It's now a decade and he is past gone, my inside is that I should care for other insides. I prefer to live with what he used to tell me, "Son the inside matters." I don't want to imagine how two races from that far could meet and produce me... I think the inside mattered very much.
It is the 32nd month since I graduated. The outside confront the inside, "Work with your race / culture / community / family only." The humble inside defends with a 3-word quiz, "Which is it?"
The outside your home.
I only know the world. Meaning anywhere in it is my home. My major role is to attend to the insides.
Mummy is old, I only see the goodness of a nurse inside her. She originated from here while dad from far Western. I must consider the inside only. I gonna leave her and attend other insides in other corners of the world. The only I have is for the insides no matter what, where, race, ethnicity. In college, during Anat. class Prof. A used to tell us "Always remember human blood is the same/red underneath the skin....." I liked that.
Dad's was, "Son it is good to be born in one side of the earth and live in the other side because you will be able to touch two cultures, compare them and learn new things in life...."
Yesterday at night, at 8 pm a pregnant woman entered Baraka (labor/blessing ward). She looked happy and strong.
"Are you a nurse? Am in labor"
"Have a sit." I welcomed her. I burst into laughter when she started dancing. In nursing, you must laugh-the music of the soul to move on. I thought it was madness, but she went on happily.
"Oh! yeah, she is encouraging and sustaining the process of labor." Humbly I took the Hx without disturbing her funny movements.
"Penina, I want to examine you to assess the fetus"
"Not you male nurse. Only Bob can see my nakedness." I later learned Bob was the father to be. I explained to her that it was my profession which is guided by ethics and human rights.
"Penina it's 9:20 pm, no female nurse around-males only on duty.
She interrupted, "All of you in the wrong profession-male nurses!!!! Misplaced."
Deep in my heart, I knew she was wrong. She needed information and understanding of today's healthcare, it's neither a male nor a female. What matters is how much you care for the inside. Period. The rapport was crucial here. I thought of the variability of the cultures.
"Penina I understands, but let's think of what you are carrying. We need to assess the fetus status. We only care for 'the inside.'
She thought of my inside, she thought of her and what she was carrying inside." Yeah, ou inside, the inside matters." She gave in.
I assessed FHR continuously using EFM.
"Penina why didn't you come with Bob?"
"Oh! What the inside in you? In our culture, this is for female only. Male should give themselves a break."
"Wrong, all should think of the inside-baby," I advised. She turned friendly. we called Bob on night duty in the cotton industry. We discussed the importance of him being around, and he joined us at 1:00 am. We discussed extensively-the psychological and emotional needs to Penina, their two races and cultures-quite different indeed. There was no time to harmonize the two cultures. We managed a great deal concerning the inside in Penina.
At 3 am, things were moving very fast, a delivery tray there, Penina with strong pains, this time not dancing but moving violently. I think this is how she perceived pain. At 3:20 a baby girl was extracted.
"Penina here is your baby." She made a dull smile. Bob was there looking. I thought he would be jubilant, but it turned out to be a surprise. As I did 'rub up' a contraction, I discovered there was another baby.
"Undiagnosed twins," I shouted to other male nurses. Bob was alert once again. We monitored the FHR for another 20 minutes. After 25 minutes we extracted another baby-this time a baby boy.
"Penina here is another baby. You see... Boy! Baby boy....."
"Thanks 'inside nurse'.Ohhh! Finally a boy. You mean it was inside. Thank god. "She was warm and happy on the face. On the other side of the corridors, bob was jumping, "It's a baby boy, baby boy...it's a...Boy."
Penina tuned a soft song from her mouth. It was translated to me meaning "Unexpected 'inside', unexpected blessings in Baraka/blessings ward."
Around 8 am I discovered that in PN ward Penina concentrated on the baby boy than on baby girl-eye contacts and breastfeeding was more on the baby boy. It took me another mile to explain the importance of mother-baby relationships; attention should be divided equally for bonding. We advised Bob to seek permission from his place of work to give PN care to Penina.
What a culture? Not going to ANC for obstetric ultrasonography-until undiagnosed twins in the labor ward. What a culture a woman don't expect a male nurse to attend to her.That no need for the husband to be around during labor and delivery.What a culture that a boy is more important than a girl in the society. What a culture?
My only culture which I will stick to is my inside to care for other insides no matter what, where, race, or ethnicity. The inside culture matters.