I have always been interested of working in a pharmacy. This is due to my grandmother. She took pride in being a pharmacist. Even as a housewife she knew her worth. When she took her kids to play at the sandbox, she refused to talk with other mummies since they were only stay-at-home mummies and if nothing else, she was a pharmacist. My mother died of cancer when I was six. After that I lived with my grandparents for couple of years in Lahti. My grandmother worked in the University Dispensary of the Central Hospital in Lahti. Later on, the name was changed into Pharmacy of Helsinki University and it is still acting under the authority of Helsinki University. I was allowed to visit her workplace a few times. It left me with wonderful memories. I enjoyed every second of it. Especially the odours of the pharmacy bring me back to my childhood. Even when travelling abroad, I always make an effort to visit at least in one pharmacy.
As the years went by, the memory was forgotten. I had all kinds of dreams. After the high school it was one of my options, but I didn’t think I ever could even get through the entrance exam. In high school I took classes on languages and human sciences, not natural sciences. After high school I worked both in the hospital kitchen and in health care. I studied communication sciences in Inari Folk High School for a year. There I met my husband and had two wonderful children. One of my friends told me about pharmacist assistant training. I thought it might provide me the first step towards my childhood dream. We lived in Oulu where I started my training. After that I applied to Helsinki University to the pharmacist training since I was able to use my diploma to be accepted in. I had to make a decision to not to go due to my husband working and studying in Oulu and my children being so small. After a while, I went into nurse education where I graduated on the worst possible time of the recession in the Nineties. I did a lot of temp work in Oulu City Hospital and various nursing homes of the elderly. At that time there was also a lot of job advertisements announcing nursing jobs in London. My husband encouraged me to work abroad. Due to working as an au pair in London, it was never about managing my language skills. After spending almost six months in Bart’s Gynecological Theatre, I got a job in Runola, the Home of the Deaf in Oulu. Working there I learned a lot about different people.
Eventually, I had enough of the endless swift work and applied again to Helsinki University to start my pharmaceutical studies. After that I felt like coming home. Getting a job was easier, the work was interesting and well-rounded. Only drawback was that there were not enough jobs available in size of Oulu city so my commuting was long and time consuming. And my hip arthrosis didn’t make things any better since I have had two hip replacement surgeries already.
Of all these things gave me the idea of a novel featuring a heroine just like I am, a nurse/pharmacist. After reading myriads of suspense novels my enthusiasm was growing. Once there was a pharmacist in the plot, she or he was usually the guilty party who was investigated by a wise doctor, shrewd police officer or hawk-eyed private eye. And nobody really even knows what people do in the pharmacy. I truly hope that I have been able to tell something about this reality that people live in out of sight of general public.
We all have our stories of the pharmacy. This is mine.