Thursday, January 16, 2014

Nursing changes - II

One problem I have when a new nurse comes is that for a few days I have to be a better statue than usual. This is because the nurses would not yet have learned my communication methods  so if I moved any part my body inadvertently, they will rush to my side but won't know how to proceed. They will ask if it is about head, legs, hands, pillow, urine, etc. but they won't understand my reply. Finally they will call Jaya who will find that I didn't need anything.

The nurses were all believers and were often told that they will get some brownie points if they took care of me which will ensure that they will go straight to heaven. I hate this kind of talk and will sit quietly hoping that it will get over quickly. Amazingly (for me) the nurses swallow this line hook, line and sinker and make the appropriate noises.

One nurse said those who didn't believe in god are goners (not the fist time I have been told about this bully in the sky). He (it was a male nurse) didn't know that I don't give a shit about any god.Unfortunately nobody said anything about my disposition in these matters thus depriving me of some blog fodder. It would have been interesting to hear what he had to say. As Christopher Hitchens said in this debate, 'You never know what they [believers] will come up with next.'

The first thing that a nurse is taught after coming here is to know when to turn the page of a book that I will be reading. The book will be kept in a book-holder in front of me and when I finish reading a page, I will turn to the nurse and blink which will be the cue for the nurse to turn the page. I had thought that this will be the easiest part of a thankless job but it doesn't quite work that way. Generally the nurses would prefer that I lie on the bed and do nothing so turning the page was an additional chore that they could have done without.

Some nurse will sometimes turn two pages and I will struggle to convey this to them. Finally Jaya will come tell them what the problem was. She will tell them to look at the page number before turning the page but in some cases this did not seem to make a difference. I suspect that those nurses were not sure about the sequence of numbers. It might have proved embarrassing to check so I didn't pursue the matter. And then there is that damn mobile phone.@#$%&!

 After one of the many instances of children dying in hospital in West Bengal, I heard one anguished parent complain that the disaster happened because the nurses were busy talking to their boyfriends on the mobile phone. After my experiences with the nurses here I have no difficulty believing the story.One nurse moaned that she was tired of life. The reason? Her mobile phone had not been activated for a week because some information had not been provided!

Most nurses are scared of touching the computer so it has been difficult to train them to do simple tasks for me.  As a result I have not been browsing as much as I used to do earlier. That is why you don't see too many links from the past 6 months in my posts. (Thank God for small mercies, right?) When I do manage to read some of my favourite blogs, I get the impression that the blogosphere is managing quite well in my relative absence. Amazing! I wouldn't have thought it possible. There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy

The nurse who had stayed for 12 years used to do quite a lot of typing work which was essential for keeping the blog going. I  have been able to continue wasting your time since her departure thanks to the neuro-headset. According to this article, most people don't make it to the end of an article when reading online so probably I am the only one wasting my time.

I noticed a curious thing in almost all nurses, whether they came from Kerala or Tamil Nadu - the way they pronounced the letter 'p'. Plug will be 'phlug', pant will be 'phant', ship will be 'shiph', apple will be 'aphle'...It must have something to do with how they are taught in schools since everybody seems to have it.

The current nurse has stayed for about 5 months which is the second longest stay ever for a nurse here. She will leave next month because she is getting married after which she will stop working. Then the whole rigmarole of looking for a new nurse will start again. As for when it will end, your guess is as good as mine. Perhaps God knows! ;-) Maybe I should just take refuge in Shelly's words in the poem, Ode to the West Wind, 'If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?'.

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