Tuesday, 6 May 2008


Today should have been a terrible day. Not only was there the egg collection but all my child care plans for the next week fell through meaning that I won't be able to get any work done for several days. But oddly I had a good day. When I was in the operating theatre, legs up in those stirrups, drugged up to my eye balls, one of the nurses spotted the tattoo on my foot. 'Oh so you've got a daughter,' she said cheerily. 'Yes,' I said, 'but sadly she's dead.' The nurse then said very kindly, 'I'm sorry for your loss.' I'm not exaggerating when I say that she's the only person in the medical profession during the last three years who has said anything like that and it really helped.
I'm back home now, sore and tired, but still feeling surprisingly positive. Today made me remember two important things - firstly, happiness has very little to do with external circumstances. It's possible to feel really quite happy when everything around you is awful, and equally possible to feel dreadful when nothing bad has happened at all. So happiness is all about what's going on inside you. Secondly, my experiences today reminded me that what you give out is what you get back. Today the nurses were kind to me because I was pleasnt to them. Often they aren't kind to me because I've got a face like granite. It's important for me to keep that in mind - except that the whole point about being in a face-like-granite mood is that you've lost the perspective necessary to think in that kind of way.


Melissia said...

Alice, let me be the second nurse today to say to you that I am so sorry that your daughter died. It is not right, we should not outlive our children.
I am very glad that your egg collection went well today and that it wasn't to terrible. You are in my thoughts.

Tash said...

I'm glad all went well.

Not for nothing, I think if I was a nurse in that field I'd be pretty used to granite-faced, swearing screaming women, not to mention loss and even death. I'm not sure the burden should lie totally on the patient.

I love that your tattoo is on your foot. I really love that.

Alice said...

Thank you for two lovely comments. They both helped a lot. They really did!