Showing posts from February, 2012

Call the midwife?

Does bubbling at Call the Midwife signify a remaining impact of illness, a descent into sentimentality in my old age or did it touch a very real truth for me? That's been this weeks question, among others. Maybe it's all three but I think the small speech around "as a nurse and midwife it is my role to alleviate pain and suffering", was the  part that especially moved me. It took me to a recall of why my former profession fulfilled and sustained me for many years. And why I have been so proud to call myself a nurse even when society still fails to value the nursing profession. But it's also been the week when I have read again that nurses are having training in compassionate care. What can have happened that we need to retrain people in this when for many that will have been their initial driver for joining the profession? Is it failed leadership that values only administrative skills above those of care and compassion? Is it a culture that promotes o

Why I want us all to detect cancer early........

Hurrah I managed out today for a small foray around the local market. February sun in Edinburgh was sneakily deceptive but uplifting. Avocado hummus, sea bass, cheese and wonderful fudge purchases later and I returned home shaky but more optimistic of recovery. Not sure my purse will  recover however! A few days ago I had gone back to the GP ,who is consistently supportive and constructive , and was given treatment for an atypical infection and more steroids for asthma which finally seem to be working finally.  The size of the antibiotics is such that I questioned the mode of delivery(!) but as oral was the only one I was willing to consider, I am swallowing them ...eventually. My recent illness has awakened the demons of worry but my glimmers of recovery are helping to allay some of them. No one reading my blog could fail to see the impact of any cancer diagnosis no matter how early, but I will recover from this and my first experience taught me that this too will pass. Although my

Blogging for Breakthrough post. Two women who inspire me.

90 bloggers blogging for Breakthrough Breast Cancer in 90 words about a woman who inspires them. How could I not rise to that challenge?Already doing my breast cancer blog and being a Director with Breakthrough Breast Cancer I thought long and hard about who to talk about. And we have so many supporters who inspire me daily. But as I thought about the challenge two special women came to mind . My daughter Catriona and my friend Marjory. So what do they have in common. Well other than enriching my own life , I see them daily go extra miles for their own missions in life. And as someone who cares for them I sometimes worry that they put aside their own needs to care for others. But then it's that quality that makes them so special. With wonderful giving qualities they make a difference with no thought for themselves. Such admiral qualities which inspire me and humble me in equal measure. They are not only committed in their professional lives but are also loyal and warm friends

An alternative Valentines tribute

What love really is This is a mini blog inspired by a twitter conversation. I had sympathised with a valentines day rant by Ellen 27. You see we don't really do valentines in my house. Many things contribute to that. Partly it's just been my birthday and so opportunities to be showered with gifts (ahem..) have just been experienced and between then and valentines we have also celebrated my Mums and my daughters birthday. Yes you are right we are broke by now! But in general valentines cards make me barf and fluffy toys with pink hearts bring out my dark side. Overpriced and force fed cut flowers are a crime in so many ways. And all of the above as measures of how much you are loved are flimsy and transitory evidence. So we thought maybe a counter campaign of what love really is was ripe for the picking! So this is my tribute to my own special other half. Regular readers of my blog know we have had a challenging year and it's not yet behind us. Recently I have been struggl

Audrey Birt's breast cancer blog: Yes we CAN!

Audrey Birt's breast cancer blog: Yes we CAN! : Right now I am propped up by four pillows and tapping on my iPad. Enforced bed rest to enable me to get my breath back literally means I am ...

Yes we CAN!

Right now I am propped up by four pillows and tapping on my iPad. Enforced bed rest to enable me to get my breath back literally means I am getting a bit bored. Admittedly this has given me time to reflect on my current state. And to make plans for my forthcoming surgery. Top decision is to ensure I have sufficient recovery time and perhaps this is my way to also give this whole experience the proper due care and attention. OK, OK I acknowledge that to date I have not done this, caught up with the message that it could be so much worse, I have denied the reality of impact on me and others  too maybe. Mea culpa. The comfort of denial is wearing off now. Mmmm So my restless mind while in bed has meant I have been reading the newspapers and twitter and blogger news too with relish. What a rich combination that is and I have been struck by the issue around women's influence ( or lack of) in business or government at a senior level. Nothing new I hear you say...indeed but perhaps when

Truth and sustaining the soul...

Stabilising the soul, that's what I have just read from my notes from the Windsor leadership dialogue. Wow! My yearly trip to Windsor is one of my attempts to do that in a busy challenging life and this year has truly been that .I was armed with thoughts of talking about how my blog had helped my authenticity as a leader. But in fact I said little about it. Reactions to  my story remind me that it's hard sometimes to hear about some of the things I have experienced and the work I do. I have become used to talking about it but I need to be mindful of the impact on others too.  And  since then I had to see my GP with a chest infection and asthma so bad it's put me in bed and led to a tearful episode not at all expected during the consultation! I think the sharing pays a price as well maybe? I have done a lot of travelling and long hours too....I need to get back to pacing myself. Ah well it's life long learning is it not? What about telling the truth when it comes to