Monday, 4 October 2010

Nurse Gladys And Mary Ellen Baines - Part The First

Our Nana was one of the kindest, gentlest souls you could ever hope to meet. At least, that's exactly who she was if you were a member of her beloved family (a family she was happy to extend to all of our friends who were also permitted to refer to her as Nana) or one of her cherished circle of friends. If, however, you were one of the people who knew her professionally and tended to refer to her as "Sister" as she went about her duties on the wards then it was a slightly different kettle of fish for she ruled her domain with a stern sense of authority.

She worked on many different wards in her time as a nurse and saw some pretty harrowing things (particularly during the war and also in her time on the children's ward which she vowed never to do again) but she never really told us about that. No, the two stories that stick in my mind about Nana's time as a nurse are the one about the teeth and the one where she got herself an honest-to-goodness nemesis.

The teeth, then. Working on a ward for the elderly, many of the tasks were those traditionally associated with those of an elder disposition. One case in point being that, due to their advanced years, a large number of patients on the ward were in need of false teeth (mainly to assist in the chewing of food and also to stop their sentences sounding like they were composed of shushing noises). As such, one of the nightly tasks for the nurse on duty was to collect in said dentures from the patients and store them safely for the night.

Nurse Gladys (for this was how our Nana was known) was on denture duty one fine night. She had the tray and did her rounds, storing all them neatly and efficiently away on the tray for later. Gnashers duly collected, she makes her way to the cupboard to store them... and drops them all over the floor. Quick as a flash and before the noise can be investigated, she scoops up the errant chompers and swiftly disperses them about the tray before tucking it swiftly away for the night.

Next morning. There is consternation on the ward. For some unknown reason, not a single pair of dentures seems to fit any of the patients despite them all being a perfect fit the night before. Nurse Gladys is called upon to explain. How is this possible? Our Nana, being a decent and upstanding Christian woman, does the only thing she possibly could in the situation - she lies and says that everything was absolutely fine when she collected them the previous night before sauntering off to resume her duties.

However, it was when her time on the psychiatric ward that earned her what could only be described as her nemesis...


To Be Furthered...



4 comments:

cerebus660 said...

Great story, Nick!

Must go and read part two...

That Baldy Fella said...

Cheers, squire! All true, too (well, as true as my faulty memory bolstered by recollections from my Ma with a bit of poetic licence can make it...)

Lady Euphoria Deathwatch said...

Hi Baldy,

Great story.

I missed you while you were away.

Glad you are back.

That Baldy Fella said...

Why, thank you! I went away to try and work out what I wanted to say (instead of constantly writing about having nothing). I suddenly realised I had lots to talk about after all...