My Mum fell and broke her hip on Saturday. She is 74 and her health isn’t great, and her bones are not as strong as they were. I have a lot of respect for the work that hospital staff do. ALL of them, from the cleaning staff to the nurses, the whole team do a fantastic job. But to be honest, I am a bit disgruntled at the way my mum is being dealt with. This is what I would like to say to the nurses that are caring for her.
This is my mum, Mary (on the right of the photo). You see her as another elderly lady who is confused, incontinent, and frail. When I was growing up, this lady made sure that I was always clean, tidy, immaculately turned out. I had matching ribbons for every outfit. The whitest socks in the school! And beautiful hand knitted jumpers and cardigans. She also taught me right from wrong, perfect manners, and to treat people as I would like to be treated. She was exceptionally hard working. We were not well off, but she and dad always worked and made sure that one of them was home to look after me. It must have been exhausting at times, especially when I had a life threatening kidney disorder and spent many months in Birmingham Children’s Hospital. I know that it cost a fortune going all that way to visit me every day. But that is what she did, usually with a small treat to cheer me up. Our house was so clean and neat.She was always very house proud, infuriatingly so at times, but that was how it was. If she had known that in her later years she would become confused, forgetful, and not be able to control her bladder she would have said “Shoot me if I ever get like that!”. She doesn’t choose to be that way, but that is what has happened, and it is rather heartbreaking, really. So, before you tut at her impatiently because you have to change her bedding yet again. Or tell her to press for help if she needs the loo (if only she could). Or have conversations about other staff on your shift over her head while you are sorting her out- rather roughly at times, I feel. Please can you remember that once she was young and beautiful and vibrant. Someone who loved to wear the latest fashions, and dance every weekend, and sing along to Jim Reeves or Slim Whitman, and work as hard as she could to make her family happy. To me, she is still beautiful, and she’s my mum, and one day this may be your mum, and perhaps even you.