My cat Dixie, has had rather a rough time of it during the last thirteen days. He cannot understand where I have been in all that time and what I have been doing, although he knows he disapproves of it. And although he makes no fuss about it at all, he is very upset.
I came home from hospital after thirteen days feeling totally exhausted, because it was quite a paraphernalia for me and my daughters to get me disentangled and through the process and into her car. By the time I got home I couldn’t think straight and Mary and Caroline put me to bed, which seemed the only thing to do.
Unfortunately they left the bedroom door ajar, so I had fur company all night, because Dixie had absolutely no intention at all of going anywhere other than going on the bed and doing anything other than keeping his eyes open and making a great deal of fuss of me. Every time I turned over in the bed, his face seemed to be there dribbling on me! And on two occasions I was woken to find a wild fur face falling through the air in front of my eyes and hitting the bedroom floor (still dribbling!). I’ve never known him behave in such an extraordinary way and I’d have loved a picture of the wild face flying through the air!
The next morning he took up sentry duty on the sofa, but one or two gears seemed to be missing. He sat as close to me as it was possible to get and purred and gave me treadmills.
I’m hoping he will become his furry self again very soon. In the meantime I stroke him whenever he nudges me to remind me. What else can you do? But he is not quite the cat he was when I left him and I think one way to put it is, that we are both rather puzzled.
The best piece of loving acting I’ve seen outside of a theatre, a horrible woman in a green uniform enjoying herself and pointing the finger and attacking and attacking one of the nurses and I meet up with a member of Age UK and was very impressed.
But to begin at the beginning, I had to go into hospital last Sunday and have been there until yesterday. Nothing serious. But being in a totally different world for three days gave me plenty of opportunity to people watch from my bed, lots to see. I promised myself even before they let me go home, that I would turn some of the things I saw into a blog. I shall start with the loving acting because I was caught up in that very early on.
I had a good view across the ward to the nurses station and to other patients in beds alongside but I didn’t actually see the patient in this particular drama. There were three nurses attending to her and she was obviously in a bad way because all three of them were trying to get through to a patient who was in difficulties and the drama began when the sister said:
‘We will do what we can to get it for you darling. It might take a little time because nurse here will have to scour the hospital until she finds all the ingredients.’
‘I’ll be as quick as I can darling’ ‘nurse here’ said, and walked down the ward to the nurses station where I watched her ‘scouring the hospital’. She didn’t scour anything! She found a phial and rounded up all sorts of ‘ingredients’ from the shelves around her and mixed them thoroughly and put them in the phial. Then she produced a professional looking label and finally carried her creation back to the patient.
‘There you are darling, nurse has found it for you.’ Sister said. ‘Isn’t that splendid?’ Then they all stood round and watched while their patient drank the concoction. When the empty phial was handed back to them, they watched the patient without saying anything for a couple of minutes, then they all burst into a drama of delight and admiration. ‘Well will you look at that?’ they said. ‘It’s a miracle, never seen anything like it, a miracle, you look better already. Wonderful! Do you feel well enough to sit up now?’ And the patient obviously sat up, because there were two of them working with her and they lifted her. When they’d made quite sure that she was comfortable, they left one nurse sitting by the bedside and the other two came back to the nurses station chortling. It was just a little bit of carefully staged acting and it had worked a treat.
The second story isn’t quite so appealing. Although it was another sign of the sort of lives that nurses lead in a large and very busy hospital. It happened right in front of me in the nurses station. One of the nurses was being berated by a harridan in an ornate green uniform dress, she was plainly one of those women who having whipped up steam, was enjoying it immensely, pointing her finger at the nurse as if she was poking her and plainly saying the same things over and over again. In the end two other nurses arrived and put their arms around the berated one and the harridan sloped off after pointing her finger for one last time. I thought what a thoroughly objectional person she was and when the nurses turned my way, I gave them the thumbs up signal. Later one of the nurses came over to see how I was and I asked her who wore green in the hospital and she said ‘oh, the Doctors,’ but she was covering the identity of the harridan, so as to be professional. That bully was no more a doctor, than I was. There were men and women wearing all sorts of coloured uniforms and the doctors who all looked like doctors translated wearing green in all sorts of individual ways, like a green and white check shirt, or a bottle green dress, very smart. But more to the point, they all looked and behaved like doctors. I wished I had some way to take a picture of lady harridan of the pointing finger, but didn’t have any because by then my mobile phone needed recharging and I didn’t have a charger.
But my third story is pure delight all the way. Her name was Becky and she was a member of Age UK and she was very young, very pretty, very patient and totally loving. She said I could tell you her name and print the picture of her on Age UK’s leaflet.
We met on Wednesday afternoon, I’d been signed off to go home but the hospital was finding it very difficult to find transport for me. I knew that neither of my daughters would be available to collect me, the ambulances were all busy and the nurse at the desk had a struggle to find any driver that was available and could take me to Aldwick and the girl they found was this pretty Becky who looked after me so well and carried my bag and because I couldn’t hear a word she said – both hearing aids being kaput! – wrote down her questions and nodded when I have her the answers. By the time she’d reached the house, I was feeling quite ridiculously fond of her. She carried my bag right into the house and waited while I put batteries in my hearing aids and could hear her and then stayed to talk a little. She’d originally been a nursery school teacher and then she though she would like to try the other
end of the scale and look after the old. She certainly made me feel thoroughly looked after and we are going to meet again. Naturally.
So thanks to all the staff in the hospital who looked after me so well and to my new friend Becky. To be looked after means a lot to you, when you’re struggling. Respec’ to all of them.