Published on 23 Nov 2022
I was previously in NTUC Link doing member relations when I was doing my Sociology degree part-time. I always had an interest in working with people, particularly the elderly. Therefore, I was really glad when the opportunity to start working in a nursing home came up.
At the point of telling my story, I am 8 months pregnant with my first child. This baby came as a surprise to me and I am still amazed at how miracles can happen. I was diagnosed with Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).
The doctor advised that I had a very slim chance of conceiving naturally, and recommended that I try In vitro fertilisation (IVF) but I still had to lose 30kg before I could start.
My heart broke when I heard the diagnosis. I still remember that I returned to work with a heavy heart, and pretended that nothing was wrong while participating in the activities that I had planned for the residents.
Not wanting to dwell in self-pity, I decided to start making lifestyle changes. I bought an exercise bike and did my own spin class at home. I also tried weightlifting, and went for long hikes during the weekends. Initially, it was really difficult to even climb a few stairs, but it got easier as time went by.
After 6 months, I managed to lose 18kg. I felt healthier and my heart felt lighter too. My mindset shifted from asking myself questions like, ‘why me?’ to accept things as they were, and going with the flow. This journey was a whole new experience for myself and I could feel that my energy level was higher, which led to increased productivity at work. I was more confident of myself and also began to feel more motivated in doing more. Wanting to promote health and wellness, I organised the inter-olympics event in the wards to motivate the residents - who responded with much enthusiasm!
Life has a way of going one full circle - at least for me at NTUC Health. I hope to be able to share with our residents the power of our thoughts, to encourage them to be optimistic and “Be Ageless”.
Cherlyn's story is part of a series of 12 inspiring stories of Nursing Home staff. Read more here!
Interested in a fulfilling career in the health and eldercare industry? Find out more at our careers page!
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