Saturday, 1 September 2012

still here...a vignette

Yesterday, and I’m talking to the visiting hospice nurse to fill her in on C’s condition. We were standing either side of the bed, talking over C, who is in Sleeping Beauty mode: her face, still lovely, and pale beneath the fading tan, is framed by the lace of her nightgown and the broderie anglaise trimming the pillow. She has been asleep for hours, and did not move when the nurse, Viv, came in.

Viv and I were discussing the best way to minimize the occasional acute pain she has been getting from the ascites that has swollen her abdomen, and which is greatly aggravated by any movement, and particularly coughing. The nurse had suggested she would be more comfortable if propped up in bed, but I pointed out that in stillness, C was in absolutely no pain, but when moved, was in agony – brief, admittedly, but still agony.  ‘She doesn’t like to be manhandled,' I said.

Timed to perfection,  the words ‘Speak for yourself' floated up from the frail figure on the bed.

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