GILBERT CHANGED ME.
I have known only to cycle,my old bicycle. The accident occured and I don't know whether to call it a good or bad fortune,but it just occured,occured to me and others. I clearly remember two cars......... head-on collision,a hard bang,a lot of screaming......It led to my limping and stopped cycling.But it led to something good....... for me.
I became a patient when my leg fractured, I heard triage team calling it compound fracture. I was conscious; saw villagers moving up and down,ambulance sirens and seriously injured patients. I never knew that my fracture will make me to stay in the hospital for six months.In the orthopaedic ward all staff members were friendly like in the imaginary heaven. Patients were there like brothers and sisters in the earthly home. Together with other patients we used to get out and busky on the sun. I thought for long, 'Who is a patient? Why me? Why this friends of mine in this ward 9(orthopaedic ward)?' The only answer I could get was 'It's me and this other patients and our needs as patients.'
The nurses are the one I saw frequently. They are the only who could meet my needs. My friends(other patients in orthopaedic) gave me a satisfactory social environment; we could watch the TV together and discuss topical issues - politics,business and even the weather from the ward.What a beautiful friendships. I admired all patients-their co-opreation to the staff. But I know it is because of how staff handles them from the word go. I only imagined that I could handle any patient more friendly than those staff members only if I get a chance.
Gilbert also had a fracture, one midnight we were not asleep.He was in the next bed and we were talking our goals.
I asked him,"Do you think I can nurse you and everyone in this ward"
He told me,"Infact you can be a good nurse if only you want to be one."
"Just that way," he said, "I have been watching you, you have the heart and the potential to be."
"Be serious Gilbert."
"I am serious.Walk out of that hell fracture of yours, walk or limb, train, practice and be your best."
"It's okay.Remember it's night.Lower your tone.Others are sleeping."
"I assure you you can be a good nurse."He said softly.
In subsequent days I thought of how Gilbert (a patient) could see what was in another patient(me). I left him in the hospital. But I visited him always.And every time we met he told me "Go and be what you are." Later he was confined on a wheel chair. He could make jokes,"Go and be what you are, then come back and take me out of this hell wheel-chair. Those nurses did alot and I guess you could have done better. Just go and come back to me." I decided to train certificate,diploma and degree nursing while Gilbert was on the wheel-chair.
Because I had promised to come back to him,I finally did.
"Look here men.I am a nurse happy to be and I will be happy to do it." I hugged him.
"I told you." He said,"You are Mr. Good.And it's my sincere hopes that as you go to practice you will be Mr.Best. Go and do it better than them."
With alot of psyche I have started orthopaedic nursing in a provincial hospital. I limp because of the fracture I had a few years back. But I enjoy limping from one bed to the other attending my good patients.
The only sad thing is Gilbert passed a way week. 2 weeks into my practice. I wish he could see how I limb from one bed to the other. What could be his comment? He changed my heart from cycling to be a nurse when both of us were patients. He remained a patient as I hurried to go and come to nurse him. It's unfortunate he is no more. But inside me he planted one thing, "Be what you are; a good carer,a good friend,a good nurse. Do to others how you could have preferred it to be done to you."
Gilbert as a patient changed me as a patient to a good nurse in me. This is the fourth week of pracice I limp and enjoy being a good nurse.