I only went to get an Asthma check up. It had been years since I had been to the clinic to get it assessed, get help. The thing is, I find it hard to ask for help! I come from a generation where you were taught to get on with it! Deal with it! Work it out for yourself! The phrase ‘You don’t air your dirty washing in public’ comes to mind or something similar. It was just how things were! How our parents before us had acted, and in turn told us to do the same. We often pass on what we were taught to those that follow. It was just the way of things! Not wrong, not right, just how it was.
Things have changed, I know, and of course it’s okay to ask for help when you need it but often we hang on to the way or ways that we have been taught. So, admitting we could do with a shoulder to lean on, an ear to listen are not usually the first port of call for many of us!
Many of us go through life smiling, laughing and acting as if everything is, well, okay, when in fact it is n’t! In fact, it’s often far from okay! So, getting back to the Asthma Clinic, I turned up at the appointed time, waited in the waiting room or rather area to be called for my turn. It should have been simple, straightforward and uncomplicated!
However, sometimes, maybe often, things do not go quite as planned. This was one of those times.
The Asthma Nurse was lovely! The epitome of exactly what I expect from a Nurse. Trust me, I have high expectations. My Mum was a Nurse. My sister is a Nurse. They are, as I expect Nurses to be. Nurse Janet did n’t disappoint! She was polite, courteous, friendly, approachable, professional, knowledgeable, empathetic; all those things you expect a Nurse to be.
We got talking, initially about asthma, not saying ‘my’ asthma as I feel that is like me bringing it to me. But of course, it was asthma that I was experiencing. Let’s face it, I would n’t have been at the Asthma Clinic on this occasion for any other reason.
Then I brought my Mum into the conversation, and the fact that she had passed away back in April. I am not even sure why I started talking about my Mum but I did. I also started talking about other stuff that is going on with the family. Nothing in the slightest related to Asthma. It all came out! The family traumas of the year so far. My mouth opened and out came all this emotional stuff that had been simmering below the surface, like a stew slowly bubbling away on the stove, ready to boil over, a volcano erupting.
And then it happened! The tears came to the surface, and I cried like a baby! Total meltdown! Was I embarrassed? Yes, of course I was!! That said, Nurse Janet was brilliant! She empathised and understood that there was more than Asthma going on! She listened, she talked, she heard me!
I am still embarrassed that I could not contain my feelings but I also learnt on this occasion, that we really cannot control everything! It’s okay to talk, to express how we’re feeling and it’s okay to ask for help! Better than waiting for everything to boil over!! Because the pressure of holding it all in gets too much, and at some stage you have to let go or you will burst!
Thank you Nurse Janet! I feel somewhat depressurerised!
© Liola Lee 2021