Lilypie Third Birthday tickers

Monday, July 11, 2005


It's Sunday night and I've been fast bleeped to see a 104 year old lady. I'm on the other side of the hospital, so I sprint down the corridors wishing once again that the hospitals would see fit to issue us with electric scooters.

"She's eating and drinking," the nurse informs me when I stagger onto the ward, puffing and clutching my chest, "But still a little dehydrated, so she needed a drip and she's pulled out her cannula."

Doesn't sound like it's a priority call to me but seeing as I'm already there I decide to give it a go. Poor lady. It sounds like a straightforward case of 'Crumbleitis' (as my Senior House Officer calls it - we are all terribly ageist out here. Heh.)

Mrs 104 is sleeping in her chair with her false teeth hanging halfway out of her mouth. Somehow, the bottom row of dentures have turned round in her mouth, and now she has two rows of top teeth, like a shark. The nurses have left the cotsides (bedrails) up on the hospital bed, presumably to stop her from climbing back in. They sometimes do this to stop elderly patients from sleeping during the day, and then waking up in the middle of the night feeling cantankerous. Well, it hasn't worked. I stifle a giggle. I try to wake her up but she opens one eye and gives me a withering glare before going back to sleep.

Thinking she is too knocked out to resist, I begin cannulating her.



Mrs 104 has boxed me soundly in the head. This is not a feeble smack. This is a proper right hook. My ears are ringing.

"You bad, BAD girl!" Mrs Rocky scolds. (Actually, she said "Roor farf, FARF Garf!" whilst readjusting her dentures, but I'm used to Crumblese.)

Suddenly I decide that Mrs Rocky doesn't really look terribly dehydrated to me. She's feisty for 104. Heck, she'd be feisty for 24.

Later on that day, I walk past her room again. Some odd movement catches the corner of my eye and I llook round to see Mrs Rocky standing on top of her chair, hanging onto the ceiling lamp with both hands, attempting to swing herself over the cotsides to get back into her bed. "Arrrr!!" she says defiantly, as her dentures clatter to the ground.

Tarzan, as far as I'm aware, isn't a 104 year old lady.

I quickly run to get the staff to help me get her down before she falls off and breaks her 104 year old bones. The nurses are like offended hens, clucking round Mrs Rocky as they tuck her into bed. I suppress the urge to cackle hysterically.




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