Sunday, 25 January 2015

No Fear Go Smear

Have you had your smear test within the last 3 years?

I was reading in one of my online journals this evening that 1 out of 5 women do not go for a smear test because they are scared. I think that is so shocking, but I am only shocked at the statistic not because women are scared. 

It isn't the most pleasant of experiences is it? But it is so fundamental, particularly for those who are sexually active, since 70% of cervical cancers are spread through intercourse. I can totally understand why women feel so worried about having it done. There is a fantastic campaign at the moment in the UK called #NoFearGoSmear and it tirelessly tries to encourage women to have their smears done and alleviate their worries. 

Some women do not like how clinical it all is so nurses are going into their homes to perform the examination. Some women are scared about pain so they are seen in clinics beforehand to alleviate their fears and go through analgesia options (if needed). I have read how some women have panic attacks over the thought of having it done so nurses are encouraging women to bring in whatever it is that helps calm them like music, a friend, meditation etc. In some areas of the UK attendance rates are as low as 55% and I think a lot of it is to do with the negative attitudes people have towards it.

It can save lives, it really can and do you know something else? Cervical cancer could be eradicated if we all had smears and girls under the age of 16 have the vaccination. Isn't that amazing?! It's also really important to highlight that a smear (pap smear) test is designed to locate pre-cancerous cells. Below is a video which shows just how quick and simple the procedure is. I'm not expecting you to go to your exam in a fairy outfit though!

Have you had your smear test? And if you have friends being called now or soon be an encouragement to them!

Monday, 19 January 2015

Word Up

I know this may seem like teaching someone to suck eggs but I think the poster below needs to get round to so many people. Here in England all hospitals are so stretched. Since new year 16 hospitals have announced 'major incident' and this means there no beds at all, not even in A/E. My local hospital is one of those 16. Just last Sunday there were 8 ambulances queuing to get into A/E and they were emergencies. They could not be taken to another hospital as it they too had shortages for their areas.

A/E or ER is for emergencies only. It does not stand for anything and everything. My friend Charlotte works in A/E and she said that during the time the ambulances were queuing with people who had chest pain, signs of stroke etc she had over 10 people who were waiting with cuts, twisted ankles and allergies. These are not emergencies and can be seen by medical professionals in walk in centres, doctors surgeries etc. 

Please please think before going to Accident and Emergency! The only exception I think are children and babies because they can deteriorate so much quicker or they can't communicate their symptoms as easily. 

I hope this will provide some encouragement to those who are confused or not sure what to do.


Thursday, 15 January 2015

It's so frustrating...

...when you know what you want to do but don't have the opportunity to do it!

I think last summer I mentioned how I was starting to get a little lack lustre with my job. I enjoy being a nurse and I love my team but I want to do something new. In the summer I also went back to uni to top up some of my credits and I did a course in mentoring so I could train student nurses and new preceptors. It kind of reignited my bug to go back to uni too.

I have always wanted to do health visiting. I very much believe that improving lives, health and relationships begins in the community and I really want to work in it. I feel like now is the right time to do this.

But there are no courses, or the courses that are available are £££ and I simply cannot afford it. I am really lucky that the government offer the course for free at various universities but only at certain times of the year. So it's a waiting game...

And I am not a patient person.

I am just finding it really tough at the moment because I know what I want to do but I just do not have the means right now of doing it. So it just kind of sucks that I am in a job where I don't feel terribly challenged.

Anyone else been there?

Monday, 5 January 2015

Airmail Christmas: Thank You

A very happy 2015 to you all! On the whole Airmail Christmas 2014 was quite successful. If you are still yet to receive your card, please email me as I have the list of senders/recipients. I made a video of all the cards that were sent in memory of Anna. I loved putting it together and seeing her spirit travel from country to country. Below is the video for you to look at. I couldn't fit every single card in but if you type in #airmailchristmas on twitter/IG/fb then you can see them all.

Anna's family were beyond touched this year. After I posted the video Anna's family sent me this message:

'Hi Rebecca - the video you made is absolutely beautiful! Thank you so very much. It made me cry - love the cards, love the pictures, love the song. Thank you for honoring Anna and sharing her legacy around the world. Hope you have a very Happy 2015 - full of many blessings.'


Wednesday, 31 December 2014

2014 in review

Another year gone and another year to reflect on. I remember I could not wait for last year to end and I am glad I do not feel this way as 2014 draws to a close. I have so much to be thankful for from this year and I can't wait to document it.

1) What was the single best thing that happened this past year?

Without a shadow of a doubt buying and moving into my first house. I have loved the independence it has given me and the chance to make something my own. I am so lucky to have a great housemate too! I have really enjoyed being creative, and alongside Lotte, really make a house a great home!

2) What was the single most challenging thing that happened this year?

Losing my Gran. This was our first Christmas without her and it really was so very strange to not have her around. She did not have the most pleasant of passings but I remain thankful that I have a Gran that I can miss and remember so fondly. 

3) What was an unexpected joy?

This may sound like a strange response but I would have to say counselling. At the time it was quite draining and there were many weeks I dreaded attending the sessions. However, there was an unexpected joy in being able to address some of my demons and really understand my thoughts/feelings. I was able to come away from my therapy feeling a lot more understood and less anxious! Counselling allowed me to feel excitement for things again and really feel like there was a way forward...and for that I will always find joy (and hope!) in. 

4) Pick 3 words to describe 2014.

Thankful, Confusing and Nostalgic.

5) What were the most entertaining things you have seen/done this year?

Snorkelling in Tobago, walking the sights of NYC and Washington DC, Hornblowering in Niagara Falls, seeing Taylor Swift and Ed Sheeran, watching Wicked/Charlie and the Chocolate Factory/Lion King, skyping with Oli in Australia, watching children in need within the studio live, hosting airmail christmas, decorating my house, becoming an auntie to Honor Rose and celebrating my blog friend Laurie's 30th birthday (with space hoppers!) 

6) With whom were your most valuable relationships?

There are quite a few but I think my friendship with Lotte really stands out. We have been great friends for years but then we became joint home owners, which adds a whole new dimension to any kind of relationship! I am so pleased the transition went smoothly and I am so incredibly lucky that she's so much fun to live with. She accepts my quirkiness and allows me to just be myself in the house. I have really valued our friendship this year!

7) What was the single biggest waste of your time this year?

I would have to say dating Jack. At the time it was great dating someone that didn't take life too seriously. In fact it was refreshing! However, with any relationship there has to be some level of commitment to it, which we both didn't have!!! So even though you live and learn through the relationships you have with people. It was just something that wasted my time rather than enriched it. 

8) What are you most proud of doing this year?

Being more open in talking about my mental health, counselling and getting on the property ladder!

9) How did you spend Christmas 2014?

I worked Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. I finished my shift Christmas Day and went over to my sisters for dinner, games and antics with my nephew! On boxing day all my family came to my parents - there was 15 of us! We ate, drank, chatted and played more games. The last time we all came together was for my Gran's funeral so it was good to be together on a more joyous occasion. 

10) What did you do in 2014 that you hadn't done before?

I crashed my car twice! I have never damaged any of my cars badly but to do it twice, in one month, was crazy and borderline stupid! I also went and saw the poppies at the tower of London to honour the fallen. It was an incredible sight to behold! Oh and I turned 25!

11) Looking back on 2014, what one thing have you learnt the most?

I would definitely say to have faith (faith in things generally, not religious)  My faith has really been tested this year and I have had to really persevere at things. I remember last year finding it so hard to accept I had a mental illness. This year I have really had to adapt my way of thinking and acknowledge my mentality into my waking life. I have had to rely on faith to get me through so much from little things like getting out of bed on my low days to losing my Gran to organ failure. There have been SO many days where I have questioned why I lead the life I have but I have faith that I'm doing okay...and trying my best!

12) Finally, your plans for 2015 and what are you most looking forward to?

I am so looking forward to New Zealand in February but even more looking forward to travelling with Oli! I am excited for Italy in June and also looking into other avenues of nursing I can work towards. I'm looking forward to getting more tasks in the house sorted and making it more homely. There is also an S Club 7 reunion to attend in May wahoo! I am sure there are lots more things 2015 has in store for me.

Hope you had wonderful 2014's to remember. See you in 2015 everyone!

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