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abemwe

abemwe

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  1. abemwe

    The Inside Culture

    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.
  2. abemwe

    Gilbert Changed Me

    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 stay in the hospital for six months. In the orthopedic 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 these friends of mine in ward 9 (orthopedic ward)?' The only answer I could get was 'It's me and these 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 orthopedic) 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 beautiful friendships. I admired all patients-their co-operation to the staff. But I know it is because of how the 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 about our goals. I asked him, "Do you think I can nurse you and everyone in this ward" He told me, "In fact, you can be a good nurse if only you want to be one." "But how?" "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 wheelchair. 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 a lot 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 a lot of psyche, I have started orthopedic 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 away 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 practice I limp and enjoy being a good nurse.
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