Monthly Archives: March 2007


I thought I’d come and say hello and give you an update, because I haven’t done for a while and I’ve got loads of work I should be doing…

So what have I been up to? Mostly work. I’ve been doing night shifts this week, which went well, but knackered me out for a few days. I am however, getting a lot better at sleeping during the day. When I started doing them, I only slept for a few hours the following morning and then I’d get up and do something in the afternoon. But this time I just stayed in bed and slept for longer! After the first night I slept from 7.30-3ish! After the last night, of course, I had to make myself get up earlier, so that I would be able to sleep the following night. These shifts seem crazy at first, but you get used to them. And nights are generally quieter – even if you haven’t got less work to do, there are less distractions and random people around!

Today I’m trying to do everything that I won’t have time to do in the next week. Which isn’t really working as well as planned. To do list today was:
* Write about 500 words for dissertation – half done, need to do some more, but need to do the next thing on the list first!
* Read as much as necessary from 3 books – turned out not to be as much as 3 whole books, only the odd bits which need reading, but it hasn’t really been done. Read about a page…
* Buy birthday presents and cards for 2 family members – done
* Make house look presentable for family turning up – half done, need to do some washing up later

As you can see, I’ve done better on the not-work items. My dissertation is getting there, but very slowly. I just don’t have the motivation for it whilst I’m working full time on the ward. But after today I’m in work for 3 days (12 hour shifts), I’ve got my entire family invading the Gower so will have to spend time with them this week, then I’m busy with the Easter vigil and going to London, and then I’m back in work for 4 days! I know that after today, I won’t have hardly anytime to work on my dissertation, for about 2 weeks. So I really need to get on with it now. After those 2 weeks, I’ll have finished my placement, so I can get on with it then, when I’m not traveling around the country! I *should* get it done on time. I just need a bit more motivation and a little less procrastination.

There Were Roses, by Cara Dillon

My song for you this evening, it’s not to make you sad
Nor for adding to the sorrows of our troubled northern land
But lately I’ve been thinking and it just won’t leave my mind
I’ll tell you of two friends on the time who were both good friends of mine

Isaac he was Protestant and Sean was Catholic born
But it never made a difference, for the friendship it was strong
And sometimes in the evening when we heard the sound of drums
We said it won’t divide us, we will always be as one

There were roses, roses
There were roses
And the tears of a people ran together

It was on a Sunday morning when the awful news came round
Another killing had been done just outside Newry Town
We knew that Isaac danced up there, we knew he liked the band
But when we heard that he was dead we just could not understand

Now fear it filled the countryside there was fear in every home
When late at night a car came prowling round the Ryan Road
A Catholic would be killed tonight to even up the score
Oh Christ it’s young McDonald they have taken from the door

There were roses, roses
There were roses
And the tears of a people ran together

Isaac was my friend he cried he begged them with his tears
But centuries of hatred have ears that do not hear
An eye for an eye that was all that filled their minds
And another eye for another eye till everyone was blind

I don’t know where the moral is or where this song should end
But I wonder just how many wars are fought between good friends
And those who give the orders are not the ones to die
It’s Scott and young McDonald and the likes of you and I

There were roses, roses
There were roses
And the tears of a people ran together

Thanks to a friend who has recently introduced me to more of Cara Dillon’s music. This song is so powerful and heartfelt. Its incredible. An eye for an eye that was all that filled their minds, And another eye for another eye till everyone was blind.

On the Other Side

As I’ve hinted at in previous posts, I have recently undergone a reasonable amount of health care treatment and it has led me to think considerably about being a nurse (well, almost) having treatment.

It’s definitely odd being on the other side. Usually within a hospital setting I feel reasonably relaxed and confident, within the boundaries of being a student nurse. But whenever I go in for an appointment I feel nervous and tense. The hospital becomes a scary place, instead of my work place. The odd thing is, as a patient I understand completely how the nurse feels, especially if it’s a student nurse. And now when I’m in work, I have greater understanding and empathy of how the patient feels.

As a nurse, I am constantly surrounded by information, resources and knowledge about my health problem. As one friend put it, ‘you know too much’. I’ll go to the library to find books on management and find myself picking books off the shelves relating to my problems. My current placement is literally just down the corridor from where I’ve been having some treatment. In fact, my placement used to deal with the children having similar treatments, so there are relevant books on the ward and the nurses I work with, know my doctors. I go to my supervisor to explain the issue, and she (having specialised in this area) asks lots of medical questions and can fill in the gaps the doctors left.

In some ways, having this expanse of knowledge at my fingertips has reassured me. Most of the information I’ve read has been positive and has reassured me that the doctor was actually right! But there has been the occasional sentence that’s made me go ‘eek!’ slightly. I have been careful about what sources I read – I’ve resisted the temptation to google the medical terminology as I’ve had to reassure too many parents who have read some random internet site. But its difficult not to seek information, when its all just there. Its hard to know what to do for the best.

Swansea Bay Photo

Could I please have people’s honest opinions of the photo below? You see, it came up on my screensaver and my initial reaction was ‘wow!! That photo’s amazing! That can’t be one of mine, its too good!’. But then I checked out the source, and it is definitely one that I took. The oddest thing was that I don’t remember noticing it when I initially sorted out that set of photos from my camera. I just think the light and the detail on the sand is incredible…. really don’t know how I managed that!

Swansea Bay


Independence is a funny thing. Its on the list of ‘things you take for granted, until you loose an element of it’. My Gran was dependent on her children and neighbours for the latter years of her life, but she had sneaky tactics to ensure she didn’t entirely lose her independence. Like putting the milk from the fridge in a plastic bag and looping it over the handles of her multi-pod sticks (or as we nicked named them – toe-crushers!), so that she could carry it into the kitchen table. This sneaky trick enabled her to have breakfast without any help from anyone else.

For reasons I don’t wish to discuss here, I have strict orders to rest for this week, at least. Thankfully I have amazing friends who are willing to put themselves out to help me, so I can rest properly. Its made me realise just how many little things I do everyday using my legs, which I now have to ask somebody else to do for me. But theres still this compelling urge to regain some independence and do some of it myself. Finding a way that it doesn’t hurt, so that I *can* do it. And of course, drawing the line at a sensible place – so that I *do* ask for help whenever I need it. But the placement of that line is difficult, especially as I can see a definite improvement in my health.

I will, of course, rest for as much and as long as I need to. But often its not as simple and clear-cut as that.


So turn me tender again
Fold me into you
Turn me tender again
And mould me to new
Faith lost its promise
And bruised me deep blue
Turn me tender again
Through union with you

(Martyn Joseph, Turn me Tender)

Faith is a funny thing. You can have faith, enough to pass all your burdens, troubles and worries over to Him. So that your load is lighter and to build your strength and coping power up. But you need a lot more faith and self control, to stop it coming back on your own shoulders. Its a vicious circle.

In recent weeks I have handed over my worries to Him countless times. Said ‘there you go, you can carry that bag for me’, and felt better for it everytime. I just can’t keep it off. Within several days, I’m back to worrying about stuff again. So I have to ask Him to relieve me again. Which is fine, because it works, and its amazing that I *can* take the weight off reasonably easily.

The other morning I woke up with the song words at the top of this post in my head. And they’d never really meant anything to me before, but just then they did. ‘Turn me tender again, and mould me to new. Faith lost its promise and bruised me deep blue. Turn me tender again, through union with you.’ It just summed up what I needed to do. I just wish I had stronger faith, so I didn’t have to keep on renewing it.

General Update

As I was reminded the other day, I haven’t blogged much recently, so I thought I’d give you a general update.

I’m currently on placement, so have been busy doing 12 hour shifts, the other side of Swansea which adds extra travelling time onto my working day. I’ve only been there a week so far, but I’ve settled in reasonably well and am beginning to know where everything is and how the department works. I’m getting to see lots of things that I haven’t had experience of before and its really exciting. Although obviously, I don’t show my excitement at unusual conditions when working with them… its more an inner ‘ooh!!’ than anything else.

Talking of exciting, I’ve just booked my Greenbelt ticket!!! 😀 I got the latest publicity through the post yesterday and decided I had to book it before the end of this month. So I did. I’m not really excited about it yet though, I’ve got quite a lot of other stuff going on and so its difficult to think about and get excited about Greenbelt yet. Although, it usually works as quite a good distraction technique – Sarah and I have written each other an ‘other things to think about’ list – things to think about instead of the stuff you shouldn’t be thinking too much about! And she quite rightly, put Greenbelt right at the top of my list!!

In less exciting news, my laptop has broken. Lots. Well, it turns on and will log on as normal, but then it doesn’t do anything. After a couple of minutes, it refuses to respond to everything except the off button. It’ll work in safe mode, but thats about it. Its because I deleted a load of infected files, which were important for the computer to work. Oops. We tried doing a system repair with the orginal disk. It worked better for a short while but was still incredibly slow and it gradually got worse and now its back to not responding again. I’m going to have to do a complete system restore. I’ve got all my important files backed up on various sources, so it should be ok. Thankfully, my amazing housemate had a spare laptop which he kindly lent me! This has been fantastic because it means I can take my time to mend my laptop, and get on with internet procrastination work in the mean time!

Uni work at the moment is going very slowly. Its difficult to find the time and motivation for it when I’m working full time on the ward. The second half of my dissertation is due in the 30th April, so I’ve got a bit of time yet, I just need to get on with it! So far I’ve written about 1000 words, but before I can write anymore I need to do a lot more reading.

There are several more specific things that I keep wondering about whether or not to post, and keep on changing my mind! So you might hear from me more frequently…