Dear Mummy, I’ve only been allowed to pop in and see you a couple of times since you were admitted to Basingstoke hospital a couple of weeks ago. But every time I’ve been up to your ward I’m amazed by the different characters there are living there. It’s really like being in your own soap opera! Here’s a list of the people we’ve met…
1. The Attention Seeker
You know the one, she’s the patient that’s a hypochondriac, she’s a compulsive worrier and a defeatist. Not only does she monopolises the nurses time but she relays the same story of her condition to anyone that catches her eye. You can’t escape her, especially if she’s in the bed next to you. All you can do is put your ear plugs in, as she racks up hospital credits (£5 a day) calling her family and friends to tell them, and the rest of the ward, of her woes.
2. The Resident
A sweet old lady that’s been on the ward for months, all the staff and patients know her and respect her. She gets special privileges, like long walks off the ward, afternoon tea that the nurses bring in for her and 1-2-1 care. But you can’t begrudge her because she’s so lovely and friendly. She never talks about herself and is the complete opposite of The Attention Seeker.
3. The Stern Matron
This nurse scares you, she doesn’t beat around the bush. Stern in her mannerisms and she holds the key to the drugs locker. Don’t cross her EVER, she holds the papers to your release. Clearly someone that gets things done! Just wish she was a Doctor sometimes.
4. The Friendly Night Nurse
He’s the softly spoken nurse, that even when he’s up against the most angry of patients remains calm and collected. Nothing is too much trouble for this guy and he often gets overlooked by his colleagues. He’s genuine and caring.
5. The Bumbling Doctors
Walking around with their white shirts and chinos, they are the brown shoe brigade, fresh out of med school, constantly staring at screens and clipboards. They talk at you and their eyes never focus on yours. Always looking wary and on edge they spurt long complicated sentences and you can never pin them down. You spend the majority of your time waiting for these guys and like buses, they all come at once with an air of authority.
6. The Reclusive
My mummy is guilty of this trait, she’s the Winona Ryder (Girl, Interrupted), the girl who stares out of the window, not really wanting to be sociable with the other patients. She’s got her head stuck in a book or pretending to sleep just to get through day. She’s resentful of the zero privacy on the ward, with beds stacked up next to each other and daily fights with nurses to keep her curtains closed.
7. The ‘Big Sister’ Nurse
She’s the over friendly nurse that’s not scared to pull you to the side and ask if you are ok. She relates as best she knows how, with a sympathetic ear. She’s also the nurse that helps you through the whole ordeal of being on ward.
8. The Housekeeper
He’s a regimented colonel of meal times, his only concern is making sure patients are fed and on time. Even interrupting the most sensitive of conversations to make sure you’ve ordered you breakfast for the follow day. This guy is on a mission. He’s also the man you go to if you need help with I.T or you want something non-legit brought onto the ward. He’s like a cross between a prison guard and a mafia boss and know EVERYONES secrets.
9. The Boy Racers
We only see these guys late at night pushing beds and wheelchairs around empty corridors. Like something out of Top Gear, when people aren’t looking they race around the hospital wheeling sleeping patients to X-ray departments and theatre. Their headphones in and radios on, they know all the short cuts that lead into the bowels of the building.
10. The Button Pusher
The most resented of all the characters is a repeat offender. He’s the emergency button pusher. The guy that pushes it every 20 minutes tearing people from their sleep during the night. Reasons range from the most simple cushion adjustment to the more complex top up of water. Why he can’t stack up a list of requests and do it all in one hit – we don’t know. Maybe he just enjoys seeing the nurses run to his aid!
Its been a rollercoaster of a stay in hospital and my mummy has found it extremely frustrating being institutionalised. She got anxious being wheeled down to Costa (and normality) and got so upset that she had to turn back to the ward. She’s had a chest drain attached to her ribcage now for 10 days and just wants to be released. She’s lost track of the days, time and seasons. Living in a ward society is horrible, worse than prison she imagines, as she has no freedom or control over when she sleeps, eats or leaves the ward.
Lets pray for her release soon!
Love Bella x