04 September 2020 – Barbara

Essentially it was exactly like Wednesday but with more excitement. I finally started eating liquid food (e.g. soups/ ice-cream), I was getting out of bed with some ease and I requested to shower. I’m not normally one to request assistance, but I swallowed my pride and a lovely nurse (who probably went blind having to see me naked) helped me to shower. I felt invigorated, even just to be able to clean my teeth and put a brush through my wet hair

After chatting with my new ward buddies, and taking my lovely pain pills like a baby gannet feeding off their mum, I was settling into the routine of food, pills, nap, chat and repeat three times. I even started chatting away to Linda, who still had an issue whereby whenever anyone was being treated by a nurse her bell would go for some obscure reason.

Still I was yet to meet my favourite; she arrived that evening dressed in a pink dressing gown, cute as a button old lady. I was alerted when she refused to be admitted and wanted to go home, poor thing. However, later that evening I went for the usual loo escapades and as soon as I got up from my bed, Linda rang the alarm button (honestly it’s like she has a tracker on anyone that moves in the ward).

I went to reception and saw this lovely old lady, Barbara, sat on a chair in the middle of the reception area as she liked to go walkies (I’m assuming she had a form of dementia). I mentioned to the nurse that Linda needed help and the nurse responded that she couldn’t go because Barbara needed watching. I said I could stand for a few minutes and watch Barbara and introduced myself to this lovely lady. As the nurse went to treat Linda, Barbara was showing me all the doggies on the ward – ‘look at them’ she said ‘there’s 37, they want to come inside and go to bed with me’ and ‘oh this one likes you’ – it turns out that even petting pretend dogs made me happy. I told you, you have to take the laughs and happiness wherever you can.

After the nurse had returned and I went for my pre-night loo trip, I walked up to Barbara sat in her chair and said goodnight.  Barbara watched me walk away and shouted ‘look at the bloody state of you’, I was shocked ‘so Barbara what is wrong?’ – she said ‘one of your socks is up and one is down – you look a mess’. I looked down and I was wearing those awful tights to prevent deep vein thrombosis, and rolled them both up so they matched and didn’t offend poor Barbara’s eyes a second longer. I said to Barbara ‘is this acceptable to you now, can I got to bed?’, Barbara replied with the smuttiest smile I’ve seen in a while and said ‘you are a naughty NAUGHTY girl’ and I laughed with her and tootled to my bed. Honestly, every time I think of Barbara I still smile, she was wonderful and I hope wherever she was in her mind, she was happy.

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