I came across this picture on Instagram by nurse_student, now whether she thought it cute or funny I do not know but I am fuming.
Id like to say that I responded with a calm, witty devastating put down. I can’t. I said “Wow. I hope you are never my nurse, because if you acted like you wanted to throw up and took the piss whilst doing your fucking job, I would kick your ass. You give nurses a bad name.”
Id like to explain how it felt when I saw this ‘joke’, I know that nurses have to deal with a lot and sometimes having a sense of humour is the only way to get through a shift, but nurses are supposed to be carers, people who are patient and sensitive. This ‘joke’ made me cry.
Let me take you back seven months. I had been through ten years of illness, pain, humiliation, meds and treatments and then just come out of major surgery to remove the whole of my fucking bowel. I was hooked up to an epidural and had a catheter, I was dosed up on all manner of pain relief and had zero control over my body. I was having to deal with the fact I had a stoma emotionally and physically. Having to learn a new set of skills to be able to change my bag and clean myself as well as ‘mourning’ the loss of my bowel and learning to accept my new body.
It was the hardest time of my life. I have never felt so overwhelmed, exhausted, terrified and alone in my whole life. I was entirely dependent on those around me and I felt like shit.
Then I had my first leak. I was covered in shit from my chest to my hips. It was everywhere and I was mortified, I couldn’t stop crying and I was so embarrassed. I rang the bell and a nurse came. She looked at me and said “Oh dear, you poor thing! Come on lets get you sorted.”
She cleaned my skin and dealt with this mess like she was washing the pots. She smiled and chatted and batted away my embarrassed apologies and thanks. She made this horrific situation a million times better. She spoke of how awful she knew I felt but how each day life was going to get easier, she was kind, caring, sensitive and just amazing.
The second big blow out leak I wasn’t so lucky. A nurse came and she tutted. She cleaned me up but barely spoke and made me feel like I was an inconvenience to her. When she left I cried myself to sleep. I felt like a baby. I couldn’t even clean myself, it was so heart achingly depressing.
The third time I got a nurse who just put a cardboard bowl of water on the table in front of me and said I needed to learn to do it alone. I couldn’t sit up, let alone stand. I had to clean myself up the best I could including washing shit out of the 7 inch stapled would on my stomach.
These nurses, like the woman who posted this ‘joke’ should be ashamed of themselves. You know what? We all know that dealing with another persons shit isn’t nice, but when you become a fucking nurse then you have to suck it up buttercup! If you don’t like it, if it makes you gag and makes you want to share ‘hilarious’ memes on the internet, then you are IN THE WRONG JOB.
So today Im angry. Im not weak and sick in a hospital bed right now, I have some energy and will stand up for myself and other people with an ostomy when I see these insensitive, vile jokes.
I just hope that people will read this and understand that what may be a silly joke to you, can devastate a person reading it. It may seem funny and you may tell people to lighten up about it, but put yourself in the shoes of the person you are mocking. Or imagine that person is your mum or child and see how funny it is then.