My uncle. My Beloved Mother's baby brother, the one who loves Chefboy and is never in a bad mood? That one?
Sent a cosh.
A real, live, spring-handled, lead-ended, leather-wrapped cosh. As in, I'm not entirely certain this is legal within city limits cosh. Eight inches long, weighs about two pounds, makes a satisfying and painful thwap when you whack it into your palm, would easily fracture somebody's frontal skull. No lead pellets dropped into eelskins here; this is a serious weapon in an itty bitty package.
Apparently he read (sweet hopscotching Jesus, if he's reading this, I'd better clean up my fucking language) or heard about the patient taking a swing at me. And he got a little irritated on my behalf.
"She can put it" he told Beloved Mother, "in her pocket. Nurses have big pockets."
It has quite the loop strap on it, too. If I don't want to get too close to somebody and still land them in ICU overnight for observation, I could conceivably swing the thing at arm's length.
My methods of self-defense have been limited, these last twenty years, to ducking and running and imagining how, exactly, I would get to the fire extinguisher and loose it into some bad guy's face before Max ripped out his throat (always assuming Max would do that; it's not been put to the test, knock wood). I've never hit anybody with a cosh. I've never carried a cosh in my pocket. I've never even SEEN a cosh, for cryin' out loud; my naming it thus is informed by my taste for good and not-so-good detective fiction.
Nonetheless, I am now the proud posessor of an eight-inch-long (fourteen with handle), spring loaded, lead-tipped widget that's wrapped in braided black leather and looks like something either Bettie Page or your local pr0n store would carry.
And I can keep it in my pocket. My big nurse's pocket.
I can't wait to see the docs' expressions when I pull it out instead of a penlight.