I was recently hospitalised – a familiar occurrence in this household. I’m sure you would agree, that hospital pyjamas are not exactly renowned for their sense of high fashion or style, not to mention their “one size fits all” policy! I think it’s fair to say that patients come in all shapes and sizes. Arriving in the ward, a nurse brought me pyjamas, telling me they only had three sizes; large, large, or Extra Large! It sounded like the beginning of a Monty Python sketch and I tried to hide my smile. I settled on large, but I need not have worried, for the size was immaterial when I found only three of the metal poppers actually worked. The broken ones remained merely as decoration, unfastened leaving the front of these pyjamas revealingly open. A younger woman might have carried off this racy look, but I’m 52 and look a little worse for wear, so I seriously doubt this was a good look for me. The hour was late, after having spent a considerable time in the ER and I was exhausted from all the evening’s excitement, and just wanted to go to sleep.
Once settled in the ward, the doctor on call that night, paid me a visit. She wanted to hear first-hand exactly why I had been brought in, and so I explained (what felt like the hundredth time that night) the worrying symptoms that had begun a few hours ago. The doctor asked me “Apart from these symptoms, do you have any preceding health issues?” I smiled, thinking to myself, here we go again – I hope you’re ready for this! I launched into my story of being born with Gaucher disease, a rare genetic disorder and at the age of 44 being diagnosed with Young Onset Parkinson’s disease. The doctor had a hard time keeping up with me as she wrote quickly in her notes. Finishing my late night performance, I wearily leaned back on the pillow. The doctor with pen poised then asked “Do you have any other health issues?” I couldn’t refrain from laughing at this question, and never short of a retort, said “I think that’s quite enough, don’t you?” Seeing the humour, the doctor nodded and readily agreed that I had more than enough!