Bed Pans…..


I would doubt that any of us enjoy having to use bed pans when ill. Men are a little luckier to be able to use those bottles….they seem much easier to handle with less spillage. I suppose though they are just as awkward for those of us who would like to retain our dignity.

As you all know, I was so looking forward to beginning rehab today, but instead it was a kind of assessment day…..which is okay of course and necessary for the doctors and nurses who have taken over my care. My main concern is that although most of the doctors are good and know what they are doing, some of them like the last guy to see me tonight, like to hang on to patients like myself, (compliant, cheerful, ready to help and assist with background information and so on), and rehab is not going to be as in depth or as useful as I’d hoped. Tonight, while talking to one of my best friends for many years, Marion….we agreed if things don’t improve the way I want it to go here, I may as well go home with home care and have the two lovely girls from OT visit and help build my muscles that way. At least I would not have to put up with being jabbed every half hour with needles for some strange blood test yet again. At last count, I have had 6 jabs for tests as well as the cannula…and my fragile worn out skin is over it!


People don’t realise how fragile and tender one’s skin becomes…especially when techno coloured with bruises and jabs from their needles for some experimental reason which probably has nothing to do with my personal health or care. He is very arrogant and doing me no favours in my opinion.

Tomorrow or the next day, I might ring Karen or Kathy from palliative and run it by them. I am sure I stand a better chance of improving this way than by dreading having another leering doctor come in for a test jab for some incredible groundbreaking idea he/she has come up with.

No doubt I am being harsh in my judgement of these doctors, but I trust only a few these days. Anyway enough about these worries of mine…I am as positive and determined as ever. I intend to live for years yet and need to be able to go home to build up that strength.



My current WIP….what do you think?


Meet me at the Rotunda.

By Jo Skehan.



Chapter 1:

The grey haired man had been standing at her office door for some time before she realised he was there. Meryl just looked up to find him there. He didn’t knock; he didn’t ask for her at the reception desk; he didn’t speak to anyone about why he was in the building or asked directions as to which office was hers. No, he had simply walked down the hallway from the reception area until he found her, as if he knew his way around the place, and then he stood there, quietly, patiently waiting to be acknowledged.

Feeling a slight sense of annoyance about being disturbed on what was a busy day for her, Meryl kept sorting papers on her desk as she asked ‘Yes?’

‘Forgive the interruption and my unannounced arrival at your door, but I have something that may be of interest to you’, he smiled.

‘Look, I’m sorry, but I’m really busy today. Could you make an appointment for another time?’ Meryl kept reading the printout of a page proof and entering her corrections into the computer on the edge of her desk. She didn’t wish to appear rude, but she had a lot of work to do, and like all newspaper businesses, there were deadlines to stick to. What did he think, coming in out of the blue and then expecting to be able to waffle on about whatever it was he thought might be of interest to her?

The elderly gentleman smiled but replied, ‘No, I’m afraid not.’

She glanced up at him. He was wearing a light linen jacket and smart well ironed pants, and carried a very worn but expensive and well-made leather briefcase. Was he one of the guys from another department? She wasn’t sure, but half smiled and returned to looking at the proof work.

‘I’ll only take a minute of your time’, he went on. ‘You are Meryl Jenka aren’t you?’

She nodded and sighed. She wished he would just go elsewhere and leave her in peace. What the hell did he want?

‘I have a story I reckon you’d like to know about. Something you could publish in your newspaper in the human interest section if you like,’ he said.

It was as she had suspected. She sighed. Since she took the job as editor of the local free paper, The Free Press, she often had locals coming to her office to suggest a story they considered important and of general interest to be included. Stories like someone’s lost wedding rings suddenly being found in a garden by a new house owner; a missing dog returned to his family after ten or more years; a child saved by his dog/big brother/uncle from drowning or falling off one of the nearby cliffs. This was probably another one.

‘You might like to speak to one of the reporters,’ she suggested with a smile. ‘I’ll just ring to see if Roberta is still in her office….’

‘No,’ the man interrupted her.

Meryl left her hand on the phone and glanced up at him.

‘It’s a story that needs to be written by someone who can really write. This story needs to be written by you,’ he continued. ‘Maybe if I told you some of the story you could then take a bit of time to decide. Just a few minutes of your time to listen. Please.’

Meryl looked at her computer. The cursor was blinking at her; the grey haired man was still standing in the doorway waiting for a reply.

‘Can you give me the gist of the story in a very short sentence or two?’ she asked.

He nodded. ‘It’s a love story,’ he said.

‘Well I guess we could use more of those in this world,’ Meryl sighed. ‘A feel good story might be just what I need too. Let’s have a coffee and you can tell me a bit about your story, Mr.….’ Meryl smiled at the man who seemed to relax a little.

‘I’m sorry for not introducing myself earlier. My name is John Ducar and it’s my own story. It’s about myself.’

Meryl frowned and shook her head slightly. ‘Should I know you Mr. Ducar?’

He smiled and pushed away from the door jamb. ‘Not really,’ he said. ‘It’s just that the name sometimes used to get a reaction around here.’ He stood up straighter to his full height. ‘I’ll make this quick,’ he promised.

‘Okay, let’s go to the coffee shop next door. I’m all ears,’ she laughed.

More to come in the next few days. Feedback is welcome.







8 thoughts on “Bed Pans…..

  1. oldawg January 16, 2017 at 10:51 pm Reply

    Big, gentle hugs sweet Jo. 🙂 ❤

    • joskehan January 18, 2017 at 10:21 pm Reply

      Right back at you xxx

  2. Doreen January 17, 2017 at 11:01 am Reply

    Can’t wait for the next part of your story. You’ve got me hooked in. As for needles I think I’d be suggesting one needle for all the blood they want then that’s it. If your not comfortable with what’s happening you need to speak up and who would expect 6 needles for 6 different tests. You’ve been through enough. You become some one else’s teacher when you help them understand your perspective and that helps you and helps those they have to take care of and treat in the future. You have other options, like going home, lovely thought and maybe a better idea if it can work for you. Will say a few prayers on that idea. Can’t wait for the next part of your story. Luv, hugs and healing xxxx

    • joskehan January 18, 2017 at 10:20 pm Reply

      Stay posted for the next part of the story lol. You would think they would take blood for all the tests rather than come in one by one like vultures. I spat on Tuesday and the have stayed away, lol. xxxxx

  3. Fran Macilvey January 17, 2017 at 3:09 pm Reply

    Your story has a lovely, gentle, well observed feel to it. Thank you so much for writing.

    I know what you mean about hospitals, needles, yet another test…. so I hope you get to go home. When my brother got home, he felt much happier and was able to rest and do his own thing, you know? Good food that he wanted to eat, conversation, privacy, playing the piano.

    Oh, and by the way, en passant as it were, it is important to retain dignity, isn’t it? Until we realise that, whatever other people may think, we never lose it, whatever we are doing. 😀 😀 Lots of love and hugs.

  4. joskehan January 18, 2017 at 10:14 pm Reply

    Dignity is difficult to maintain but most of the nurses are thoughtful and kind and respectful. Glad you like my story so far.I figured it would be a good way to get story out without publishing. xxxxx

  5. Jan Brigden January 19, 2017 at 8:37 am Reply

    Love the first part of your story, Jo. Well and truly hooked and intrigued! Here’s hoping when you write the next installment that you are feeeling more comfortable and have managed to have that chat with Karen or Kathy. Especially having also now read the post you wrote after this one. Much love and caring thoughts with you xxx

    • joskehan January 20, 2017 at 2:51 pm Reply

      Thanks Jan. I don’t think my writing will ever be as good as yours though.

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