As the UK plummeted, or actually more fittingly we stumbled, into national lockdown number two, the mortuary began to see the normal Winter numbers increase. This is nothing outside of what we experience every year as the temperatures outside fall, and not unexpected for us. Obviously there is still a fear this could return to the high numbers of deaths we saw previously in the year and become unmanageable but, for now, we are taking one day at a time because we cannot predict when that may be. With any hope and in theory, the national lockdown should prevent this happening at all.
On Monday I attended the AAPT Council meeting over Zoom which was a very long but also a very productive meeting. When we would meet in person they would be of a similar length, and I enjoyed seeing everyone and being able to feel a part of something very big. The pandemic meant we continued over Zoom but often meetings were a lot shorter or a lot of people were unable to attend. The meeting on Monday felt a lot more like the meetings we had before. The strategy of the AAPT was discussed, in a little more detail than when it was announced at the AGM in September and I am excited to be a part of it.
Tuesday saw Rachel and I hosting the November Zoom Death Cafe, which had some very hard hitting topics covered and what felt like intense conversations. It was a slightly different feel for our Death Cafe, which quite often is cheerier than others according to people who have attended different events, however I’m pleased that people felt comfortable to bring these topics along and it felt cathartic to discuss some tougher things than normal. I would never discourage anyone from bringing along a difficult subject they would like to cover. It was lovely to have more new people attend, and of course some of our regulars who continue to come along every month. Thank you to everyone who has attended or been involved with our Zoom calls, we weren’t certain it was going to work but it really has and gets better each month.
Also on Tuesday, I received my electronic certificate, that ‘bit of paper’ as I kept referring to it, which I was waiting for so I could finally say I am a fully qualified APT! It meant so much, I don’t think I can really justify in words how happy I was. When I am really happy I have a tendency to dance or run about, my colleagues can vouch for this, and I did both when I got that email. On Wednesday my lovely colleagues arranged for some wonderfully gory cakes to be made to celebrate, I love them so very much. I ate some jammy stitching and treated myself to chips from the hospital canteen for lunch too.
Thursday we had some more ward staff visit the mortuary for the Care After Death training that we run twice a month. I do love giving this training, however this was one of the occasions were the majority of staff have attended after a night shift and probably cannot wait to go home. They were still interested in the topic and said they had learnt a lot, but there’s nothing quite like a group where they are really engaged and asking some great questions. Deep down I am just very pleased that we can see the impact of the training in the work we do every day.
Now it’s the weekend and I’ve ended the week with some horrible acid reflux thing I can’t shift which is making eating anything very difficult. I know I can be very sensitive to these things but I don’t know if it’s stress related, if I’m run down or just my body telling me that I’ve been treating myself to chips a little too often of late. For that reason, I’m having a very quite weekend with lots of vegetables and brown rice on the menu. I think I will be curling up with a book for the majority of today. Take care everyone.
Congratulations on your qualification and those cakes are amazing!!!
Mrs Justine Bishop
Leander Family Practice
949 London Road, Thornton Heath, Surrey, CR7 6JE
Tel. 020 3457 8722 (DD)
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