Monday, 16 December 2013

In The Bleak Midwinter

So far, the December weather certainly has been bleak. We've had sleet, gale force winds, lots of rain and even thunder and lightening! And, during a night shift when the wind was absolutely howling through the ward, I got to thinking of the Christmas Carol, In The Bleak Midwinter.   Odd, I know but night shift does that to you.  It's set to the tune of Cranham, and though the words are lovely, I've always found it to be quite depressing. Especially when I was still in the Salvation Army band, and we played it while out carolling in the town. 

Anyway, on this bleak, miserable night shift, I started to think about my patients.  For them, it certainly will be a bleak midwinter.  Don't get me wrong, at least 2 of our regular naughty diabetics are in at present, and they will say so themselves, it's completely self-inflicted.  But for the majority, it's just downright miserable to be in hospital.  The majority will get home to family before Christmas. Some I know for sure will still be in hospital over the festive season. Some will go home to empty houses.  And a couple may sadly pass away.  And then, there will be new admissions, and the whole horrible cycle starts again.  A hospital during the festive season really is a very confusing place to be. You want to be upbeat, festive, full of the Christmas Spirit, but you're constantly faced with sad, frustrating and sometimes heart-wrenching situations. And somehow it feels wrong to feel happy.  But, us nurses, or most of us, try to keep the mood high, though sometimes it's very hard. 

There's a poster up on the wall, from the chaplaincy service, detailing when the carollers will be singing on the wards.  I suppose not everyone will appreciate the carollers at the end of the ward when they're seriously unwell, but it certainly helps to brighten the mood, if only for a little while. (Side note, the minister from the hospital chaplaincy is the single most loveliest man, and if I'm ever unwell, and end up in hospital, I want it stated in my notes that he must visit me daily, if only to come and talk at me in his smooth African accent.)  Lots of my patients even love to hear a Salvation Army band at Christmas (if any of my Army friends are reading, please send the band to the Vic, and don't forget us down on A floor!!).  Anything to keep spirits up. 

So, this Christmas, while you're enjoying the festivities with family and friends, please spare a thought for all those stuck in hospital, and their relatives who are frought with worry. And as always, my awesome colleagues who are looking after them. 

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