A Little Tenderness : Part 4

My husband and  the the  boys are  here again, they have all come so far to see me. I love their faces  they ground  me,   making  some sense in this mad house.  Last night an elderly  lady  was brought up to the ward at  about  1am she was destraught. I think se had fallen  in the snow  and lain alone for a while  before her family  or neighbours  found her.  She is screaming and crying and wanting to go home.

All the commotion woke me from a fitful sleep even with my headphones on I could  hear the distressed woman crying. I am not sure which ward I am on. “Rose, Rose, are you there  are you awake. ” Yes and yes  and now I have my  barings, we wonder who is screaming and why. Is she in pain, is anyone with her. Damn I wish I could get out of  this bed and find her I am sure all she needs are a few kind words or just a touch. God knows that is what we all need.

I tell my eldest son to move before the metal runners holding the curtains around my bed collapse on him. He smiles that unsure smile he has worn since I have been in here, my youngest son assures me that there is no way the  metal is going to fall .

How does  he know this, cannot I see the metal waving , getting  looser  and  looser?

Last  night I hardly  slept, I listen to a frightened soul as she in fear wept.


“Nurse, I am worried about the lady in the corner she did not eat  her dinner and she did not eat  her breakfast either. I am  concerned  does  she need some help?”  “You don’t need to worry about her she has a secret stash  of biscuits and chocolate  she won’t  go hungry. ” Says  the nurse as she sashays out the doorway.

Emma is crying , it is 10pm , and I can tell she is upset. Emma is eighteen, pregnant and unwell, no one seems to know what is wrong  with her.  “Whats  wrong Emma”, I ask, I can’t  sleep so  I may  as well see if I can help. Emma is  crying  because they want to take  blood  and Emma is needle phobic. The  poor girl was terrified and the two nurses and the technician where getting angry  with her. Bless Emma, she was not budging.

“Emma, Emma” I called to her, “what is the problem”  Emma was young  for her age and she was genuinely frightened. “I ‘ll hold  your hand Emma  and  you will be alright. You  can have Mr  G  for the night as well,” I coaxed her. ( Mr G  was my Giraffe )

She agreed, when the nurse and the blood technician returned it was 10.30pm, what time of the night was that to be hassling young  vunerable  girls  for blood. The technician  was not best pleased, she did not want Emma sitting in the chair  next to my  bed,  ” Not proper procediure , “I promise I won’t  tell” I wispered to Emma who was   hugging  Mr G. ” She  should  be in her own bay”  The  technician complained. Emma  whimpered loudly.

“Do  you want to go home tonight I asked , because I want to sleep. Please I implored” well she was not best pleased  but it was nearly 11pm and I was so tired that it made  me brave  for Emma. Thankfully sanity won out  ,  the technician took Emma’s  blood in my bay, me as ever trapped in my  bed Emma huddled in my  chair clinging  to me and Mr G.



10 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. sheridegrom - From the literary and legislative trenches.
    Mar 12, 2014 @ 23:05:50

    Written with such emotion. You’ve displayed honestly how much of today’s health care is delivered–with the exception of those countries torn apart by war and they have no health care at all.


    • willowdot21
      Mar 12, 2014 @ 23:12:05

      Yes and I do feel guilty relating my story when you remind me that so many have things much worse! Thank you for the reminder Sheri xxxx


      • sheridegrom - From the literary and legislative trenches.
        Mar 15, 2014 @ 07:22:15

        Willow – There’s never a reason to feel guilty. Everyone has issues that are different and if we didn’t share them and learn from each other, we’d be in a terrible mess. You write with great emotion and you made every minute so real and so easy to identify with. That’s the thing I love the most about your writing. I knew exactly what it was like to be in that bed and not be able to eat because there was no one there to help you. When I was much younger (a kid) hospitals had aids that came in the room and helped the patient eat when no one else was available. Now, here in the states, you just go hungry.

      • willowdot21
        Mar 15, 2014 @ 09:32:39

        Sadly Sheri I do wander what happened to caring and compassion. It has all dried up on favour of paper work and credentials. I believe the helpers you mention were called Candystripers we used to have auxiliaries who did all the washing feeding and most of the menial jobs they too have disappeared, leaving vulnerable patients unwashed and unfed. Sad days, sad days indeed. Sheri have you had a bad hospital experience. If you want to talk about it, you may find it helps I have to admit I am finding writing about mine cathartic. Thank you for your words of reassurance. Hugs to you. Xxx

  2. IdealisticRebel
    Mar 12, 2014 @ 23:47:05

    A beautiful story and I commend you for your kindness.i was a nurse a lifetime ago and this is what I see as one of medicine’s problem. Nurses aren’t caring like they were in the seventies and eighties. People forget how comforting a gentle touch and a soft voice is. Hugs, Barbara


  3. Let's CUT the Crap!
    Mar 12, 2014 @ 23:56:26

    Willow, the occurs to me this experience sound like a dime novel from the twenties. Unbelievable. So sad. Do these people have no heart. Are human being to be treated like cattle?


  4. bearspawprint
    Mar 13, 2014 @ 04:05:37



  5. penpusherpen
    Mar 13, 2014 @ 15:05:49

    Sweet Willow, your personal story brings to light the shortcomings of our Healthcare system, not in the medicine or the treatment, but in the way it’s given, in some cases so coldly, without compassion.. I know many countries do not have anything like our NHS, but we do pay for it, through our wages, and some are so shortchanged and completely let down. I know there is another side of the coin, where people have nothing but praise, but the shame is that it’s not across the board…. softest and warmest of hugs. xPenx


  6. Cara Olsen
    Mar 13, 2014 @ 15:45:28

    Thank you for your kindness and bravery. Praying for you and Emma this morning.

    ~ C


    • willowdot21
      Mar 13, 2014 @ 16:55:52

      Thank you Cara, I wish I knew what happened to Emma, we got sent to different wards in the end, I often wonder how she is and if her baby was okay and what it was. Thank you for praying for us! I shall return the favour.xx


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