What it REALLY means to be an ‘ICU Survivor’

For the first time, a huge number of us, more than ever, are experiencing what it is like to be a patient on the Intensive Care Unit (ICU).  Very ordinary people living very ordinary lives, healthcare workers, keyworkers, mothers, fathers, daughters, sons, are all experiencing it, and COVID19 is not discriminating between any of us.  Many people have…

The Final Crack in a Broken Time

I am usually the one who ‘gets on with it’.  I am usually the one who puts on a smile and turns every negative obstacle into a positive passage of opportunity.  Flawlessly. I am usually the one who puts everyone else and their feelings before me, and then never really has the time to think about myself at…

COVID-19: Our World Under the Microscope

There’s been an eerie stillness, a timeless nudge somewhat, that has prompted me to write once more. Usually. I am focused on who I am writing to, who I am writing as, and in what person; very much like I do when I give my talks on focusing our lens, our vision, on a story, as though…

Finding Tyre Tracks in the Mud

There’s been countless a time where I’ve walked into a forest alone and found myself completely lost.  Not because I am blind, or because there is no longer any visible path in the clearing, but because in the moment, I couldn’t think of anything else beyond the fact that I was just, very lost. I…

Seeing the World through its Changing Leaves

If you think about it, everything around us, every single little thing, is constantly changing and remoulding – the seasons, swollen summers into crisp-dancing autumns, to winters of fragile blue.  Political circumstances, turmoil and uncertainty, our financial situations, the simmering circles of our social lives, friends and families, those we both love and lose in…

Our NHS: 1.5 million stars

1.5 million stars. Wow Have you ever looked up to the sky at night and waited for the billions of stars to slowly emerge through wisps of dark cloud?  Have you ever just stood or lay there, wondering where all these stars have come from, how old they all are, where they were created, and…

How to be a Superhero

As healthcare staff, we’re not in the job to save the world, just so that we can become superheroes.  Nor do we want to be seen as superheroes every time we save the world.  In fact, most of us aren’t even on that quest to save the world – nor save lives, incidentally enough. We’re…

The Language of Medicine – How Narratives can shape our Career Experience

Many of us working in the healthcare sector often find ourselves clinging on a cliff-edge.  Many will again, find themselves creeping towards that same cliff-edge, time and time again, as our shifts get longer, we become more overworked, the system becomes more corrupt.  And many, have already tumbled that cliff-edge, both literally and metaphorically speaking. …

Delirious

Entombed, I lay rigidly infixed in coils of bubble-wrap, ice-cold.  A frollick of strange lights darted in bullets of pink and blue above me, until they all blurred into one infinite line, fogs of white splaying out.  I was strapped into the hold of a Boeing 777.  They had given me a special mask to…