Mary is in the bed next to me. She is old, has cancer, a voice box and can’t speak. The nurses are kind to her and shout so that she can hear. Mary can’t look after herself anymore. Mary’s mouth was always open, her legs were so skinny. We never spoke, we never even acknowledged each other. Not for any particular reason – manners go out of the window in hospital. The lady to the left was ill. She had had surgery twice and chemo was about to begin again. She slept lots.
Then there was the crazy Persian lady opposite who drove the doctors and nurses mad. She shouted lots and complained all the time. She wanted to get back to her husband who she cared for.