The Operation

I was standing next to my unconscious patient, when it happened. Grey dots gathered; blurring my vision. Breathe, I told myself. I knew I needed to let the others know what was happening, but I couldn’t speak. I couldn’t even slide down to the floor. All I could do was to hold on to the operating table. Everything went black.

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Anyone fancy a makeover? 

And you would think I passed out. But I didn’t. No, instead I was caught in this strange inbetween. I was completely powerless, but I could still hear the nurses and doctors talking. I couldn’t make out the words they were saying, but I held on to their voices. I was not going to become the student that fainted before the operation even started.

Eventually one of them noticed that I had gone white as snow. I was placed in a chair, and up my legs went. My ears were ringing, and I was blinking like crazy. Blind as blind can be. Slowly, ever so slowly, the world came back to me. I could make out “you’re not the first one.” Gradually, shadows replaced darkness, and grey figures replaced shadows.

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I sat outside for several minutes afterwards, watching my feet.

I can’t explain why it happened. Perhaps it was the new smells. Perhaps it was the face-mask. Perhaps it was my sky-high expectations. I’d been looking forward to the operation for so long – imagine how I felt when I messed up so early on. I was scared they wouldn’t let me come back in. However, after dutifully drinking several glasses of juice, they did.

And for the five and a half hours the operation took – I actually enjoyed myself immensely.

The Children’s Ward

In our second year, nursing students are assigned to a ward for two months. I received the children’s ward. This is my fourth week working there. It is exciting, it is educational, and at times it is funny – but overall I can’t say that it is fun.

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At the entrance of the ward – A snake.

We laugh, we play, we run around – children and personnel alike. However, that is only one part of it. The next might consist of pain that I can’t relieve, and of tears that I can’t dry. I can go from one room, where all is well in the world, to another, where the world seems at a standstill – about to end.

I love children – love their innocence, free spirit and unfiltered minds. I love working with them. Except for when they’re very, very sick. I find it difficult to hold such tiny hands in mine, and feel them getting colder. Perhaps one adapts after a longer amount of time, and learns how to handle it better.

Aside from the hurt I experience, and the contrast of moving back and forth between getting better and getting worse – this is still a month I will look back on and appreciate. I have learned a lot of things – even if one of them is that I might not be cut out to work with this age group.

The Exam

The examinator called my name and I stepped up. “The assignment is to change the stoma and teach the patient how to do so himself.” I was overjoyed. Over the last few weeks I’ve spent hours upon hours practicing the different tasks we could receive, and this one I felt confident in.

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My patient ❤

The exam began. And it went wrong from the beginning. Suddenly I couldn’t remember the order of things. Suddenly I couldn’t explain my actions. I drew a complete blank on the first two questions she asked me. My pulse quickened. My breathing became shallow. Nothing about my hands resembled the firm, yet gentle, touch of a nurse.

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With real patients I’ve never wavered. But with this doll? My hands were shaking.

“Tell the patient what you’re thinking,” the examinator said. Our eyes met. I didn’t need her to say it out loud to know what she was thinking. I refused to give up though. I struggled onward and made awkward conversation with the doll. It went a little bit better, but not nearly good enough. The last minutes were miserable ones.

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I’m sorry for the awful treatment this time, but at least you know that I know better.

The nerves really got the better of me this time. What’s worse, I can tell you exactly where I went wrong. When push came to shove I choked – I couldn’t show my knowledge when it mattered. Have any of you ever experienced something similar? If you haven’t, be glad, because it downright sucks.

Torture to Peaceful Music

I had a bad day yesterday. First I overslept by an hour, then I was completely unfocused at school – and to top it off, I overcooked my yummy-looking fish.

There was only one solution – yoga. I used to do it regularly, but that’s years ago now. However, I’ve been thinking about getting back to it. Stretching, lots of breathing, and relaxing – sounds like what every stressed out student needs, right?

Wrong. Oh so very, very wrong. Twist this way, bend that way, and get those elbows to the floor! It was torture to peaceful music. To make matters worse, my mokey mind refused to shut up. It kept going on about push-pause injections, and oh-my-god-this-pose-hurts.

Perhaps some days are just like this. No matter how hard you try, it just won’t do. Thank goodness for tomorrows. Thank goodness for sleep being twist- and bend-free. And thank goodness whoever invented the “Destroyer of universe”-pose, is far, far away from me.

Almost Christmas, almost Christmas

In one moment it’s a monster. It is coming up from behind, threatening to eat me alive.

In the next, it’s a black cloud hanging over my head – following me everywhere I go.

But in some moments, it’s just what it is.

An exam.

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I feel like I am drowning in my notes. But hey, at least I can explain what happens
in my body when I start freaking out.

Matters of the Heart

Warning: This post contains a real heart.

I dissected a heart this week. It’s strange how this fist-sized pump keeps us alive. Lubb-dupp. Lubb-dupp. An avarage of 72 beats per minute. Lubb-dupp, lubb-dupp. It smells bad and looks nothing like the drawings I drew as a child.

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Have you ever listened to your own heartbeat? It’s surreal. 

The circulatory system is one of my favorite chapters so far (#NursingStudent). Genetics was fun too, but this is different. Its complexity is overwhelming: veins and arteries, electric signals and the bloodstream working perfectly together. One abnormality away from falling apart.

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Beware who you give your heart to – it’s the most precious thing you’ve got.

Lubb-dupp. To me, heartbeats are like music. It can be as pleasant as the laughter of someone you love, or as horrible as their screams. When you listen to a healthy heart it is calming, when you listen to a sick one – your own heart beats faster, as if it can help the sick one pump.