I am sick, but I am feeling beautiful

By Danna Elmalah, Student Nurse, The Netherlands.

Today I woke up feeling absolutely sick. In the past I would have felt miserable and inefficient, because I could not ‘do’ anything. I used to only feel like I was ‘worth something’ if I was doing things. The more things I was able to do, the better I felt about myself, but once I was not doing anything I felt worthless and unhappy. But this time around I do not feel that any more; I have noticed that when my body is sick it is actually telling me something… and that when my body speaks to me and I am listening, all that ‘I can do’ seems to matter less and ‘who I am’ starts to mean more. Now, being myself is way more important than what I can do.

I will tell you how it all began…

Continue reading “I am sick, but I am feeling beautiful”

My Experience of Vaccination and Self-care

 Jennifer Smith, Registered Nurse Maclean NSW

As a health professional working in a hospital, it is a requirement to be vaccinated against a variety of infectious diseases. When I was in my twenties, prior to any training in health and health care, I had chosen to be vaccinated to travel overseas. I was fully informed and chose to be fully vaccinated, as I was travelling to some very isolated areas and communities.

Later in life, I learned more about vaccines and health care, and made the conscious choice not to be vaccinated, based on certain beliefs.

Recently I began to ask myself:

Why choose vaccination then, and not now?

What’s the difference between getting vaccinated to go travelling and getting vaccinated to go to work? Continue reading “My Experience of Vaccination and Self-care”

A Fresh Start – a detox for life.

by Cherise Holt, Nurse, Australia. 

At times throughout life we may find ourselves searching for a fresh start, to create a new relationship with food and exercise, or to eliminate any form of sickness that our bodies have suffered, or to rid the body of its accumulated toxins and the harmful substances we have poured into it, such as drugs, prescription medications, alcohol, sugar and gluten.

The objective is usually to live with greater vitality and physical energy in our day-to-day routines, where we feel well in our minds and bodies and can live a happy and healthy life.

A quick internet search indicates that there are many products and diet plans out there customised for just this kind of goal. You can cut out fat or carbs, juice every fruit or vegetable under the sun, eat only raw foods or invest in a lemon tree. If you don’t want to look at the food you are eating, you can book yourself in for a colon cleanse or attend a health retreat where all is organised for you. Most detox plans are marketed to increase weight loss, gain a ‘bikini body’ for summer or create a fresh start towards a healthier way of living.

But what happens to us and our bodies when the detox program is complete? Continue reading “A Fresh Start – a detox for life.”

Exercise, Fitness and Nursing.

by Jennifer Smith, Registered Nurse, Australia

Working as a nurse, I spend a great deal of time standing and walking during my work day. I could easily say that I would walk 5kms most days as part of my job. I used to think that I was getting plenty of exercise during my day, at work and that would suffice for regular daily exercise. So other than the activity that I would do at work, I did no exercise.

I loved walking, but would only walk if it meant that I was travelling from point A to point B. This worked quite well for me when I use to live in a city and relied on public transport, but once I moved to a country area I needed to use my car all the time. So the ‘incidental exercise’ and walking that I did came to a standstill.

Fitness and exercise as a young adult, was also very goal driven for me. There was an area of work that I was keen to join that required a certain level of fitness. I was very determined to get into this line of work, so I pushed myself very hard so that I could run so far, do so many sit-ups and push-ups, all within in a certain time frame. I can honestly say that I didn’t enjoy any of it and I had a particular dislike for running, but I had to do it. I was determined to get into this job. Once I was in, there was no need for me to continue this style of exercise, so I stopped and did nothing. Continue reading “Exercise, Fitness and Nursing.”

My Body’s Reactions to Gluten, Dairy and Sugar

by Cherise Holt, Gastroenterology Nurse, Brisbane

Around two years ago I made the choice to eliminate gluten and dairy from my diet and my body instantly benefited from the decrease in stomach bloating, changing bowel habits and other symptoms I had experienced within my gastrointestinal tract. I had eaten these foods all my life leaving me unaware and numb to their compounding symptoms in my body. I had become an expert in overriding what my body truly felt.

The choice to decrease and then to eliminate sugar from my diet came later, and whilst it was obvious my sleep patterns and the raciness I was experiencing in my body did not leave me feeling wonderful – as with all my food choices – I couldn’t make a change without first being willing to understand and heal the reasons why I chose to be unloving with me in the first place, which then lead me to override what I truly felt.  Continue reading “My Body’s Reactions to Gluten, Dairy and Sugar”

Medicine for Humanity

By Cherise Holt, Nurse, Australia

A group of health professionals gather at a conference with the purpose of sharing through research and experience, so as to educate and support each other in their common specialities of health and medicine. Professors, Doctors, Scientists and Nurses have travelled from around the country with special guests from across the world to contribute, communicate and impart knowledge from their experiences or simply to ascertain further understanding of the health issues and complications that are presented with their patients each day. I appreciated being here, as I understand the importance of science and medicine to our health and our wellbeing.

For me, the most interesting portion of the conference was the presented case studies. A patient’s disease symptoms were discussed (in a confidential and professional manner) so that colleagues can share from their own expertise to reach diagnosis and treatment options with the patients’ best health interests as the aim. Offered alongside the symptoms is a brief outline of their medical history, including any other illnesses, medications, family history, age, sex, marital status, (children), religion if applicable and whether they smoke cigarettes or drink alcohol. It was here that I couldn’t help but feel that something was missing, like I had a puzzle in front of me with many missing pieces. Although the ability to diagnose and manage the immediate symptoms could be made, the puzzle still felt incomplete. Continue reading “Medicine for Humanity”

From Misery to Fun at Work!

By FL, Registered Nurse and Midwife, Australia

I was never all that keen on work. For many years I saw it as a necessary evil and hoped the years until retirement would pass quickly and I could get into a laid back lifestyle that would suit me better. I had been nursing for years, really liked the patients and giving care, but felt burdened by the misery and problems I saw every day amongst patients and staff. How could I help them? I had no real clue. I was just as burned out by the ‘system’ as those that perpetuated it. From my university based training, I learned that I had to do everything right and have all the answers as often as possible, placing me under enormous pressure to be perfect. There was no discussion ever about the way in which I worked or the quality I offered to people when I walked through the door.

A few years ago I started attending the Universal Medicine (UM) clinic and met people who worked there who were incredibly dedicated and interested in their work and this was always the case at any session. I never once felt like they were watching the clock or bored out of their minds by clients. Never once did they appear to have “Monday I have Friday on my mind” syndrome.  Instead I felt a steadiness; I could tell they actually understood me and they held a love very solid. Hmmm, how was this possible? Were they superhuman or very good fakes? Continue reading “From Misery to Fun at Work!”