Sometime ago, actually a long time ago, back in 1965 or it may have been 1966 I was wandering along William Street in Melbourne just up from Collins Street, (I stand to be corrected on this; that’s of course if my sister recalls that day) with a female workmate who’s name long escapes me when I was addressed by a young woman with a boyfriend. “Hello Brian” said she, or words to that effect, and being ever courtious I returned the greeting, with an apology that her face though familiar I was unable to place her and couldn’t remember her name.
I was then told “I’m your sister Carole!”
For the past forty years I’d venture it’s safe to say that one of the biggest peeves Kerry has had with me is my inability to remember people, names and faces and to connect them up correctly. I know I’ve had this failing and being a conceited sort of bloke have never bothered to correct or even acknowledge it openly.
On the afternoon of Thursday 25th June I was wheeled from the ICU, somewhere in the bowels of the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital through a myriad of corridors passageways lifts/elevators over what felt like cattle grids to wind up in what is known as W9W2 at the RPAH. My home from home for the next 18 days and a world of wondrous people. The staff of Ward 9 West 2.
I have no intention of going into the good bad and ugly of my time there; another time perhaps I shall bore you exceedingly with gory details but not for now. This post is a thank you from me and my acknowledgement of amazing people.
But the strangest thing of all happened, I could remember everybody’s name, everybody’s face, a new smiling face would appear and tell me their name and the face and smile and name would stick in my memory doped up as I possibly was and many sounding similar. There were some I saw but once and others for my entire stay. I shall endeavour to acknowledge them all.
One of the first was Sarah when first we met I was told that Sarah did a mean Taylor Swift I asked who is Taylor Swift, I still don’t know I just hope that this Taylor Swift can do a mean Sarah, now that would be something! There was Emelo, and I’d get tongue tied trying to say it, so I called her Emilio which she said was fine and I wouldn’t be the only one to call her that, I think she gets called Melly. And dear little Penelope who didn’t like her name because people called her Penny Lope, so I told her the story of Odysseus and Penelope the Faithful wife which seemed to please her and her chums call her Penny.
There was Shahn and Emma, Lucy and Freya, ‘Lilah and Lyn, gloriouly freckled LeeAnn who I forgave for referring to her mum as ‘Mom’ , Alexis and Anna, Laura and Lyn, Kate and Rosie who came to me in the middle of the night. Cheryl, Michelle and Brittany.
Then there are the young men of 9W2 fine young men and nurses all, How can I forget Steve I called him ‘The Bosun’ he seemed to be there in command of the wheel when the seas got rough, and Callum who shaved my face and made me presentable and stood over me while I took my 20 or so pills and tablets and would brook no nonsense. Anthony and Brendan, and Chan and Lachlan who came and were gone.
Too, the student nurses from ACU, Joanne and Bjorn; poor Joanne was petrified when first she saw me with my 7 or 8 tubes and pipes and whatnot hanging out she ran past me as if I was Boo Radley.
Riding shotgun and wielding his great stockwhip over all this was NUM. He is anything but numb. NUM the Nurse Unit Manager Mark.
Of course there are many more involved in the operation of 9W2, but for this post I just wanted to say thank you to the nursing staff for all the kindness and help during my days and nights with you I hope that I have remembered you all as you so rightly deserve to be remembered my apologies to any I may have missed.
Oh Dear 🙄 I forgot Mary!
No I haven’t really, who can ever forget Mary, the first night she took over my care she called me a young whippersnapper; and she wasn’t joking. She accidentally let it slip the year she started working as a nurse, so she was entitled to call me what she did. Two pennyworth of ha’pennies tall she read without glasses and could flip me over without nonsense, she is held in awe by all except we patients; we hold her in fear; no, not really she is an amazing, wonderful lady.