Jaqui's Daily Blog

On Being Susan

There is something very special about being the One Looked After. Especially when you are usually the one doing the caring...


I have had the immense pleasure of being looked after by a succession of nurses during my recovery, each of them with his / her own particular brand of care. I have felt, quite literally, surrounded by love.


The Youngest of the Darling Daughters arguably had the toughest job, taking first shift on the Family Nursing Rota, when I was at my most vulnerable. She was particularly good at somehow knowing when I couldn’t sleep, turning up in the bedroom (she gave up her bed for me on the basis that it was (i) the most comfortable and (ii) near enough the en suite bathroom for me to totter there on unsteady legs several times a night) to give me a careful hug and mop up my foolish tears.


The Middle of the Darling Daughters took over as Nurse in Charge, putting in two separate shifts on the family Mum Rota and demonstrating excellent organisational skills as she made appointments, sorted problems, cooked delicious meals, and drew up detailed schedules for my medication, meals for Mr B and me, and forthcoming events. My life has never been so organised.


My Boy, on his weekend on duty, not only shopped, prepared meals and carried out the general nursing duties as per the lists left for him by his sister, but also found time to sort out a technological issue involving my new IPhone, caused (apparently) by the fact that I had somehow managed to create another version of myself, alongside my original persona. No wonder I was feeling a little odd..


Next week the Eldest of the Darling Daughters arrives, accompanied by granddaughter Eleanor, and I have been asked to compile a list of Things That Need Doing. I am endeavouring to create a list not solely comprising boring necessities, but also some fun, Christmas Related Tasks. As a patient, I like to keep my nurses entertained.


It would be remiss of me, however, not to pay a particular tribute to my Little Sister, Nurse Maggie, whose unorthodox approaches to nursing caused us much hilarity over the five days she was Matron and certainly aided my recovery no end.


We had a discussion via FaceTime before she arrived where I reassured her that, provided she looked after me as well as she cared for her dolls when she was a child, she couldn’t go wrong. We tried to remember those long-gone dolls and eventually decided that I should be Susan. We both recalled that Susan was her favourite and that she had very loose, droopy legs. In those days, some of you may be old enough to remember, dolls were held together by an internal elastic band which was attached to the head, then threaded through the body and hooked up with the arms and legs. Susan’s elastic band was Very Stretchy, hence her dangling legs. Possibly Susan was loved even more by her “mother” as a result of her infirmity.


If Nurse Maggie had been daunted by the detailed instructions for my care which had been left for her by the M of the DDs, she did not show it. She arrived at my bedroom door first thing in the morning, carrying a mug of coffee (as per instructions) - then proceeded to jump into bed with me where we giggled through the best part of an hour of sweet reminiscences of our Shared Childhood. Needless to say, this was not on the Care List. She took a selfie of us, cuddled up together, sending it to the rest of the Nursing Tribe to prove she was doing a good (if unorthodox) job.    


Every morning during her stay, she did the same. And every night she kissed me goodnight and said, in her best Matron’s voice: “Good night, Susan!” There is no doubt in my mind that those five days have added a new, precious layer to our long and on-going Tale of Two Sisters.


In between, she and her fella looked after me royally, taking me for hospital appointments alongside all the shopping, cooking and other household duties, while lots of Odd Jobs were miraculously sorted by Baz, who whirled about the place with a Reforming Zeal that was a Wonder To Behold.


After my Little Sister left, the nurses who followed her all insisted on following her example by jumping into bed with me in the morning and posting off the inevitable selfie: “You have been usurped!” was the comment accompanying the photo My Boy sent her of the two of us. “Nooooo!” agonised my sister by return - I had to reassure her that Nurse Maggie would always have a special place in Susan’s heart...


A thousand thankyous to all my nurses who have cared for me so devotedly.


Even Susan - she of the droopy legs - couldn’t possibly have felt better loved than I.

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Latest comments

23.04 | 20:15

lovely and heartwarming - an inspiration to us all x

09.03 | 12:07

Love this story told as ever beautifully.x

10.11 | 21:31

What a super account of a special event. I loved meeting you last night and seeing your creation come together. I’m so pleased you got so much from the activity

07.09 | 13:17

I have broad shoulders x

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