Rhyme and No Reason!

Blogger, author and rhymester who likes to find the humour in life.

Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge March 22nd. Follow Your Dreams — March 23, 2018

Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge March 22nd. Follow Your Dreams

I have been away from blogging for a while and have missed taking part in Charli’s Flash Fiction Challenge, over at the Carrot Ranch. Go and check out her website as there are lots of challenges that you can take part in and also a whole load of badges to be won.

This is the image that we were given to use, and the topic is ‘follow your dreams. ‘ These are the rules: Oh, and I have used the ‘poet’ badge in my post. 

March 22, 2018, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story using the theme “follow your dreams.” Bonus points for throwing a badge into the tale. Go where the prompt leads.

  • Respond by March 27, 2018, by leaving a link, pingback or story in the comments.
  • If you want your story published in the weekly collection, also post it at Carrot Ranch on Facebook in the post newsfeed (this is the second posting of your story).
  • Follow the style of the flash fiction that follows.
  • Leave a short link on FB with your story if you want one included in the title.
  • Rules are here.

The applause carried her right through the week. She recalled the cheeks flushed with pleasure, and eyes although bright with tears in some faces, shone with delight. Tears appeared in her own eyes now, bittersweet. She had followed her dreams and studied hard to become the dedicated nurse she aspired to be. Yet, she ached to fulfil another need. Playing with words had always been a favourite pastime, and the poem she had written to cheer up her cancer patients brought the house down. Laughter certainly is the best medicine!

Becoming a Nurse One Year On — March 11, 2018

Becoming a Nurse One Year On

As some of you may know I have almost come to the end of my first year as a Student Nurse. I have written a poem about my journey so far here.  I would just like to give a shout out to a very special person that helped me by proofreading a few of my drafts. She painstakingly read through what must have been pretty tedious, not to mention badly written pages of text . Wendy, thank you so much, I really did appreciate what you did or me, and apologise for the quality of some of those drafts!

Although I feel exhausted

And have shed some bitter tears

I am proud to have made it this far

And got through the first of three long years!

Assignments have been tricky

Yet I thought I would do quite well

But I was badly out of practice

And one of them I failed.

My placements have been busy

With so much to see and do

Signing off skills I have accomplished

And learning maggot therapy too!

I got to know so many people

In the short time I was there

But I feel very privileged

To have been a small part of their care.

Becoming a nurse won’t be easy

But I know, at least for me

That I am doing the right thing

And it’s still what I want to be!

Out on My Own! — November 8, 2015

Out on My Own!

I have really enjoyed my first week out and about visiting patients on my own. It has been pretty scary in some ways, I have gone from being secure in the knowledge of knowing my job well to the point of being able to teach others to the newbie, asking stupid questions and feeling,  as well as looking like a dunce being unfamiliar with some of the techniques which might be basic in the community, but I had not encountered to the same degree in hospital.

Anyway, my first day doing visits was absolutely brilliant. The patient lived about two minutes drive from me which meant I did not have to leave that early to get there for 8.30 (that is weird as well, as I get to lie in till 6.30 in the morning and still have plenty of time)! I also get to see Miss Hap off to school which means that Mr Grump buggers off out of it at 7.30 and leaves me to shout up at regular intervals to wake her up from 7am onwards and then chivvy her along until her friend arrives for her at 7:50 to catch the bus.

I fussed around arranging everything neatly in the boot of my car, made sure I had a flask of coffee to keep me going and of course, lunch. I arrived a couple of minutes early, grabbed my paperwork and bag and nervously knocked on the door. I was met by an elderly man who welcomed me into their house, His wife, my patient was very pleasant and smiley as I introduced myself, and we went upstairs so that I could look at her wound that I was there to dress. Her husband shouted up asking me if I wanted a cuppa which of course I did, and the whole visit went well.

The next day though I drove up and down a busy dual carriageway looking for somewhere to no avail. When I finally found it, I realised I had driven past it about three times already! I also woke someone up who was none too pleased to see me, I am not surprised as I had gone to the wrong house! I had got the door numbers mixed up, Luckily someone was waving frantically at me from the other side of the road, who had seen me marching up to the wrong house and realised that it was her son that I should be seeing.

I apologised to the man I had woken and made me my across the road to the correct address. I knew that I was there to do a blood test on an anxious patient, What I did not realise though, but was told just before I went to take it, was that there was a strong likelihood that he might faint or at the very least, throw up. Great! Now I was even more nervous in case I didn’t get it or he flaked out on me! Luckily neither happened, I got my bloods and he got to remain conscious, just how I like it!

A little later on in the week I had to re-visit some of my earlier patients to re-check their wounds, and I was told that these people were going to be my caseload, I was thrilled to have my own patients, especially when I went back out on Friday to the lovely couple I went to on my very first visit,

This time, the husband came to the door in his dressing gown, but I still got the warm welcome and his wife shouted down to me to come up, they had remembered my name which really pleased me. Once I had dressed the wound and had my cuppa, the patient asked if it would be me that always came. I explained that it would although now and again someone else might come, Her reaction was to tell me how pleased she was and that it called for a hug and a kiss!

On Wednesday things went a bit awry, I woke up and looked at my phone only to see it was 7:20! I had not been up on a working day that late in a decade probably!  Mr Grump’s alarm had failed to go off and I didn’t bother setting mine. I yelled out to Miss Hap that it was 7.30 and to get up. She told me nonchalantly that it was only 7.20 anyway!

Well, both Mr Grump and I were stressed, and falling over each other in the bathroom trying to get washed and dressed. I know I wasn’t actually late, but being a creature of habit, I was put out completely having to rush around to get ready. Grump was cross and more crabby than usual but luckily cleared off to take Roxy out for her walk, giving me chance to get on.

It has been quite an eventful week for me, but am looking forward to next week!

When Things Go Wrong. — September 25, 2015

When Things Go Wrong.

You may remember that a couple of weeks ago I conducted a poll for Writing 101, which asked what type of blog posts you would prefer me to write. Here are the results:

  1. Posts about things going wrong  13 votes
  2. Posts about my family                 11 votes
  3. Something else of your choosing  3 votes
  4. Other                                             3 votes.

I am happy that you have chosen when things go wrong as your winner, as being clumsy, normally gives me a blog post or two to write about.  So, for Writing 101 ‘Take a cue from your readers’ post today, I thought I would share this story with you, that happened at work today.

The morning at work had been pretty busy as was normal, and of course, staff were thin on the ground as is also normal. I had decided to try to get some notes done after lunch, as I was due to go home in just over an hour, and I wanted to leave my colleague as little as possible to do. (Most of the staff on the ward prefer the 12 1/2 hour shifts, but I like the ‘short’ 7 1/2 hour ones).

I had even managed to make a coffee and was sitting at the table in the handover room, where there was a student and a Sister who was signing off some competencies for her.

Suddenly though, there was a commotion outside the room. A new patient that had arrived on the ward just previously was getting rather agitated and was threatening to whack a male nurse with his wooden walking stick! A female care assistant was trying to calm him down but he was swinging the stick around his head trying to lash out at whoever came near him.

The male nurse managed to get past him and into the room where I was writing the notes. Suddenly a stick came through the door and a loud THWACK sounded as he clouted the counter top just missing some of the cups that were there. Myself and the Sister jumped up and tied to get the stick off of him. We did manage to grab it but he was kicking at us and had more strength than we bargained for. We got the stick off of him and avoided the punches that he was dishing out (although the Sister got licked a couple of times) and I rushed to call security.

I went back into the room, as the patient was now sat down and chatting with the Care Assistant. Going to grab a much-needed swig of coffee, I hamfistedly ended up knocking the large mug of undrunk coffee all over the table. It went everywhere. The student’s notes were soaked through, as was everything else on the table, including the tortilla chips that a relative had brought in for us! Ooops, another day in paradise!

An Open Letter to Patient’s Relatives. — September 20, 2015

An Open Letter to Patient’s Relatives.

Dear Patients’ Relatives

We are pretty flexible when it comes to visiting hours;  3pm until 8pm every day is pretty generous, especially as we also allow visiting outside of these hours for many other circumstances. This enables most of you time to spend with your loved ones.

We do ask you to remember however, that we appreciate how special your relative is to you, but so is every other patient on the ward. Sometimes we have to prioritize, and yes, we will plump your mum’s pillow up for her, but please, just let us deal with this patient first who is hemorrhaging.

We know your father might have told you that he hasn’t eaten today, but before you berate us loudly in front of everyone, let me show you his food chart, where you can see that he ate all of his porridge for breakfast and had a roast beef dinner for lunch, not to mention rhubarb crumble for pudding! You know he has short-term memory problems and often forgets, so please just check with us.

Oh, I know your nan has just had an ‘accident.’ I am just going to get some of our toiletries and a hospital gown as it seems that no-one has brought any in for her. Yes, we do have a small supply, but we tend to save these for those that don’t have any visitors or family to look out for them.

I understand that you want to help and in so many cases you do, especially when you encourage your relatives to eat, which they are more likely to do for you than us. Please be careful though that you do not give other patients some chocolate or sweets, as you may unintentionally cause them some problems, particularly if they are diabetic and are being carefully monitored, or if they have swallowing difficulties and need a special diet, or are even nil by mouth.

We love to see our patients happy and enjoying their time with you. All we ask is that, if there is something troubling you, please come and speak to us, before yelling. We are doing our best you know, and all patients are as important to us, as your relative is to you. sometimes, especially, when we are so very understaffed, we have to prioritize our care,so please have a little patience…

Keep Calm!

From The Nursing Staff


Episode 465: One-Liner Wednesday: Saucy! — August 19, 2015
Episode 458: I Should Be So Lucky! — August 15, 2015

Episode 458: I Should Be So Lucky!

Tonight I am absolutely shattered! As I briefly mentioned yesterday, I am working completely different shifts to normal in order that I can cover child care for the summer holidays for Miss Hap.

Just as I had finally caught up with my sleep after working two 12 and a half hour night shifts on Monday and Tuesday, it was time for me to go back in today. Stupidly I thought I would have to do a ‘long day’ (12 and a half hours) as opposed to my normal ‘short shift’ (7 and a half hours). By the time I realised my mistake it was too late to change as we were desperately short-staffed and I headed off to work with a heavy heart.

When only 6  of us turned up for work looking after 26 patients with at least 6 that liked to wander around and escape first chance they got, I knew it was going to be a busy day, particularly as 2 staff were on short days, but of course you get on with it.

We doubled up as much as we could and managed to just about get everyone washed in time for lunch,  Apart from getting a smacked face from a patient that didn’t want to have her face washed, and tripping over a crash mat into my colleague, the morning went ok up until my break time.

I decided that I would treat myself to the full English breakfast, which I took outside to eat with my colleague on the smoker’s bench (no, I haven’t taken it up again even though I felt like it today)! I managed to slop baked bean juice all down my dress which left a lovely orange blob on my grotty grey uniform which did nothing to enhance it. The wasps seemed to love it though and kept buzzing around me which, of course, made me shriek.

Once I got back to the ward one of my colleagues started dabbing at me with an antibacterial wipe, as unbeknownst to me I had a massive splodge of bird poo on my side (how the hell that got there, I have no idea. Great….looking nice and professional now. Added to that the coffee that missed my mouth, and decided to join the party, I was rather more colourful that I started out!

I thought the afternoon might be easier as we were sent 2 more staff when the other two left, which although still left us short, was a great help. It looked up a bit when I was talking to a colleague explaining something with a hand on my hip and a really tall handsome young relative decided to link his arm through mine for some reason (not that I complained)!

After that, it was downhill all the way! The restless patients had a renewed vigour to escape and did not want to be coaxed or cajoled to stay. Hoists played up, zimmer frames disappeared and one that we did have was viciously guarded by one of my ladies who was convinced it was hers and I was not to let anyone have it. I tried explaining it belonged to the hospital but she was not having it and I was on the receiving end of some very strong words several times until her daughter visited and told her it was indeed the hospital’s.

So my day was rather manic. and despite the fact that actually it is just a normal day on our ward, the longer hours were rather draining! Still, isn’t bird poo supposed to be lucky? Must check that Lottery ticket tomorrow!

Episode 447: Off-Key. — August 6, 2015

Episode 447: Off-Key.

I had to laugh today at work. As most of us know, some elderly people don’ exactly mince their words and they feel that they have earned the right to say exactly what they think. Although this is not always pleasant (A couple of days ago as I was trying to stop an elderly gent throttling himself with the bed remote control which had a long, curly wire attached to it, I was called a ‘stupid bi**h’ as he tried to bite my hand that was trying to release his grip on the remote).

Sometimes it can be funny though. The same man had earlier demanded that me and another nurse that were going to wash him ‘bloody get on with it, instead of just talking about it!’ (We like to inform our patients what is going to happen with them before we launch straight into stripping off their clothes)!

Anyway, today I was back in my usual bay with my ladies. I had gone on my break and when I came back, one of the Dementia Volunteers was playing his guitar and knocking out a few numbers that may be familiar to the patients, such as Buddy Holly, Beatles etc.

Now this chap is pretty old himself, and has a  ‘set’ of about 4 songs which he sings before moving onto the next bay, This is the same routine every week but I love it ,and so do most of the patients…..

Except one lady (she does not have dementia) who wanted him to ‘turn it down’. When told by the Healthcare Assistant that it was not polite to tell him to do that, and that he was giving up his own time to entertain people, she told her,

“well don’t expect me to applaud him!”

The patient had relayed all this to me when I went over to talk to her , and then with a wicked grin she looked up and said,

“Don’t you just hate bloody do-gooders”!

Episode 425: A Little Extra Tuesday Tidbit — July 21, 2015

Episode 425: A Little Extra Tuesday Tidbit

I wanted to share this little conversation I had with one of my patients today which I thought you would enjoy as much as I did!

I was doing my routine checks of catheters and cannulas in the afternoon,and I went over to one of my ladies (I’ll call her Betty) as I knew she had a catheter but was not sure about the cannula.

Now this lady is 100 years old and still as sharp as a tack. Most of our patients are not sure what a cannula is, so I said to her,

“Betty, do you have any needles in your arms?”

She came straight back,as quick as a flash with,

“No, but I have had my fair share of pricks in my time!!!”

Priceless. 🙂

Episode 401: Sweating it Out! — July 2, 2015

Episode 401: Sweating it Out!

Well, I knew it wouldn’t last. I can’t stop myself (I think it is too far embedded into my genes), I am going to have to moan about the weather! Yes, I should be grateful that we have seen quite a bit of sunshine, and that it is lovely and hot. The problem is, we are not used to it!

Yesterday was the hottest day of the year so far here in good old England, but luckily I didn’t have to work so could wear what I wanted and also do what I wanted. Last night, however, the temperature did not decrease by much and it was stifling hot and muggy. I ended up trying to sleep with the fan whirring on full blast and an ice pack!  Bearing in mind, I am also at ‘that age’ when ladies get a little more flushed at certain times! I thought I was going to spontaneously combust!

This morning dawns another hot day, but cooler as it was only 28 Celsius (about 82 Fahrenheit). I reluctantly donned my thick cotton uniform and tights, plus clumpy shoes and bloody stupid belt to go to work.

As I walked onto the ward the heat hit me like a slap in the face! Great, putting on latex gloves and plastic aprons is going to make a lovely addition to my already boiled body (thank God the patients allowed us to open the windows so we could let a bit of (hot) air in!

Luckily for me I had to go off the ward for my annual top up resus training, in a room with air conditioning! Bliss! Well it was for 5 minutes until we had to pummel the dummy back to life with frantic CPR. Pretty exhausting stuff.

Anyway, I hot-foot it back to the ward for another face smacking dose of heat, only to discover the boss wants to take some photos as we all have to have our pictures up on the board outside the ward (presumably to terrify those not too ill to care)! At first I was a bit put out as I thought it would be better off being taken first thing in the morning but in this heat it makes no difference anyway.

So imagine this, a relative comes to see their poorly elderly relative, decides to have a look at which staff may happen to be looking after them, and sees my picture. Ruddy faced, ghastly grimace (we were told to smile) hair plastered to the head, and sweat dripping. Professional is not the word!

You’d run a bloody mile, talking your relative with you!

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