Don’t get me wrong, I’d give anything to be able to walk again right now, but I’m afraid that mobility could land me in hot water; I’m afraid I could end up in maximum-security hospital for a very long time. You see, if I had the use of my limbs I’d go into the next room and smother the occupant’s face with my hyper-allergenic NHS pillow until they had gasped their last breath, finally allowing me to get a decent night’s sleep for the first time in two weeks. Sleep deprivation is a well-documented and highly effective form of torture that can drive the sanest of men to the very edge of madness.
I suppose I ought to explain why I’m having murderous thoughts about the occupant of the neighbouring room. The present resident has taken to pressing her buzzer at ten-minute intervals throughout the night. For reasons of patient confidentiality I haven’t been able to discover anything about this woman or why she feels the need to disturb my sleep with such monotonous regularity. I only know that she’s elderly and she makes a noise similar to a fox with its leg caught in a gin trap. She makes a blood-curdling screech whenever she’s not pressing her buzzer.
I’m not an impatient man nor am I totally without compassion but there comes a time when my sleep has been so wilfully destroyed that someone must pay with their life. Imagine being poked with a large stick each time your eyelids start to close. Imagine every time your head dropped someone came up behind you and burst a balloon.
If I were the ward manager (whatever happened to matrons?) I’d confiscate the old woman’s buzzer and render her mouth inoperative with a stout length of duck tape. If that seems harsh then perhaps it could be made clear to the woman that she may only use her buzzer a maximum of three times in any twelve-hour period. Additional buzzes would render her klaxon progressively quieter while administering a mild electric shock.
Ideally I’d like it if she were transferred to another ward (preferably in a different hospital at the other end of the country) and then perhaps the charming gentleman in Room 4 (me) could be spared the old woman’s caterwauling and she in turn could avoid suffocation by a deranged individual with bags under his eyes the size of rubbish sacks.