Day Four’s Exercise A Loss: Something that was part of my life but isn’t anymore

Okay so here I go with day four’s blog.

The Exercise: to write about a loss of some kind.

The Twist: Make today’s post the first in a three post series.

So the loss I’ve decided to write about is my nursing career. I began my nursing career on the 3rd October 1983. Now the 3rd of October was also incidentally, the day that I was christened, although that 3rd of October occurred in 1965. Neither of the dates for these events in my life were of my choosing but both events were significant events that brought about new beginnings for me. I also gave birth to my daughter on the 3rd of October 1988, again I didn’t choose the date, she actually came early but again it was a significant event that occurred on that date which brought about a new beginning in my life. I decided years later to go back to University to study for a degree. My initial choice was to do an MA Honours in Religious Studies and the starting date for the course which was sent out to me by letter was, yes you guessed it, the 3rd October 2003 and of course embarking on a degree course is a significant event that will bring about a new beginning in your life. I actually decided to change and read for an MA Joint Honours in Philosophy & English Literature at The University of Edinburgh instead of doing the Religious Studies one there and Graduated in 2007. I then went onto to do Post Graduate study in Environment, Culture & Society at The University of Edinburgh, graduating in 2011.

Now despite graduating in these subjects I continued to do work in Nursing after I graduated, having worked as a nurse throughout my studies to pay for my living expenses and to help my daughter through her Undergrad and Postgrad studies in Law at The University of Edinburgh at the same time. It has taken me to be diagnosed with an auto-immune disease called Lupus to make a career change. Lupus causes arthritis in your joints, making them swollen and stiff and very painful, although unlike normal arthritis there is no permanent damage to the joints, they don’t become permanently disfigured. If I get too exhausted I can look like one of those clickety wooden dolls whose limbs don’t quite move smoothly when I’m walking lol. The type of Lupus that I have (SLE) can also attack your organs, so your liver, kidneys, lungs, heart and brain. It causes you to have severe migraines and can cause really bad depression and seizures. I was pretty ill for a while back there and twice have a course of cytotoxic drugs to put the disease into remission. These treatments actually made me more ill than the disease itself had, however it worked in putting the disease into remission and touch wood I remain pretty well at the moment.

Nursing is too physical a job for me now, if I had to go down on my knees to do a leg dressing I’d probably have to get the patient or use a hoist to help me get back up onto my feet, hahaha, so I am now in an office job. I’m working as Manager of the Scottish A Research Ethics Committee and absolutely loving it. It is so interesting and the tasks involved so completely new to me that I feel as though I am on a learning curve again and learning is one of my favourite things to do.  I was really nervous about leaving the career that had been the major part of my life since I was 17 years old, worried that I wouldn’t manage to do another type of job. I wish that I had, had more confidence in my own ability to cope with change and made the change in careers years ago and would encourage anybody who is contemplating a career change to have the faith and confidence to believe in their own abilities and go for it. Change can be good, change can be exhilarating and life changing. So if your heart is saying go for it, but your head is saying, oh oh, hold up maybe you won’t manage this, then I say, shirk off those doubts and plunge on into the future, embracing that change for all your worth because after all you never know what tomorrow will bring.  In the words of Scarlett O’Hara in ‘Gone With The Wind’, “…after all, tomorrow is another day” and I will finish off here for today and continue with the second post in this series tomorrow folks.

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