real. I was busy with the morning basic cares for these cute old ah-mahs with a staff and at least half of them are bedbound. And two thirds of these half are uncommunicative. Ah-mahs that no longer understand you, or even know what’s going on around them. So as I wiped, cleaned and dressed all the ah-mahs with difficulty and ease (how ironic) at the same time, I couldn’t help but took a step back to reflect and wonderwould you prefer taking care of these uncommunicative and bedbound elderly, or the ones who are active, and are technically, alive? With the former, you can do anything to them, ANYTHING – and they would have no say about it. You can turn them, take away their pillows, leave them soiled and dirty – and they can’t complain. The latter however will make a lot of noise and also can make your life hell.

Just like babies. When they are infants, you can do anything to them and they can’t say anything but at least they can cry. They feel it. Some of these ah-mahs don’t, anymore. And toddlers, sweet toddlers, once they learnt how to talk/understand you, you can kiss your peaceful moments goodbye. Chaotic, they will be in your life.

It saddens me so, to actually take care of bedbound & uncommunicative patients, I can hardly stand it. Often times, I end of staring at their faces, and wondered how was life for them when things were far different than it was now? I unknowingly learned to love them in some way, and thought about my own family. One day, what if they end up like this. I want the best care for them as well. 🙁 Hence, already I know geriatric isn’t for me, at least not yet. Not until I learned how to gather the courage and strength to shoulder the fact that it is inevitable to see the pain and suffering of these elderly people. And that death sometimes lurks around the corner, waiting for the right time to take someone away. Ironically I’ve always wanted to work in the Emergency Dept. The fast-paced, ever-changing situations keep me on my toes. But the sudden turn of events would be rather traumatising as well, even more so than being in geriatric. Then again, starting from scratch in geriatric department wouldn’t be so bad, right? Build up on all that emotional and mental courage.

 

Aaaah! Shall not confuse you guys with my continuous ranting. 🙂 But I thank you, if you’ve managed to reached to this point, reading every word and I don’t blame you if you don’t understand what I’m saying but thank you for reading anyway. 😀

 

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My mom and my cute ah-mah. ♥

 

On a lighter note, Christmas is just around the corner and I am excited because I’ll be going home during my 4 days off from work! 😀 It was an impromptu plan, parents popped the idea up and I was like, HEY! How come I didn’t think of that, LOL.

 

I’m thrilled that I’ll be meeting my loved ones, I can hardly wait. It’d be a good break from work. 🙂 And the boy is also coming back! :O! Can you believe it? It’s been SIX MONTHS?! Seriously? I know I can’t. Maybe because I’ve gotten used to the change. It’s almost like a dream. And speaking of him…

 

Remember, in my last post, I mentioned that the boy has posted stories of us? Well, if you ever want to feel what diabetes is like with your hair all standing by the end of the posts, feel free to check it out. 😀

Part One: The Squid & Kitty In Love (7 years and counting)

Part Two: The Squid & Kitty In Love (7 years and counting)

 

Please forgive us if the posts become way too cheesy. Seriously, this guy. ♥ 🙂

 

 

Hope everyone’s doing fine, the month of December has been good so far, 2012 is looming a little too near now; its’ shadow casted overhead is already calling out to me to re-evaluate my life’s goals and to spread more love as I go along. And I plan to do all that during my 4 days of break back home. Best place to plan. 😛

 

Remember to love a little more. 🙂

 

Toodles. ♥

By Mr. Aaron Raymond Lim.

Someone asked me this today (I hope you don’t mind me using this, you know who you are)

How can we be emotionally stable yet not immune to death?

I truly understand what you mean when you say you are distracted by loved ones who are emotional. It is a hard fact that as nurses, in order not to be compromised in delivering professional care, we really have to "focus" on the task at hand and be "insensitive" to the emotions that is happening outside a code while it is happening.

In trying to behave professional, nurses have been portrayed as "cold" and "heartless" when it comes to death. However, I believe that we can be professional and still maintain compassion to the family and friends of our recently passed patients. Nurses duty of care does not end at death. Care after death , for both patients and relatives, must still be rendered with the tact and gentle-ness that only a nurse can have.

I really cannot answer your question on how we can be emotionally stable yet not immune to death. However I know that all who chose nursing as a profession have in them the compassion for others. And it’s that compassion that will tell you what to do and how to behave in times when words and actions seem so inadequate.

Every death affects us. It is when death does not affect us that we need to step back and take stock of our circumstances. I hope you will find your own way in this issue. I can only provide the map, but the way is yours to find.

 

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A little something my ex-lecturer shared on Facebook and I thought, ‘Why not share it here?’ At least if I have readers outside Facebook, they can have their piece of mind about it as well. The post inspired me in some ways I cannot explain and I hope it does the same to you too, dear readers. :’)

 

Toodles.

If I die young, bury me in satin, lay me down on a bed of roses, sink me in the river at dawn, send me away with words of a love song.

I think I owe all of you this post long ago. Remember I mentioned that I’d blog about Life & Death? Well, I guess I’ve finally plucked enough courage and thoughts to write it out. So the past month, I’ve heard of 2 deaths from my close friends and saw one myself while on attachment. I’m not so much shaken by the one I’ve seen (that was my first death as a student nurse), but I was very upset by the deaths that I’ve heard. Funny, how emotional I can get. I’m not afraid to admit that I cried a sea when I heard the news. One after another. You know what struck the nerve? The fact that they were my friends’ parent(s). I personally CANNOT handle news like that. It hits me right where I’m most vulnerable. Matters which are too close to my heart.

So I’ve been thinking (apparently I never stopped thinking about this issue) – what happens after death? For us who are still living, life goes on, or so it seems. Not for me. At least, I don’t think so. I CANNOT imagine my life if anyone is to leave abruptly. Gone, just like that. Especially if you’ve lived your whole life around the person. And you know what’s worse? If all these while, you’ve been taking the person for granted. We never know what will happen the very next minute. Every time my dad tells me about some freak fatal accident, it got me thinking. What was the person thinking, 24 hours before his/her death? If it’s not too far-fetched, what was the person doing 4 hours before their death? And these thoughts scare me. Because I can imagine, if it happened to me instead. Right now at this instant, I’m sitting here blogging about life & death. But you won’t know if tomorrow afternoon I die in some crazy car crash. I’m not jesting with you, I’m honestly thinking about things like these. And yes, it’s horrifying. All I can think about is what exactly is the person thinking, or saying, minutes before their untimely death? What were they doing the night before? I think I’m repeating myself, but I just feel the need to emphasize. On how easy our puny lives can be taken away from us, just with a snap of fingers. Every single time I’m having fun, that’s when I realize that at that point of time I tend to take things for granted. I put off things for tomorrow what I can do today.

The bad thing is, even though I realize it now, I tend to still procrastinate because I still have not fully grasp the actual value of time and life. I KNOW IT, but I don’t do it. I don’t want to experience it then regret it, I want to know it now, I want to feel it now, and that is why I always do. Because I put myself into people’s shoes a lot more than I should (even if you don’t believe I am actually capable of it, or if you think the worst of me and don’t believe me one bit – trust me, I actually can), I cry tears of pain for these people. They probably had their whole lives planned out and it was all gone just like that. Or their family members probably have mapped out wonderful things to do with their loved ones, all thinking that they’re going to see the day arrive only to have it snatched away from their dreams.

I do actually feel I don’t need to keep giving out examples. It’s kinda painful for me to think about it. In fact, I thought of my own death. Apparently, that I can handle – it’s just the pain that my loved ones will go through which I can’t seem to bear. I’m weird that way. I can’t bear the pain people go through. I’m a very imaginative person. I can…visualize the things that they go through. I can create scenarios in my head, like I can imagine if someone I love leaves me, by works of God, my tear ducts start working its magic and I’d be crying like a hungry baby in need of love. Rawr. Not funny. It’s my biggest, weakest spot.

But what hurts the most, is knowing things and people are taken for granted, because we all think that, oh you know, there’s always tomorrow, and suddenly tomorrow never comes for the person and then you realized that…you’ve never really got to say what you should’ve when he/she was alive.

Funny, when you’re dead how people start listening.

I don’t want to be in that spot, ever. I don’t want to regret not saying enough, or saying things I shouldn’t have.

If I Die Young

So put on your best, boys…and I’ll wear my pearls.

 

Toodles.