Daily Archives: April 19, 2019

Mental health is possessed by every one- Fact! I know it sounds like a ridiculous thing to say but for ages I thought that Mental health was a bad thing. Like being mental as people often say. Interestingly, we all possess physical and mental health. Both have to be fairly stable to enjoy some level of well being, quality of life, health. We will all suffer with some form of issues to our health – physical or mental at some stage in our lives. I personally have coasted along fairly normally (whatever that means). But I was shocked when I recently broke down. We all know my status as a grieving mum but I still carry on. I am one of those who just does not stop. I just keep moving, Like the famous saying that if you are on a bike you have to keep pedalling or risk falling. However, you will agree that at some point everyone needs to take a break. Well, being a nursing student means that time has suddenly become precious. There is always something to do. Placement, university lectures, assignments, portfolios and the list goes on. I was unable to switch off from this reality. For a long time this worked. The distraction kept me from feeling sorry for myself. I was happy. During the summer holidays, I tried to maintain my restless ness. But my holiday was long and so somewhere along the line, rest crept in. It was much needed and I just basked in nothingness. I did not even realise how tired I was until I began to relax. Endless days and nights rolled up in one. I was busy doing nothing or something that wasn’t major. I caught up with my colouring, walking, sewing, clearcut, meditation and so on. I even caught myself wishing the holiday would go on forever. Harsh realities began to kick in at the start of the term. I soon began to feel bamboozled with course work. Unlike year 1, we spent what felt like 5 minutes at university and bang! we were in placement. The stress of it all created room for cracks to gradually emerge within my rock solid defences against my sea of grief. I began to feel absolutely incapable of withstanding even the slightest stress. I began to feel scared and anxious about everything. For example I dropped a dinner plate and began to cry. I was not even crying about the plate but I was feeling sad about not being able to hold the plate. Seriously, who even says that? Well I did. I was doubting myself a lot.  Could I really do this? Could I really carry on with my studies? I contemplated dropping out. I felt so fragile, it was unreal. Then suddenly from nowhere, Karl developed an injury. He was in so much pain. I had to nurse him. We soon began to have one Xray, investigation, scan and all what not. I was getting by. Doing everything for my boys as I normally did. Until… One cool windy morning when I completely broke down! I just began t cry uncontrollably. Somehow, sitting down waiting around for Karl’s scans took me back there again. I sniffed the ward and I found myself back at GOSH again with Otito. Why was I seeing images of Otito in my head. He was smiling at me again in his room in the hospital. I longed for him. I missed him. Then next came the superstitions…. OMG, was Karl going to die? Was that why I was seeing Otito a lot? I began to have vivd dreams about my Otito. I would wake up sweaty. It was not a question of not accepting because I accepted Otito’s death before it even happened. I, like every Christian knew that he was in a better place. Yet all my knowledge could not shield me from the feelings I was experiencing. Karl was sick and so I could not even go to him with my feelings. I began to sleep too much, eat too little and just sit staring. I did not even want to wash myself in the morning or go for a walk as I always did. University? I did not even want to attend anymore. I just longed for the peace and solitude of silence. I was enjoying visions and thought of my son. It was comforting and scaring at the same time. What if it meant something bad was looming again. I count take another blow to my being again. I cried and cried alone for days Then… One day, I just booked an appointment to see my GP. You know there was once a TV advert that said the people could tell their doctor if they were feeling sad. Well, I could not access counselling immediately and I knew I was just so sad and helpless. I had headaches, I only wanted to sleep and do nothing. I said all my mantras and they were not working even though I still hate to admit it. Well, the appointment day came and I saw the GP. This GP listened. I wept uncontrollably. I expressed very deep rooted feelings. Her questions were not intrusive, they were subtle enough to help me navigate my feelings. I told her about my fears, my dreams, my sadness. Guess what she said ” Your feelings are quite normal Lauretta. After all you have been through. I am so sorry Lauretta, losing a child is the worst thing that can possibly happen to a mother. I would be worried if you did not feel sad sometimes. I will start you on some medication. What the treatment would do is to help you cope. It will keep you calm and help you find more happy days and less sad days.  Just expect some days like this when you feel so sad…and that’s normal. You are very brave. Coming to us means that you are brave. You recognise that you are struggling and […]

Nursing Diaries: We all have Mental Health!