With each pregnancy I have experienced (and there have been five of them in total) I have people watched with great interest in the waiting rooms at two different maternity hospitals that I had been referred to, in the past. There have always been a good handful of nervous expectant couples,
Living in such a diverse community, there have also been those who cannot speak English. They just happen to be of another nationality. Myself, I just happen to be deaf. I have however, never seen a translator being provided, for any of these foreign speaking families. They always seemed and seem to be happy enough.
A while ago I noticed a post on social media, by the BBC’s ‘See Hear’ about one of their upcoming programmes, concerning a couple.
The woman is hearing whilst her partner is legally deafblind. They are expecting their first baby but they are unhappy…. The NHS is repeatedly asking the mum-to-be to interpret, for her partner, at HER appointments.
The NHS say that since SHE is the patient, they do not need to accommodate / provide an interpreter for HER partner. Which I think is fair enough, having thought back on all my pregnancies and rifling through my hospital memories. The patients have always come first, regardless of who they happen to be. The dads,, mums, siblings, families and visitors come second, once again, regardless of who they happen to be.. For they are not the patient, it is not their well being, pregnancies or bodies being treated and/or monitored and if they need(ed) support, what is stopping them from arranging their own? Especially if they are otherwise, unsatisfied.
The NHS’s primary concern and priorities, are their actual patients.
Granted, there will be times when a loved one is being operated on and their anxious partners, who may happen to be deaf or a foreign speaking national, will not be able to fully understand, what is being said to them by the professionals. Then, the care system should assist in providing an interpreter or a translator to ensure their patient gets the full care and treatment by their loved ones, as this would mean a full recovery.
Fortunately, I have no complaints at all with each and every NHS experience I have encountered, despite being profoundly deaf myself.
I am more conscious of seriously ill premature babies being born abroad, to parents who are having to pay for incubators, medicine, tests out of their own pockets and on borrowed money. The same people who are having to live hand to mouth, daily. I do not see them complaining one iota for they, do not know how to take things for granted.
I visited the site of Grenfell Tower yesterday since my cousin was there and fortunately, managed to get out. She thought Armageddon had started and watched it turn into a towering inferno. I was totally unprepared for the aftermath, the sights, smells and feelings. The precise moment I saw the burnt out shell of a residential high rise, it was smouldering still….
My breath was momentarily taken away purely by the size of it, my heart sank and my thoughts turned to all the other victims, those who perished, are missing and affected.
I experienced pleas of donations, pleas for missing beloved, hopes. Most of all, pure devastation. As I walked past mountains of kindness, I found a memorial wall. As I started to read through people’s condolences, a couple of tears started to roll down my cheeks. A volunteer from the Latymer Centre walked right up to me with her arms open and hugged me for what seemed like forever. She then asked me if I was okay, I could not speak but put my thumbs up to indicate that I was and to thank her, for her time and patience.
It is ordinary people who have come together and to the rescue of others, other than the police and fire services. Where the hell is our government?! Where is their love, their kindness?
That woman who was running for Prime Minsiter against May? She was right, May doesn’t have children so she most certainly doesn’t know who to be or how to be. Or how to feel! I’m rather embarrassed, to have Theresa May as our prime minister. Not to forget the Conservatives, for their greed.
One of the richest towns in the world decided to make a tower block, where the “lower class” live, look prettier, easier on their eyes when in fact they refurbished it into a death trap. A chimney.
Yet, if it was not for the muslims observing Ramadan, more lives would have been taken. A positive, thank goodness.
My thoughts once again, return to the victims of our country, other countries, they are the ones who deserve and need our time and patience.
There was a specific time in my life when I was being tested to the max, mentally and physically. In some ways, one might say I am still recovering from being kicked whilst I was down albeit at my own pace, which is one foot at a time, one day at a time.
One of the simplest things I remember from back then, that gave me some momentary respite from all the heaviness and darkness that was in my heart and soul. I just had to take a picture of that precise moment, as a personal reminder for posterity.
Here is the photo that I took…
This reminded me, to keep on going with the flow however hard it felt to try to stay afloat because the answer one would find would be blowing in the wind.
This frozen moment in time gave me hope, a sense of purpose, and a smile once more in my heart. To try and keep remembering my favourite things but most importantly, to remain patient and to keep the faith.
Writing from the bottom of my heart, I have never experienced such indescribable heartache like I did before. I could never, ever wish the same ill feelings upon another, yet when I recognise someone is in a similar place, there beholds a potential trigger. A form of darkness has taken hold and will almost certainly spiral out of control if not attended to in time. As they say, “It takes one to know one”. Familiar symptoms and cries for help in the sense of “I’ve had enough” or “It’s too much” are more than often the very first tell-tale signs.
Depression, when misunderstood, not listened to, unsupported, not considered or unappreciated is inevitably an extremely isolating and harrowing place to be, but also very revealing because, these are the precise crucial moments when we realise who our real friends are and who loves us. Who wants to be there for us, be it through thick or thin. They are the ones who would not dream of looking down at someone unless they were helping them up.
There are those who will misinterpret or manipulate the situation to their own understanding, experience and liking. So much so that I once asked a friend in frustration “Why do people listen to rumours or what someone else has said when they haven’t seen the evidence for themselves? And why do people let their personal feelings get in the way of their public service work?” No response was given, which did not bother me because my conscience was and is clear.
However, life has to go on. There have been times when I have had to drag myself out of bed, dreading another day on the same rollercoaster of emotions and thoughts. “My kids need me” I would drum into myself and kept trying to remain strong, although I felt I was carrying the weight of the world on my shoulders. I had to keep on going somehow, one foot at a time until one day, I was hurting far too much – I had been kicked while I was down, which broke my heart and then to add insult to injury, kicked in the teeth by “friends” all of whom became the catalyst. I had been strong for everyone else up until this point but now I needed strength, from somewhere, someone too. There were times when I contemplated “giving up” but I told myself otherwise. I knew my kids would miss me too much and this would be the ultimate sin. I also understood, remembering friends who had tried in the past, that this was not the answer.
“Keep your thoughts positive because your thoughts become your words. Keep your words positive because your words become your behaviour. Keep your behaviour positive because your behaviour becomes your habits. Keep your habits positive because your habits become your values. Keep your values positive because your values become your destiny.” – Mahatma Ghandi.
It was now time for me to start making some major positive changes.
One of the best things I ever did was to start removing myself from destructive situations caused by negative people. I no longer have any time or patience for those who did not deserve it. Granted, they deserve a little bit of lee-way to test the water with, but once their true colours have been shown and confirmed by abusing their right to free speech with disrespect, they can simply “do one”. If not physically, then at least mentally. I also stopped being friendly with those who only wanted to benefit from my help. In starting to take back control, this gave me the confidence to stand up and put people in their rightful places where necessary.
I remember a day out as a young girl with my grandparents, who were driving across the moors. Dark clouds were visible all around us with sparse patches of sunlight bravely bursting through. I asked my grandmother “Why are there dark clouds all around but the sunlight is on us?” She replied reassuringly, “The sun shines on the righteous.” I learnt right there and then how we should always stay on the righteous side.
One other poignant memory is how my grandmother would write out the lyrics from any musicals we watched so I could follow, often feeling warmth from watching my sister and grandmother singing their hearts out. One of the most memorable songs has to be “A few of my favourite things” from the ‘Sound of Music’. The lyrics literally came alive and held so much meaning, through my grandmother’s joy in remembering her favourite things, and her family being around her.
Warm chocolate cake, seeing people smile, hearing them laugh, feeling the warm embrace of the sun, the beauty of Mother Nature and going out into the refreshing pouring rain, are just a few of my favourite things. I decided to heal myself from within, so I no longer felt so bad.
So be around those who bring light to your life, not stress. Take comfort in your loved ones as they will always be there for you no matter what because they don’t mind who you are. Stay strong for you are not alone. Those who make others smile, laugh, hug them which helps to heal, show respect and kindness – regardless, you will have unknowingly helped more than you realise.
“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.”
– Leo Buscaglia.
I felt compelled to write this, albeit very personal post, in the hope that it will benefit another from reading it, providing them confidence and inspiration. Please, keep on smiling because the best things in life is free and does wonders.
Have faith and “Carpe Diem” – Everyday. Positivity rules x