Thursday, 21 May 2015


I have always been a confidante, or as my colleague Nathalie calls it - a 'bosom buddy'. People can tell me things, share their stories and issues. I advise - well try to - and I try my best to listen and offer suggestions. On my drive home from work yesterday I was listening to Radio1: The Surgery and the guest speaker mentioned this quote.

It really struck a chord with me. The things I see and hear can really take me aback. I never cease to not be surprised at peoples battles and torment. The truth is we never fully know what it is going on in peoples lives. Before I had my breakdown in 2013 I was completely ignorant of peoples conflicts, whether mentally or emotionally, I had no clue. It was not until I struggled to hide my negative thoughts, emotional outbursts and difficulty in trying to be (dare I say it) normal. That I appreciated when people were kind and sensitive towards me. They may never have understood the core of my issues but they were kind enough not to ask tricky questions. They allowed me to live and work in neutral and if I wanted to put on a bravado for a day I was never told not to.

We live in an era where looks can be so deceiving. A melting heart (and brain) can be so well hidden beneath the jokes and smiles. As a generation we can be so superficial and fail to even scratch the surface of a persons reality. So what do we do? We conceal our battles even more because is it really worth letting people in? We spend so much of our time looking for problems and issues that we fail to communicate and ask about them.

Most of the time I feel like I am fighting a battle. And it's not even a battle I expect or want to win. It's a battle of depression that I have shared a fair few times with people. But do you know what's worse? Since going through all of this I am still so shocked (and I still don't know why!) that people judge you because they see you the way they look at you. I will never forget when I had just started my therapy and I received an email from a friend I used to hang out with quite a lot. She had heard about what I had been going through and was reaching out to see if I was ok, rather sweet of her right?


I will never forget in her email that she told that I had to change the way I am and how I was thinking. She said that I may have been going through 'some things' but it was 'no excuse' to think or act the way I do. I want to repeat here that this woman was my friend and despite opening up to her she really had no clue. She was not being kind. I am not an angel and I am pretty certain that some of my actions or words at times can be less than pleasing. But we all live in a world that seems to be designed to where people want us to live the lives they do.

I mean it's actually an achievement to be yourself.

So it's true. We should be kind because everyone we come into contact with is fighting a battle we have know idea about. Today I had the pleasure of working (and hopefully teaching) a guy my age for two hours. He has been through many battles, and still is. After he had left I couldn't help but be reminded of the above quote again. But there is something I really want him to know and actually this goes for everyone.

You may be fighting many secret and hidden battles. But thank you for being really, completely, absolutely who you are.


Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Nurses are special

I remember when I was 14 years old and I was receiving a vaccination from the school nurse. Her name was Angela and I just remember her going through everything. She talked about the side effects, what not to do, symptoms to look out for and what the drug actually did. After I had the immunisation I remember walking past the long queue of students thinking 'she has to repeat all that again to each of us!'

I never dreamt that 10 years later I would be doing the exact same thing. And you know what? It never gets boring! Every patient is different, each patient has different questions and near enough most times I learn something new.

I LOVE my job!

In fact I can't even say it's a 'job' because I don't really feel like I am at work most days. Sure it is challenging and the managers do my head in. But the patients and team I work with? I absolutely adore! It's going to be hard leaving them in September.

I am not Florence Nightingale's biggest fan (she died from an STD after sleeping with a lot of the soldiers in the Crimean war- not exactly a great nursing skill to possess?) but there is a quote of hers that will always stay with me.

"I am of certain convinced that the greatest heroes are those that do their duty in the daily grind of domestic affairs, whilst the world whirls in a maddening driedel."
- Florence Nightingale

This is SO true! The people I look up to the most are my mum (who works for a nursing team) and the nurses I work with. I don't look up to pop stars or reality TV personalities because they aren't heroes. A hero is someone who takes care of their family during the day and then goes and does a night shift in a care facility. A hero is someone who stays longer on their shift to console a patient or work colleague, despite having a long to do list. A hero is someone who keeps themselves awake most hours of the day or night to learn something more about someone or something.

I don't see myself as a hero but I sure do work with and know a great bunch of them. They're awesome and not recognised enough the achievements and skills they behold.

Happy Nurses Day to every nursing team out in the world. You're awesome! And I am privileged to work with such like minded and caring people. Enjoy YOUR day!!!


Thursday, 30 April 2015


I have to pinch myself that I am writing this post, since it is so different to the blog I put up last week. This time last week I was informed that I had missed an opportunity to do my health visiting degree. I was away at the time of the interview and they would not re-schedule. I was gutted and I shed so many tears. This is the last year the government are funding this training and if I didn't get on the bandwagon then I would miss it completely.

After a few days of moping and feeling really down I applied for another training position 30 miles away. I wasn't keen but if I wanted it this badly then I knew I had to be willing to travel.

So I went away feeling a lot more hopeful than I did. But deep down I still felt like rubbish as I was going on a trip that possibly prevented me from attending an interview for my dream job.

Barcelona was so much fun and I will blog about it as soon as my pals post pictures.

Then something happened...

On Monday (27/04/15) my friends and I were sipping sangria on the port of Barcelona. I decided to check in to the wifi and look at my notifications. I very rarely look at my emails and when I check notifications I don't look at my ever growing pile of spam I tend to get.

I am so glad I did.

I had an email from the training team saying they still wanted to interview me and were willing to put a panel together if I could attend on the 29/04/2015. I had to let them know by 4pm that day and at the time I received the email it was nearing on 3pm.

Stroke of luck huh?

For the interview I had to find an article that I would be questioned on. So in the middle of Barcelona my friends and I were trying to find an article for me to discuss. I SO appreciate their help and they spent my last moments in Spain helping me prep. I went from losing total hope in ever getting an interview to having 48 hours notice!

So on Wednesday I went to the interview as best prepared as I could be. It was a TOUGH interview where I was quizzed, questioned and analysed for an hour. One of the things that did help was that one of the interviewers was one of my university lecturers. It really helped put me at ease. I thought the interview went well and I REALLY tried my hardest to impress.

I so wanted this and was told i would find out next week!!!!

And guess what? I didn't.

I got a call from the health visiting lead 3 hours later saying that I interviewed really well and that it would be mean of them to keep me hanging until next week. No lie I did a huge flappy hand dance in the car.

I'm going to be a health visitor.

I still can't believe it and I am just overjoyed. I was also told on the phone that I have been put forward for the masters degree and not the bachelor of science degree. How crazy is that?! I am going to be working towards a masters degree. It's beyond comprehension that I'll be doing an Msc!!!

So in September I will be a full time student again and leaving the clinical setting. I'm not sure how I feel about that yet.

But I am excited. Oh so excited!!!!


Wednesday, 29 April 2015


Dear Cohen,

I think I speak on behalf of the whole family that I can't quite believe you're 3 years old. How ever did life function without you not in it before the 29th April 2012?

I have enjoyed every single second with you since your birth. I'll never forget getting a call from your Granny Lobb late on a Sunday night to say you were here- finally here! And you have been an absolute joy since.

One of the things I adore most about you is your imagination. I know all kids have an awesome way of conjuring up ideas, stories and excuses to how they didn't do something. But because you're my nephew you have the best. Last month we were going to the moon and when I took you to soft play in January we were trying to save ourselves from snapping crocodiles. You stop me from being an adult for a few moments and I just love that.

I'll never forget nearly two years ago I was going through a rough time. Granny Lobb was looking after you for the day and she suggested we went to the park. In fact her words to me were 'Cohen will cheer you up.' You couldn't really speak then but just witnessing your joy at seeing the ducks, pulling at my hand to put you in the swing for the millionth time and shrieking as you hid behind the tree from us. I was just amazed at how enthralled you experienced life from your little height. And the best part? You simply had no idea, your innocence made me realise in that moment that as much as life sucked right there and then. I had so much in life to look forward to and enjoy. I may not have had innocence like you, but I had people like you in my life.

I will never forget that day for as long as I live.

I am so happy to be your auntie. I love saying I have a nephew as cool as you. You and your little sister are two of my favourite littles in the world. In fact you are Honor's favourite person- you are the only person who can make her laugh as loud as she does.

As each birthday comes and goes I hope you never change your spunky personality, your cheeky smile and your eccentric attitude. But most of all I hope you grow up knowing how adored you are and that if you ever reach a point where life sucks a little bit - you have a family that are always here, forever and always. I remember last year we were nicknaming you 'Cautious Cohen' because you were always so wary. Now you are the complete opposite and it's so fun to see! Never change sweet boy.

Happy birthday Cohen, you're just so wonderful to have in our lives.

Love, Auntie

Tuesday, 21 April 2015


I have mentioned here before that it is my dream to become a Health Visitor. I have wanted to do it for a few years but I wanted to get a few skills under my belt before I specialised. I have been waiting since last summer for a training position to become available and in March one did. I jumped on the chance and applied straight away.

Yesterday I received an email saying I had been short listed for an interview. Before I even proceeded reading the rest of the email I was doing a huge happy dance in my head. I got to the interview stage- how amazing is that!

However, there's a catch. There always is. The interview is a date I am not in the country and when I called to re-arrange I was told that was the ONLY day they were doing in interviews. I have tried every scenario in my head like getting a flight a day early (there aren't any!), Skype, telephone interview etc. But to no avail, the interview committee won't budge.

I missed out.

And I am gutted.

So so gutted.

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