Needing a wee, pushing, awaiting the magic of the catheter where the feeling disappears as the liquid goes down the tube into the bag, I’m suddenly soaked with warm water. It’s all over my legs and tummy, the sheets and duvet. Oh no.
Ringing my buzzer, I’m shaking. This is horrible. The nurse comes in; after what seems like an hour.
“Hello?” She says, her voice harassed. Let’s call her Nurse Ratchett.
“The catheter has broken,” I say. “It’s come out. I’m wet.”
“Put your hospital gown on,” Nurse Ratchett says.
“I can’t wear that,” I say. “Too hot. And I need a wash. I’m covered in wee and…” I’m crying. It’s past midnight. “I’m not meant to be alone – I’m immobile and…”
The door opens. There’s a pretty young nurse standing there: wide-eyed, slim.
“Ah, Nina,” Nurse Ratchett says. “Please change this wet bed. I have to go. I have four other patients waiting and…”
“Yes, sister,” Nina says, stepping into the room, pulling the door to behind her. She looks early twenties, long shining dark hair, Chinese I reckon. Nurse Ratchett bustles out, dragging wet sheets, shaking her head.
“I’m sorry about her,” Nina says, wiping the plastic bed that’s underneath them. “She’s really stressed and…”
“She shouted at me,” I say.
“I’m sorry,” Nina says, spreading a new sheet on the bed, folding it into hospital corners.
“I need to sleep,” I say, sitting on the end of the bed. “Is there something that you can give me to help me or…”
Am so tired but my mind is wide awake. The joy of hypomania.
“I’ll send the doctor,” Nina says. “There: all done.”
“Thank you,” I say.
“So, how can I help?” The lovely young doctor says, striding into the room. He looks say thirt or so, short hair, tanned in his green scrubs. His voice is mellifluous, calming.
Ratchett returns, scurrying around. Need her to leave so I can tell him what’s going on.
“It’s her,” I mouth to him.
“Please go, I’ll deal with this,” he says to her. She tuts and leaves the room, shaking her head.
“I’m sorry about her,” he says. “She’s very stressed and…”
“She shouted at me,” I say. “She shouldn’t take it out on the patients : I’ve just had major surgery. I’m in pain and wetting the bed is distressing and…”
“They’re really understaffed today,” he says. “It’s hard to get nurses.”
“She’s horrible,” I say. “She shouted at me and…it’s not my fault. I have a mental disorder and mood is up and need constant supervision and…I need to get some sleep and…”
“Right,” he says. “She’s difficult because she’s stressed. You can have a sleeping pill so…”
“Thank you,” I say.
“I’ll just get it,” he says.
Achieve five hours of sleep, which is good. Soon it will be breakfast.
Attached photo is a tamandua from The Life Of Mammals the other day. The doctor will come back soon.
Happy Wednesday everyone!
*1966. True crime. By Truman Capote. Contains a bed wetter.