Nella Martin

an appointment with a nurse in practice

Month: June, 2014

Small Accomplishments on a Summer Solstice.

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My house frequently looks as if it’s been burgled, the front door left open by its tardy inhabitants, rooms strewn with discarded clothes, piles of clean clothes yet to have creases smoothed out, stacks of papers knocked askew by drivers searching for carelessly placed car keys and little girls for their loom band bracelets. Amongst this chaos, if all I manage to do, is to wash the dishes in the sink and put a line full of washing out to dry then I feel as if I have accomplished something. I instantly feel calmer, more in control and able to trip over husband’s dangerously misplaced shoes without cursing him with too many foul expletives. The line of washing you see above is such an everyday insignificant thing, but to me it signifies so much more. Somehow, that simple act of pegging out and looking at the results makes me feel like a good mother, housekeeper, wife, person, clean, an Eco warrior (for not tumble drying on this occasion), thus enabling me to go out to play for the rest of a sunny, summer solstice with a clear conscience.
I dropped little daughter of to a party just before midday then went to have afternoon tea with some of my most favourite girlfriends.

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I love these girls. Cake with extra-large portions of gossip and laughter is really all that is needed to cope with life.
Late this afternoon we have been to a fund-raising garden fete in the village. I spent the time plaiting little braids with beads into little girls and one little boy’s hair. I’ll often do this at school fairs, it’s an excellent activity for monitoring head lice in the local population. I do then discreetly tell parents if their child is hosting unwelcome guests!

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Delightful Dawn Discoveries before a Working Day.

This morning I awoke at 04.30, I briefly considered going back to sleep before effortlessly slipping out of bed, grabbing some clothes without disturbing a snoring husband and deciding to go out to meet the day while it was brand new, fresh and dewy.
My first memorable encounter was on a narrow nettle lined footpath with an industrious Mistle Thrush, her beak was full of worms, we both stopped and looked at each other with interest, each of us waiting for the other to hop out-of-the-way. She reluctantly hopped a few paces forward not wanting to be the one to give way, claiming her superior right to be there when clearly I had very little, it being far too early for humans to be up and about.
When I reached the end of that footpath and turned into the lane that leads down to the Marina I stumbled upon a Muntjac deer, he was large and strong for his breed, he didn’t immediately bounce away, we surveyed each other with equal curiosity from a respectable distance before he leapt into the safety of dense foliage. I didn’t have time to muse over Mr Muntjac before spotting my greatest prize of early morning delights, two Little Owls, companionably sitting on a low fence by a barn. I’ve never seen them so near in the wild before and so definitely themselves. We all three paused as we took stock of each other before one flew away having decided that I was too much of a threat to remain, the other stayed put, boldly staring until I moved, half hopeful of photographing him or her with my mobile. I’ll go back there to see if I can see them again. I continued my walk along the sea wall coastal path, flanked by creeks and mud flats on one side and long grasses with rabbits that could barely be bothered to move away from me on the other side, it was just me with the furry and feathered creatures, caterpillars unfurling themselves to munch on nettles, and poppies and daisies opening up to greet the rising sun.
I arrived back home at 6.20, I was amused to see our Cat sitting in the middle of the road staring at our house intently, he was obviously awaiting the first sounds and sights of his humans being awake to let him in and feed him after his night-time adventures of shrew stalking. I took him by surprise and he meowed and mewled in no uncertain terms to tell me so. Husband was awake in bed and had noted my absence. Little daughter was still asleep under her duvet and didn’t even wake up when Cat settled himself down to sleep a purring on top of her.
Two hours later I was at the surgery ready to start a 9.5 hour day. My morning surgery was a mix of asthma and diabetes reviews, cervical smears and contraception checks. The morning ended with a home visit to a housebound elderly lady to give her a B12 injection. My knock on the door was greeted with a “Come in, it’s open” as I entered she said “Please help me with this dear, I’m in such a muddle and I can’t leave it.” She was leaning precariously on her Zimmer frame, trying to defrost her fridge freezer, the floor soggy, lumps of ice and bowls of water, frozen foods starting to defrost all around. I cleared up the floor and the water, collected up the last remaining stubborn chunks of ice, wiped it all out with a towel, put everything back in and switched it back on, that took about 20 minutes. Then I gave her injection!! “I’m so grateful nurse dear” she said several times over.
Lunch was very colourful today, I arranged it all on my plate to be so, tomatoes, avocado, orange, peppers, bread with cream cheese and watercress and yogurt. (Early morning walks make me extra hungry)
I started my afternoon surgery at 13.20, my most “challenging” patient was a 60-year-old Nepalese lady, she had received a letter for her first ever smear test. She came in with her husband and a male soldier translator friend. I had a Nepalese print out of smear test information but she couldn’t read in any language, I tried to establish if she knew why she had the appointment and they all pointed at the letter, when I explained to the interpreter friend in very basic details of what a smear test was and he explained to my patient, she looked aghast and gesticulated that the men leave the room, I nodded and showed them out! We communicated with body and sign language, we told each other that we both had three children, she two boys and one girl and I, two girls and one boy, I demonstrated how we would do the smear and she giggled like a young girl. Afterwards when it was all finished and I said that she could go, she gave me an unexpected big hug and a kiss on each cheek, we both laughed. Despite neither of us being able to speak a comprehensible word to the other we had connected and understood each other in many ways.
Straight from work I had to go to collect three little Brownie children from the scout hut. I dropped two off to the penultimate house in my lane and kept one for myself.
The little Brownie and I made stir fry veg with some noodles with a piece of baked salmon for dinner.
She is back in bed asleep and I think I will now go to bed also.

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