Dr Airdre Grant discusses her search for a bed jacket.
Dr Airdre Grant discusses her search for a bed jacket. Cathy Adams

OPINION: Share joy, not gloomy stories

I AM after that most elusive of garments - the bed jacket.

It seems to have disappeared from the world, along with the matinee jacket.

The bed jacket is a light jacket or cardigan you would might wear when in bed, so your shoulders don't get cold. The matinee jacket you would wear when you go to matinee and want something not too light, not too heavy, just right.

Babies wear matinee jackets (a light cardigan). Indeed there is a thriving trade in light cardigans for babies (note to self: must learn to knit)

I know this about bed jackets as I am preparing for a short stint in hospital to get my bung knee repaired.

It is interesting how many people who, when they hear this, take it upon themselves to tell me stories about a cousin/friend/person they knew somewhere in the world, had a knee operation which failed horribly, caused immense pain and endless trouble.

Such gloomy story tellers are hard to stop.

It reminded me of when my daughter was in hospital. In her ward, the woman in the bed opposite had a conversation with her which went like this:

Woman: Did you have your tonsils out?

Daughter (weakly): yes.

Woman (with relish): I knew someone your age who had their tonsils out. (Dramatic pause for effect) Dead in three days.

Daughter: Groan. (Then slumped back in bed and pulled sheets over her head).

I am not sure what pleasure it brings to people to tell stories of failure, loss, pain and gloom. But gee it's a popular position.

I have been regaled with stories about the the failure of pain medication, the incurability of staph infections, how much endless, endless pain I will be in and more.

It never stops.

I have learned to say "I have to leave this conversation” before I become depressed and my anxiety levels sky rocket.

These are like the people who love to tell pregnant women about botched caesareans and three day labours.

Please stop. Just stop.

Tell us uplifting stories of encouragement and delight. Make us laugh.

If anything, that dark position only cements my determination to look up, not down.

We need more joy in the world and especially in these uncertain times.

To compensate, I allow myself to be distracted by pictures of babies in matinee jackets. There's really quite a range and they are very adorable.