Tuesday, 18 March 2014


Sometimes, a dry wit and a hearty laugh can make everything better. As can a concerned face, an unexpected compliment and some much-missed peace of mind.
I’ve met all manner of nurses in my life. Vampires who brandished needles and yearned for my sweet diseased blood, grumpy old madams who doled out cynicism and never held back with the blunt advice, nervous little ladies fresh out of school and frightened of children and teenagers – even a male nurse who was happy, rough-handed and ridiculously hairy. For the most part, they’ve been poor. Either they don’t care enough, or are too out-of-touch or afraid to say much of use.

She was different. She was kind and funny, concerned and thoughtful. I approached the scale, jokingly rolled my eyes and said ‘Is this really necessary? It’s so depressing!’ Giggling and awkwardly stepping up, she then looked over my shoulder and said ‘Honey, if I weighed 60 kilos I would be dancing out in the car park in the rain… Naked!’
I blush and step down. She’s not even bigger than me, maybe a little taller…

She talks to me seriously about my prescription, taking in every detail I give and nodding or interjecting to show she’s really listening – she really cares. She gives me all kinds of freebies, takes all my details and marks the prescription URGENT – she didn’t have to do that. We then chat and giggle about mishaps with prescriptions, nightmare appointments and awkward encounters… I wish I could grab a coffee and talk longer. She wishes me luck for the day ahead, and for all my upcoming deadlines. I thank her and head off to a day of lectures, with a clear mind and a brighter outlook. For once I am thankful that I made a fuss and went through the massive ordeal to book an appointment.

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