The usual.

I had to be taken downstairs to X-ray today, to see if it’s all intact.

They push me in the bed.

When with the radiographer ( nice, smiley lady of about 30 )

Can you get onto the X-ray bed for me ?

Im sorry, I can’t. I’m paralysed from the chest down.

Oh ok.

I’m slid sideways across a slippery board to have the first X-ray done.

Can you just roll over onto your side for the next one , please.

I can’t – I have no movement from the chest down.

Oh ok.

2 people turn me onto my side for the X-ray and do it. Then they turn me onto my back.

Can you just lift up your left leg please?

No….. I’m paralysed, so not possible…


This discourse is quite a regular occurrence, and it’s no better in hospitals than it is in the outside world.

It’s been suggested that it’s just people’s routines and they forget.

I practiced as an optometrist  for 27 years. I didn’t once forget that someone in a wheelchair was certainly in it for a reason, or forget someone was wearing a wig just after I noticed and and accidental pull it off with the hooked end of the optician’s spectacle frame,  or ever say something completely daft, like ‘see you next year’ to someone who had just said they probably had 3 months to live, or ‘ say hi to your husband ‘ to a lady that had 10 minutes earlier told me he had passed away 3 weeks ago.

And my ‘ routine ‘ was quite a repeating thing.

So why do so many people struggle to remember? Beats me.

5 thoughts on “The usual.

  1. People say stupid things without thinking. When my Husband was terminally ill people would say “God Needs him up in Heaven more than you do” – You are young enough to get married again -think of all the money you will be saving when there is just you to cook for. You will get a reduction in your Council Tax. I lost his State Pension and half of his Private Pension – how was i better off? When he was in a wheel they used to say at least he won’t wear his shoes out. I was wearing my shoes out by having to push him every where. I can laugh about it now Love Margaret x x x

  2. It is truly strange that medical staff who have JUST been reminded that you are paralysed can make such a consistent hash of patient care. It seems downright rude, to be honest. I’m forgetful, but that’s ridiculous.

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