I had an unexpected diversion to Frenchay A+E yesterday, and while waiting for bloods to come back and for Mr Manley to come and pick me up, I found myself accidentally eavesdropping on the patient in the next cubicle ~ they may provide a little privacy but those curtains do nothing to enhance confidentially! For obvious reasons, the names in the following conversation have been changed.
(Young female doctor) ~ Hello there Mrs Williams, I'm Anne, one of the doctors here. This is George, he's one of our very best nurses, and he's going to be helping me check how you're doing. Can you tell me how you got hurt today?(Elderly lady patient) ~ Oh, you are a dear, but just call me Doris. Mrs Williams makes me feel so old.
Okay Doris, so let's talk about what happened. Your son said something about a computer?
Oh no dear, I don't know anything about those, just used a pen and paper in my day. Is yours broken? You should talk to my grandson Liam, he's very good at all of those sorts of things.
Your son mentioned a computer game ~ a game ~ do you remember?
Lame? My leg, do you mean? I was in the hospital a little while ago, they sorted me right out! I took a bit of a tumble today you see, it's a bit sore now actually, p'raps you could ask the doctor to come and have a look?
I'm the doctor, Doris, my name is Anne. About how you had this tumble today, you were playing on the Wii I understand?
No dear, I don't need to spend a penny right now, I'm fine ... How about you love [presumably to the male nurse], you look like a wonderful doctor!
(Male nurse) ~ I'm the nurse, this lady here is the doctor.(Doctor) ~ So how did you hurt yourself today Doris?
How do you know my name? I won't be spoken to like that by someone I don't even know. Mrs Williams to you!
So how did you hurt yourself Mrs Williams?
Shelf you say? No, no, I don't know which shelf I'm afraid... Are you married my dear? [again, presumably to George] I've a daughter about your age, she's lovely. Bit on the plump side, but I've never seen anything wrong with a bit of meat on your bones, eh, eh, eeh!
Your foot Mrs Williams ~ your foot and your shoulder and your wrist there ... Do you remember hurting them?
I haven't hurt anything love, I'm just fine. I took a bit of a tumble you see, so if you could just ask the doctor to pop in if he gets a minute, that'd be lovely. The doctors here are so clever ... I had an operation you know ~ to sort out my dodgy hip. It was Fred, from next door, he had it done and said he feels just like a spring chicken these days. You'd like him Lizzie, he's got a lovely moustache ... you dad never could grow a proper moustache could he ... tried for years, but it never really took ...
As it turned out, Mrs Williams had been playing 'Extreme Zumba Challenge' on the Wii with her grand~daughter three weeks after she had a complete hip replacement. She fell, breaking her left ankle, left collarbone and right wrist. I'm not sure if she may have had some measure of dementia, but certainly the hearing impairment made the conversation pretty confusing.
Mrs Williams, wherever you are today, I hope you are doing okay. And Mrs Williams' family, I hope you're okay too.
*all names have been altered*