The Blog of
Nadine Dorries
Desperate Housewife
Posted Friday, 5 January 2007 at 09:03

Oh what utter bliss, Desperate Housewives is back!


Unfortunately Susan makes me cringe – I love her character and I think Terri Hatcher is fab – however, they have given Susan a character trait which has been the bain of my life forever. It’s the reason I couldn’t really watch the Bridget Jones films without feeling uncomfortable. I am clumsy in the absolute extreme, and things, unfortunately just – well, they just happen.


An incident in Desperate Housewives involving Susan (I had to record it so I am a day behind) actually made me squeal out in shock because exactly the same thing happened to me once.


I am almost loath to put this on a blog, but as it happened sometime ago I’m sure it won’t matter.


Years ago, as a nurse, I admitted a patient who was 35 years old and had unfortunately contracted full body shingles, including her eyes. She was desperately ill and heavily sedated. I was ‘special nursing’ her in a side ward which meant she was my only patient.


As one dose of sedatives wore off and before I administered the next I tried to encourage her to drink fluids to supplement her IV and to provide some nutrition.


Her Shingles were treated with a purple solution called Gentian Violet, to prevent secondary infection, which I dabbed onto the shingles painstakingly gently.


On her first day, as a dose of sedatives began to wear off, I noticed that a relative had left a bottle of Ribena. I took a nursing cup to prepare a drink before I administered the next dose of drugs, picked up the bottle of Ribena and shook it - unfortunately, the helpful relative had removed the cap.


The full sugar Ribena flew out of the bottle hit the ceiling and cascaded all over the patient and myself. My white linen cap drooped and dripped, my white uniform was, well, you can imagine. My patient was a darker shade of Gentian Violet, as where her sheets. It was all over her face, chest and arms – I had dispensed half of the contents of the bottle into the air.  


She could only move her poorly eyes, which locked onto mine, and as she looked at me a tear ran out of the corner of her eye and tracked its purple way down her cheek. I was desperately sorry- but at the same time, in the midst of the gravity of the entire situation, I wanted to laugh. Her name was Mary.


I felt so bad. I spent the next five days nursing her with pure love and remorse. I didn’t want to go home at night. If she had died (as a result of the severe shingles not the Ribena!), and it was on the cards, I think I would have died too.


When she could talk she told me the tear was one of suppressed laughter, that the most painful thing had been not being able to move her mouth to laugh out loud.


The day she went home she gave me a huge box of Terry’s All Gold chocolates-- and a bottle of Ribena! I have never been able to drink the stuff since without thinking of that day.


I suppose if there is any moral to this story it’s probably the one which Andrew Mitchell MP quoted at me every time I passed him every day of the Conservative leadership campaign – nothing is ever as bad as it seems!


And yes, sadly, this story is really, really true.

Contact Nadine
Nadine Dorries MP
House of Commons
London SW1A 0AA
via e-mail at:
or Telephone on 020 7219 5928

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