'Let me just pull the curtain and give you some privacy,' the nurse said to the elderly man on the trolley next to my dad in the A&E (ER). The privacy was fairly minimal. For the next hour or so various medical folk rotated in and out, asking him questions about his medical history. On the other side of the curtain, it was like listening to one of those confessional phone-in radio programmes. Except he hadn't phoned in & chosen to reveal intimate details of his life to complete strangers. Sitting quietly a few feet away, holding my dad's hand, I couldn't avoid hearing every word. By the time the fifth doctor or so came along, I could have answered all the questions for him.
an update on my parents: my dad was admitted after about 14 hours in A&E for tests to determine why he was coughing up blood; my mother is sitting up and awake as a result of the IV fluids, but seems very confused, & unsure of who people are; my mum-in-law's condition seems to be progressing very rapidly. Thank you for your prayers.