Thursday, 12 June 2008

Beam Me Up Scottie.

I'm having a really sad day today. Working in a hospital, as I do, has it's fun side but often things happen which shake you to the core. Stuff happens which you can't talk about to anyone else, you just bottle it up inside and the sheer sadness of it, the total madness of it, tends to seep into your soul. Mostly you keep a lid on it, compartmentalising upsetting, frustrating or worrying events in order to retain your sanity and your spirit. You do your best and try not to give up. But it's hard to know when you've done enough, how to rationalise the mind-bogglingly stupid things that occur, how to put harrowing case scenarios out of your mind and then go home and watch Eastenders.

But you have to do it. I'm giving myself a bit of a talking to and reminding myself that although shit certainly does happen, and to a huge amount of people, sometimes the sun shines too. For every evil bastard that hurts a child there are ten, twenty, a hundred people who spend their working lives trying to make this sad world a better place. For every one person who isn't going to get any better, there are hundreds who will, courtesy of the sort of people I work with day in, day out. When I've had a tough day like today, this is what I tell myself.

But it's hard. Am I making a difference, or just knocking myself out for nothing? I want to change to world, but where to start? It's a tough question. People often criticise the NHS, and with some reason, but for those of us trying to do a good job despite the hurdles and pitfalls placed in the way by a supposedly well meaning but clueless bureaucracy, some days it can all seem a bit too much effort.

Today I just want to give up and sell lipstick, or hang up clothes in Marks and Spencers. Today I want to do something frivolous and fun, breathe fresh air that doesn't smell of dust and filthy lifts.

Who can make the NHS work as it should?

Not just me, that's for sure.


Maggie May said...

Wow....... Swearing mother, you are showing your vulnerable side & that is good! Didn't know you worked in a hospital. Thought it would be an office somewhere, but it didn't occur to me it might be in a hospital.
I would get really worked up if I saw some low life get away with hurting a child. That would really rile me up.
Some times it happens in schools, but thankfully not very often. I usually walk out of the school gates & forget about everything till the next day. Occasionally something really disturbs me & I know its because I am human & you are the same!
Enjoyed this post!

Stinking Billy said...

Your heart is clearly in the right place, so give your conscience a break, our kid. I was with you all the way until you mentioned Eastenders - although it could have been worse, you might have yearned after the clown, David Tenant, like crystal. On days like that you should just shout out a few four-letter words, as only you can - er, could. Blogging hasn't been the same since you cleaned up your act, dear girl. x

aims said...

As I started reading this blog I thought of Rotten Correspondent. She works in the emergency room in a Kansas hospital (I think it's Kansas).....some of her stories are horrifying! And sad.

I am in awe of everyone who works in the health industry. You see the worst of things and strive to keep everyone alive no matter what. Incredible!

David said...

You do what you can on some days, then do the best you can. Brilliant post! Thank you. We can change the world and I believe it is easy to do. You do what you can each day.
Do little things mean a lot?
No, little things mean EVERYTHING!

Swearing Mother said...

Maggie May, thankyou so much for your lovely comments. Usually keep my vulnerable side well hidden, or it might overwhelm me, but some days....... well, you know what I mean.

SB: Hiya! Four letter words I can do (as you know)and I've certainly let a few fly this week! Nice to read you again.

Aims, hello. The RC works much more at the pointy end than I do, but we get our fair share of drama even so. Guess that's where we get our weird sense of humour from!

Hi David, hopefully you had good experiences recently at hospital. We all try, but some a bit harder than others I guess. Thanks for reading.

Norman said...

Yeah, my poor daughter Crazycath is having the thick end of it too.
There are times when nursing gets really shitty. It cost me two nervous breakdowns in the course of my life. But I loved my nursing none-the-less. You've got to WANT to be a nurse and at times it is the greatest job in the world.
But to do it as "just a job" forget it. There are easier options.
Just hang on in there SM. Bin there. Dun that. Got the teeshirt. Worn it out.

Swearing Mother said...

Hi Norman, you are definitely right. Working for the NHS takes a certain kind of tenacity, it certainly isn't for the money.

Working mum said...

My experience of being in hospital (having daughter) was quite traumatic and I suffered at the hands of an overworked, understaffed and exhausted body of people, none of whom I blame for what happened.

Yes, someone needs to sort out the NHS, but it isn't you and the public know this, so don't beat yourself up about it.

Go open a bottle and watch Eastenders!

travelling, but not in love said...

Sweary, I just couldn't imagine on the perfume counter at Rackhams.

Although I'd love to watch your first hour, the one just before you got sacked / walked out / got arrested....ha ha

keep up the good work - the NHS needs good people.

Manic Mother Of Five said...

WOW, you really hit home there..... Life does throw crap at us and that feeling of "fuck this I've had enough" does creep up on you sometimes.

Hope you found writing about it catharic..... Sorry you are feeling blue lovely lady. Have a drink, take stock and go get em.

I know you will bounce back from this.

Big squidge

MMoF xxxx

Swearing Mother said...

Working Mum, hi, I think you SHOULD blame someone if you suffer at their hands, then one day something may get done about it. Glad you survived intact!

Hi Travelling, I do indeed want to do something a bit more fragrant, if you know what I mean. Need to release my inner diva a little more!

MMOF, hello chick. Just having a bad day/week/month. I should have had a career change way, way back. Fear it's too late now though.

GoneBackSouth said...

It must be hard working in the NHS and I admire people who do. Good for you for making a difference. You can't change the inertia and insidious hardships of the system; you can only do your best and I'm sure lots of people have benefitted from you being there. x

the mother of this lot said...

Hope you feel better for your rant! And if you look at it positively, the only way is up. (I tend to tell myself this pretty regularly. Daily actually).

By the way, the Football Fanatic hangs up clothes in Marks and Spencers when she's not at University. She doesn't recommend it.

Hope you feel better tomorrow.

millions and thousands said...

another brummie mum here, also in the NHS but i expect i am not as near to the front line as you. love yuor blog, consider yourself linked!

Swearing Mother said...

Thanks GBS, I do hope so. I'm only a very backroom girl but still have plenty of contact with patients, and I hope I do right by them. Sigh.

Hi Mother of All This Lot, I expect the M and S option can be just as aggravating at times. Other woman's grass and all that stuff.

Hello Millions and Thousands, thanks so much for calling. Love your cake picture BTW.


But it's hard. Am I making a difference?

Yes, you and an army of people just like you are making a real difference, please keep going. TFX

travelling, but not in love said...

Sweary, the thought of your inner diva coming out fills me with dread...i'm scared!

Anonymous said...

'I'm having a really sad day today. Working in a hospital, as I do, has it's fun side but often things happen which shake you to the core.'
Your post illustrates, to me anyway, the reason I no longer work in the NHS. I got burnt out and could cope no more. I admire you and everyone else who carries on.

Swearing Mother said...

Hi Tom Foolery, although it's very nice of you, it's the people in the NHS who don't give a damn that make it so hard. Having a better week though, thank goodness.

Travelling, be afraid. Be very afraid. That inner Diva of mine has been caged up for too damn long!

Hi Ms Wis, it definitely takes a determined sort of person to cope with the daily deluge of crap on a regular basis. Not crap as in the literal sense, thank goodness, but the other sort.

Pam said...

I never imaghined you worked in a hospital but it seems fitting somehow as you always sound capable and ready for all that life has to throw.
I'm sorry you are having a bad time right now but it'll pass and you DO make a big difference.
Keep your chin up.

Frog in the Field said...

Here, have a glass of this....

Housewife in the Highlands said...

It affects you so deeply because you care so deeply and to have someone who cares so deeply working to help you changes your world. You are changing the worlds of the people you help.

Stinking Billy said...

Okay, you've had a week off, but I'm waiting of you coming back - all refreshed and full of hell! ;-)

Mopsa said...

Consider yourself beamed to planet Zog for a day of ease and pleasure.

Swearing Mother said...

Hi Pam, somehow or other, despite having done other things in between, I've always gone back to my NHS roots. Weird.

Cheers Frog, I needed that.

Hello Housewife in the Highlands, thanks for those kind words, lovely to read you.

SB, don't know if I've got any energy left for anything at the moment.

Thanks Mopsa, what I really need is a few days away in lovely Devon.

Mopsa said...

Ha! That's what ALL my friends say!

Rudee said...

I took care of someone recently. He had no insurance and by the time he got help, it was too late to help him. I work as a hospice nurse now. He is under the age of 40.

However imperfect your system, perhaps it's better than ours in the States. As far as insurance goes here, you either have some, none or not enough. Rarely does it ever cover all the costs.

As for the toll any career in healthcare can take on providers, it's heavy. The onus is on all of us in this industry to take good care of ourselves. I don't know you swearingmother, but I sense it's time for a break. Even if it's only a couple of long weekends.

Nurse Rudee wishes you peace!

CrazyCath said...

Oh SM I have so been there. In fact, I am there. I hope you get through it ok.
As for me, I'm done trying to fight the system. Lipstick at M&S sounds good to me right now...

Swearing Mother said...

Mopsa, I bet they do!! The downside of living in such a wonderful place (or is that the upside?).

Rudee, hi, nice to read you. A break is just the thing for me, I'm definitely taking your advice. Thanks for the good wishes.

Cath,just need a bit less hospital based dramas for a bit, or in fact dramas of any kind - you will know what I mean.

A Mother's Place is in the Wrong said...

Still catching up - and I do hope you'll find the strength to carry on. You are doing a great job - one I'm sure I couldn't do. M xx

menopausaloldbag (MOB) said...

There's an award for you over at my place.