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You can polish a turd…

Submitted by on July 3, 2017 – 7:30 amNo Comment


My big sister left home in 1986 to train as a nurse. Rather than stay in our small town, she wanted to experience a more colourful NHS, so decided to move to Birmingham to do her training. I remember thinking she was very brave leaving her family, not to mention to go and train as a nurse, it takes a certain kind of person to do that. I was 16 and couldn’t imagine wiping someone else’s bottom, or cleaning their false teeth.

I loved her visits home, obviously seeing her, but I couldn’t wait to hear all her stories about things that had happened during her training. There were so many, but there’s a a few that were my favourites and still make me chuckle…

Training on the geriatric ward, while cleaning false teeth with another nurse at the sinks, one of the male elderly patients came and asked if they’d like a malteser. He held out his box of maltesers, my sister declined, but her colleague fancied a bit of chocolate. As soon as she put it in her mouth she spat it out, heaving and spitting into the sink. My sister thought maybe the malteser had gone down the wrong way. After a few minutes of washing her mouth out, and while still heaving she gasped “that malteser was covered in poo!”

They later discovered that the kind elderly man, with time on his hands, had lay in his bed and very carefully sucked all the chocolate off his maltesers. He’d left the honeycomb centre, then from his bed pan that he’d kept under the covers, used his poo and smoothed it perfectly over the honeycomb. My sister said it must have taken him ages as they looked exactly like maltesers, but was very relieved that she hadn’t fancied a bit of chocolate…to this day she has never eaten anything offered to her by patients.

While training on the gynae ward a young lady came in to see the gynaecologist, the doctor asked how he could help her, the reply was “I’ve got leaves”, a bit confused, he asked again. She pointed to her privates and said “I’ve got leaves”. The doctor looked at my sister and said “I think we need to have a look”. The patient duly lay on the examination bed and sure enough, there were leaves entwined amongst her pubic hair. Puzzled, the doctor asked her how she had got leaves growing amongst her pubic hair. The young lady had no idea, but had come to see him as she was worried. He told her he’d have to do an internal examination, privately, he told my sister that he’d never seen anything like it.

He scrubbed and gloved up and went in, he felt a round object inside her, seconds later it popped out, a medium size potato. Well, they were both quite shocked and asked the lady why there was a potato in her vagina. She had to think for a minute and said she’d forgotten that she’d put that up there for contraception, to block the sperm. My sister said she hadn’t smelt anything like it before, a rotting potato in a dark, warm and moist place, sprouting leaves towards the light! The lady was referred to family planning for contraception advise.

One busy day in A&E all my sister could hear was someone shouting “I need my gear stick back”, a man was following a woman that was being wheeled into A&E. Turns out that he was having a lunchtime ‘rendezvous’ with his bit on the side, in his BMW. Things had got a bit steamy and she’d accidentally slipped onto the gear stick, gone into spasm, and she couldn’t get off the gear stick. They ended up having to call for an ambulance who called the fire brigade to cut the gear stick off, while she was still attached. The man was more worried about getting his gear stick back…how do you explain that to your wife?

Fast forward 30+ years and my big sister is still, only just, working for the NHS, she went on to be a midwife and for the last 16 years a health visitor. I can’t imagine how many lives she has touched and made a difference to, sometimes to the detriment of her own. Many new parents wanted to name their newborn baby after my sister.

It’s something I don’t say, as you take it for granted that she knows, but I am so proud of what she does and so proud to say she’s my big sister.

It breaks my heart to hear her say she doesn’t think she can carry on due to so much stress and pressure, which is down to all the Tory cuts, so thanks to May and her cronies, the NHS is losing someone very special, I just hope that we don’t lose the NHS.

Lets make sure we don’t lose the NHS and celebrate it every year on July 5th.

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