Once upon a TIME

Once upon a time, I watched the film Alice through the glass. It was a clever little film and the concept of time which it was based on, struck a chord with me. Initially, I thought of time as a stopwatch and associated it merely as a unit of measurement. However, the concept of time means so much more. The film encouraged me to see that although Time waits for no one, Time is not your enemy nor is it a ticking bomb. Instead one should view Time as your friend that you must work with, to make the most of the gift of Time that has been given. It is true that we can’t get Time back and as we come to acknowledge this, we suddenly realise that every moment must be used wisely. 

You can’t use the excuse that you don’t have the Time, as we all have the same 24 hours a day. It’s how you choose to use it. Admittedly it is easy to forget how precious Time is with the busy lifestyle that we have willingly adopted. So it is important to remember amongst it all, that although Time flies, you are the pilot with the ability to direct it and steer it in how you wish. So I urge you to make the most of every precious day, every hour, every minute to create timeless memories. Tick tock. What are you waiting for? 


A day in the life of a pharmacist

Day in the life of a pharmacist.

Check in. The looming tower of baskets to check for tomorrow awaits. Check check check. Someone pops in as they’ve run out of their meds, emergency supply time. Check check.. Another person comes in to ask you “bout buying that gel for my back I saw on the telly”. Check and hand out a first inhaler and going through the technique with the patient. Che.. A lonely Mr XY who is looking for someone to talk to pops in to tell you his wife has died and to reluctantly dispose of her many meds. Now where was I? Check check check. Squeeze in a few flu vaccinations for patients who saw the poster on the window. Check check. The lovely Johnsons family come in for advice on malaria tablets for their latest exotic trip. Check. Explaining to Mrs S that the pseudoephederine is unsuitable for them to use for their cold because of the medications that they are on. Check check. Time for a quick 10 minute sandwich whilst it’s quiet? Ring ring ring, patient wants to book a H pylori test and you explain the procedure to them. Check check. Ok finish off that sandwich. Carried out a thorough MUR for Mr Patel, an inquisitive chap who was delighted with the information provided to him about his medication as you answered some of his questions the GP didn’t have time to cover.. Check.. A young Miss Z wants a private word and is very distressed as she missed taking her pill yesterday and wanted some advice on when to take the next one. Check check. Ring ring.. Dr Dhesi is writing a prescription and asks about a replacement for the eye drops that have been recently discontinued. Check check. Is that the time already? Check out pharmacists, the pillars of the community.

When my sister got a pea stuck in her nose

imageI could never imagine that a single little vegetable could cause so much panic. Let me rewind back to when I was a 7 year old tomboy. *squeaky tape rewind sound*.

My sister and I with only a few years apart, were like two peas in a pod, inseparable and always up to mischief. It was the start of the summer holidays, which meant me and my younger sister, Simran were busy making a birds nest out of leaves and rocks. We both were called to come inside  to eat our usual Friday night special – fish and chips, scattered with peas.

“I have big green slimy bogeys. Look Sonia. Look at my boooogeys.” Little did I know that these were the very words to cause such chaos and panic. Craving my attention, my younger sister held the perfectly rounded peas close to her nostrils and she was amused by the fact they resembled something ever so repulsive. Unimpressed with her immature behaviour, I carried on soaking my chips into the gravy.

That was when I heard the piercing scream. Terrified, I instantly looked up to discover that my sibling had breathed the tiny pea up right into her nostril. She sat on the chair, completely shocked by what had just happened and tears rolled down her face as she realised where the pea had settled.

It’s one of those situations you find horrifying yet hilarious looking back. Seeing the blood creeping out of her nose, immediately intensified my panic levels. A surge of guilt flooded my stomach. After all the times I called my sister a pea-brain, she had literally become one.

“Oh my god, what have you done Sim?” I whispered in disbelief.

My sisters face turned abnormally pale as she sobbed “Sonia, is my nose going to fall off? I don’t want to die!” Before waiting for my reply, Simran frantically ran outside to explain the situation to mum.

As ever supermum came to the rescue and reassured Simran that she would not need plastic surgery for her nose. Long story short, the pea was finally removed (How you may be asking? Well I shall leave it to your imagination) and bursting with relief, Simran came out the kitchen holding the pea proudly in her palm, with a massive grin on her face.

Since that day, when I see a pea I don’t see it as a tiny, innocent, healthy vegetable. No in my eyes, they are a potential hazard, which in my opinion should come with a warning label! Who knew that even the tiniest, pea-sized things could cause such a commotion and panic.

Sharing my Epiphany..

Recently I visited India. One of the most vibrant countries, which never fails to inspire me.

What warms my heart the most is the way people go out of their way to help others, even if they have very little themselves.  I met a remarkable gentleman, Mr Singh who was an inspiration to say the least. He is a middle class banker with a soft touch for horses and successfully managed to save up his earnings to buy himself two horses.

You must be thinking “big deal, the guy likes horses”.

Well it’s how he uses his passion for horse riding to help others…

Mr Singh is a strong believer that animal assisted therapy is the way forward and explained how horse riding is being used as part of treatment plans for those with special needs. I was told that regular horse riding lessons provides people with confidence, physical strength by strengthening muscles, improving tone and the rhythmic movements also improves co-ordination. Mr Singh spends his two days off giving young, disabled children horse riding lessons, free of charge, opportunities that many people in India cannot afford. These young children are affected by a vast range of conditions such as MS, autism and Down’s syndrome.

Whilst I was there I met a young girl around the age of 7, who was completely dependent on her parents as her disability physically restricted her.  She started taking these horse riding lessons a few months ago, consequently she is now able to independently hold a glass in her hand. A simple task we take for granted yet it was a task she could not previously carry out due to her disabilities and she was proud to show me her fantastic achievement at every opportunity! For this young girl it provided hope and for her to be able to ride a horse meant she had control, for once. Although many of these children will have their disabilities for life, horse riding provides them an opportunity to develop their physical and social functioning. For these young kids it is a major motivational factor to see the improvements and the therapy gives them something to look forward to, or in some cases a purpose. To put it simply, Mr Singh provides hope to many kids. Which in a place like India, where there are very little opportunities for disabled people, a simple thing like hope impacts their lives massively.

Once word got around that Mr Singh was providing young children with these amazing opportunities, many local schools began to contact him. These schools were willing to pay him generously to provide horse riding lessons to the students, which initially excited him. However, after seeing how many of the children showed little respect towards the horses by kicking or scaring them, he immediately stopped teaching in schools as for him it wasn’t about making money but to share his love of horse riding.

I think this humble guy deserves to be recognised. To have so little and do so much for others out of kindness is so hard to do in this selfish world we live in. I learnt a lot from him, things that I was not even taught at my pharmacy school back in England. I’m thankful I had the opportunity to meet him, as he restored my faith in humanity as it is a rarity to find such generous souls. From my trip, I realised the difference that one individual could make by simply sharing their passion. When you think about it, it’s simples *squeak* yet for me it took a trip halfway across the world to truly understand how easy it can be to help others.

How not to spend your free time

What is the first thing many of us do when we finish work, or when we sit on a bus, or when you first wake up? Let me guess, for most of us we pick up our phones and scroll through our Twitter feeds (as flicking through a newspaper is too old fashioned), or double tap on pictures you’ve found on Instagram of someone you barely even speak to. The sad fact is that to know someone’s name has become a good enough reason to spend your free time learning more about their life. This is all very well and passes the time, yet ironically excessive use of social media has in fact made us unsociable. Continue reading