‘Some people say they could never work with sick kids, i’m the opposite… They have this will to survive that is so strong, they never give up’.

An honest account of my children’s nursing degree.

I started my degree in January 2015, I was excited to begin this journey, and my first grades reflected my motivation. My first placement was on a general childrens ward, and other areas included theatres, and one day with a community midwife. First year went by very fast and soon I was faced with second year. This year proved difficult and I began to regret my career choice. My anxiety began to overwelm me as the pressure built up, attending placements, writing essays and working part time, it all became to much. Still I managed to plough through, again with good grades. But I felt physically and emotionally drained. 

By the time third year came I felt glad to be close to the finish line. My grades took a slight dip, and I did not enjoy placements at all. In July last year I had a nervous breakdown and the doctor signed me off. I slept the days away, cried a lot and would not leave the house. I returned to University once I felt well again, but in October this year I was signed off again with depression, my medications were increased and this knocked me about for a while. I should have finished my degree December 24th, instead I am now returning to practice and making up my lost hours. Its not that I have given up but I needed to rest and now feel ready to continue at my own pace.

I understand my anxiety is a part of me, but this course has not helped. The 13 hour shifts, the lack of financial support, the academic pressure and the expectation of parents/patients has contributed to my increased anxiety. It is common knowledge that the NHS is in crisis, nurse shortages, packed A and E’s and critically ill patients just to name a few of the issues.

But with all this considered I have seen children survive the most horrific illnesses, the children I care for are the reason I still want to continue what I do, therefore just like these poorly children I will not give up.

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That feeling, when you aren’t necessarily sad, but you just feel really empty..

So on monday I nearly lost you.. you nearly ended your own life. You were beside your self and I couldn’t talk you around. You were surrounded by police when you finally gave in. I felt guilt immediately, I didn’t hear from you, I rang the police who wouldnt say much apart from you were safe. I cried myself to sleep and even though I eventually heard from you, I blamed myself. I believed I had really pushed you away. You reassured me that it wasn’t my fault. I couldn’t bring myself to see you… as I feared what I could be faced with. 

When I came to see you today I was overwelmed, anxious and scared about how you would react.. but you held me close to you and A warm feeling rushed over me. I felt so much love, like I never want to be away from you again. I felt so happy when I left, we seemed like our normal selves again. I know now how I can help you overcome this, and protect you in the future. We may not see eachother xmas day but when you are home again we will have our own little xmas. 
When you read this just know I am proud of you and I will cherish every minute with you now and forever xx

Its been a while…

Firstly I apologise for starting this blog then being completely silent since. Unfortunately about three weeks ago I had a nervous breakdown, I felt anxious and nervous (all the time) therefore making me feel drained and tired (all the time). During this time I had panic attacks, wasn’t sleeping, sweating, crying and not eating.

I have needed time away from placement/university, my medication has been increased and I have had to consider my coping strategies. Alongside all this I have had people say things that need some reflection ‘you were fine last week’ ‘I don’t think you had a breakdown’ the worst one was ‘you just need to relax’. The response in my head was this…

Was I really fine last week? (No I hid it well) I did have a breakdown (chances are you don’t believe me as 1. You didn’t see me and 2. I seem ‘fine’ now. And relax?! I wish I could.

 After this what I now refer to as a ‘wobble’ that I had two weeks ago, I needed to consider lots of things to help me. Firstly I made myself get out of bed at a reasonable time (which was difficult during my wobble). I would then walk my dog, carry on with chores and I would relax. Either in the bath, or just sitting down and taking time to process my thoughts. I have had kind words from people I rarely talk to and i’ve been able to see who is close to me, but have not given me much thought, which is a shame.

Although I am not completely recovered yet, I am getting their and I am figuring out what works for me. I hope I can reach out to at least one person who is struggling, I will help, sympathise and try to make you smile.

If I can get through this ‘wobble’ so can you!

#anxiety #support #stigma #relax #mentalhealth