Sunday, 17 January 2010

Crimes against decent tea

There is one thing you can be sure of with regards to my mothers family, and that is that when we have medical dilemas - we have proper, serious, scary medical dilemas.
Another thing, I guess you could say, would be the fact that no matter what wrongs have happened in the past, what opinions may be held, when something goes wrong for a member of our family as it has this week, they become the priority for the entire family.

One of my aunts is currently very, very ill in hospital. She went in for a routine check-up due to her diagnosis of bone cancer a while ago and whilst in the room with the consultant she has a sezuire and has continued to have them whilst still in the hospital. She has fluid on the lungs and irregularities in her brain. Yet, rather than dissolving into panic, my family united in support for my aunt and the phone hasn't stopped going as we all keep each other updated.

However, over the last few days that have been hectic with visits to hospital, and with moments of worry as the seriousness of her illness sunk in, one thing has stood out in my mind as something quite prominent.

It's really silly though and something quite insignificant and so I haven't shared the thought with any of my family because I just know the look I'd get and so I've decided to blog about it.

It's all about a cup of tea.

On Saturday my mum visited my aunt in hospital with two of her three brothers and her younger sister. When she arrived back home my mum mentioned to me that as she had been sat at my aunts bedside a nurse had brought my aunt a cup of tea.

She told me how it was a poor excuse for a cup of tea or, in my mums words 'a wish washy cup of tea' - a cup of boiling water that had only briefly met the tea bag before it was cruelly snatched away before they could become proper aquaintences.

It's sad because, as though that wasn't torture enough they then threw sugar into the cup and drowned the essence of tea in milk. Tragic.

Even more tragic is the fact that this was then given to a lady who is currently suffering from a very serious illness. In a cup, with a straw.

Yes, the straw was there so she could drink it through her oxygen mask - but the point I am trying to make is that if it had been a decent cup of tea the fact it was through a straw wouldn't have been a problem.

I honestly think that the NHS do a wonderful job. Yet, don't they realise that sometimes - when you're at your lowest and feeling sicker than you ever have before all you want is a decent cup of tea?

Is that so much to ask for? Really?


  1. I agree. Having worked as a Nursing Auxiliary for many years it is the little things, like a decent cup of tea that make the difference. Thing is, all tea with in the NHS sucks massively. It's all really, really bad.
    May I apologize on behalf of anyone who serves your or a member of your family a cup of NHS tea, it's not their fault.
    Hope your Aunt gets better soon.

  2. I have a friend who always offers me a cup of tea when I visit. Which is nice. But I'm sure that his tea bags started uni with us in 2002. They taste horrific, and the tea smells bad.

    But I'm always too polite to say anything.

    (To make it worse, his coffee of choice - some supermarket basic stuff - tastes even worse, so I can't even ask for that as a get out)

    The only think that I will say was that when my gran was in Bath RUH and badly ill, the only people coming around with tea were volunteers, so at least if their tea was rubbish you could think "at least they're trying". I remember having one of their teas when they were kind enough to offer me one too, but I can't remember what it tasted like, so at best was "OK".

    I agree with your point in general though.

  3. Ooh. I didn't know they were the friends of the RUH. They're quite cool.
    Perhaps they need to be provided with better tea bags? Yes, I think that's the answer.
    Can't knock the friends of the RUH, they always point me in the right direction. "Just follow the yellow line, dear!" hehe.

  4. It depends - did they have red tabards on? I think that's what they wear. Go around and always jolly nice and polite to the patients.

    Since they do a great job, I would also like to think that it's the fault of the NHS tea bags and not them :-)

  5. Apparently this lady wasn't a volunteer. She was an employee. Hmm.

  6. A decent cup of tea can turn anyone's day around, I am deeply suspicious of any that don't succumb to it's charms.

    You need to conceal tea paraphernalia in her room so you can prepare a proper beverage on your visits. Everything you need should be here

    Maybe you can get in touch with them and they will donate much needed tea support to your aunty! Or at least offer tea advice.

    I hope your aunty gets better soon and is greeted back home with tea in a pot, as it is meant to be!

  7. Alright, in that case complain and get her sacked. It's what all good taxpayers should do.

    (I'm being slightly sarcastic here, please don't take that seriously..... although I'm sure you wouldn't anyway)