“Yesterday is history

Tomorrow is a mystery”

I am not sure who first said this,but it is very true isn’t it? Nobody knows what tomorrow may bring,  whether it will be beneficial, malevolent or just plain ordinary.

In May 1963 I was in the third week of my midwifery training. I went to bed on the Sunday evening feeling slightly apprehensive about the ‘morrow as I had been out late for the third night running and had had to sign the night porters register. In my general training hospital we had to apply for a late pass in advance, and I did not know how the system worked in this new hospital. I was a bit worried that “someone on high” might inspect the register and cause me some bother.

I woke next morning feeling quite definitely “under the weather”, but , in view of that night porter’s register, decided that I had to go on duty somehow.

I was rostered to work in the nursery. In those days the babies were kept in the nursery, except for feeding ,and were cared for by a Nursery Nurse called Robbie and the pupil midwives assigned to her. Robbie was a very motherly soul and taught more about the care of newborn and premature babies than any of our tutors. She took one look at me and told me I looked pale. I admitted that I didn’t feel well but didn’t want to report sick, so she put me on milk kitchen duty. It was cooler in there so I thought I would be alright and set about making up the feeds for the bottle fed babies.

I managed this for a short time, but had to sit down when a wave of nausea passed over me. Just as I sat, the sharpest tongued Sister came in. She was about to treat me to one of her tongue lashings, when she realised that I had turned a pale shade of green. The next thing I knew I was being taken along to Sickbay.

I was amazed to find that my appendix, which had “grumbled”  intermittently for about 10 years had decided to develope into full blown appendicitis at this most inconvenient time. I was three weeks into a six month course and was due to be chief bridesmaid at my brother’s wedding in less than two weeks!

I ended that day minus my appendix. I was convinced they had operated needlessly as I had had no pain, but the surgeon assured me next day, with great relish that it had been “a juicy one” and just removed in time.

So, that was a “tomorrow” I hadn’t expected, and yes, I did make it to the wedding to perform my duties, and I had no repercussions from the night porter’s register!