"Emma, Emma, Emma, 'scuse me Emma."
I'd consider myself a fairly compassionate person. But right now I want to tell her to shut the fuck up and go to sleep.
The ward I'm in has six beds; two rows of three, opposite each other. I've got a prime position next to the window, which not only means I get the most light, see the sunrise and am closest to fresh air when the windows are open (believe me, that's vital here, I'll explain another time), but I also get extra storage place for all my crap on the window sill.
Next to me is Kima, who is from Hong Kong, doesn't speak a lot of English and is quite poorly, so we don't communicate much. She borrows my super duper remote control fan sometimes and thanks me, but that's about it. The bed next to Kima is occupied, but too far away from me to know who's in it. But she's quiet, whoever she is.
On the other side, furthest away from me, by the door is Annabel and I'll tell you about her another day. The bed opposite me is empty and between that and Annabel, is Sarah.
Now compassionate me has every sympathy for Sarah; she has learning difficulties and doesn't really understand what's happening to her or why she's here. But right now, I just want to give her a huge dose of anything that'll knock her out. And I mean anything.
She just constantly calls for the last nurse who attended her. Constantly means non-stop, I'm not kidding. She remembers every nurse's name. Tonight it's Emma. As soon as Emma has made her comfortable and leaves the ward it goes something like this:
"Emma, Emma, Emma, 'scuse me Emma. Emma, Emma, Emma, 'scuse me Emma. Shut up you. Emma, Emma, Emma, Emma, 'scuse me Emma. Shut up".
I can't really do it justice, she works up to a crescendo then has about a ten second break and then starts again. Goes on all day and into the night. Whilst the nurses are great with her and sympathetic to us who have to live with it, once they leave the ward, they can't hear her from the nurses station or other parts of the ward. So it may be half an hour, sometimes an hour before they come back in.
Oh and another thing, soon as they turn the ward lights out around 11pm, she wants her little bedside wall spotlight on - all fucking night. But she wants it pointing outwards, so it's not shining in her eyes. Good thinking Sarah, why not turn it around so it's shining straight into my eyes all night. I put a stop to that, quick smart.
Anyway, soon as the nurse comes to her, she stops calling out, so my theory is that if a nurse sat with her for fifteen minutes, she'd fall asleep and we'd all get some peace. But they have about 20 other patients to look after, so I doubt that's going to happen. So on she drones. And on. I've tried earplugs and putting headphones on with loud music, but still I hear her. It's like I'm tuned it to her, just like I was when my kids were babies and I heard the first little whimper they might make in the night.
I'm fucking tuned in to Sarah's ranting. And I'm here for another two weeks.
I need to sleep - it's getting on for 1am and they wake you up between 5.30 and 6am, even on the weekend. I'm torn between my compassionate side and wanting to rip her bloody lungs out. At this precise moment compassionate is going out the window, which I'm convenient close to. Just STFU.
OMG - she's gone quiet at last (ten minutes after writing that last sentence) - Emma's just came and told me they've given her a painkiller (which makes you drowsy) and a sleeping pill.
So I'm off to get my five and a half hours (if I'm lucky). That is, unless Kima's drip machine doesn't go on the blink again and start bleeping constantly.... you know the dripping tap one.
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