5.12.2017

Happy Nurses Day


 

Unplanned blog b cause I'm a bit rubbish and didn't realise today was Nurses day. As you may or may not have realised, I have had a lot of dealings with the medical profession since I was very small. Along the way I've had some truly horrific experiences, but I have also met some absolutely inspiring people, many of whom are nurses, without whom I wouldn't be here today but without them my life would have been a lot less happy.

Why are nurses amazing?

1)They have to do some pretty gross jobs that neither you want to have done to you as a patient nor do they want to do as a nurse. However a good nurse will not only do it but make things so much easier for you a long the way. After transplant in ICU I was prepared for almost everything. Except being washed. Never occurred to me and when I realised what was about to happen I was utterly humiliated. My nurses however made is so much easier on me, treating me with dignity and respect, talking to me, joking. Soon something that appalled me was much less of an ordeal.

2) Nurses will often go the extra mile. I've had nurses bake me brownies when I wouldn't eat, bring me magazines, offer to cook me dinners at home and bring them in, bought me toys when I was little, offer me a slice of their pizza or made me a cup of tea when I couldn't leave my room

3)Often you have a lot of questions as a patient and sometimes when your vulnerable or not feeling great, you may not understand what's being told to you or need someone to fight your corner. Nurses have often sat with me and explained things on spoken to others and pushed for help on my behalf.

4) They can really make your hospital stay a huge amount better. I walk into clinic and get hugs, smiles and hellos from my nurses. It's like seeing old friends. And for someone who has dreaded hospitals for most of her life to be so comfortable there now is saying something.

5) Nurses are there for patient and family. I will always be grateful to my nurses, if for nothing relating to my care then for looking after my parents when I was doing some medical disaster at one point or another. Friendly words, getting an update on their child's condition or a simple gesture of kindness will never be forgotten.

6) Aside from their medical duties they are often really involved in you personally. They celebrate your achievements, and push you when they know you can do better.

7) These amazing people can make or break your day. They help you through, hold you, smile with you, make you laugh, console you, comfort you, have a gossip, hold your hand when you are terrified. Their care is indescribable in the healing process. I literally have too many memories of going through my darkest hours but it being bearable because a nurse held my hand, calmed me down, distracted me, stroked my hair. 

8) Nurses do the little things that maybe others forget, usually they are the things that make the biggest impact.

9) They often become friends, because they are the most caring, kind, incredibly special individuals on the planet. 

10) Oh, and they save lives everyday as well as providing top class medical care. 


Thank you to all the wonderful nurses who have looked after me and got me where I am today. 
Happy Nurses Day
XXXX

PS as a side note to the above, don't you think we should be supporting these amazing people who care for us in our darkest hours rather than paying them so little they need to use food banks, and have to work under increasingly difficult conditions? Just a thought. Support our nurses and our NHS. 
 

5.10.2017

Easter


So I've told you about my Quest to make Easter a little more special for other people which you can find here if you missed it. Now I want to tell you about my Easter at home! 

I adore this time of year, the first stirrings of sunshine, blue skies without it being too hot which doesn't always agree with my body. There are flowers and blossom everywhere (I pointed out the 'little flowers' on the trees to my 4 year old niece, she turned to me and said 'they're called blossom Tor', consider me told!). Everywhere seems a little brighter, prettier and full of potential.


 


My good friend Claire decided to go out just before Easter weekend. She is the Queen at where to go in London, and introduced me to my first Turkish experience. We visited Tas Pide over on the SouthBank and I would highly recommend you checking it out. Claire needs an accessible route into the restaurant which they had, no steps in, a ramp and toilets on the flat. It was a really lovely place bringing us some appetisers as soon as we sat. I was gutted I couldn't eat the gorgeous smelling bread but the olives were yummy too. 

 

The whole restaurant was decorated traditionally with beautiful carved woods, lamps, kitchenware, and greenery. There were even a couple of evil eyes dotted around. There was a really cosy, relaxed atmosphere there which I loved. 

 

The menu was pretty good at mentioning wheat if it was in a dish. I went for the grilled fish and onion salad which was really good, aside from a few bones.

 

I also had some Turkish tea which was served in this gorgeous etched glass, which I kinda wanted to steal! Such a pretty little thing, I'd definitely say try the tea and it's very clean tasting and refreshing. 

 

I didn't plan on pudding and especially not rice pudding but for some reason I decided to choose it and I'm so glad I did! Rice pudding is dreamy and this was lightly flavoured with cinnamon and orange. So so good! 

 

I loved the food at Tas Pide, it's a reasonably priced place with alovely atmosphere, gf and veggie options, completely accessible and serves delicious clean, tasty food that doesn't sit too heavy (depending on what you have!) . Finish the meal like we did with a slow walk along the Southbank in the sunshine! 
 

Over Easter I had a good time at home, firstly setting up an Easter egg hunt in the garden for my niece and nephew. I made an Easter basket for my niece with some sweets, a swimming costume, a beauty and the beast colouring book, some stickers and little bits including her rabbit ears! 
Then because I realised my parents had never had Easter baskets I made them a couple of small ones including some dried Apple rings I dipped in chocolate for my dad, and a Disney Dumbo plaque I made for my mum. Along with some sweet treats. They were like children when I handed them to them each going 'Oooooh!!!' And scurrying off to inspect their prizes! 
 
 

I couldn't leave Lucky out either so as you can see he got some liver biscuits, yum yum 😳


 
I got lots of treats too. Treated myself to some Gluten Free hot cross buns for breakfast which were surprisingly good! Then my mum gave me some peeps (I love them!) and a huge Lindt carrot! A couple of friends also bought me a Lindt bunny, a twirl Easter egg and an aero egg 😍

 

 

My sister and her family came over for a takeaway and my nan and her friend came in for a roast on Easter Sunday. I made a gluten free coconut cake which was really tasty.i can definitely add in a few tweaks but it was really moreish! 
 
 

How did you spend your Easter? 

Xx

5.08.2017

Being the Easter Bunny!


Before we get on to the good stuff, apologies for the long delay in posting. On the plus did I've been up to lots of fun things and will be writing lots of posts so keep an eye out or sign up to subscriptions so you don't miss any! 

Right! As you may have seen in my last post, I had an idea to fundraise to provide Easter goodie bags for patients on the transplant wards at Harefield hospital. Check out that post in full here  Anyway, people were so generous it was amazing! Here's a proper update to show you how they turned out. 

To start with I was aiming to provide a few goodies for the two wards. One of my first donations was from Harper Collins  who were so kind that they donated books to everyone on the Harefield wards. It was such a kind thing to do and very much appreciated. Then I had a message from Walker books offering some children's books. It was too good an offer to turn down! So I extended the goodie bags to the respiratory ward at Great Ormond Street too. They looked after me as a child and it was a memory of someone bringing me an Easter bunny while I was in over Easter that made me want to put the whole thing in place! 


It was a lot of fun to go round and find deals/offers and sale items that would be great for the Easter baskets! I got a great deal on Easter eggs, and searched discount shops etc for other gifts for kids of different ages and for items requested by other transplant patients. Popular choices were moisturisers, something to entertain, and snacks. I felt a real responsibility to shop in order to make your donations stretch as far as possible.


These were all the bags by the time my mum and I finished packing! 

I also made some baskets for the nurses on the wards because they definitely deserve treats too.

I was in contact with a few of my old team at GOSH who were able to give me the gender and age of the children on the ward. There were a lot of 1year and unders so I had to run out last minute for a few more supplies. A typical bag as pictured below included a book, a soft toy, an egg, a lolly and some bubbles.

This bag was for an older boy of around 7, he received a sticker book and stickers, an Easter craft kit, an Easter egg, a lolly, some haribo, and a joke kit.


Last example is for an older girl of 11. She received, an Easter card making set, haribo, Easter egg, lolly, crime egg, a scrapbook kit, some felt tips and sticker/sweet box.

Unfortunately I was unable to deliver the bags in person due to illness and also wouldn't have been able to go onto the ward because of being immunosuppressed. My parents delivered them and the staff were so grateful! I heard many reports of how it made the kids days. 

 

This gorgeous photo was sent to me by one of the mums whose two boys were on the ward, Kristie. She said that the boys really liked their Easter bags which kept them entertained over the quiet Easter weekend and sent a huge thank you. On the left is Ronni and on the right is Fredi. This photo is exactly why I wanted to do this, to give these kids a bit of treat and create those smiles! Everyone who helped to donate did that. 

 


The next day, we packed the car with 34 goodie bags and drove up to Harefield to deliver them. I made a video of what went into the bags and am hoping it's going to appear here!!!! 




One of the lovely nurses Helen helped us to deliver the bags and I was able to meet a lot of patients. They were all really grateful, and surprised at how packed their bags were! Many were a bit shell shocked to be getting anything at all. I had a couple of lovely messages saying thank you from patients. Below is a photo of Angie, with her bag.


I also had an email from the ward sister who said how much positive feedback she had received from patients and how we had made lots of people smile. Again, these messages made all the hard work worth it. 


A huge thank you to everyone who donated to my just giving page. Due to the success, I'm planning on doing the same thing for Chrristmas too. There was some money left over and I have already bought a couple of Easter bits in the sales as well as a few Christmassy bits and lots of adult colouring books and crossword/sudoku books and felt pens to go in Christmas bags. I'll be picking things up as I see them and will be reopening my fundraising page ifs gone would like to donate. 

Often mental health can struggle during such long and gruelling hospital stays. These little things just say, you are not alone, and hopefully provide some positivity, humanity and distraction.

Xxx










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