I hated night-time. During the day, there were comings and goings: visitors, jobs to be done and, crucially, one or more of my family with me. Although I couldn’t move or communicate with most people, the fact that I could ‘converse’ with Iain and my two daughters meant that when they were with me I didn’t feel completely helpless. But they would do my exercises, settle me down for the night and then go home for some well-earned food and rest. Then I felt really alone. The curtains were drawn, the lights lowered, the day staff came to say goodnight, and the long, lonely night began. I had my back to the nurses’ station. I could hear the night staff assembling for duty. They chatted, laughed and joked. The phone rang, and was answered with cries of “it’s for you.” More laughter. I lay and listened, willing someone, anyone, to come and see me.