"Not just the watch"

About: Rotherham: Every interaction counts

(as other),

This is the transcript of one of the monologues used in the Every Interaction Counts day run by Patient Opinion and Rotherham NHS FT in October 08. All events in this monologue are fictional. 3 months!? Time flies.… She offered me two plastic bags and I just took them and found myself packing Mum’s things into them. Natalie says I just went into autopilot – all I could think of was… where’s her watch? It wasn’t an expensive watch. Dad had bought it for her 50th birthday. I can remember him asking me about the face… what sort she’d like. I said I thought she’d like something small and unfussy. “Aye. Just like your Mum”, he said. It was kind of… a link to them both. And I’d thought it would have been nice for Louise to have had it - her first great granddaughter. You know, the more I think of it, the more I’m sure it must have fallen into the sheets and then gone into the laundry. Yet no one seemed to take that seriously. Was I sure one of the family hadn’t taken it? When I asked the nurse at the time, she looked in the medicine cabinet, which I thought was odd. Why would it be there? [becomes more focussed in her voice]. We knew she’d been wearing it earlier that day, Dave remembers touching it as he squeezed her hand. Someone must remember taking it off. If only the nurse checked the linen then and there. I didn’t think at the time, but it must be the sort of thing that happens..? And the doctor had been so good, explaining everything… how she was dying… happened earlier than she thought though … [voice raises slightly] clearly inconvenient, just as the night staff came on… There was something else too. Natalie didn’t tell me until after the funeral. She didn’t want to upset me. She knew how I’d be [sobs with anger in her voice]. While I was starting to pack that pathetic bag… all the time Mum lying beside me… Natalie heard her say “it’s the patients own responsibility to ensure their possessions are safe” Own responsibility?! She was dying, she was dead! How can a dead person be responsible for their own belongings?! I just don’t understand… “You’ll have to ring tomorrow, we’ll have a look for it” yes I did ring… and again… and again. “We’re still looking”, “No sorry, no one has seen it”, “I’m not sure if the laundry have got back to us”. Every time someone different, but always the same fob off… Why are they so reluctant to take responsibility? I’m not after money – it’s irreplaceable! Then that letter – 4 lines [puts on official voice] further to our telephone conversation of… unfortunately no-one can recall seeing the watch… sorry unable to resolve this issue… [Pause] It wasn’t just the watch! Click here to see other monologues from the day.
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