The challenges of a male nurse who married a colleague doctor
It was almost in the last part of my internship at one of the State University's Teaching hospitals, during the Christmas period of 2012.
we were all getting ready with selection and arranging of all our documents from the various departments that we were posted.
Gathering our attendance sheets and log books for signing and arranging our reports was the major work for that day. Every one of us was excited to finally be out of this place and back to school again, though we were to have our final exams in less than a months’ time.
The imminent exam didn’t take away the fun and happy disposition we all had.
I was at the general Outpatients Department (GOPD), on that unforgettable morning. It has become unforgettable for me now because it all started from there.
She was consulting in one of the rooms and I was posted to work there that morning, hence, as usual, I had to move in and out of that office as many times as required until those patients that needed to see the doctor were all seen.
It meant I interacted with Dr. Julie a lot throughout her stay in that little office.It was good.It was friendly and fun,still very professional.The ethical limit was beautifully maintained and I was able to see the maturity she exhibited throughout that period.
She caught my heart really. Was i falling in love or crushing on her?What was i even thinking about?A nurse and a registrar?I tried to get it off my mind but it stuck.
At some point, she was almost exhausted and told me she was too tired to continue but wouldn’t want to leave without seeing all the patients. She also didn't want to take a break because she might not come back early enough for these patients. I saw her heart instantly. I saw a heart that was committed to what she did.
I saw a heart that cared for other hearts, other bodies and souls and not just working for the money.
When I went out to bring in the next files and the patients, I sent my assistant to the cafeteria to get some doughnuts and a can of fruit juice for Dr. Julie. I paid for it.
She didn’t know but, I knew that she always liked that. This was about the third time she was working there but the first time I worked with her.
‘’Ken, tell me, why did you choose to read nursing? Why not medicine, engineering or architecture?”
She had paused by now and was a bit relaxed, though obviously looking worn out. “Well, I guess it was a calling. I just suddenly developed that thought and decided to give it a try and here am I today. And sincerely doctor, I am so happy to be in this”
“Wow!” she said. We began to talk and I or both of us noticed that there was this strange chemistry that got into place. We tried to control that, but I guess that both of us knew instantly that we had feelings for each other.It was mutual,undeniable.
However, I didn’t know how she might feel considering the sometimes, silent unhealthy rivalry between doctors and nurses and the superiority complex that exists among some people.
My assistant soon returned with it and you needed to see the look of surprise and relief on her face. I was happy, not only because I made her happy but because she could continue with same energy and fulfill what she intended, then we'd also have time to be talking.
We exchanged phone numbers and the conversation took off full time from there.
The friendship began fully and beautifully and we found out that we had a lot in common.
The only ‘Thing” that people saw was our difference and “disparity” in the profession. Many of her colleagues began to talk. Many nurses also began to talk. The gossip and discussions about us were almost audible and the reactions of members of staff were palpable.
"My guy,come.Are you sure you can handle this babe?she's so much above you in everything even though she's younger.Doesn't it discomfit you?"
These were just some of the words from my colleagues.
"Julie, why stoop so low?Does what's wrong with you?What will your colleagues say about you?" Those were what mattered to some of her colleagues too. but,I can say that it really took enormous courage for her to make that decision and I honored it.
We tried to jeep everything as low and professional as possible but romance has a way of always letting out especially when the people involved are working in the same institution.
At a point, it was much that we nearly caved in.And come to think of it: She was a registrar was a nurse. She earned much more higher than me and educationally was ahead.
Her parents were also richer but not really very rich. She already had a car, but I still trekked to school. I was even thinking how I got myself into all this but something in my mind told me that Julie was the right woman and that I should overlook all these material gradings.
She also assured me and said the same thing.
However, she told me that sometimes, she had had to think about the whole thing .Her mom was vehemently against the arrangement but her father wasn’t disturbed. The first day I visited them, he gave me a big hug that almost brought tears to my eyes.
I knew right then, that I was already part of the family. How to handle her mother would be a matter of diplomacy between us.
I was also very surprised that some fellow nurses were among the worst and harshest critics of our relationship. It was mainly the women. Almost all the guys were happy for me.
The introduction was scheduled soon after the next Christmas and everything went on smoothly. Julie’s mom at this time was already in line. It was not easy but she was made to see reasons.
She loved her daughter so much and eventually agreed that if that was what would make her happy, she would give all her support.and she did.
It was a big buzz in the hospital and the talks about us intensified.
However, I noticed that some of my critics were among those who congratulated us. I didn’t know if it was real or not. What mattered to us was that we did it finally.
She soon passed her exams and decided to move to the Port Harcourt. I was still working in Delta. The distance really affected us a lot but the bond was too strong and we all knew that the separation was for better fortunes, which we needed for our family and careers.
It wasn’t so much a problem, though sometimes, we really felt it so much and wished to have our wedding soon so we could plan to b together. At the Easter of the next year, 2014 we had our wedding and it was the greatest day of my life. The joy I felt and the freedom was indescribable.
Julie has been the greatest gift and most precious I have in my life. It has been such a wonderful experience that I would love to relive a thousand times. She is such a wonderful woman and so humble that I’d find it difficult to compare.
I believe it’s all been by divine arrangement because I never thought I would meet someone like that and under such circumstances. I am also encouraging you to stick your neck out for what you believe. Go for what is good, when you see one.
A good woman is hard to find and if you find one, don’t let her go. Do not also let people discourage you based on social status if both of you agreed. In marriage, you will find out that qualifications and status do not count when you face real issue. I can now see that so clearly.
We moved to Florida last year and we have already completed plans to set up a care home in a nearby neighborhood.We hope it will be the beginning of many new experiences for us.
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