In 2016 I was unfortunate enough to contract Influenza A at the end of my second pregnancy. But I was fortunate enough to be cared for by a team of the most experienced and compassionate nurses in our local ICU at Rockhampton Hospital.
I spent three weeks in an induced coma requiring a tracheostomy and losing a total of 23kg, primarily muscle.
At the height of my illness an urgent meeting was called and my family was told to prepare for the worst.
The medical team had done all they could and the rest was up to me.
When I was woken from my ‘slumber’ after those three weeks I found a lot had changed while I was ‘asleep’ and not for the better. I had undergone a large physical transformation and had considerable hurdles ahead of me.
I always considered myself a ‘good’ nurse, caring and compassionate.
But I was about to have my eyes opened to how necessary that was in a nursing team.
I could hardly move more than my eyes due to the loss of muscle mass and often suffered the indignity of messing myself.
I had to learn all over again how to walk and talk and swallow safely again.
I was quickly learning what it was like to be on the other side of the nurse/patient relationship, to be dependent on others for my every need and it has made me a better nurse.
It’s given me a new perspective on nursing and, more importantly, on life that I’ll remain forever grateful for.
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