Disability Service Grumbling













I coughed lightly, and was immediately surrounded by a duo of nurses, anxiously checking my stats and calling out obscure numbers to one another.

         ‘Oh, I’m fine, you idiots,’ I grumbled. ‘It was just a cough! I used to be allowed to cough!’

         ‘You also used to be able to breathe properly,’ one of them gently chided me. She said it with the slightest of grins, cruelly keeping me from being upset with her.

         ‘Bah,’ I waved her away. ‘Who needs breathing, anyway.’

         You do!’ laughed the second nurse, fussing away at my right elbow.

         ‘I was breathing for decades before you were born, young lady,’ I scowled. ‘And if you jab me again, I can’t be held responsible for what I may or may not do to you.’

         ‘Is this how you’re going to be when the local disability service provider helps you find a home nurse?’ the first woman asked me. I whipped my head around too late to realise she was distracting me as the second nurse jabbed me with a needle.

         ‘Nicely played,’ I grumbled, letting a tinge of respect darken my frown.

         ‘Thank you,’ the chuckled. ‘Now, how are you feeling?’

         ‘Oh, you don’t want to know how I’m feeling,’ I grumbled. ‘But physically, I’m fine. A little tired.’

         ‘Understandable,’ the second nurse said, standing back from my completed IV. ‘It’s been a long day. ‘Hopefully we can set you up with SDA housing, near Adelaide so you can be close to your grandkids.’

         ‘How do you know where my grandkids live?’ I scowled again.

         ‘You told us last week,’ she said calmly. ‘And we have access to your file.’

         ‘That’s in my file? Why is that in my file?’

         ‘It’s not in your file,’ the first nurse laughed, walking around to the foot of my bed so she could slap her colleague on the shoulder. ‘Don’t lie to the patients!’

         ‘Careful, young lady,’ I wagged a finger at her, the heavy heart-rate monitor on the end of it somewhat distracting from my point. ‘I’ve lived through more wars than you’ve had birthdays!’