At about this time ,fifteen years ago ,I ran into the Lane Fox Ward,St Thomas’s Hospital ,to be told my sister Jane had just died . I had been with her until 1am, only leaving when I thought she was settled . Another bloody regret- why did I leave ?
So how did I react to that news ? I’ll tell you and for this I am not proud – I went mad .
I flung my basket across the ward , I shouted and I screamed . You have to know this is a ward for people with chronic respiratory failure. They were weak ,vulnerable and ,after I’d had my initial outpouring of shock and grief, probably very scared .
I then stormed into the nurses station ,where they were doing their handover , plonked myself down and proceeded to tell them what I thought about what I had observed after spending 2 nights with Jane , holding her ,talking to her , reassuring her ,breathing with her ,washing her and stroking her head just above her eyebrow- one of the few parts of her body where she had sensation , just to calm her down .And what did I tell them ?……..that sitting at the nurse’s station all night reading a bible and only getting up twice to do obs , in my mind, did not constitute good nursing practice .
I was ushered out ,and the call to security cancelled and then a couple of months later ,a big investigation took place and working with the consultant and the nursing officer ,changes were implemented.For that I am glad.
I thought at this time ,on that day ,it was the worst news I could ever have in my life – how bloody stupid I was .
I love her so very much .
I miss her so very much and to this day I don’t think anyone can make me laugh like she did .