Louise's World
Tuesday, October 30, 2001
While surfing the Universities web CT, I decided to have a look at the discussion page for WHI under the topic of age and ageism. One of my fellow students came across a very interesting poem. See below.

In my background reading on the subject of Ageism I came across this poem
entitled ‘Kate’. Whilst in hospital, Kate, the writer of the poem, was unable
to speak, but was occasionally seen to write. After her death, her hospital
locker was emptied and this poem was found


What do you see nurses, What do you see?
Are you thinking when you are looking at me
A crabbit old woman not very wise,
Uncertain of habit with far-away eyes,
Who dribbles her food and makes no reply,
When you say in a loud voice “I do wish you’d try”
Who seems not to notice the things that you do,
And forever is losing a stocking or shoe,
Who unresisting or no lets you do as you will
With bathing and feeding the long day to fill,
Is that what you’re thinking, Is that what you see?
Then open your eyes nurse, you’re not looking at me.
I’ll tell you who I am as I sit here so still,
As I use at your bidding, as I eat at your will.
I’m a small child of ten with a father and mother,
Brothers and sisters who love one another,
A young girl of sixteen with wigs on her feet,
Dreaming that soon now a lover she’ll meet:
A bride soon at twenty, my heart gives a leap,
Remembering the vows that I promised to keep:
At twenty-five now I have young of my own
Who need me to build a secure happy home.
A young woman of thirty my young now grow fast,
Bound to each other with ties that should last:
At forty my young ones now grown will soon be gone,
But my man stays beside me to see I don’t mourn:
At fifty once more babies play round my knee,
Again we know children my loved one and me.
Dark days are upon me, my husband is dead,
I look to the future I shudder with dread.
For my young are all busy rearing young of their own,
And I think of the years and the love I have known.
I’m an old woman now and nature is cruel,
‘Tis her jest to make old age look like a fool.
The body it crumbles, grace and vigour depart,
There now is a stone, Where once I had a heart:
But inside this old carcase a young girl still dwells,
And I’m loving and living life over again,
I think of the years all too few – gone too fast,
And accept the stark fact that nothing can last.
So open your eyes nurses, open and see,
Not a crabbit old woman, look closer – see ME.

(Reprinted from Carver and Liddiard 1978)

This morning I had a practical lecture in a computer room at the University library. The session was all about learning to use the library Internet site and the search database. It lasted for 2 hours and although most information was useful, I have to admit the lecture dragged.

After lunch I had a telephone interview for the possibility of my story being published in a magazine. The interview went well and now its matter of waiting to see if any magazines are interested in the story.

One of the lads drove me to Morrisons so I could go food shopping. Now I’m all stocked up, the food should last about ten days.

This evening I have been researching and editing my essay. I need to drop about two hundred words.

Blog out.

(posted 9:22 PM) |   | link

Monday, October 29, 2001

I have been a busy bee this morning. I got up at 8:30am, I have checked my post, gone to the local shop and bought some red wine and vegetable for cooking. I have prepared my vegetables and I have but on my Beef stew which I am having tonight. I have had WHI lecture on Age and Ageism. It was very interesting and I have learnt alot. ISMs are very big in inequality. Here is an interesting point.

"White racists will never be black, Male sexists will never be female, but Ageists all grow old".

I have had lunch with one of my fellow Child Student Nurses and now I am off to Gulson Rd to get my uniform. Reports suggest that it is pink!"

(posted 1:58 PM) |   | link

Saturday, October 27, 2001

Last night was the ball. I started getting changed about one hour and a half before we had to go. My whole family thought I looked really nice in my ball dress. I had to pick up the back of my dress while walking outside because it would have got dirty. It only took about 20 minutes to get the hotel. We were greeted by Steph and shown to the reception area. I couldn't drink because I had taken some medication for my chesty cough. I had an orange juice and some novelty Halloween marshmallows while we waited for the function room to open.

We all got into the function room and sat down at the designated tables for our three-course meal. We had fruit to start, followed by chicken in a red wine jam and profiterolls (sp?) in chocolate sauce. There was a raffle and mum won a colour TV. This was followed by the auction, which had various items from a facial to two tickets to an Aston Villa Football game in the VIP box. Another game was to but your name on a five pound note and but it into a draw. Mum won it and got £50 pound worth of Marks and Spencer’s vouchers.

The Garage band played soul music, which was absolutely fantastic. There was also a Drag show with a difference. The Drag artists had worked really hard on a Halloween show and it was fantastic. However there were some drunken yobs on the table behind us shouting Boo, one of them got up and started dancing with one of the Drag artist and pushed her (When I say her I mean it because one of them was a woman in drag). The Drag artist walked off in the end very upset. It was very embarrassing for the organisers. It really isn't the behaviour you expect at a charity event.

Apart from that the evening was great and I had a wonderful time. A lot of money was raised for the Charity “Cancer Research”.

Today I had a nice sleep in and I was back to Coventry by 2ish. It was one of my flatmates birthday today. We managed to get her out the flat so we could decorate the Kitchen with banners, balloons and pink silly string. We bought a chocolate cake and lit candles on it. She was surprised and we had a good time.

(posted 10:21 PM) |   | link

Friday, October 26, 2001

I had a much better night sleep last night. I went to bed at 10pm and then had to get up at 7:30am for lectures. I have packed my stuff and in about 1 hour I am going home just over night. Tonight is the ball; I am getting ready at home. I am really looking forward to it. IF ONLY I didn't have this very bad cold.

Five years ago I had a disease called Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, which is cancer that affects the lymph glands. I had about six tumours, one the size of a rugby ball. I under went Chemotherapy for 3 months and then had an operation called a Laparotomy to check to see if all the cancer had gone, it had. I have been all clear since December 1996.

The ball I am going to this evening is in aid of Cancer Research. My sister Steph is one of the people arranging it, got a phone call from an editor. The editor read in the newspaper that I used to have Cancer and now I am training to be a Children’s nurse. The editor is interested in writing an article on me. I will call her when I get home.

(posted 11:20 AM) |   | link

Thursday, October 25, 2001

On Friday night I am going to a ball at the Birmingham Metropole in aid of Cancer Research. It should be a really good evening. On Tuesday I bought a ball dress. It is black and purple two toned, backless and trails a little behind. Oh yeah, it fits me perfectly like a second skin. My flatmates think I look gorgeous in it.

I had a really bad nights sleep last night. I didn't nod off until 3am then I woke up at 6am. I am so full of a cold - again, I couldn't sleep. In the end I gave up and watched the Matrix on video - fantastic film. Lucky for me I don't have any lectures today.

Got up at 9am and cleaned my room. I had Mash potato, sausages and beans for breakfast (Last nights left overs, weird yes but I needed the energy). I have done all my clothes washing and now I'm going to do some work.
(posted 12:12 PM) |   | link

Wednesday, October 24, 2001

Ntl finally sorted my line this morning. I am having trouble getting into my talk21 email, so Dad if you're reading this then "it" works!
My flatmate has given me another cold so I'm all tissues and chicken soup. Alas I have a 4 hour lecture on the cardiovasular system from 2 til 6pm. Should be interesting mind.

I'll update later on the past weeks events.
Blog out.
(posted 11:48 AM) |   | link

Thursday, October 18, 2001

Last night I went out with my flatmates. We went to the Campbell, a nice bar with great music. At 12am Most of them moved on to Ikon, but I was having such a good time I stayed there with two of the lads and one of my flatmates. At about 12:30am we went back to my flat, had cheese on toast and chatted. The conversation came round to can you touch your toes, both of the lads could but I couldn't and nearly fell over. (Maybe I had little too much to Drink?). We all had a good laugh. Why is it when you're a little drunk the worse jokes can seem the most funny?

Today I slept in until 12pm (No lessons today), When I had got up and cleaned my room I noticed that there where two NTL vans outside. I got my slippers on and walked downstairs to ask them if they where connecting me today. Nope. Then I had a brain wave. I gave NTL Coventry department a call and told them that the NTL van was right outside and would it be possible for them to connect me today. They said they would call me back. By 3pm there was no call back. So I called them again and the customer service assistant told me that they would call me in the next ten minutes. Five minutes later my flat buzzer went, "NTL". So up they come, they plugged in a test phone, "Its dead" and then had a fiddle downstairs. I will be connected tomorrow and they will slide my number under the door. I have left my telephone plugged in so they can make it ring to see if the lines working. They can't do it today because my line has not been switched on - I think, but they connected my line to someone else's number briefly to make sure my telephones working and it is. They wanted to know how I managed to get through to the Coventry department and how I got myself added to their work list. I just said, "I was persistent but nice" - which I was. So by tomorrow I will be BACK ONLINE!!!! And it only took three weeks.

I'm going home for most of the weekend tomorrow. Back Sunday morning, then shooting off to work. If all goes to plan I will be online on Sunday evening:).

(posted 4:26 PM) |   | link

Tuesday, October 16, 2001

On Saturday night after one of my flatmates and her boyfriend cooked me a really nice veggie curry with quorn, a chat and some reading I went to bed. It was coming up to 12:30 at night when the fire alarm went off. (Noooo - I thought). I jumped out of bed, pulled on a pair of trousers over my short PJ's, put my winter coat on, grabbed my key and fast walked down the stairs with one of my flatmates. (Everyone else was out on the town). The lads on our ground floor had finally set the alarm off with their never-ending smoking. In about 4mins the fire engine turned up. They always send two fire engines. I feel bad for the firemen - another false alarm from our Halls.

On Sunday I was at work. It went very quickly which I was glad for because it was boiling hot, due to the air conditioning being broken. That evening we had all decided to go and see American Pie 2. Once use girls where ready we went over to the lads flat. We were all planning to walk together. It turned out that they had decided to drive because one of them has a car. We were MAD. They would have let US WALK on our OWN. So we ordered a Taxi. When we were pulling out we spotted the lads walking, yep they were playing us up. We got to the Sky dome Odeon about 15mins before them and bought their tickets, which they paid us back for. I got a Massive box of pop-corn thinking everyone would want some - put only two of us liked sweet pop-corn! I was really gutted having to eat the whole box by myself - not.

The film was really funny. After the show we walked out when I suddenly discovered my brolly was missing. I had to go and look in the theatre again. As it turned out it wasn't in the theatre and I had left it in the Taxi. That's a brolly I will never see again. We walked to one of the Student bars called "The Campbell" taking a "short cut" that wasn't a short cut. I didn't drink, drink tonight but I did have a large orange juice. We stayed there chatting until 12:30am. I was really hungry so we went to the local chippy and I had a doner meat and chips. It looked a bit dodgy and was ever so greasy but it hit the spot and didn't make me sick.

On Monday morning I had WHI lecture on disability and discrimination. Here are a few-interesting points: -

"Everyone has different abilities, strengths and weaknesses. Therefore are we all disabled in one way or another?"

"Do you think you are independent?"

If you said yes then did you go to the well this morning and get your water or did you get it out of the tap? Did you construct the road you drove to work on this morning?

NOONE is this society is independent.

Update on NTL, I called them up yesterday afternoon and spoke to a very nice man in the Coventry department. There is a massive backlog for Coventry. He found my flatmates orders and mine and he has put them "on the board" up front to be processed more quickly. I know some people will say that just to make you happy but I think he was telling the truth. He said that it should be this week and at the latest next week. Fingers crossed.

(posted 10:05 AM) |   | link

Saturday, October 13, 2001

On Friday morning I had a seminar for the module Welfare, Health and Inequality. The seminar consisted of various "Team Building" activities and brainstorming group's rules, such as keep mobile turned off, respect each other, and don't talk when someone else is talking. The lecture only lasted one and a half hours so by 10:50am I was off to have my uniform fitting. There was quite a large queue when I arrived at the tiny fitting room. After about 15mins of queuing a tailor asked me my size and handed me a size 10 tunic, size 12 trousers and a size 12 dress. The tunic is navy blue with coloured stripes on the sleeves and round the collar. The colour of the stripes depends on what branch you are working for, I think for Child health its orange. The trousers are navy blue with a stripe on each ankle. The dress is white with green stripes all the way down, a belt (depending on your branch) and the university badge on the right pocket (of a phoenix) - all very nice. The dress is a little baggy but that's ok because I have more room to move about.

So in a few weeks (I hope) I should have my uniform.

On Friday afternoon Dad came over. We both went to find the local Morrison supermarket. I got a fair amount of food shopping, not including milk and bread it should last me a few weeks. When we got back the Bernard and Matthews Round Turkey thing had cooked. I made a really nice meal with mash potato, peas and gravy.

Apparently I'm not eating like a Student.

After Dad had left after our "quality time" I decided to go out to the student union with my flatmates. I was ready by 10pm. I went over to the lads flat and waited there while they got ready. In the end two of my flatmates got tired of waiting and decided to go with out telling me! Never mind I had all the lads to go with which was a lot more fun. Three dances, two archers and lemonade and a partridge in a pear tree later (sorry about the Christmas reference) and we went into the "Chiller" to cool down. They had a Camel ride in there, a mechanical ride where you have to try to hold on too a moving blue Camel otherwise you get thrown off. It's really funny to watch drunken people trying to hold on. The standing record was broken last night by a bloke who managed to stay on for 3mins 44seconds. He had is shoulder on the Camels neck, arms holding round the Camels neck and legs over the hump sticking in the air. He looked very ill when he came off and everyone cheered really loudly.

Two of the lads from the flat walked me home and we stopped at the Jacket potato man at 1pm in the morning. When I got back to the lads flat they cooked me two crumpets and butter before going to bed back in my flat.

I had just got changed when I heard the sirens. I popped into one of my flatmates room to see everyone out of the lads flat standing outside their block and about 6 huge fireman running up their flat stairs. One of the lads had decided to make some bacon sandwiches and had set the fire alarm off. It wasn't long before the fireman realised it was a false alarm and they where off.

Apparently the Halls of residence in Coventry are a big problem to the West Midlands Fire service. They are always being called out because of false alarms and the cost is huge. That was the second time I had seen the Fire engine at our halls yesterday.

This afternoon I have been for a nice work into town and gone to the market. Coventry has this huge market where you can buy ANYTHING really cheap. Today I have bought some fresh vegetables - sweetcorn, broccoli, Swede and parsnips. Vegetable feast for dinner.

Ntl still have not connected me! So I'm down in the library. It will be a lot better when I am connected. I can surf the Internet in my flat room. The university has a network called Learn online. Using this I can down load lecture notes and take part in discussions over the net. In some cases the lecturer has said down load work and read it.

Message for Elaine: -)
Glad your out of hospital and speak to you soon.

(posted 3:52 PM) |   | link

Wednesday, October 10, 2001

Still feeling rough this morning. I have lectures until 6pm. In today's lectures we will be covering drug administration, the skin and pressure sores - interesting.

(posted 10:09 AM) |   | link

Tuesday, October 09, 2001

This morning I woke up with a sore throat. In my opinion there's nothing worse.

Last night I had a fantastic time in my flat. All day I had been cooking delicious spaghetti bolognaise in the slow cooker. On my way home after my Welfare Health and Inequality lecture on Power and Powerlessness I popped into the lads flat and invited them over for tea. It was the feeding of the 5000 all over again or in my case the feeding of the 12. There was a massive operation going on in our flat last night. They all piled in at 6pm sharp and set the table, someone would pass me a plate, I would put on the spaghetti, I passed the plate to Sarah and see put on the Bolognaise - then I would pass it back. Before long we all had a plate full and afterwards there was even enough for three of use to have seconds (Of course that included me). Everyone agreed how yummy it was and the lads even WASHED UP!!!

Next Monday - Chicken Curry

When the lads had departed we had a "Girls night", watched Braveheart on DVD and ate chocolate, chocolate cake and popcorn. Of course we chatted but that will remain one of the world's mysteries to all you men.

I have already been set two assignments that are due in January. When I get back to my flat I'm going to do the introduction for my Life long learning essay. I have to write an essay on one of my learning experiences as an Auxiliary Nurse, it either going to be on pain management or pre/post operative care.

Right I'm going to shot off - I'm hungry and my throat hurts L

Never mind,

What would make my day now would be if I had been connected to NTL. I spotted the NTL engineer yesterday. The conversation went sometime like this -

Me: Are you connected people today?

NTL bloke: Yes

Me: Are you connecting me today I'm in room %*^@ ?

Looks at his list

NTL bloke: No, put you are in the pipeline

Me: Thanks.

So I'm hoping it will be this week.

Blog Out.

(posted 11:23 AM) |   | link

Thursday, October 04, 2001

University has been pretty good this week. I have had all of my main lectures, which I have found very interesting. I only have three modules this "Session" (up until Feb'02); Life long learning, Welfare health and Inequality and Nursing practice 1. I didn't have any seminars this week, because I have Thursday, Friday and Saturday off I have come home for a few days. This evening Dad and I went to the cinerma to see A.I. It has to be one of the best films I have seen all year, I have heard a lot of people say that the ending is naff but I really enjoyed it.

Yesterday I was in Clinton cards with one of my mates just looking about. I spotted one of those huge teddy bears £99.99 up on a high shelf and decided to feel how soft its foot was - the foot being all I could reach. To my horror when I touched the bear it decided to try and fall on me. I had to stand on my very tip toes to stop it doing so. My mate was in stitches laughing at me. I had terrible visions of me lying unconscious on the floor with this huge bear on top of me. Luckily I managed to save myself from this terrible fate by rearranging the bear on the shelf.

I'm still not connected to NTL, I wish they would hurry up.
(posted 11:19 PM) |   | link

Monday, October 01, 2001

On my way to work yesterday I noticed that there are hundreds of conker trees in Coventry City Centre. I was coming up to the High Street where all the Banks are when I came across a row of Conker Trees. About six or seven boys where gathering around one of the trees with one sack between them desperately collecting conkers. Autumn is has certainly arrived.

Last night Dad and Chris came round to see me. They brought a load of my post and a Medical terminology book that Dad ordered off www.amazon.co.uk for me. I made Chicken Casserole as planned with Mash and Sweetcorn. Dad really enjoyed it; Chris didn't have any so I made him Cheese on Toast. After the washing up we chatted for a bit and then they went home. I'm going home next Fri/Sat.

On Sunday I worked for 6 hours at WH Smith in Coventry. It was a good day, very busy and lots to do. I was in change of "The floor" We all worked well and got all the charts, Offer of the week and some tidying done. On Monday Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is being re-released by Disney. Snow white was the very first Disney animated film, its bound to be a big seller. We got some window panels and stickers from Head Office; I have to admit the display in the window looks very good with all Seven Dwarfs. After work and 6 hours of sore feet later I walked back to the flat. I had Mash and Fish cakes for tea - very nice.

FINALLY my T.V is working. In my ½ hour break I nipped over to Dixon's and got myself an Ariel cord with two male ends and a female adaptor. I connected it up and it works very well now. If only there was something good on T.V.

I have gotten into the habit of every night doing 2 or 3 exercises out of my Nursing Calculations book. I haven't done Maths in a few years so I need to brush up on my skills. This book is fantastic.

Talking about books I bought the new Lisa Jewel Book the other day - "One hit Wonder"

This morning was my first Lecture "Welfare Health and Inequality". The first half of the lecture consisted of an overview of the Module and Coursework. We have been given a list of four books and have been recommended to buy at least one and read it. I'm just about to go and have a look at them in the on campus branch of Waterstones. Then I have to go and buy a TV license and do some food shopping.

It chucking it down raining outside, Sue and myself where just walking to the Library when Sue stepped in a huge puddle, she turned around and shouted at the puddle, "My socks soaked now!" all in good humour.

(posted 12:07 PM) |   | link

My name is Louise and I'm a 23 year old staff nurse working on a childrens oncology ward in Cambridgeshire. Want to know more? Read on or drop a comment

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