SSS has returned from sunny Queensland, and it was very sunny indeed. I even have a little bit of a tan line. I returned laden with pens, sweets and two teddy bears dressed as surgeons, courtesy of the medical reps. I also returned a kilo or so lighter after a rather nasty bout of gastroenteritis. Yes, readers, only I could attend a nursing conference and end up as a patient.
It started out well enough, I was met by my friends at the airport and taken to our lovely 15th floor serviced apartment (with views of river, Broadbeach, convention centre and construction site) for cheese and wine then off to the conference centre for more wine, canapes and obligatory trade fair. Nurses tend to get crap freebies. I'm not quite sure what other professions get but if it's pens, sweets, lanyards and carrier bags sporting the name of a drug company then you have my deepest sympathies. There's nothing more embarrassing than the sight of hundreds of women rushing from stall to stall in search of anything that's not nailed down. Free, my arse.
Speaking of my arse, back to the life and death experience that was my stomach 'flu. Anyway, I'll spare you the more gruesome details but suffice it to say that my first night in Queensland was not a roaring success. After a very bad night, I was finally taken to the local A & E department (first tip of travel - go away with other nurses) for medical assistance. After 3 hours, one litre of intravenous fluid (they wanted to give me another one but I'd had it by then) and iv drugs to stop the nausea and cramps I was off on my merry way.
I don't like being sick. I'm sure most people don't but I absolutely hate it. I didn't like finding myself on a hospital trolley wearing a white cotton gown that someone may have died in. I didn't like having a drip in my arm that stopped every time I changed position. I didn't like being at the mercy of others. I have no complaints at all about the care I received but what it boils down to is that I just don't like being out of control. I'll be going back to work with renewed energy and even more committed to making sure that my patients go home feeling they've been treated as individuals, not procedures.
When did this turn into a nursing blog? I'll have to put a stop to that.
Ooh, incidentally, if any single women want to know where all the men are, I can tell you. They're all in Queensland. Men, real men. Not a metrosexual in sight. I'd like to be able to tell you more but unfortunately my 'medical condition' turned me into a bit of an antisocial party pooper.
**No, I wasn't sick from drink! I had 3 glasses of wine in 4 hours. Yes, really.**