Patient Stories

Reprehensible: the passing comments that diminish us.

She was jiggling, hands in pockets, fidgeting with her keys, sniffing every nine seconds, agitated. I wondered if she was in a hurry, late for another meeting or appointment. I had been in that situation before, stressed to the hilt at the lack of urgency of someone...

Reconceiving the metaphor of ‘magic’ hospital curtains

I sleep with the window open, although the light, or darkness, outside is all but hidden by the blind that drapes the length of the glass panels. Recently sleep has been fitful, and often I’ve lain in silence in the small hours listening in delight to an owl quietly...

Remembering that kindness works both ways

When my husband was called up urgently in the evening by a consultant haematologist to come into the acute assessment unit at the local hospital, on the same day as he had had a routine blood test at the GP practice, this was never going to be ‘normal’. My husband...

Reconstructing a different life 4

Part 4: Resumption My parents in law had decided that my wife, son and I deserved a holiday. They were taking us to Portugal for a fortnight in September. I was delighted - something to look forward to. I was reliant on the wheel chair or crutches but I had built up...
Reconstructing a different life 2

Reconstructing a different life 2

Part 2: Terrified I was ventilated for 10 days. My first recollection after my “near death experience” was post extubation. I remember seeing my wife and mother in law and saying, “Hello mum. What are you doing here?” The next few days blur into one partly because I...

read more
Recollections: taking it all in

Recollections: taking it all in

It was a cold, bleak Sunday in January. The trees were bare, the sky colourless and the ground had that bleached look it gets when it’s cold enough to see your own breath. A grey, tired landscape, devoid of colour after the Christmas holiday. Inside the ward was a...

read more
Re-writing conversations

Re-writing conversations

The phone started to ring; a withheld number. In an instant my palms became sweaty and my heart rate seemed to double. My husband and I were on the way to visit our 8 week old daughter in hospital. Having been 'promoted' from the intensive care nursery to the step...

read more
Re-consenting

Re-consenting

I remember the morning vividly even though it was over 15 years ago. I was sat in a side room on the gynae ward, nil by mouth since midnight and having already changed into the impersonal, ill fitting hospital gown that I had been given. The team arrived; consultant,...

read more