Sunday, March 25, 2012

My favourite thing, in advocacy of nurses and a new sock

Sleep and an Angry Bear

Lately, my insomnia has been out of control. Up until yesterday I hadn’t had a full night’s sleep for three weeks and I felt like a bear with a thorn in its paw and an annoying wildlife photographer called Bill photographing me constantly (and I would have eaten Bill if I’d caught him. I was that cranky). I went to the doctor and got a prescription for a new type of sleeping tablet, which proved to be just as ineffective as my old type of sleeping tablet. Apparently I have SuperInsommnia that can beat all of the sleeping tablets. Yesterday, I’d had enough – I took one of each type of sleeping tablet with a glass of hot milk and – praise the Lord! Who I don’t believe in – I was asleep by midnight and I woke up this morning at 8am feeling rested, peaceful, joyous and wonderful.  People who sleep well, is this what you feel like all the time? It’s excellent.

My Favourite Thing and the Joy of Nurses

Melbourne has become very chilly (shall I rename my blog All About The Weather? Cause I do seem to talk about it all the time), which means drum roll pulling out my hot water bottle! When I was younger, my mum used hot water bottles all the time and she was always like “Try a hot water bottle. They’re so warm and cuddly” and I was all like “Water bottle? You have to fill the kettle then wait for it to boil then fill it up and then find a pillowcase to wrap it in so you don’t get burned. Bleurgh. That's definitely too much work - I’m just going to turn up the heater.” Then I moved out of home and started paying my own electricity bill and all of a sudden, hot water bottles became a lot more attractive. Now I like to fill multiple hot water bottles and leave them places where I am likely to be soon, like my office chair or under the doona. Then when I sit down my chair/bed is already toasty warm and I am a very happy choppy (although I do occasionally find a cold hot water in an unlikely place... When was I going to sit at the spare dining table where the chairs are too short for the table and I feel like I'm eating at chin level? But I just put that down to the hot water bottle equivalent of buying ugly things online while drunk - I blame the alcohol.)

Beyond just warmth, a hot water bottle can make aches and pains feel better or just go away. Last year when I was in hospital I did about three hours of physio every day. This caused an ache across my lower back that made moving between sitting up and lying down really painful. I did tell the hospital staff, but the conversation went something like this:

ME: My back hurts.
STAFF: What kind of hurt?
ME: Just, you know, achey in my lower back. It hurts to move between sitting and lying.
STAFF: Is it as bad as the pain from your broken leg which we are using all of many years of expertise as well as a lot of time and equipment to fix at no cost to you?
ME: No, but…
STAFF: Well, use a bit of perspective and suck it up, princess. Here’s a panadol and some dencorub.

They were also unsympathetic when I complained about the lack of vegetables in the food and that I always missed morning tea because my physio went over morning-tea-time and without daily coffee and cake hospital was unbearable (It really was. Cake makes all the difference.) A hot water bottle fixed that ache right up. Hot water bottles – I heart you.

(On a side note, nursing is one of the most underrated professions ever. While a lot of the duties that nurses do seem menial and easily done by cheaper, untrained staff, a good nurse can be the difference between a happy, healthy patient and a depressed, unhealthy one.  When you’re having a shitty day because you haven’t slept for three weeks because the woman in the bed next to you gets night terrors at 3am every single night and your quiet, introverted self is going insane because the nature of hospital means you are with people all the time, having a nurse bring you a cup of coffee from her personal stash because the hospital instant coffee tastes like caffeinated dishwater can make it possible to get through the day. From a professional point of view, nurses deal with patients on the frontline – they’re the ones who notice the effects of medication prescribed by doctors who see their patients once a day, they’re the ones who know realistically the limits and possibilities of their charges. It’s an amazing skill to make a patient retain their dignity after helping them use a bedpan and then wiping their arse. Nurses should be given more respect and I’d like to point out that, again, a female-dominated profession lacks the value and appreciation that electricians, a male-dominated profession that requires a similar amount of training but much less formal education, receive. Why do you think that is?)

On the knitting side, I am still slogging away at my WWFY Henslowe.  I’m at the lace bit now which looks very pretty but requires me to pay attention, making it bad TV and traffic-stop knitting. So, I cast on for a pair of Spring Forwards, just to take the edge off my project monogamy.  I'm all for relationship monogamy, but project monogamy is cruel and unusual punishment.

You’ll have to trust me – they are very pretty. I love my iPhone, but really, its camera sucks.

Now I’m going for a walk. Feeling rested is really wonderful – my energy reserves are full. Modern medicine, like my hot water bottle I heart you too (with lots of sleep comes a lot of love to give J )


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