My patient Harriet is a 91-year-old lady with dementia, in the hospital with a urinary tract infection. She lies in bed, sleeping soundly. I creep up to her at the start of my shift.
“Hello, Harriet,” I croon softly to her.
“Hello, dear,” she responds sleepily.
“Can I check your blood pressure, Harriet?”
“Yes, honey, of course, whatever you need,” she answers sweetly.
So I gently pull down her sheets, and she clutches them tighter to herself.
I gently push up her gown’s sleeve, and she pulls away with a deepening frown, eyes scrunched shut.
I gently place the blood pressure cuff on her arm – and my sweet little patient suddenly explodes.