One more pound along the road I go

I have been so engrossed in my studies that I haven’t kept my loyal readers up to date with my adventures in fat club land.

In the last 2 weeks I have lost another 3 and a half pounds, I only need to lose another pound and I will have reached my 10% weight loss target.

I think doing my nurse practice hours have really helped me to shift the extra pounds, it’s been quite busy on all the days I’ve worked so far and I’ve walked miles on the unit.

Over the last 7 years during my illness I haven’t been able to do any exercise and didn’t really move around a great deal as it was exhausting. That’s why the pounds piled on and I got lardy!

So not only is the course shaping my nursing career, it’s also helping me to regain my body and once the course is over I’m going to make an effort to get back to exercise. I just haven’t had the energy to do anything else after finishing my shifts.

It’s been a hard slog so far both for the course and the weight loss, but both have been worth it.

Light at the end of the tunnel

I’m ashamed to say I haven’t written in this blog since the end of September. I have been so consumed by the Return to Nurse Practice course, that I haven’t been able to think about anything else. I often read the paper or see something on TV that I could write about and never get round to doing anything about it.

On a positive note though… I have written my assignment and am ready to submit it online, I really need to do that soon to avoid obsessional tweaking. Also I am over half way through my practice hours and will be finished by the end of October.

The course will be officially over 15th November and then I can take a well needed break. I have really enjoyed working back on the unit, many of the staff I worked with before are still there and some days it’s like I’d never left.

Although it has been exhausting going back to nursing, I’m glad that I made the decision to do it.


Being away from my hubby Hasan is very hard and I miss him terribly. We talk everyday on Facetime and on the phone, but it’ll never be the same as being together in the same place.

So when my next door neighbours daughter, Rhianne, went on holiday to Kusadasi I took the opportunity to send a present and a hand written card to Hasan, something for him to keep and read whenever he needs to. I think a hand written note is very special especially when the message is personal and written with love.

Hasan also used Rhianne to send a present back to me, he bought me a lovely bracelet and a new link for my Pandora bracelet. He didn’t send me a hand written note, but I know that he took his time to find me a gift that he knew I would love.

This time apart is so difficult, especially as the contract seems to be taking forever to arrange at the hospital, preventing me from progressing on the course as quickly as I would like. If I were busier with the course maybe I could cope better with not having Hasan with me. But until I’m working on the unit I can’t get stuck into my reflective assignment, because I need to reflect on something I experience during my nurse practice.

I have to keep reminding myself that I’m here away from Hasan to make a better life for us, so that he can have more opportunities than he does in Turkey.

I remind myself that everyday when I need a hug and a kiss from him and I miss him so much it hurts.

We knew it wouldn’t be easy, but we know our marriage is strong and we love each other very much.

So no matter how much harder it gets I just need to stay positive and carry on.

Just on my doorstep

About 5 minutes drive away from my home is a brand spanking new hospital called South Bristol Community Hospital. It’s part of a new complex built on old waste land and shares the space with a new leisure centre and the City of Bristol College Skills Academy.

The hospital was opened in March of this year and it’s departments include dental, day surgery, day assessment, physio and occupational therapy, radiology and outpatients. There are 2 inpatient wards specialising in the treatment of strokes and rehabilitation. The Walk-in centre has moved there from it’s Knowle West home and it’s now named the Urgent Care department.

I found myself there today for a job interview to work on the nurse bank as a healthcare assistant until I finish my course and can work as a qualified staff nurse. I don’t think I have ever been in such a quiet hospital. There wasn’t hoards of staff noisily milling around or patients hanging around in corridors waiting to be seen or to be taken somewhere. The hospital is well designed and tastefully decorated in grey, white and chrome, making it a pleasing and restful place to be.

My interview went very well and as long as my references are up to scratch, I have the job. I am a hospital nurse at heart and quite honestly I don’t really want to work in nursing and residential homes, so the agency I joined a few months ago didn’t work out for me.

I think it’ll be good for me to work at this hospital because it’s so close to home, this is important so that I won’t be exhausted by travelling to and from work, especially when I first return to working after not being able to for so long.

Also it’s so exciting to be part of something new, to work in a beautiful purpose built facility that is clean and well equipped.

I’m sure that if I’m offered the job I’ll be very happy there and will choose to stay there as a qualified nurse when I’ve finished the Return to nursing course.


The secret is out

Yesterday was a very good day. I paid a visit to my old workplace to see my ex manager to talk about setting up a placement to support me during the return to nurse practice course.We had a lovely chat and subject to her discussing it further with HR, I’m in!!

While I was there I managed to have a gossip with staff I knew from when I worked there 6 years ago, but there were a lot of new faces.

It felt really good being back there, for the first time in a long time I felt like my life is going somewhere instead of being in limbo.

When I first became ill and had to give up my career I naively thought I would automatically get my pension due to ill health. That was not the case because under NHS rules I needed to prove permanent incapacity. In my deepest despair and depression I thought I would never recover and would be ill forever. So I appealed twice against the decision and failed twice. I was in this mind set for so long that I would never get better because any energy I had, (which wasn’t much!), was put into trying to find a Dr to confirm I was permanently incapacitated, so that I could get the money I’d spent so long saving up. I believed and subconsciously told myself that I would always have this awful debilitating illness.

Eventually, last year I decided to give up on trying to appeal, I only had one left and after all it’s only 15 years until I’m 60, not too long to wait!!

Also last year a friend lent me 2 books that would change my life, “The Secret” and “The Power”. The theme of these books is using positive thinking and love to get what you want in all aspects of your life.

I think the best advice I got from the section on health was not to own my illness or give attention to it. I decided then not to talk about myself suffering from CFS. If I talked about it at all I would detach myself from it, describing the symptoms in a clinical way and not say that I suffer from them. When anyone asks how I am I don’t talk about my illness and say I’m well and mean it.

Here are a couple of extracts from the book on illness, ” disease is held in the mind by thought, by observation of the illness and by the attention given to the illness. If you are feeling unwell don’t talk about it unless you want more of it. If you listen to people talking about their illness you add energy to your illness. Instead change the conversation to good times and give powerful thoughts to seeing those people in health.”  ” Focusing on perfect health is something we can all do within ourselves despite what is maybe happening on the outside”.

I truly believe that this was the turning point in my recovery. The mind is a very powerful tool and has a massive effect on our well being and health. I’m not saying that illness is all in the mind, but how we perceive it in our minds determines how we cope with the illness.

I am so grateful to my friend Mary for lending me those books, they were a life saver.