My Mother’s Books

I’m not a nurse, but my mother was. Some people wondered how can I have some medical knowledge without really studying anything related to that. Here is the answer to what you were looking for and to understand me better when I’m talking about healthcare, how I got used to it in Hungary and what huge differences I see between Dutch and Hungarian healthcare and even education.

As a kid, I loved to climb up on everything. chairs, shelf, hanging lanais (my dad was really happy about that particular sarcastic tone here especially when I decided at age 4-5 after a Tarzan movie to yolo over to the other couch in the room using one of the hanging parts. I don’t have to say that the small pot which was rather heavy cause it was made out of clay ended up on my head. Thankfully I was already quite hard-headed so the pot broke into pieces instead of my skull). But the more successful climb that I made was to reach some books from a higher shelf that I was not supposed to, including my mother’s medical study book.

Medical books

In the beginning, I only took them down to look at the pics in them (my mother was a child nurse) so it was a lot of photos of sick children some about my age. I’m thankful for the black and white pictures of nameless kids and nurses and of course, my parents who taught me about how to take care of others, how I was not socked in school or later in life by people who have physical deformities or other visible or invisible illnesses.

Any time when my mom noticed she explained a couple of things to me about how it was taking care of sick children, then put the books back and took the chair (what was my climbing aid) away to the other side of the house. Back to square one and start again. In school I learned rather quickly reading mainly cause I wanted to know what was in my book, I wanted to read the stories and tales that my parents were telling me before sleep. I quickly discovered in my mother’s medical book there are not simply Hungarian words but also some really weird language called “Latin” Thankfully there were (as you can see in the picture) some Latin medical dictionaries on the bookshelves so it was just matter of time understanding those strange words. Reading about how the lungs are supposed to work, or the heart or what to do when someone has a seizure.

My absolute favourite however as a kid, was when I discovered one of our lower drawers contained some bandages, special scissors which can cut those neatly, and a book with pictured instructions on how to make different kinds of bandages all across the body from head to toe(and believe me the toe is very difficult a child to do especially on yourself). Guess what happens next… Yes, you are right. I got to be a “Master of Bandages” within a few hours and everything including me was properly bandaged. We have to mark that, at that time there was some big fight between my plush animals, Indians, Lego figures, G.I. Joe’s and Barbies. I don’t remember any more what was the war about. But it was always something where those can’t agree with each other or make alliances against the other (as you now probably notice I was a kid with a very colourful imagination and great story-telling capabilities (which later on surprised my teachers too). My mother was angry and I guess at the same time proud of her daughter for bandaging all the casualties and herself into a mummy within a few hours, this skill paid off later in life when I was doing my first AID as part of our group who went for Disaster Recovery Competitions, and way more later when I was burning 1-3 degree my right hand in Amsterdam and due at that time my job did not pay for sick leave I had to take care of my bandages myself. This resulted in Bewerwijk when they finally checked up on my wounds they also asked me if I would like to work there and I was not sure they were not serious.

So I grew up surrounded by care and books. As an adult maybe I’m too critical of the healthcare profession in the Netherlands cause in my old book the practice was different. Like you know, talking to the patients and getting to know them, so you might not suspect alcohol or drug abuse in the first place. I was thinking of a medical profession in the past, however, I also noticed the salary is unlawfully low for those people who take care of others as much as in Hungary as much as in the Netherlands. How much people don’t respect those who might save their lives, or take care of them when they are sick and can’t get out of bed, as much I like people and I count myself as a helpful, caring person I need positive feedback from my work, from the people who I work with. Plus I deal quite not well with situations (and it’s many in healthcare when I’m helpless. My way of thinking is always, there is a way there has to be a way out of this, and sometimes it is not. Life sometimes is a cruel little … who does not show you mercy, and you either accept it or go mad. Excepting the Unalterable is a really hard lesson.

But on a more cheerful note. I’m really happy and thankful for my parents and their books around me. They teach me a lot.

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