Random Jottings Of Gildersleeve

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Location: United Kingdom

Perhaps you'll learn more about me as you read my blog. For anyone who translates my blog using the translator facility, don't forget if you wish to read the comments in your own language to click on the title of the post down the left hand side otherwise they will remain in english. Also I assume that the translation is accurate but I don't know, so please allow for errors.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

The Latest...

I phoned and asked what kind of a night Mum had Thursday(as I do every day)...then I decided to catch up on mundane tasks so if I went to the hospital I was sorted as when you come home everywhere is closed. As I went out the door the phone started ringing I came back to be told Mum was second in line for her op but she'd like to see me, they thought by the time I got through I'd miss her but they were not sure...

I risked it, didn't shave and was untidy but I made it within 20-25 minutes and managed to see her for approx 10 minutes before she was taken to the theatre and they allowed me to go all the way to the theatre I even met some of the staff performing the op.

She went in at around 10am and by midday she still had not come out of the op as they could not advise how long it was likely to take or how she'd be(they did say that most people are aware of things after such an op but I decided to come home and do what I had planned to earlier.

I discovered that she was awake in the afternoon and asking for me so if I had stayed...I saw her in the evening and she was a little sleepy by then.

Today, Mum's been sleepy most of the day but she had x-rays this morning but they are allowing her to sleep on her side and on her back(But she always tended to sleep on her left side)though all her falls were on the right side, she cannot manage a walking cane and so far nor a Zimmer Frame, she is unable to put her weight on her legs/feet but I hope that is just the fact it is early days...and when she tries the pain is as bad/worse than when she went into hospital, having said that the painkillers or the positions she is in when in bed she seems comfortable.

Mum ate some of my sandwiches that I took in today(and would've eaten more if she had not had lunch)but liked them better than the hospital food and tonight(as it was still hot)she had some chicken and white wine soup just before the end of visitig hours and I'll take something in again tomorrow.

I went in to the town centre and had a bit of a look around between visiting hours and although millions has been spent on the shopping centre I was just thinking how poor it all looked and how no shop had anything special I thought worth buying and many shops have closed or moved or switched sites. I even walked through the shop I used to work at H. Samuels(Jewellers)and thought how poor it was and it is not anything like I remember it...Mind that was many, many years ago...

The quick Café that sells tea, coffee and Hot chocolate etc...during the week in the hospital closes at the weekend even though people still visit or come into the hospital.

I ended up in the restaurant at the hospital and I had beans and chips with a buttered roll followed by pear crumble and custard and two cups of tea.

As I passed a Bed & Breakfast near the hospital, I suddenly thought it might've been easier, cheaper or cost the same to stay there than using a taxi and travelling between home and the hospital.

Well that's the news I guess and tomorrow is another day...

I hope that I sleep well tonight, I wanted to last night but my legs would not let me they ached all night long and either stopped me going to sleep or kept waking me up.

Thanks for asking after us...

Thursday, September 24, 2009

It Won't Be Easy But...

I do honestly feel quite positive of how things may turn out or maybe hopeful is a better term, what I write and say may come across as though I am very worked up...of course I dislike seeing Mum suffer(she really hasn't complained much at all and she's the one going through this)

The biggest problem I think is how to avoid falls in the future and possibly having to use more aids that will improve her mobility and support so that will probably mean adding handles/rails, possibly a walking stick/zimmer frame, using a higher chair so you don't sit too low which is not good for a hip replacement and improvements to make having a bath easier and the raising of toilet seats etc...and possibly a higher bed with the option of rails to avoid the rolling/falling out of bed possibly a stair lift...I suppose should all this be used in the home I'll end up using many of them too.

You would think lets not try to wear out or damage the replaced hip but they like you to exercise the joint and walk up steps/stairs and regularly do some exercises which seems contradictory

This all comes in the future, first she needs to get used to walking and using the joint again and hopefully pain will improve and mobility etc...

I avoided looking on the internet until tonight and I have learnt such a lot from the link below, I understand much better. In fact no one has explained it to me like this article. In simple terms Mum has snapped the ball joint at the top of the leg so it is sitting there doing nothing and is kind of trapped between the pelvis and the leg and the leg is detached.

So they'll go in and take out that piece of bone and put the new part into the top of the thigh bone thus replacing the missing piece again and pushing it back into the socket. Many bones do knit together or can be stregthened and helped by pins and metal plates but this area once it is seperated dies off.

Don't be surprised if I am missing for a few days...but any major news good or bad will be posted.


Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Waiting For News...

I phoned to discover that Mum had a reasonable night of rest but that she is down to be operated on today and so I was told to phone back later...

Well, I assume that she has given her consent and realises that if she wants to come home this is the only option.

I have had difficulty getting through and I now discover that the phone numbers in the phone directory are wrong and they were all changed in the last two weeks.

So for now no point going through as she may not be around for visiting hour this afternoon and perhaps not tonight either. I have been told to phone again and see who is on the list for having an operation today. In case things change.

I would have liked to be there and give her a cuddle, a kiss, hold her hand and give words of love, support and encouragement but I have asked for a message to be passed to her(I hope that has been done)and I will ask them to do so again when I phone later.

I've kept busy this morning doing some tasks, a bit of tidying up and washing that needed doing and will continue to do so but I think I shall have a little rest just for now.

I'll find out later if I can go through to see her later on...thinking I would be I had put up some sandwiches, a flask of coffee and a flask of soup but that will probably be eaten at home now...

Update:It all changed...I had the soup before going to hospital, I decided that I did not wish to carry so much around with me. You'll notice that I said I went through again so yes, the operation did not happen and so I saw her tonight and I managed to get a taxi in the afternoon so I still managed to be there for 40 minutes of visiting. So perhaps tomorrow...she is marked already with an arrow pointing to the spot.

I won't write about here but I went into the town centre for a quick look around and to get away from the hospital and purchased some CD's. Back at the hospital I had some egg and cress sandwiches and drank my bottle of water. And tonight I had a cup of tea and some chips in the hospital restaurant. The sandwiches were not purchased at the hospital I found that a klong established stationers had closed in the town centre and Tesco had opened one of their express outlets so whilst I was passing I popped in.

So tomorow we'll see what happens...If they don't operate until after afternoon visiting is over I will try and see her before she goes into theatre, if she's had it and they allow me to, even if she's out for the count I will go in the evening and sit with her and hope that she knows that I am there.

The Big Break...

I was awake until the early hours and believed that Mum had gone to bed and was sleeping soundly but I found as I walked into her bedroom yesterday around 8am she was laid on the floor.

She said she thought she had had a nightmare but I'll never know how long she was there or whether she rolled or fell out of bed or had somehow managed to stand and then collapse. And then go to sleep where she was.

She is in hospital and she has broken her hip. The fracture has gone through the base of the hip joint. If she does not say yes to an operation(and they are mainly successful for most people)and she can accept the physiotherapy needed they believe she will get home eventually and have some mobility but if she hopes that it will repair itself and says no which she initially was talking of doing, they think she will be bedridden(and that will mean pain and having to be cared in residential care)mainly because that would be a bit too much for me to manage as she'd have to lifted.

Also the area could die off through a lack of blood flow.

I have heard good reports from many where a hip replacement has given a new lease of life(It's still better not to need a hip replacement)but in her favour she is fit in just about every other way and still reasonably young.

No wonder she was hurting...

I am worried and concerned. She must be herself too. And who wants an operation?

If she comes home we can put railings(Can that be done?)around the bed perhaps or maybe we need to buy a new bed with that as an option to stop her getting up through the night, maybe have a zimmer frame for keeping her steady...possibly a stair lift for going up and downstairs...the important thing will be avoiding her having more falls and causing further damage...

We cannot think too far ahead. Just take each day at a time.

We can perhaps be more positive than at first thought but I have been emotional I have to admit. But cying is a safety valve. I was paid the best compliment of all in that she says I look after her as good or better than the care she has been getting in hospital but I state again, if it wasn't the worry of falls and injury she really cause little if any problems(and I don't see her in that way)

I am spending many hours at the hospital as there are only two hours to visit at 2.30pm and 7pm and it is simply not worth coming home to go through again and most of the time there is only me that can visit her. A little quick cafe has opened in reception and I can buy reasonably nice tea, coffee and hot chocolate upto 7pm. But they charge plenty for it.

Though later today Mum's brother is going through with me and we will both see her and we'll have a little meal in the hospital restaurant before seeing her and then when he leaves to come home I'll stay there.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Mum Has Survived Another Day But...

tomorrow I really think she will be in hospital and I don't know what the outcome will be...she was due to have her regular appointment with her Dr but she will not be able to attend the surgery and he will have to asked to visit on a house call but that's assuming he is down to do house calls tomorrow. We may end up seeing another Dr or she may go into hospital without seeing a Dr. and that will mean a ride in an ambulance again with paramedics.

If she can be made better I believe it will be a long and painful recovery and I suspect an operation may be required. I have to try and be positive(I have cried tonight though)but that probably did me some good...I'm not sure it helped Mum. She will if she does comes out of this a lot of strength and patience and it could take months...My Grandma broke a hip late in life and they got her through the operation and started to train her to walk with a Zimmer frame but the pain was so great she simply gave up.

If she comes through this she may be immobile and have to use a wheelchair...she may have to have carers coming in here and doing for her or possibly go into residential care(if that happens I hope it is temporary...even if it for months ahead)and she may hopefully still get home. I will happily install a stairlift and other aids for walking and getting around home but she is not able to rise off a seat or walk a few steps and she has to cling onto me otherwise she would fall to the ground.

If that wasn't enough and Mum is the important one here, I have my own medical condition to deal with which was improving or had stabilised but all this stress and worry may have knocked that progress back, I am still battered and bruised after my fall and I think the fall has aggravated a long term problem I have mentioned many posts back of my hernia...it was always bothersome but I could get it back in place with rest and a bit of care but it's not going back as it did and its quite large, uncomfortable and at times painful.

I and my Dr was trying to avoid any operations whilst dealing with my kidney problems(it's not good being knocked out on the operating table as a mistake can cause kidney failure)but it would be strange if we both end up in hospital practically at the same time and I am unable to visit Mum or be there for her but how long can I put off and I don't want to put myself in danger.

It is a worrying time.

Money does not matter people do...but if she has to go into care, her little amount of savings will be taken away and my income will drop so greatly I suspect my life will become very different and I may not even be able to afford to run a phone and/or the Internet and though my interests are not very expensive income will drop by quite a bit.

The future is very uncertain...

A Day That I Have Been Dreading...

Unfortunately, things have taken a turn for the worse. Mum did have time in hospital as you know from an earlier post here and she was told that she had not broken anything but approx a week since that overnight visit she dozed off whilst sitting on her bed(I was around I am afraid to say)perhaps I should've seen it coming but she seemed safe enough because she would only go back onto the bed, she did but then rolled straight off and onto the bedroom floor.

She went straight to bed and slept and seemed no worse for the fall but in the last day or two she is unable to do very much of anything at all and now even she says she is in so much pain she does not know what to do so I really am afraid what will happen this time.

I fear it is another trip to hospital and this time I do think they will find that she has injured herself, that it may mean an operation and if she gets through it, a long recovery, I do wonder whether I will ever see her at home again.

I know things are bad when she admits that she cannot stand the pain and wants to go to the hospital.

So I apologise if I am not around for sometime to come...

Update: I feel like the boy who cried wolf or like it's a false alarm, I have questioned Mum and she assures me that she is not in the pain she was through the night and not as bad.

She still says she will see her Dr tomorrow but he'll have to make a house call, there is no way she can attempt to see him at the surgery and of course if things turn for the worse later today whatever the time I am not hesitating...she says she is going to try to sleep now for a couple of hours and as I write this she does look more comfortable.

There is pain but not like earlier...I know she is frightened...she has told me that she is...

She is talking of having some soup and something else to eat afterwards...so I shall just have to assess the situation minute by minute
should she hang on until tomorrow I know that she will go by what her Dr says and she keeps saying herself that she will be more prepared to do so tomorrow but I have told her that if I have any idea that she is in a lot of pain and worse I will not allow her to suffer the rest of today into tomorrow.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

What A Week It's Been...

Mum is still far from well and mobility is poor and pain is bad when she attempts to move. We will have to see how things go and whether things can improve and how we adapt. Also whether we end up having more check ups and treatment.

Unfortunately, a couple of days ago, I had my own little emergency...

In some ways very unexpected...

I rarely attempt to climb any kind of ladder, I shouldn't. I am unsteady but sometimes you cannot always ask for help such as when a light bulb blows...

This occasion I needed some food moved around a kitchen cupboard to a lower shelf and I had almost completed my task when the step ladders decided to collapse from under me suddenly without warning.

I don't know in retrospect how I avoided smacking my face on the kitchen sink unit and possibly knocking myself out or breaking my nose, losing teeth but I ended up on the floor across the step ladders and floor and I honestly thought that I had broken my legs, they still feel very strange(as though someone had taken a hammer and whacked my legs with it)and my knees(that's another story)and I had skinned myself and was bleeding.

I thought that I should be checked out at hospital maybe I still should be but how to arrange for Mum's care if I was away for a while.

Anyhow, I rested. Over the following days I have had aches and pains in places I didn't know existed, I am sore and hurting, have bruises coming out and still may have damaged something and may still get checked out...thank heavens for rest and pain killers.

I have I believe got off very lightly considering. I hope that I have...but my lower back has been aching so that may be an extra injury caused by the fall, if so I hope it's temporary and not going to be an on going problem. It would be awful if I have caused a similar problem to what Mum did last year when she fell downstairs.

Those step ladders will be going onto the rubbish tip.

I have purchased some step ladders with non slip mats on each step, they have a tubular steel frame, they should be much safer and allow me to reach the cupboard and replace light bulbs as safe as I could possibly do and they also have a hand rail and the design should not allow for any repeat of the accident. But I will not be using them very often. Hopefully, I can ask for help.

Can anything else go wrong?

Well, yes...I knew(and we have talked about doing so for ages)our electric cooker needs replacing but we have delayed buying a new one...it doesn't look good but it works.

However, yesterday as I switched on one of the hobs to cook some soup, all the electric around the house went off. So now I will have to buy a cooker reasonably quickly but I know it will take a week or two to choose one, arrange delivery and have it installed. In the meantime the thought of no hot meals wasn't appetising.

The good news is that part of the cooker still works but in case the whole cooker fails I have had to purchase a microwave oven, I have managed to go through most of my life avoiding them. But I guess it's policy to have one for those unexpected breakdowns.

I did not go for the most expensive or powerful wattage but it looks pretty good and has reasonable reviews. Lack of space in the kitchen means it is not the largest but with only two of us and the speed microwave allows...simple meals can be done and if we are doing something a bit more complicated we can do each meal separately.

I will always prefer using a proper cooker and I don't really believe you save much energy or how much it will cost when the bill drops on the mat. I boil vegetables in the minimum of water and most meals do not require an oven but again everything cooks quickly.

We all have strange weeks where things seem to go wrong and this was one of them.

Other things have happened(not worth mentioning as yet...I hope) If that changes I'll certainly have more to say...

Friday, September 11, 2009

ER...Well, A&E Actually...

Unexpected events yesterday...Mum had what appeared to be a small fall but they can cause problems and by the evening we needed to seek medical help.

In the UK we have something called NHS Direct where you get advice for medical problems and they usually decide if/when hospital treatment is required and they will arrange for an ambulance to get you to hospital. The problems of people swamping the system asking about Swine Flu meant that we were going to have to wait until 3am for a phone call(that's 7 hours after we called)

A good friend suggest phoning the Out Of Hours Dr service and when we did we were told that we should've phoned sooner and...there was admission that waiting that long for help was not acceptable. And a Dr said in such circumstances it was right to be checked out quickly as delay could cause problems. So after that call we were in hospital approx an hour later by ambulance.

I was told by the ambulance man that our trip from home to the hospital cost around £1,000.

Mum was really given a full check out at A&E and says she has never had such an MOT(that's my word)But I remember they gave her as full check up at the other hospital she went to after her fall last December but they were much quicker and efficient this time. Naturally when you are worried and in pain being prodded, probed and moved around makes things seems worse.

I suspect that some nights in A&E are busier than others but to me it seemed very quiet perhaps that was in Mum's favour because they could spend more time with her. At a weekend I suspect and it has been shown on many tv news programmes such places are buy with people who have been affecting by drinking or getting into fights.

They kindly made us cups of tea.

Of course, sods law, just as Mum just started drinking hers she was taken away for the x-rays.

There were occasions where 30 minutes or more would pass before someone arrived to need medical help having made their own way there...or having been brought in by ambulance.

Between midnight and 4am all I saw was someone having a finger patched up, someone off his face for drink and they could not get a response, he was totally out for the count but I gather it's the second time for him and his Mum was very angry.

A policeman arrived with someone and sat outside the room whilst he received treatment.

And towards the end a workman came in in his builder's uniform and a machine had gone wrong and at first he thought he's broken his arm but it appears it had damaged his thumb and the little bit of skin between the forefinger and thumb was all clotted up and bleeding and thumb seemed loose.

They gave us the option of a taxi or ambulance to come home but we decided for quickness and easiness(and Mum did not want to be seen coming home in an ambulance )

It cost almost £20 and was driven by a Romanian who had lost his job in Romania and so ended up here but he wasn't sending money home and wanted a National Insurance number so he can contribute to the UK economy and he is spending his wages here on British goods but he is having difficulty getting the paperwork through, one government department has given the go ahead...another is dragging it's feet he said.

In December last year they had an address for Mum that she had not lived at for over 60 years...last night they had another one she has never lived at.

Yes, even if I was well, I would have to be at home for Mum...

X-rays show no broken bones but she is still in pain and a small amount of movement causes it but I am hoping that as the days pass the pain will improve.

She is very much relieved to be home and though it's more work for me...so am I.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Be Prepared...But Only In Certain Circumstances...

As we enter something like the approx 100th Anniversary of the Girl Guides and Boy Scouts movement which is supposed to install morals, skills and good character in girls and boys to take into adult life with them, once again the problem of carrying a penknife has caused problems. I mentioned knives some time ago...

I still think if you are inclined to injure, harm or attempt murder you are more likely to use a kitchen knife or some of the nasty knives you see with very big points or serrated edges and if you are in a gang or out to nasty things, banning penknives etc...will have no effect whatsoever.

I used to carry a small penknife into work to repair watches and open up watch cases to replace batteries or clasps on jewellery. Now, I probably would not be allowed and if stopped by the police risk being charged.

Now its reported that at last Boy Scouts have been told that the association will no longer allow their scouts to carry penknives and the reason reported on the news was the confusion regarding the law and whether you can or cannot have a penknife on your person. Or is the Scouts movement wrong and just over reacting too? Are the rules clear or fuzzy?

And what of a Swiss Army Knife, I've always quite fancied one of them but in reality having survived until now without one I probably could continue to do so.

It really has got totally stupid and out of hand(even though I can fully understand the hurt and painful stories of people who have been murdered and families ruined)by such incident.

It's a strange world.

Crime Hot Spot...

The other week I mentioned drug raids happening in two surrounding towns and villages and my own and not hearing anything...now one of those towns is mentioned again as coming in the top ten of a chart you really do not want to...It was originally known for it's association with the birth of the railways...

A credit screening agency has created a map of the worst areas for using stolen credit cards on the internet and whilst you expect certain areas to be included(big cities)and parts of the capital city of London...this small ex mining village is responsible for a quarter of all fraudulent purchases on the internet in the UK.

It's been explained that unfairly spome areas are getting a bad reputation but it is because criminals have moved into areas not known for crime because they hope it will not alert internet businesses and companies to these crimes because they are using a different post code not associated with credit card crime.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

In The Midst Of Life...

Each day how close are we unknowingly to our demise. Usually just a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time?

Today, that was not the reason but it was a little frightening.

I was doing a very small shop and called into a shop for some sweets(of all things)I was not eating anything but I suddenly had a coughing fit and no matter what I did I could not stop. Worst of all, I was unable in between coughing draw breath.

Tears were streaming down my face, I could not speak either. Shop assistants nearby just looked...One customer came to my aid and at least asked if I was ok...and stayed with me and I eventually managed to get some air into my lungs and it took some doing.

So unexpected and scary but at least I am ok again...what a relief. And it is not always the big disasters and accidents that take us out!