Monthly Archives: August 2017

Looking ahead can be impossible when you loose someone you love. I welcome you to unite your heart with mine today. We lose the ones we love in different ways. Some fall out of love with us, some abandon us and some unfortunately…die. Of all the losses, death stings the hardest because with death comes a finality. In death lies the impossibly of a reunion with the loved one at least not in this world. However, in death lies freedom. Freedom from all the limitations that life can bring. Limitations of suffering, poverty, distance , time and even … sickness. Death can conjur sad memories… only if you let it. We all experience our thoughts. If you think about something hard enough, you will feel it soon enough. When we lose someone we love, let us be comforted by the life we once shared with them. Let us experience the thoughts about the good times, the happy times, the laughter, the gains, the milestones. This is an important gift from them to us.The privilege of sharing in their joys and sufferings can not be taken away by death. Therefore no matter how death chooses to come, let us experience those thoughts. Let us realise that death is the ultimate end to the journey of all life…. There are no timescales. When it’s time, it’s time. Sometimes it feels too short in our eyes but it is long enough for the deceased. “Fulfilment is not found in the number of days lived. It is found in the unquenchable joy that fills each day. Life may be short but the joy that fills each moment makes it perfect!” … Let us allow those feelings take their roots in our heart because at the end of the day, it is not how far our days on this earth are stretched that matter. It is how well we live and enjoy each of those days we live.. The more you think it, the more you believe it…. Let us forget the if’s, why’s and but’s that bring tears and focus on the gratitude of being part of the story of what was once the life of the one that once shared our lives. I love you all very dearly and I thank you for supporting us through this most difficult time. So I ask you this, in light of what we have just talked about above: “Is there any one you have lost to distance, heartbreak or quarrel?” You have the chance today to make your peace with them and be part of their story again. Don’t leave it till too late you never know what lies around the corner. Make that call you if have the time today!   Thank you for reading If you enjoyed this, you will find more articles like this here Photo credit: Pixabay

Death at my door D.A.M.D (Musings of a grieving parent) Part 8 – MAKE YOUR PEACE

One of the perks of being alive is feeling life flow through you. Sometimes this is all a parent carer feels thankful for. Trust me, I have been there. When you wake up day in day out in a hospital ward with your child, without a discharge date in sight, it can feel very dark inside even when the sun makes an early appearance in the sky.  You may feel ready to take on all the challenges awaiting on one day while you may feel stressed when you wake up the next day. Hospital life can be so unpredictable. They can range from being quiet and having a lie in on the ward to becoming quite full on with your child having to deal with so much pain. One good thing about being positive after all the lashing positivity gets is that it can help keep you in a good place psychologically and emotionally.You know I too like to stay positive. It can help you deal with things that are outside your control by giving you a calm head with which to face the situation. We all tend to only have the ability to give only what we have within us.  If we allow ourselves to be constantly stressed, frustrated and unhappy in our mostly challenging circumstances with our children, then that stress is all we will have to give. You may find that you begin to feel very irritable and pressured. Even the best among us have reported that at such times, they tend to snap at the Health care providers (HCPs)(who by the way mostly mean well), or even start having a go at their children. This brings me to the need to try to find if there is any way of finding this situation palatable. Can there really be anything positive about being in the hospital with your child? Hospital! How can anyone see anything positive about such an experience. Well, you will be surprised, I have squeezed out some positives that I noticed about this hospital life. The most  important one being the ability to have this conversation with you through this medium. It never would have happened if I was living my old life. So for that, I am humbled. I thank you! You learn to be patient : One virtue worth possessing in life is patience. Well, until you are stuck in hospital either as patient or carer, you would never imagine the level of patience buried within you. You have to wait, wait and wait for nearly everything. Wait for doctors to come, wait blood tests, wait for results, wait for your child’s to get better! It’s like an endurance test. This is a fine attribute that most parents in hospital posses which they take for granted. So here I am raising your awareness to it because it is a real virtue that you possess and should be proud of. You learn that you can be creative too : Another funny lesson you learn in the hospital is how to slow down.  Oh! I could just zap through life if I could. But with time you learn to perform activities very slowly to pass the time. If you do things too quickly then you are left with too much idle time which by the way fuels boredom. You start to find creative ways to pass time which only ends up being to your advantage as a human being.. At one point, I was going to the kiddies play room to collect colouring sheets to paint on. Imagine that level of boredom. You will, if you allow yourself get very creative. I know people initially struggled with this in hospital but later became gurus at passing the time. There are many activities that you can try. You can do some colouring, puzzles, crosswords, read books, browse the Internet, the list is endless. You get in touch with your social side : A beautiful privilege you can enjoy is meeting lots of different people. I was lucky to be in a hospital as rich in its medical prowess as it was rich in diversity. People from all over the world were treated there. If you look around you in whichever hospital you find yourself, there will be many people from various walks of life. Hospital life needn’t be all doom and gloom. It can be an opportunity to meet people, exchange ideas, hear people inspiring stories about how others cope with their struggles. Such stories derived through first hand interaction can be quite strengthening. You appreciate how adaptable your taste buds are : Although you might argue that hospital food is not the best in the world, you will agree that by trying various dishes on the menu, you become exposed to so many different types of food. do you realise that if you were not thrown into this situation, you would never have dreamt of tasting many of the near-delicacies you have experienced. Wether or not you enjoy them will be a subject for another day. So you might argue that what I said now was just putting a positive spin on your horrible food experiences. I agree but it does make sense. In all sincerity,  I have increased my recipe library as a result of trying out new tastes acquired while in the hospital. Just keep an open mind, you never know what you might discover.! You learn to be more prudent : Another important skill you acquire during a long hospital stay is prudence. Everyone knows it can be very expensive living away from home. You have feeding costs, transport costs, and even at times it can cost you your job and means of livelihood too! Sadly, not all bosses can accommodate long absences. You learn to spend wisely, find ways to reduce transport costs. For instance, I discovered that by downloading apps for the train, I could get very cheap deals on advance train tickets! You are also prudent with your time. You learn to allow […]

Hospital Life- hospital stay can have it’s lessons

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I remember the first day I heard Yanni’s music. I was young, maybe 17 or 18 years old. I had gone to visit my boyfriend at his own university. It was a very hot day. A typical African day. I remember sitting outside his room trying to get as much fresh air as I could to cool down my burning body. I had many thoughts on my mind. I was not really sure why I decided to sit outdoors. It was a busy hostel. One of the types outside the campus. A studio flat but in those days, we called it a self-contained room.  By student’s standards, that was cosy. Well, as I sat outdoors taking in the atmosphere, watching all the students hustle and bustle about their business, there it was…. The sound of his music… It sounded like chimes.  extremely melodious. My ear canals picked up the sound from somewhere and one thing those ears of mine never did was deceive me.I looked instantly towards the direction of the music. It came from a room about 3 doors away. I sat there taking in the music and hoping there will be no interruption in the power supply to cut my enjoyment short. I knew it was the kind of music that I wanted to listen to. The chords were so calming… so foreign, so different, so me…. I did not know who the musician was but I sincerely did not want the music to stop. I listened to track after track and suddenly the heat did not matter any more. Suddenly, my worries seemed to float like butterflies on the chords of the music. everything seemed to melt away into nothingness as I listened. I had never experienced that feeling before. It had energy. It was rippling through me and making me happy. Then suddenly, the music stopped. It came to an end! I wanted more there was no way I was letting go. I had tasted this musical fruit in the most unlikely Eden but I was certainly not repenting of it. I wanted another bite, another mouthful. In fact, I wanted my own tree. I walked to the room and tapped the door gently. “Hi bro”. I said as a guy opened the door. He was very muscular and stern looking. My fears ignited and I panicked. I certainly did not think this through. I hoped  for my sake that my quest for this strange music would not land me in trouble, There were fears at the time about cultists in this school. I wondered if my move was really a good idea. He looked at me and nodded. He was not looking too happy to be disturbed I guess or maybe that was just how his face was. “O boy no vex abeg”, I began to speak but loosing my courage by the moment as he seemed to frown a bit more as I spoke. ” I really enjoyed the piece of music you just played. You have such fantastic taste in music. Please I hope you will not mind telling me the name of the artist?” He seemed to relax a bit and even smiled to prove it. “Yanni”. Thanks, I did not realise anyone else was listening. People don’t usually like my type of music around here. They call it weird and boring because it is not hip- hop”, he said. We both laughed. “They need their heads testing”. I said thanking him for the information. ” I have never seen you here before”, he began saying as he took a step outside his door. That was the scary thing about asking boys simple questions back then in school. I hoped he was not getting any ideas. “Yes, I am just visiting my boyfriend”. I said smiling, knowing I had burnt any cable of attachment he was intending to throw my way. “Nice one. I hope he knows he is a lucky guy. Only a few ladies with class appreciate my music”. he said. “Thanks”, I smiled shyly. Well sorry guys, that’s all I get to tell you about my first Yanni encounter over 15 years ago now. I have not stopped listening to Yanni ever since. Many have also discovered him through me which is an absolute privilege. He is just an amazing composer. Recently, I had the priviledge of watching him play and it was an even more mind blowing experience. He is one of those people that you could listen to all day. He is as talented as he is inspiring. He seems very interested in connecting personally with his audience. He does not just throw the music at you but gives you some background to nearly each piece. This gives substance to the music. There is no sweeter feeling than eavesdropping on the reason why artists create their pieces. Were they happy, sad, heartbroken or in love when they created the piece? Filling up the human curiousity, giving us the gossip behind the scenes makes the experience even more memorable and remarkable to us as listeners. While you can enjoy the piece as you want, telling us the story behind the piece gives us the added advantage of enjoying it as the artist intended for it to be enjoyed when he was creating the piece. He is also a very spiritual person and puts a lot of thought into his work. He obviously makes a very strong connection with a being higher than him to be able to create each of those mind blowing sounds. In fact what I find most intriguing is the fact that he creates every piece of sound in each piece he presents. I have some favourites and I invite you to listen to them too. These are top on my Yanni playlist. …Deliverance, Playing by heart, Playtime, Rainmaker, Nightingale, Nostalgia, Truth of touch, Aria…. I could go on and on…. I often listen to Yanni in the mornings when I take my walk. I experience an ecclesiastic feeling […]

The sound of his music- Listening to Yanni (A personal tribute)

We become strong people not because we have the best situations But because we make the best out of every situation👍. Good opportunities can be sandwiched in thorny paths. They are not to be found by everyone but by that someone who is courageous enough to thread that path. Fear 😱can steal the strength💪 to carry on. Rise above fear to see what life is really teaching you with the precariousness of your situation. There are strengths 💪💪deposited in you by God for every journey. You are on a mission in this world and your God “chi” did not send you on that mission empty handed. 🙏 You were created ready even though you do not realise it. The tools 🔧⚒⛏ you need are hidden within you.   You may never know….but when the time comes You will find them deep within…hidden away from prying 👀eyes👀. Forged by the heat of the situations you loathe. So quit complaining and start believing that you can overcome💪💪. That is only when you will see what lies within. I wish you a lovely week and hey….DO NOT BE AFRAID!   Thank you for reading. You may also like to read other articles like this. They can be found here. Photo Credit: Pixabay

Strengthening words for this stressful life…Click to see and enjoy ;-)

As I stood at the reception waiting my turn today and just before me was a man waiting to be seen. It was his turn. He had his daughter in a wheelchair while he stood behind her hanging on some of the bags he was holding on the handle of the wheelchair. He smiled at the lovely receptionist. He seemed surprised to see her. After exchanging pleasantries, he announced that it had been three years since his last hospital appointment. Luckily, his daughter had taken a good turn these past few years. “She has been a good girl and stayed at home”, he joked. We all smiled. I couldn’t stifle my giggle. He was certainly a jolly good fellow. That was when he expressed his surprise at seeing the receptionist (confirming my initial thoughts). “How about Mason?”, He asked “Oh, he was transferred”, the lady announced sounding surprised. “You remember Mason? He left over a year ago”, she added. “How can I forget Mason?”, He asked turning towards me as he did. “Did you know Mason? Sorry I can’t help asking because he was such a helpful man”, he said. “Ah yes! I remember Mason, he was certainly one of the nice ones”, I replied. That was really putting it mildly. I had to give a short answer because I was in a hurry and couldn’t wait for it to be my turn. Honestly Mason was excellent. We could have gone on and on about his nice attributes and not run out of accolades to qualify him with. Every meeting with Mason had been an opportunity to be given a positive experience. One that you took happily into your day. The fact that someone who had not used the service for the past three years remembered him obviously said something about him. It got me thinking about how much of a shame it was that not everyone in the hospital was like Mason. You see, for a place where the primary aim was to nurse back frailty and care for less able children, it didn’t feel like too much to ask for! The last few years have seen the services rendered by the NHS decline at a geometric rate. We hear these things in the media about cuts to the NHS service, shortage of funds, pressures on the system due to rising population, migrant exploitation of the service, inability to hit targets set by the NHS governing bodies and we shrug them off. They really mean nothing to anyone who does not depend on these services to exist. Some of us see it either as an exaggeration or scaremongering tactic but it is actually a reality. Pressures on hospital services have meant that many of the staff are overworked and trusts are short staffed. Consequently, the end users of the service are left to bear the brunt. For occasional hospital users, this decline is neither noticeable nor worrying. However, for those who rely daily on the service to cater for their children, they cannot help but worry about the future. Despite all the grim facts, some staff still shine brighter than others. I joke in my head a lot about the medical profession being like priesthood where ideally you need to have a “call” to it. Although remuneration can be arguably attractive, without this “call” to the profession, challenges like the ones currently faced by the NHS create unfavourable experiences for end-users like parents, carers and ultimately patients. The attitude of many medical and auxiliary staff can be blamed on the level of pressures they have to deal with as a result of the shortcomings inherent in the system. However, the existence of a real call and genuine desire to be in the profession can create the right attitude amidst the trials. Merriam Webster online dictionary defines a calling to be “a strong desire to spend your life doing a certain kind of work… A strong inner impulse towards a particular course of action…”. For those who attempt to enter any field without the strong desire to do so, the challenges that the field might throw at them can potentially lead to a change in focus from giving the best to living for the perks on offer eg remuneration, holidays and other benefits. These perks are good but when they become the focus, they can cause disinterest in the job when hard times strike. At such times, they can make work feel more like a chore, become less enjoyable and frustrating. Subsequently the end users of the services rendered by these category of people become the proverbial blades of grass that suffer at the hands of their internal disagreements between the elephants of frustration and irritation at their job. So as it got to my turn to be served by this lovely receptionist, I remembered Mason. He had set the standard for me and I hoped to come out feeling positive after being served by the new receptionist . There is still hope for the future of the service. Despite the hard times, if all staff play their own parts properly, they can make a difference. This will make the overall experience enjoyable for staff, parents, carers and patients. Thanks for reading. If you enjoyed reading this, you may also enjoy some other topics we have discussed in this series. Photo credit: Pixabay

Hospital life : Attitude can make a difference to the service you receive

Are you a one night wonder? A flash in the pan? Do you feel like you start many things and never get to finish one before jumping into the other? If you answered yes to any of those then you are like me. In fact we should be twins. The problem that people like us have is that we are multi talented. We have many abilities. We are the victims of our art. The danger of knowing how to do too many things is that you see opportunities everywhere you turn. Each new opportunity looking sweeter and more alluring than the last.  Spontaneity is fun. In fact do you know that some people- the-not-spontaneous-and–over-careful-ones even envy us? That is so funny. What they do not see is how crippled we are by our “very own” selves. We look all around us and all we see are lots of “coulda woulda shoulda’s” stacked around us. We could have done this better if we tried harder… we would have done that better if we stuck by it long enough or should have done this instead of that one we are doing now. We even think that we don’t do regrets when the English meaning of those feelings is just that! Deep down, I wish I were more patient and more careful. I do try to suppress the urge to jump in, out and away from things.It’s so hard to stop myself. I have asked my self why I jump about. Here are some answers I came up with: Some things are just too boring to do. Yes it’s really true and hey… that’s not my fault darling! Some things are just as boring as…i don’t know, colour white? You just do them and they just go on and on and on…forever Some things are too slow. I wonder how people do slow paced. Like pleaseeee….”hurry up!” It takes the life out of Alive when things come together so slowly Some things are more complicated than they seem. Yes. I put my hand up… sometimes I misjudge and underestimate things. In the end I find the next exit as soon as I hit hard times. Life is too short! Some things are too exciting to resist. Ha! This is another one. I need to have a go at the juicy stuff. How was I to know that the one I was bent on doing would be outdone by some others in the future. Some exciting prospects that I bump into are simply irresistible. If only that word choice did not exist! Things are just exciting until new ones come along. I keep on getting sucked in.  So my friend,  I could go on and on but I think you get the point…. It is quite an exciting and adrenaline filled ride on my roller coaster. However I think that at some point when the stock-taking time of life arrives, it is important to look again at the way we live our lives and see if we are really living optimally. Surely my way is exhausting and counter productive. This is why I have decided that the way to go is to spice things up. Although, that said, I don’t want to become boring either. I just want to find a way to enjoy the best of both worlds that’s all. I want to find a new way to enjoy my doses of spontaneity but with my eyes open. Tone things down a bit. Stick by stuff a bit more. You know? That sort of thing. So here is some advice I have for me. I think that if I stick with my own words, they will keep me on the straight and narrow as regards jumpology 😀 : Stay calm always. This is my numero uno advice to moi. Let’s assume for a second that people have 50grams of adrenaline when they get excited. I bet mine shoots up to like 50,000 in less than a minute. I get over excited about things and I am really sure that a bit of calmness would help me see things clearly before delving into them. Think again about the next course of action. Things are not always they way they seem. All that glitters is not gold. So rather than allow my heart take over the decision making, it may be time to engage the brain- common sense as they call it. Do some research. It will be a good idea to take the time to research into stuff before plunging in. I need to learn to find out all I can about something before doing it. Asking questions especially from those already doing what I am trying to get into will help me learn more about what ti expect. It may even spring up some hidden surprises. Things that only those with prior knowledge can feedback to inquisitive minds. Stick at things even when they get tricky. That’s not a sign that I should leave but that I should persevere. I have to give myself time to learn. Until something is learnt and mastered, it may seem tricky and even impossible to do. Thank you so much for listening to me today. It was a rant that has left me feeling tons better than I did before starting. You see, nobody is perfect. We all have our flaws and challenges. Trust me, everyone is striving to improve one thing or another about themselves. Sharing this will hopefully help me and other jumpers like me. Cheers. If you enjoyed this, then please click here for even more. Photo credit: Pixabay

Thinking out loud….Jumpology… Why can’t I settle for one thing?

Hmmm…. That’s all I can really say Honestly, I totally give up on trying to pack these boobs! Yes, you heard right…my boobs. See nobody told me when I was a little teenager waiting patiently for my blessed jugs to appear that they will later nose dive as they have. For goodness sake I am not even 40 yet. I cannot even bear thinking about how they will look like when I hit the big 4-0! Will there even be anything left to pack? Haba…. e no good o. Well I will give you a background to help you feel my pain. I remember when I was in Senior Secondary School year 1. All my friends had grown their boobies. I mean full fledged ones. I did not even have any trace. It was so annoying. Seeing as many of them had began to sprout theirs as we finished primary school, it was not surprising that I had become very impatient with mother nature. Surely I was not going to be forgotten! I had too much brain-dowment ,perhaps that was why my physical en-dowment was lagging behind. At one point, I even contemplated putting some foams in my bra-tops…. Oh those blessed bra- tops. I had worn the glory out of them. sometimes I wondered why my mother even bothered. There were no breasts to even cover. I am sure if the manufacturer knew me, they would have named the underwear “chest-tops” for my sake.  I like to think that I had very good friends (never mind what they may have said about this subject behind my back) . None of my friends said anything to hurt me. They knew more than most that where I was lacking physical endowment, I compensated for with my sharp tongue. So what if I had no boobs? Had they not heard about late bloomers? That was my bold face talking. The gospel truth was that I was hurting even though I never showed it. I ignored the looks on their faces when they talked about their puberty related woes. Imagine them crying about painful menstruation when some of us did not even have boobs. Please don’t get me started on the silly red ninja. That one took her time to arrive. Story for another day. So having waited for more than a few years for my blessed boobies, I spent most of the time praying for sizeable ones. After all the patient dog always ate the fattest bone right? I even planned what type of bras I would be buying. I expected that I would be endowed with large sized paw-paws. I did my research on how to avoid the back pain many of my friends attributed to their over sized boobies. Then, just before the end of my secondary education, my boonies finally arrived. Haaaaallleluyah! It happened so quickly and even embarrassed me in the process I am not going to lie. I went home one summer holiday bare chested as usual and resumed in September fully bloomed. The blessed boobies arrived with a bang and who was  I to even complain? My prayers had been answered. They say be careful what you wish for but this time, I wanted every “large surprise” that I could get. When school started, I did not go unnoticed… at least not by the boys. They had their heads turning and even some lips wagging. I got nicknamed “young shall grow” that term. I was not even sure if it was a compliment or mockery. Whichever way, I took it in my own stride and ignored it. Those were the glory days. The stupid boobs did not grow as large as I wanted. They were not even the standing ones. Oh don’t tell me that you had no idea about breast categories? Well, let me enlighten you. There were those that stood at attention, those that always pointed downwards, the ones that came with eraser nipples the types that managed to escape with a paint on nipple. Seriously, the last category were boobs that looked like God had run out of nipple material during boob production. Well, since my intention is not to paint you a picture of the boobs I finally got, your guess is as good as mine when I say I was very disappointed with what I got considering how long I had waited for the blessed boobs. Thankfully I was a christian and did not lack in the department of faith so  I hoped for the price in future. I heard that there was a Canaan of maturity where women acquired literal milk (for their children) and honey (for their boob sucking and squeezing husbands). In that boob Canaan, all boobs bulked up and responded to life by growing big enough to satisfy their owners.I waited and bore my pre-motherhood disappointments forever looking forward to welcoming my husband and babies one day. As a result, my wedding day became my happiest day for more reasons than normal as you are now fully aware of. Bang, bang, bang…. I wanted to start having children without any further ado. He, like all men had other ideas. We need to plan, we need to save he said. Let us not rush. We need to give them a steady future….all that was bla bla bla to me. I needed my kiddies. So one day, period got lost in the post and bam! I was pregnant. Happy days…. I watched daily as my boobs metamorphosed into huge jugs. By the time the babies arrived, I was as huge as a cow. I breastfed them. The more I did, the more they grew. After the initial boob pains of breastfeeding, I was blossoming, blooming. I went many cup sizes up. I achieved bra cup sizes that I could have only ever dreamed of. My cleavage was so huge. I did not even need push-ups to bring the breasts together. Happy days… Sadly after the last breast feed, I did […]

Woman being… Why are my boobs so small?

So today is a Friday like no other. I have had a roller coaster day. It started off very promisingly but waned along the way…. I had an interview to attend. Supposedly the first step into the rest of what has become my new life. I was previously a kept man you see. I had everything being done for me. I did not even need to lift a finger. Money was not an object. Well, that was then… this is now and… the story has changed. A simple disagreement led to a disaster and now I was left to fend for myself. I know what you might think. You will say, is that even a problem? Well I say  it is my problem and a big one at that! I had forgotten how to earn money, pay my own way. I had actually forgotten what it was like to be broke! So that was why I was excited when I got a call from this agency yesterday asking if I could do a job for a reputable company. There was a sense of urgency in the guy’s voice because they wanted someone that could start ASAP and yours truly here- moi was available. We went through all the usual agency-agencee pleasantries. What was your last role? What are you looking for in your next role? Do you think that you can do this role? Those sorts of questions. After surpressing my irritation at these barraging (because don’t forget, I told you that he was the one who called my phone), he decided to put me forward for the role. Come to my office to fill out the formality forms and I will secure you an interview tomorrow, He said. Which by the way is today. So I head up there, fill forms, chit chat, get a time slot for the interview, get the venue details and then waltz off. Happy days! We’ll not until ring ring, my phone goes off. Hello I say Hiya, is this Azuka Mordi? She asks Yeah, you ok? I say I’m good thanks. She says Who’s this? I say still waiting for an intro that did not seem forthcoming! Oh sorry, you came to our office earlier today to fill out forms. She says Luckily for her, that was my only interesting outing and it was not difficult to remember. I have some good news Azuka, She says We have secured an interview for you for tomorrow (Which is today. we had this conversation yesterday …don’t forget) Errrmmm like seriously? Was securing me an interview even in dispute? Don’t worry I did not actually say that. Those were just my thoughts screaming loudly. What I heard myself saying was Oh, that! ok? What time and where? She fills me in with the details as if I did not know or as if it was ever in doubt! So we will send you an email confirmation of all the details. Let us know how you go tomorrow. We are really committed to matching your skills to a job. she says Ok thanks, bye. I say bye bye she says. I hang up feeling like that was so weird! seriously. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx So tomorrow arrives, which is today where I am standing right now and I feel ready for the interview. Mind you, I spent half the night awake practicing all my competencies, scenarios, skills etc for the interview. I then took my time to go through the email that the agent sent me the day before. Suddenly, I felt that spring arrive in my step. This would be a good day. I thought. I would smash this interview and secure the role of my dreams. The agency did say it was temporary but that the firm always kept their candidates on. So nothing to worry about there. I arrived the interview venue 15mins early, good interview ethics in place. I smiled at everyone. I had all my learnt scripts to heart and was waiting to spill them all out. My goal?  To mesmerise the interviewers of course! I aim to please. Come 11.00, interview began. Tell us your skills, tell us a time when xyz happened. How do you handle pressure bla bla bla. You know the usual interview stuff. I had done my research well. I was jabbering away. Good eye contact, good communication, good rapporting. They were smiling, they said they were happy with the spill I gave. Job done! We are happy to offer you this 6 week role! SAY WHAT??? 6 miserable weeks? You mean that all this spill and not sleeping my beauty sleep and I forgot to add, spending the last hour vomiting those first class answers was for only a 6 week role??? GRRRRRrrrrrrrrrrr I did not say that to them though what do you take me for? Composure in tact, smile on point Oh thanks for the opportunity I say I shall make the best of it and who knows with my dedication and hardworking, you may change your mind. We all laugh. Then she says just as we shake hands It will last only 10 weeks. That’s the service level that we need to cover. I hope this will be ok? Oh yes that’s fine I say. Still smiling. She walks me politely out of the office into the lobby where we fill some forms and I take a few ID card photos. In the end I say goodbye, promising to commence on the start date. My face is tearing from the smiles. As soon as I leave the building, I turn the smile upside down into a frown. GRRRRRrrrrr again I am so angry. 10 weeks? I for no just bother myself to day learn script na? I for just do am anyhow anyhow. As if that is not enough as I walk on outside the path that leads to the bus stop guess what happens next?  It starts to rain HAAAAAaaaaaaaa I am soaked to my socks before I even get to the bus stop. […]

No TGIF feeling today!

Many parents know how difficult it is to cope outside the home. What they do not realise is that it is even more challenging when that time outside the home is spent in a hospital ward. Unfortunately, children who became poorly may need a bit more time to get better in the hospital. The good news is that with a few simple steps, it is still very possible to cope even while in hospital with your child. Here are some tips for you which I have found to be invaluable to me as a parent carer. Stop feeling sorry for yourself– I know it’s easier said than done, but all that energy spent feeling sad and sorry for yourself will not change the situation with your child. What is more likely is that by feeling despondent, you will be kept in a state of emotional despair. Try not to dwell on the gravity of your circumstance, take things one step at a time. Ask practical questions about your child’s illness to help you understand things better. Find out about the treatment plan and try to follow the plan one step at a time. For instance, if there will be a blood test, before a scan to decide if an operation will be done. Don’t sit worrying about if the operation will be successful or if everything would ever be normal afterwards. These possible outcomes are real but quite far off. What I found easier to do is To break down the possible events into little chunks. After that, deal with the first part of that chunk sized problem. Next, you can work your way through them one by one beginning with the most imminent step. So from the above example, take the first step by presenting your child for the blood tests, next wait for the blood test results, then get the scan done, after that you wait for the decision about  if the operation will be carried out or not. Only then should you allow yourself contemplate the operation. Working through what lies ahead in this way will help reduce anxiety and keep you more settled. When the operation comes, the team will tell you the next set of plans. In some cases if the blood test results are fine, you may not even need the operation. Therefore if you have expended energy being anxious and scared, it would have all been for nothing. So don’t forget, one step at a time. Know when to ask for help – When parents care for their sick child , they assume full responsibility for them. At home, they are responsible for administering the medicines, preparing and feeds and performing various activities at certain times for their child. Most parents, guardians etc usually like to retain control over these activities even when in hospital. They sometimes request that staff allow them carry on their home routines for medicine administration and/or self-care. Hospital staff will normally accommodate this. However, it is important for carers to know that they can and must ask for help if they begin to struggle. It is alright to speak out without feeling awkward. Staff may not offer to help after the initial request to continue as normal. This is usually out of respect for their wishes. Therefore it may yield no result if carers continue waiting for staff to notice that they are struggling. Not reaching out can mean that help may be delayed. This also applies if you find you are getting stressed and cannot cope emotionally. Accept help especially when offered – Yes! this is a big one. When in any difficulty at times you may find people offering to help you. They may offer to help you take the kids to school, to help you do the shopping, to help you with the ironing. All you most of us keep saying is no no no! You need to realise that the more you decline, the more reduced your chances are of being offered more help in future. People do not like to feel like they are interfering or being too full on. Now please answer this question sincerely – why do you keep declining the help you keep being offered? When people offer you help, it is mainly because they want to. Do you just say no out of habit? Accepting help does not reflect badly on you in any way. It does not even make you weak or a burden. Remember, you are being offered. Even when you go asking for help, it is still a sign that you are strong enough to put your hand up when you feel unable to cope. It does not mean that your acceptance means you are unable to fend totally for yourself. It’s just help. Don’t over analyse why they want to help you. Just snap it up. People can see or sense that you are struggling and generally like to help. So please accept as much help as you can when you are in hospital. There can never be an overdose of help. Make sure you rest – Usually being in hospital is most times synonymous with stress. It becomes impossible to find a downtime amidst the troubles and trials. You must always bear in mind that you matter too. In order for the wheel of your life to keep spinning, you have to be well. If you break down, everything about your superb joggling act either slows down or totally breaks down. You cannot live on air or chocolate and crisps, you need good food and rest for optimal energy levels to be released by your body. So while I agree that it is hard to find good food in a hospital environment, you can at least find shops around that sell good fruits and vegetables, drink lots of water or even bring food from home where feasible. Try not to complain too much – Constantly complaining about your circumstance can increase your stress levels. If you find complaining to be a good […]

Hospital life- How to cope with caring for your child in hospital

A gastrostomy is a device inserted through an opening that is made surgically from the abdomen on the outer skin into the stomach. You can find medical information about the gastrostomy on the GOSH website. Having a gastrostomy tube, means that your child can be fed directly into the stomach. The kind of feeds that ideally go through the gastrostomy  are  in liquid form. So things like milk, water and medication are given through the gastrostomy. It is not correct to give anything into the gastrostomy if the doctor have asked you not to do so. Sometimes in children with stomach/abdominal problems, the gastrostomy is not for feeding into the stomach but for allowing excess secretions to be expelled from the stomach. There are many gastro-intestinal conditions that can lead to this but it is quite normal for the gastrostomy to be used for this. If this is suggested to you as a parent , please do not be alarmed. For us as a family, it was very traumatic to hear that our son had to have this bag. Considering all he had been through, we felt “what else could possibly go wrong”. The good news is that with time, we became more welcoming of this extra bag as we saw the relief it gave our boy. So if this is you right now, just hang in there! For the excessive gastric fluids (or juices from the stomach) to be expelled, a bag is attached to the end of the gastrostomy tube. The doctors used the term “free drainage” to refer to this new bag that our son had to have. You may also hear medical staff say “the gastrostomy is on free drainage” don’t worry, it means the same thing. So what do you have to do on a daily basis with a gastro bag? Here are 3 of the things I did and found most helpful: Empty contents regularly : The bag is emptied at intervals daily. Sometimes the bag can be full of air or bubbly juices. Removing the bubbles from the bag can also help to relieve the child. The bag should be emptied regularly because, if it gets too full, it will be heavy thereby pulling on the stoma (this is what the doctors call the hole through which the gastrostomy tube comes out of the stomach). It can also make the child vomit causing more discomfort. Check the colour of the juices – Ensure the colour of the juice in the gastro bag is not bloody, greeny or any colour other than advised by your medical team. If this is the case, make sure that you contact your medical team as soon as possible because it may be an indication of something. It may also be nothing but it is best to get their advice. Check the gastrostomy stoma site: Sometimes the gastrostomy stoma site can become smelly, oozy or have abscesses. You also need to check the site daily for this. If this is the case, you also need to let the medical staff know so that they can advise you. Sometimes, you may need to be seen for the doctor to decide what to do. It may not be anything major but as you know it is hard for doctors to make decisions over the phone hence, the need to see the your child for a proper assessment to be made. They may also take swab samples of the oozy gunk to look at under a microscope. This will tell the doctors if there is an infection or not. Some infections require antibiotics or other medicines to be ingested. Some other infections can be topical (on the skin). They may give you a cream to apply daily. Generally, these are quite normal occurrences with the gastrostomy that can be resolved if reported quickly. To help avoid ooziness around the gastrostomy stoma site, It is a good idea to clean it daily. Here is how I did: 1 – Use a disposable towel or a dedicated towel. 2 – Moisten with water 3 – Loose the triangle around the gastrostomy (PEG) this will not be required for a MIC button type of gastrostomy 4 – Clean around the site, wipe thoroughly 5 – Examine site for any irregularities or anything unusual 6 – Put triangle back.   If there is oozing  – report it immediately. Only after that and on doctors advise can you care daily. You can 1 – Follow steps 1-5 above * 2 – Apply cream if given. 3 – Put some gauze around the gastrostomy to soak ooze. 4 – Put some paper tape ( only if your are sure that your child is not allergic ) to hold it in place   For gastrostomy bags, there are nice pouches you can buy on amazon to help the child carry the bag discretely. These bags strap around the child’s waist comfortably and the gastro bags can be placed inside. If the gastrostomy extension is too mobile you may ask your HCP for clinifix to help stick the tube against the skin. For PEG users : To stop the gastrostomy disc from sticking/embedding into the stomach wall, ask your nurse to show you how to push, pull and rotate the device. This is advised once a week. You can: 1 – Open the triangle to release the gastro tube. 2 – Push it into the stomach up to one centimetre 3 – Rotate the tube 360 degrees. 4 – Pull back towards yourself ( the 1 centimetre that you pushed in early ) 5 – Secure back in the triangle Thank you for reading. If you enjoyed reading this, you may also enjoy some other topics we have discussed in this series. Photo credit: Pixabay

Hospital Life – The Gastrostomy Stoma Case