:: tidying the mess – part 2
Started today with an early morning clinical prac – how to draw blood. And practiced successfully on a very clever mannikin. Not only did she give me satisfying amounts of blood from her cephalic vein but she didn’t even wince.
Also learnt how to empty a stoma bag. Not quite as exciting. But reinforced a lesson I learnt last year on placement. My very first day of clinical placement, when confronted with a lot of bodily fluids of the odorous variety, I wasn’t sure how on earth I would deal with it. I felt equally overwhelmed and pathetic. How could I be a nurse if my stomach churned at the thick and often lingering smell of urine and faeces, let alone close contact with it. Well, it wasn’t long before a patient had a significant “accident” – she cried and cried, apologising over and over. In an instant, the smells and ickiness of it all disappeared. I felt only love and compassion for this woman and it just didn’t matter. This thought/feeling – that this patient or any other was worthy of my love, compassion and care – has seen me through a lot of ickiness.
Then today, as I emptied the fake contents of the stoma bag, one of my fellow students who works in a residential facility shared a story about one of her patients who recently had a colostomy – a distressing procedure for most folk. I asked her how she felt emptying the bag and she said she just felt so much compassion for her patient and his situation that she didn’t even flinch. It really is true – and I’ve even found it works for patients I don’t really know. I learnt in first year psychology that statistically, mums have the highest tolerance level of any other group in the population for ickiness. Perhaps being a mum and a nurse is an especially good combination for ickiness toleration.
Anyways – you didn’t drop by to hear about poo! So we’ll move onto pretty things, huh? Like the special kind of tidying I like the most. Today’s tidy – the piano lamp.
See, I bought a lampshade at Ikea a while back – it was in the seconds section – $2, plain white. I could instantly see pretty fabrics and colours so brought it home. Now, I’ve covered several lampshades in my time, but I have to confess – they’ve all been straight sided. Easy peasy. This one – steep angles. Hmmmm …
So I wrapped it in brown paper, drew lines where they needed to go and trimmed it. Then – because I wanted the stripey look, I measured lines onto my brown paper pattern and cut them out. I measured every few centimetres and placed a dash – so as to preserve the curve. Then I cut each piece out, adding seam allowance as I went. I pinned the pieces onto the lampshade, realised the $2 lampshade had no structural bits inside with which to PUT it on a lampbase, so stuck it on top of a small plain white one …. and left it there … for several weeks. The above photo is how it looked day one. Each piece was reasonably in place. By day umpteen, the bottom piece had fallen off and was hanging off the piano and all the rest had slipped. Good look.
Today, first things first – I sewed the tiers together. Then, in a fit of crochet fever that I’ve been suffering from since making the felted eggs, I sat and crocheted a small trim onto the bottom of each of the top five tiers. You know what?! I’ve decided, this is what folks did before we had industrially made rickrack. I’ve done no research on this, my theory is pure lily-ology. But as I look at it – a crochet trim makes the perfect rickrack. Made to fit the exact length of fabric you have – no dodgy attempts at finishing the ends required. In whatever colour you desire (or have thread for :-) and you don’t have to fiddle and faddle with it whilst you’re sewing up the seam, hoping it is evenly placed all along. Must admit – takes about 5 times as long to do. But – a very pleasant way to spend a few hours for a very sweet result. What do you think – about the theory that is? And don’t you just wish it was big enough to wear! I do :-)
Perserverance … ignoring the rest of the family … saw it finished by dusk. I haven’t yet solved the problem of no internal bits, so it’s still sitting atop the other smaller shade. But that’s not too bad – maybe I’lll add something to the bottom of it – might make it less conspicuous. Regardless – I’m very pleased with the finished shade. It looks just as I’d hoped it would. Kind of reminds me of those amazing lamps where they’ve stacked up odd pieces of china for the base. Must be the odd bits of fabric with their bumpy crocheted trims – bit like pretty teacups stacked in the cupboard.
And the piano corner looks nice and tidy now. Phew! Another tick off for the list.