Inspiring creates change

To inspire can be the gift we take from hardship

Recently I was asked to share my story as a parent of a young child with learning disabilities who required a hospital stay post surgery.

My audience was around 600 first year nursing students and my purpose was to share my experience of my oldest son’s journey through hospital to help them develop a more confident care approach to nursing individuals with learning disabilities and ASD.

Inspiring creates change in a profound and lasting way. Whilst the lecturers provided an amazing delivery filled with such rich learning, deep and connecting content; I was there to provide the heart to heart real lived experience to be shared and learned from.

The gift of inspiration that never stops giving

Throughout our lives we are inspired by many different people, places, situations and things and inspiration has been known to lift me through dark and challenging times. To be able to provide my own inspiration to others was as always; a profound experience.

James has come through 4 major spinal surgeries and his experiences on a children’s ward was filled with positive and negative interactions which shaped my shared story.

The key point I wanted to share with the students is the profound relationship between parent / care and the person who has a disability. In brief for me I know James’s non-verbal cues down to the twitch in his lip when he’s starting to feel annoyed or the self soother he does when he’s beginning to get anxious.

As someone who lived with chronic pain since infancy and being non-verbal about it James was great at masking but I knew when he was in pain and when he was uncomfortable and I knew how to talk him down from an escalation point, talk him up to accepting health intervention and then chatting about whatever he wants to chat about. I know him inside out.

Inspiring or interfering?

In the early stages I will admit to feeling worried about being labelled an interfering parent but I was always mindful to know where my mothering and advocate role ended and the nursing role began (hard when I was a trauma nurse by job). But I know that when the medical team and James and I worked together we flowed much smoothly and efficiently.

Working together should be the focus on any approach because when it comes to being a parent or carer we know we can not work in isolation and that striving for the best for our children requires a dynamic team approach.

There are multiple experiences that come together to make up the picture of our family life stories and as challenging as they are at the time or as joyful as they feel; we can use them to inspire others.

Inspiring creates change.

Inspiring creates change; this felt like a real lived experience as I was giving the talk and I was reminded through this experience that the more we share the more we help others to grow and understand, to navigate and negotiate for the best outcomes.

So let’s make it a priority to keep inspiring and ourselves being inspired.

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