A HEIGHT-ADJUSTIBLE HOSPITAL bed. At first I didn’t understand what the nurses meant. For a moment I pictured our queen-sized mattress atop some contraption that the nurses, who visited our home daily, raised and lowered at their will and command. Then I understood what they really wanted. They demanded nothing less than to replace the bed John and I shared as husband and wife with a slimline chrome bed just like the ones that fill hospital wards the world over. They wanted to turn our bedroom into a domestic version of a hospital room, with this clinical bed front and centre.
The nurses insisted that the bed’s maneuverability would minimise the potential pain for John’s caregivers as they – we – transferred him in and out of the wheelchair he had recently begun using as the tumours invaded his thigh bones and made walking something he used to do. They mentioned there was such a bed available for long-term loan in the hospital’s lending pool. Evidently they had done their homework. The nurses were behaving as if John’s condition were terminal. As if he had months to live.
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