Sunday, 24 June 2012

the LaLa mommy and me...

I won't be talking about work much on here- mostly because it is all too easy to breach patient confidentiality- but I've been in the hospital all weekend with the same families. The ward can be a lonely place for parents, especially if they have very young children and no company. They love student nurses. We have the time for a chat (although as a 'senior' student I have less time than I used to) and are a ready-made topic of conversation: "How far along your studies are you? Are you enjoying it?" I have these conversations a few times a day. I love them.

I had this very chat with a very lovely American mum yesterday. I told her I was 6 weeks away from qualifying as a nurse. She asked if I had a job yet. I said I was moving to the States. She asked where, I explained LA. Lovely mum laughed- she is from LA. It turns out she is also married to an academic, and has been following him round the world.
We chatted for a while about the move. I grabbed my thermometer and moved on to my next patient. Over Saturday night I thought of a lot of questions I could ask her, if she didn't mind my grilling her. She really didn't, and the day shift was a ghost town (for the first time ever.) It was so lovely to speak to someone as lovely as her about all the things that have been on my mind. She told me the ranking order of supermarkets (Tesco equivalent is Vons, Sainsbury's equivalent is Ralph's, Whole Foods and Trader Joe's for luxury and fun.) She told me which stores stock decent teabags. We chatted about the different types of bank account and how they are different from here and which bank to choose.

Vons supermarket- the Tesco of Southern California. Terrible pic from wikipedia
She told me how hard the first few months are, and how lonely it can be, but said it was all worth it. The biggest surprise was that she didn't think it was the cultural or life experiences that made it worth it, but the positive impact moving overseas had on her marriage. She felt like making herself 'dependent' (as our visas say) had been a huge struggle, but her husband was so appreciative of all that she'd sacrificed to follow him, and she realised that the sacrifice wasn't so big after all. I hadn't thought of it in those terms, but it made me so calm in the middle of so much chaos.

My colleagues were astonished that I had met someone so perfectly placed to put my mind at ease. It didn't surprise me at all. At every turn, something has worked out so perfectly to convince us we are doing the right thing. And my lovely mommy from the ward has left a lasting impression on me. We often wonder what impact we have on families- if they'll remember us. It definitely goes both ways. I'll be sure to toast her when I get there.

1 comment:

  1. I'll be there with a margarita, toasting too! Here's to plenty more encouraging moments like that. Looking forward to seeing you xoxo


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