Nursing Professional Event 2011 - Padma Lakshmi

Nursing Professional Event 2011 - Padma Lakshmi

Thank you so much to all of you for coming here today. I know it is a cold, rainy, icky Saturday. I know it is Halloween weekend at our house certainly, so I am sure you are all busy with family and you know, you are tired from the week, so I really appreciate you all being here. To everyone who Heather mentioned, thank you from me also. I really just want to say first and foremost, a real special thank you to Heather Guidone who has worked tirelessly to put this thing together. Before we do anything else I just want to give her a round of applause. She has worked her tail off! Thank you. Also Tucker Gurley in my office who has helped her when I was not available, so thanks Tucker.

When I was little my mom always told me that all dreams come true. Dreams do come true you just have to really want them hard and do everything you can to make them come true. And you know, not all dreams come true, but this week, I had three dreams come true. One dream that I had was that I always wanted to be a trapeze artist. I did! I loved the spangly costumes and I loved flying through the air, and so somebody surprised me with a trapeze lesson. I was sore for three days after but I did fly through the air. Another dream of mine was to have a beautiful poster, just like that choking poster that you see in every restaurant, about endometriosis in every health service in every women’s locker room and every girl’s gym. I really want to say thank you to Serin Seckin who did a beautiful job for making another dream of mine come true that I have been talking about for two years, really. Thank you very much. You were very patient with me and you did a beautiful job. We really owe you a lot. We’re going to hang these posters, aren’t we ladies, everywhere, with pride. Thank you.

The third dream of mine was just to have this conference. Really, just to have this conference because I know that nurses are the first line of defence in a young woman’s life. Especially as it relates to her health and her gynaecological health because no young girl wants to go the gynaecologist, as nice as some gynaecologists are, Tamer, no one wants to do it. I do not want to do it. They are not going. We are lucky if they are going by 25. Thank you so much, nurses are just the unsung heroes. I have been hospitalized different times in my life for different reasons and I always had amazing nursing care and I also knew a lot about the nurses’ perspective because my mom was a nurse, and is a nurse. She is retired. She will speak to you in a minute. I was very lucky because I went through a really difficult pregnancy but I was not supposed to ever be able to have a baby. I am lucky that I had one, really. I owe the fact that I am a mother to Tamer Seckin. It really galvanized me enough to want to talk about my period, which is not great to talk about and talk about my vagina, which I am going to do in a minute. Before I do that I want to introduce my mom so that she can give you a bystander’s perspective as one of your colleagues, but also as a mother of an endo patient. What it was like to see what happens, also, when a woman does not get the treatment she needs, and does not have one of you in her life to tell her, “Hey, maybe you have this and maybe we can do something about it now”.

I am going to introduce my mom who is a great nurse, and a great cook and a great human being and is fabulous. She will come and talk for a few minutes. Then I will be back to tell you my story. Thank you very much. Please welcome Vijaya Lakshmi.