The nurse who skipped for joy

It was a week or two after I had successfully learnt how to speak again using “leak” speech. It was time for me to have the swallowing test. Up until this time I was fed a thick goo 24/7 via a tube that ran from a bag on a stand down to my nose, down my throat into my stomach.

The swallowing test was designed to see if I was able to resume eating normal foods after the operation on my tracheostomy. The test consisted of me sitting in an x-ray machine and swallowing various liquids and foods laced or covered with chalk (barium).

It was common for people who passed the swallowing test to start on a diet of watery liquids and slowly progress through thicker liquids to finally arriving a full diet which included solids. Much to the surprise and delight of those who watched my swallowing test, the tester announced that I could go on to FULL diet immediately.

As I was wheeled back to the ward, it was obvious that word had spread. Everyone I passed on the way congratulated me. But it was when I was back in bed that I was startled. A senior nurse, came skipping in. Now “skipping” might be a slight exaggeration. She was an experienced nurse in a spinal ward so she wouldn’t be skipping anywhere in the hospital.

Besides if I’d call this post “a happy nurse walks fast” I doubt I would have piqued your interest. However, I do know this nurse entered my room with great enthusiasm and did punch the air and call out with equal enthusiasm “Yes!”

There I was relaxed, just happy that I remembered how to swallow chalk, when this nurse entered my room and gave me a jolt. I might have been happy. She was excited. I already knew her to be a true professional, plying her trade of nursing with great skill. I never expected this though. For just a moment the veil dropped and I saw not just a great nurse but a great supporter, a barricker, a cheerleader, a person celebrating my progress.

From that day on, I saw nurses, doctors and hospital staff in a different light. . .


One thought on “The nurse who skipped for joy

  • Sarah W
    14/05/2017 at 5:20 am

    Beautiful post Gerard! Always great to remember that ‘Team Gerard’ (or whoever it is reading this post suffering in some way) is also behind you (sometimes in front and sometimes beside you) helping you on your road to be the best we can.

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