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Written by Mark. True stories by Vivienne.

If you haven’t read the first part go here

Nurse Barbara Bees Lips Misses Finger

After all this time writing here and elsewhere I have rarely written anything serious or should I say real or factual. This will be different for us both. No pictures but stick with me, I think this is important.

I have recently had some conversations with Vivienne asking if she could provide some snippets about Nurse Barbara, as you know Vivienne and Nurse Barbara are the same person. Vivienne sent half a dozen snippets or so and gave me editorial control of that information to use here at the Arms.

I used humour on some of the ones that had ready to go material in them but the real story is quite different. It shows a multiple skill set application used by someone who lives somewhat isolated. That skill set develops over time and often comes from events. Mainly these events are urgent  however you usually have to do something or you know that something bad is going to happen. So you do something. This needs to be recognised.

Now the dog was bitten on the lip by a bee, Viv’ husband called out to her that the dog didn’t look right and Nurse Barbara better come and attend.  Nurse Barbara removed the sting and applied Beechworth honey to the wound. The dog recovered half an hour later. The name Nurse Barbara has stuck ever since.

The said friend did have his finger saved by Nurse Barbara and the gag about the finger going the wrong way came from Viv or one of her family going to hospital and being asked why they thought their finger was broken to which they replied “well, it’s pointing in the opposite direction for a start…”

All what we would call the nursing process, assess, plan, implement and review.

Now here’s a first, well at the Arms any way. Here’s the next episode of Nurse Barbara but the truth first, Dr HOO’s version will come second. I’m combining these two snippets in to one story but I want you to hear the real ones first, unedited.


Road gravel and broken wrist

“Viv’s daughters were riding their bikes one Saturday afternoon. The road was safe, a gravel no through road. It was good as daughter No.2 had just recovered from a severe bout of tonsillitis. A lovely spring day too. Then knock knock and crying could be heard. Viv opened door to the sight of daughter No.1 covered in blood and crying in pain and panic. Daughter No.2 was okay but they were both exhausted. They’d crashed into each other. One hit the gravel badly. Nurse Barbara went into action. Where was the source of the blood. To the bathroom and a lot of gentle washing and picking out of gravel from chin and knees and hands. Then finally – oh dear, broken wrist. Panadol first, then phone off duty doctor. Drive to town. Doc wants an X-ray. Off to hospital –what a bugger. Back to doc who confirms what Nurse Barbara said – broken wrist (really!). Finally back home. The next day hubby cut off his big toe in ride-on mower accident. This time Nurse Barbara called the ambulance. She then hosed the blood off the verandah. Next day she fixed the mower so it automatically cut out the mower when no one on it. Then ensued three months of nursing. The toe did not grow back.”

That’s a busy weekend and when I read it, I could strongly identify with most of the aspects of the work. One of my nursing roles was, you’re it, look after anyone that comes through that door.

The other issue here is outcome. Injury and illness cause consequence. At many stages on our journey through life the truth tells us what those consequences really mean. Humour can but won’t necessarily do all of that for us. Again this requires recognition.

Now I am going to tie all this in with this gem. Excellent work here by Nurse Barbara.

The Mauled Lamb

“Savlon to the rescue. The lamb’s stomach was ripped open. Nurse Barbara – we have to save it says hubby as he pours himself a port. Do something! All I’ve got is Savlon and a sheet. Squeezed whole contents of tube of Savlon into open wound, cuts up sheet, winds it around lamb’s body, put lamb into laundry with a Hessian sack covering whole body. Next day – it was alive and got up and took off to join the other sheep. It recovered – sheet gradually unravelled after a few days. Got top money at market a year later.”

Clever work for certain. Now the Dr HOO version isn’t written yet but it will be soon as the writing bug continues. Nurse Barbara will have to go herself because Sandy won’t want to get out of bed, Gordon is busy watching TV and the Bish is in the den smoking. Can’t wait.