Palace of Care – A typical day at the office

Photo by Lukas Tennie on Unsplash

From 11am in the morning it would become noisy, something that our hospice had been missing over the past two years. COVID hit us hard in terms of being unable to host fundraising events. These usually involve lots of people gathering together, something that we are all learning to do again. The patients were warned of the murmuring and laughter that would come from underneath our inpatient unit. 200 plus ladies would be entertained at our Ladies’ Lunch. The highlight of the lunch would be the fashion show, with 15 of our staff members modelling clothes from our retail stores.

Our patient was admitted yesterday and she felt that our hospice had a good vibe. She liked how friendly and welcoming our staff were. It was a good surprise to hear laughter outside of her door. This all added to a culture of care that appealed to her. She told us that she would be seeing us model the clothing downstairs. I thought she was kidding.

I was tasked with thanking our guests for their support, including our long-standing event sponsors. I gave a short speech and then read one of the stories that I had written about one of the patients I looked after directly upstairs from our dining venue. Then it was time for my next job, rushing up the ramp, to my make-shift changing room. I quick-changed out of my clothing into my hospice shop sourced outfit. A funky shirt and blue denim jeans. I was ready to be on the catwalk

My fellow hospice’s next top model team-mates looked elegant and graceful in their outfits. I usually play it for the laughs to the tune of Right Said Fred’s “I’m too Sexy.” I had practised my strut for the past year. I had finessed the sudden head turn smouldering eye look in the mirror until I had burned holes in the opposite wall. Yesterday afternoon I had done a few cartwheels in the inpatient unit, to prove to myself that I could still do them. I strutted down the ramp into the dining area, I noticed our patient was there with her nurse to see the show. I saluted her before I unleashed two cartwheels which propelled me to my next target.

Pole dancing time. I hadn’t done this for about two years but I felt that my year’s worth of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu training in the closed guard position would be adequate. I ran towards the pole, and as I flew through the air towards it, I remembered that it was square shaped. Australasian Palliative Care Doctor turned into Australian marsupial. I clung to the square pole like a cute cuddly koala on a eucalyptus tree. I weigh a bit more than a standard-sized koala does, and thus gravity’s effect pulled me towards the molten core of our planet. I hit the ground and only bounced twice.

I was able to stand up but my legs felt funny. The rhythm of the music overtook my body and I was impelled to move. I had to shake out any pain I was feeling. I felt it in my fingers, I felt it in my toes, was it an earthquake or the unleashing of force of dance? The vibrations surged through my body as I pranced around the make-shift dining room like a show pony. I got jiggy with it and bopped around the room. I may have gotten a bit carried away as I soon found myself on the raised stage, twerking the room.

The asylum staff arrived with the straight-jacket and I was escorted off the premises. In my defence I had received the Quadrivalent Flu Vaccination yesterday and must have become delirious.

The things you can get up to on a standard day as a hospice doctor.

It’s never boring, you meet lovely people and you have better work/twerk stories to share.

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