Random Jottings Of Gildersleeve

My Photo
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.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Bonus Tracks...

You'll have noticed a pattern in my music choices lately, that I am into lush orchestral or big band arrangements by the artists I have been acquiring so when I came across Harry Connick Jr singing a song on the UK version of Strictly Come Dancing the other night, I thought for a Hollywood actor/vocalist to travel all the way to the UK to sing one song it was a fair bet he was probably doing so because he had a new album out.

I searched the internet and found that was the case...I listened to some online excerpts and decided the album was worth having so I have ordered it and await it to drop on the doormat.

Some further research also shows that is some countries his new album has extra bonus tracks...the European version comes out with 15 tracks I believe which is reasonable value(I like the idea of more music for the money I spend)but then when I see that in Japan they have additional tracks not on the version I will be buying...It is does anger me some what.

But I certainly(unless they are available as downloads)have no intention of buying another copy just to get those extra songs. I could also understand some fans or music buyers if they decided to obtain those tracks dishonestly.

Harry Connick Jr is not the only artist to offer extra material in different markets, it seems to be a practice that is normal in the music business these days.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

One Of Those Days..

After a reasonable couple of nights and not too bad days...I was awake up until after 3am and all seemed fine...

Then at 6.50am I heard something go over in Mum's room and I walked in to find she was in bed but the pillows were on the floor, the bedside table and everything on it overturned and the bedclothes untidy but she was on her back straight as she should be and asleep.

So I think from now on I may stay up through the night and keep a closer eye on Mum and catch up on my sleep during the day. Daytime seem not to be a problem.

She was also extremely tired this morning so I felt/wondered if my Consultant(whether the news was good or bad)give me my results over the phone.

I talked to his secretary and she went and asked him explaining the situation...By the time the taxi was due to take me through to the hospital I had heard nothing so I risked going through...

I was greeted with "We were not expecting you!" "We thought you were not coming!" "We have tried to phone you!"

I suspect they phoned whilst I was in the taxi...

As I had turned up I thought he might see me but instead I was told the good news that my blood tests were fine, I did not need to see him but because of this I had paid a taxi fare there and back, I could've saved almost £30...if they'd phoned before I travelled to the hospital!

Anyhow, that's good news regarding my tests at least...another appointment is being made but I don't know if that will be sooner or approx 2 months time as has been the case lately as the appointment is being arranged by mail rather than arranged as I usual do after I have seen him.

Mum is very sleepy today and so when the OT turned up today it was not going to be a good day but the annoying thing is that this person turned up saying again that Mum has not been doing her exercises and Mum has been, so rightly or wrongly I decided to say that I was unhappy with this lady's boss who we had on Monday and that if Mum had caught what was being said Mum would've corrected her and I admitted that I was unhappy and could've had an argument the other day but I again said that I appreciate that the public can be funny but we are so easy to get on with and we dislike creating un-necessary trouble.

I don't care if it gets back(as I am sure it will)should I/we have kept our mouths shut...I don't know...

The trouble is no one says until they visit what they are coming for...today this one sprung on us that she wanted Mum to walk up the garden path...it's been raining, it's cold etc...we don't really have a garden path...there is a drive at the front of the house which is on an incline and the garden at the back of the house has a narrow path and again it is on an incline.

Even when Mum was well she didn't really walk around the garden she tended to sit in the porch in a chair and look at the garden and only walk outside if she was going out somewhere.

This lady decided Mum was so tired that she would leave it today so was only here for maybe 5 minutes, she's coming back on Tuesday at 1.30pm but what she will do then I don't know.

Before she left Mum was determined to let her know that she had walked up and down the stairs often these last few days...and had been doing her exercises so she did show some of what she could do. Hopefully Mum will prove this more on Tuesday.

Must go back and read earlier posts but Mum gave me a shock, I know she wants to get better but she came downstairs to eat the evening meal as I was making it I heard some noises, went into the lounge and found her armchair was empty and she wasn't in the room...I found her almost at the top of the stairs going upstairs :shock:

And I don't know if she did(she says not)but I am sure she was using the wrong leg for going up which I stopped but of course she was using her sticks not the banister and even without spoiling the good work the surgeon did, initially as it's early days what if she had fallen again and down the stairs...

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

To Get Away From Illness...

Unless things go seriously wrong for me tomorrow when I see my Consultant...

For now We are back to having lovely meals and deserts...and maybe I should've had one before but I invested in a table on castor's that you can bring across a bed or armchair and alter the height accordingly(not unlike the kind you see in hospital)it will make eating a meal much easier for Mum.

It wasn't cheap so I'll just continue with a tray on my knees. Having two is extravagant.

Also in the last six weeks I have treated myself to some cd's...the latest two being Michael Bublé's new album Crazy Love and Barbra Streisand's Love Is The Answer. That is the first time I have ever purchased an album by Barbra.

Another good buy some weeks ago was nine albums(a box set)by Abba for less than the cost of two single albums. And the new album celebrating fifty years of Cliff Richard and The Shadows where they have taken some of their early hits(plus some new tracks)and reworked them.

So I think it has been quite a good time music wise for me.

Is this unusual? Lately, when I have purchased CD's(even those I really really want)Once I would've rushed home and could not wait to get them into the cd player and listen to the whole album...now I sometimes wait days before doing so or in the case of these CD's I have been jumping through the tracks and listening to perhaps only 15-20 seconds...but will listen later.

Heal Thy Self...

I suddenly thought, no one is checking Mum's operation wound.

They dressed it approx 8-10 days afterwards at the hospital they transferred her to for rehab and they liked how it was going on...the next day they took the staples out...If it had been looked at again and dressed just before she was discharged last Friday that would have been ok..

But since then...Nothing!

On her discharge letter they have nurses coming out at night to give blood clot prevention injections but the last of those is tomorrow night!

I phoned the GP surgery I was referred to the District Nurse service, they said a referral is needed from the hospital, I phoned them they are saying I did right to contact and they are now pulling out her details and going to call me back to see what happens next and who will/should be looking at Mum's wound. When things are going seemingly so well I would hate this to be a setback. If they said she has to go back into hospital that really would be upsetting for both of us.

So many numbers and departments to deal with. All Mum requires is a wound to be checked and dressed.

Update: Nurse has just been and she took the dressing off(Turns out she was the District Nurse after all)

A big scar certainly but it is healing well and it will probably fade still further and she said it is one of the neatest she has seen...

Monday, October 19, 2009

Care In The Community...

Well, we've just had a visit from the Early Outreach team of the hospital to assess Mum in the home. The Senior Physio called.

What a horrible woman! I took an instant dislike to her and I know Mum disliked her too. It's something that happens so rarely.

Mum has been doing all the exercises she was shown in hospital I have seen her doing so but this person insisted otherwise, practically saying Mum had not exercised since coming home...Mum has also been walking around her bedroom, to the bathroom and toilet, along the landing just for the sake of doing so...the only thing Mum and I needed was some advice on how to go downstairs via the stairs.

I didn't like the questions we were asked either. And many had already been asked numerous times. The quicker they stop calling(if the rest are like this person the better)I cannot really say there was a point to her visit. There wasn't a hint of compassion or encouragement. Mum asked if she was happy with her progress considering she's only been home since Friday. She would not commit. There was a coldness.

They all seem to have a problem about walking around the house and going into other rooms to see what's going on...if you have a large family and lots of visitors you may use the lounge and kitchen as a kind of meeting place. Friends and family passing through but when there only two of you even before Mum's fall we only stuck to the lounge and/or bedrooms. Once the meal is cooked in the kitchen we have no other use for it.

This person(many who work in this department)seem to think we want to keep popping into the dining room for example...why? We don't use it!

Equally, why would we want to keep popping into the kitchen to see what the other is doing? Especially, if you can hear each other as the rooms are so close to one another.

They are obsessed about not being in a bedroom. Many people young and old use a bedroom for more than just sleeping these days, it can be a place where the pc is, a tv, a telephone, a radio. Where you read a book, relax and listen to music sitting in a chair or laying on a bed. It can be warmer than downstairs etc...

I really don't know what the difference is whether you are in a bedroom or a lounge. It does not mean that you are depressed because you are in a bedroom. One of the nurses who is giving Mum her injections to stop blood clots has said herself that she loves her own bedroom.

Apart from the stairs(and Mum will walk up and down the stairs for the exercise)I can see no difference walking around a house to a bedroom and a landing.

The annoying thing is that the OT who assessed Mum all but accused Mum of doing no exercises since coming home...as an example Mum has done her exercises today and has been up and downstairs and in the last few hours she has walked around her bedroom numerous times, looked out of the window, walked along the landing numerous times etc...which does not match what she suggested and has probably written in her report.

Mum is trying to be independent which is what they want but as in any home you usually share tasks and/or do things for each other. But every day can be different, in a job you may have clear cut rules as to what everyone is allowed to do but at home probably it's less likely(well, it is in my home)

My auntie lives in what is a bedsit in all but name...you have to go up some stairs when you enter the property and then she has a bathroom/toilet, bedrooms and a kitchen but it is all on one level so what would they say to her if she stays in her bedroom which has to act as a bit of everything?

The problem is with so many of those who have been supposedly helping Mum one says one thing and another says something else...that has happened too often...They have a template and everyone has to fit it and often Humans have too many variables.

I don't feel that this home visitor was a good communicator with the public. A friend suggested a good word for this person's attitude...abrupt or brusque! To think that she is in charge, I wouldn't like her as my boss.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Now The Real Work Begins...

Mum's all mixed up emotionally...she's reasonably happy with the changes to the home...most happy with the banisters...the chair they've put in the lounge isn't comfortable and she'd the seat to be wider(there's not much room to sit on it)She cannot imagine sitting on it for long so I may have to switch the bedroom armchair with that one.

We may have to buy one if we can find the right kind.

They'll have to advise.

There is someone coming out to see Mum on Monday and Thursday(not sure what they are doing)I can see they have her down to see her consultant in 6 weeks at the hospital. The medicines are to remain the same but they have stopped her taking the blood pressure tablet.

They would not allow her the Zimmer frame no matter how I pressed for one. I have seen the same one on the net so If I cannot buy one locally, I'll order one online.

The District Nurse will come out for the next 7 days to give Mum her injections then they stop.

It seems a silly rule to me but I assume they think she'll be more independent but I know she walks quicker with a Zimmer and if she's indoors...it would be ok if they'd accept she'll use both...I like the Zimmer for using through the night...

Unless they believe she'll get stronger and walk straighter? I have never ever been given a reason...

We are already thinking of getting some armchairs for downstairs. But again they must be the correct height...

It will be a learning curve for both of us and I hope as time goes by Mum improves.

Homeward Bound...

So having had a visit earlier in the week from Hospital staff to decide what we need in the home to get Mum home as quickly as possible, the person arrived yesterday to make the modest changes to the house and having arrived late and following the directions from her colleague...most of those changes were knocked on the head and she returns tomorrow to start again.

Basically, all that has changed(or will change)is the addition of a stair banister, a bath board, the toilet raised, bed raised and they are sending a chair for Mum to use when in the lounge.

In time if Mum continues to improve, in perhaps 4-5 weeks she may be able to discard some of these pieces of equipment and they hope that she will be walking using only one walking stick. The plan is six weeks of physio at home but the occasional check up at hospital.

But we are still thinking of installing a stair lift. And especially for possibly walking around in the night I believe Mum should have a zimmer frame for extra support and keep Mum steady and the Dr at the hospital had said Mum could work between the two so if they still refuse to give Mum one, I'll buy her one.

So unless something crops up to change things, Mum is due to return home at 3pm later today.

The hospital are supposed to have arranged for the treatment she has been receiving to continue at home but if that hasn't, I have been given a number to phone.

If I had not got her home today, we'd have had to wait until next week and we don't wish to add any un-necessary time to her stay in hospital it has been so boring mainly because(I am sure you won't be surprised that)the tv is still not working beside her bedside but at least we have had our money returned. And that still leaves another 4 tv's in that room out of action.

So we are probably quite a way from saying this is all behind us but at present it is working out much better than we may've thought but what has dragged this out was the repetitive boredom which has not helped her mental well being. And contrary to what some staff said she has not been laid in bed for hours but as some friends commented sitting in a chair for 14 hours is not comfortable for anyone and not when you have a crushed vertebrae so you should be allowed to have a lay down to ease your back for an hour every so often.

Well, when she is home we can decide what happens and also work around what they want Mum to do.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Late Breaking News...

Unless something goes wrong Mum is allowed to leave hospital tomorrow around 3pm

More tomorrow and hopefully I can stop talking about illness and at last have a break from visiting hospitals...

We have been given a refund on the tv card, it is still not working...

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Even Mum Had A Go At A Male Nurse...


I've said before you could not get a more easy patient to look after than Mum...I also am painfully cheerful and easy to get on with.

But that does not mean we are pushovers and expect to be walked upon. This Nurse had again had a go about Mum being in bed. She is not always in bed but again sitting in a chair for 14 hours a day is boring(and remember Mum has a crushed vertebrae)so eventually her back starts to hurt.

They keep saying behave on the ward as if you were at home...If she was home she could eat when she wishes, sit in a chair, lay on the bed, watch TV, listen to the radio...whatever.

After exercising for an hour and allowing for meal times and even if you allow her sleeping for 8 hours...what is there for her to do? How does this help her mental well being? Where's the care?

Once again the televisions on the ward are still not working, all we keep being told is that they will be fixed. If you ask the staff on the wards all you hear is, it's nothing to do with us, it's a private company...yes, but it is a service that is supposed to be available to patients who are recovering.

The staff should be complaining about the lack of service, the trust should be complaining, the Government should be complaining about the lack of service.

Is it any wonder she is bored? Who wouldn't be?

Some of what they say about Mum(and have probably written in her records)are lies.

The staff are seemingly all new and been brought onto this ward from others that have closed down. Sometimes there seems to be too many and yet still I have seen neglect. Tonight a patient asked me to get a Nurse(she really is poorly)I found one eventually, 20 minutes later that patient was still waiting and she was in danger of throwing up and felt really dizzy...

Another night I heard a patient fall and take a nasty tumble in the corridor. I know sometimes it is busy and Nurses are stressed and are Angels but not all of them.

Now will Mum get home? The hospital Dr says that she should(but he said that almost two weeks ago)

They are putting in a stair bannister in our home(on Friday)Tomorrow they putting in very basic home improvements but these may be enough to get Mum home.

All it entails is the raising of furniture ever so slightly(and a bath board)which I know Mum has no intention of using and is a waste of time but if it gets her home quicker we'll go along with it.

I understand you sit on it and dangle your legs in the water, which means you'll be cold.

I think she will(with my help stick to bed baths or sponging herself down)as she has in hospital and in time we'll look into having a shower installed or a bath she can sit in with perhaps a shower above. And after 4-5 weeks these items that raise furniture if Mum is happy can be sent back. The first few weeks she has to be careful of dislocating her hip.

With or without help of the authorities we will install a stair lift. And hopefully in the next week we will be having the staircase, hall and landing decorated as we'd rather do that before putting the lift in than painting around it. Waiting for a stair lift from the authorities could take 3 months+ and yet the people that will decide if Mum can come home have said apart from it giving her extra choice, if there was a fire Mum could get out, well, if a fire happens whilst we wait for the starlift to be installed what happens?

The annoying thing is that the person who can release Mum from hospital has said she is doing so well but if the work isn't completed by the weekend Mum may have to stay in as they dislike releasing patients over the weekend. We don't mind we'll arrange transport. We don't wish to be there any longer than we need to be.

We know someone will be coming out to do physio for 6 weeks with Mum but what I want to know is who is coming out to give Mum her injections and if she comes home at the weekend what happens if this has not been arranged with the district Nurse to call to our home to continue this treatment?

Mum is getting a bit cheesed off with how they try to make her take some tablets she doesn't need and how they stand over her until she takes them. Even I know some of them are un-necesary but because they are on the list of what she takes they insist but she can and has refused one occasionally. We have heard other patients refuse far more medication than Mum has. They don't even give Mum the blood pressure tablet that her GP believes in.

I really believe the boredom and some of the after care is actually having a negative effect and knocking Mum back emotionally...we just know that she will be much better when she gets home.

As for her walking, yes she'll use the sticks(eventually hopefully one)and contrary to what they say I am still going to get Mum a Zimmer Frame and she can work between both. The Zimmer frame will be especially good to use over night when it's a bit dark and possibly if you may be a bit confused(Half asleep)as the Zimmer will give more support than sticks would.

I just hope we do get Mum home by the end of this week!

The Wheels Seem To Be Moving Slowly...

I'm happy how the cleaning went yesterday...

The person from the hospital assessing the house arrived late and brought another person with her(she said because that person had to see another person on the town)I suspect the real reason is that they are not allowed(being femail)to visit on their own, they have to have protection when seeing a male in particular alone in the home...I'm not stupid!

Yet other officials(male and female)call on official business. This other person stood chewing gum in an exaggerated way and kept popping it, not a good way to make an impression.

Not much to do to the house to get Mum home initially...an extra bannister on the stairs...some blocks or something similar to raise her bed and the sofa, something to make the toilet slightly higher to sit on and a board across the bath but you cannot still really have a proper bath as really only your feet and legs are dangling in the water so you'll be cold...Mum's sister has one of those and verifies that you are never really wet or warm using it.

I may still ask for or buy some kind of bath that is easier to use like those you walk into or an easy access bath with a shower over it...and Mum could sit on a seat and shower or if she is steady on her feet...stand.

In time it was explained that there is every chance after physio at home for 6 weeks Mum may(or they hope to get Mum down to using one stick rather than two)That in time 3-6 weeks these items to raise furniture may be(if Mum feels ok and comfortable returned to where they came from.

Just that for the first 3-4 weeks whilst the hip settles in Mum has to be careful of certain movements that might dislocate it again...but it's temporary.

They are happy how she's managing stairs at the hospital. So things are still looking more positive if still not moving quick enough for Mum or myself.

In some ways things seem to moving quickly but then something happens to slow everything down.

Monday, October 12, 2009

I Hope Mum May Get Home This Week...

Fingers crossed we may have Mum home this week but...this will now depend on what the staff say at the hospital and the Physio...

Now, I am not ageist(that's a dangerous thing to say)however this person who Mum has never seen in all the three/four weeks of her treatment/care has turned up and depending on what she reports back having looked around our home may affect how quickly Mum gets home...The Dr seems happy though...(The tv is still not working there's a surprise)

She does seem very young(maybe that's good because she'll be eager to do everything correctly)but like many who work with the public...there is a lot of flim flam...it's ok them saying what they think and how wonderful everything is when they are young and have no health problems themselves but the only good thing is that she said Mum is fit in every other way and she should be able to come rather than be in a home.

Unofficially we have been told we can apply for a stairlift...She says she wants Mum to have one so she has the choice of getting up and downstairs but also in case of a fire...Really? If we go down that route it could take 3+ months to get one installed...so if she cannot manage stairs or there was a fire in those three months what would she do?

I suspect we'll probably install one ourselves and hang the cost.

As I said we can turn her bedroom into a bedsit and as I am in the next bedroom I am around if she asks for help and I can keep popping in to see she is ok. Toilet and bathroom are on the same level. We already make tea and coffee and snacks upstairs...as a taxi driver suggests in the spare bedroom I could put a small fridge and/or microwave.

I don't like the plan for the bath...it sounds as though(and my auntie who has difficulty getting around)they want to put a board across the bath but that way you are never really in water and are cold all the time so I may look into one of those baths that you walk into and close a door and fill it up...the Physio doesn't like them because she says you are cold whilst the water is run but at least you will be in some water...or perhaps a shower may work instead? We'll arrange something...

We can get some armchairs and/or a higher more solid sofa than the one we have now...We can invest in a new mattress or a new bed that is higher to make getting in and out easier. We probably will not need to do much adapting.

Today I found out Mum did have a major operation but not perhaps as much as it could've been and that they only replaced the ball of the joint, not the socket. But this may mean her learning certain ways(and they haven't shown her how to do this)to avoid dislocating the hip again.

And for the first time tomorrow(and why it's been left so long I don't know)they are going to try her on some stairs at the hospital...so I hope that goes well.

Now our house is in need of some decorating and updating which we were going to do at a future date(its ok for us though)but this has speeded that work up...to be honest having spent 3-4 weeks only sleeping and dashing out to see Mum housework has been neglected.

I know she's only coming out to see what needs doing to get Mum home ASAP but I think I will be up most of the night cleaning and scrubbing the house(certainly the rooms she'll be interested in)and then if the vacuum cleaner will work I'll be hoovering in the morning when I can make noise.

I just hope I can get things pulled around by the time she visits at 1pm...wish I'd had a couple of days notice...I have approx 12 hours!

So I think tonight I am going to be very busy and not getting much sleep if at all...But there's always tomorrow.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Does She Know Something That We Don't?

That Nurse has been very attendative and friendly before and after I visited Mum today and was more helpful regarding the meals and tonight even offered Mum an extra pillow for her bed...thanks...She's only been on the ward nine days.

Mum asked if she was improving...the answer was over the last day or two...

Mum has done nothing different since she first went into the hospital...nine days ago.

Mum asked when she may be going home...the answer was we don't know but later on something said by the Nurse actually gave away that Mum may be home by Wednesday because she is off duty for two days and when I said something about seeing Mum when she returns she said hopefully she would be home, so something must've been said. So here's hoping.

Then we'll see what happens next...regarding putting in a stair lift, changing some things in the house, care such a Nurse popping in to give injections to stop blood clots etc...

I tried to sort out Mum's tv again today even to get a refund...now you cannot even talk to an operator, I went into the corridor where the vending machines are to buy the cards for watching the tv system, they had freephone numbers on the machine...none of them worked!

Then I saw a leaflet with a customer care number where you can top up your credit, I rang that...they apologised and said they will send someone out tomorrow between 10am-2pm...really?

And we will get a refund on the card...terrific! The operator said probably they are waiting for a spare part...yeah right...I don't believe that... Not when 5 sets are not working...

Anyhow, we'll see if anything has changed when I see Mum tomorrow...Should I hold my breath?


Not a good day today...we bother no one and have little contact with nursing staff. Mum gets on with her exercises, rarely needs to use the alarm and most of the time it has to be said you only see any of the staff when they are serving meals or giving out pills.

I was wondering if I was doing the right thing posting this, that's how I am...

Now, I am not criticising the vast majority of medical staff(I know how funny the public can be)I am trying to see their point of view. They also have my gratitude and respect. Like all professions for some it is a calling, for others it's a job.

However, I was greeted today with the request that I take clothes into hospital for Mum.

I said yes...no problem...but when I talked it over with Mum quietly I said to her you have tops and blouses, you have a skirt that I know fits you, plus jackets and cardigans. What more do they want me to bring in? What do you want me to bring in?

I don't know what is right for Mum or what fits(all ladies have some clothes that no longer fit, that are too large or too small)I don't know if after the operation what Mum has would fit anyhow...the operation may've altered her dress size.

One Nurse who was straining to listen to our conversation(for some reason people are always interested in us, it's always been that way)came over and butted in and decided to make a big thing of it(remember I wasn't talking to her or the other nurse with her and they were supposed to be doing something else)

She got hold of the wrong end of the stick through listening in to a conversation that did not include her. So far I hope that you can see that I have said nothing wrong.

Mum was saying what is the point of bringing loads of clothes when all you are doing is sitting in a chair or laying in bed and there is nothing to do.

Remember the B***** TV? It is still not working...She is bored! They have said it would be fixed 6 days ago.

Later on the other Nurse also tried to be clever too and I said if your colleague had not been listening then she would not have got the wrong end of the story but this Nurse obviously backed her colleague. Naturally.

If I felt I wanted to complain it's two against one. Its caused unnecessary ill feeling and its over a really petty issue. I don't even know why it happened and what they are going on about.

This other nurse tried to take it onto other matters but later on I noticed they were trying to be extra nice and falling over themselves, everyone was, so I don't know whether they were starting to think they were in the wrong(I doubt that)and had been un-necessarily rude or trying to avoid possibly a complaint going in from me.

We've got on with everyone except these two...you can see the attitude they have by the way that they walk around with what is a kind of superior and authoritative manner. They are the only two who do. Other Nurses smile, these two look as though they have chewed a wasp! Or there is a nasty smell under their nose.

It's only one side you reading here(so again I am trying to say maybe you should hear all sides to make a judgement)but I related what happened to Mum's sister when home on the phone and she could not understand what they were going on about either. But she told me of some incidents that happened when she stayed in hospital many years ago.

Mum is a model patient. Dare I say that I am a model visitor.

Of course you wonder what(or am I paranoid)they have said about Mum or me to other staff or what has been written down about us because we all know Dr's write comments on patients medical notes)I worked temporally in a Dr's surgery and saw some of what was written. Or maybe they haven't made notes. What may get back to the Dr.

I don't want Mum's recovery or her date for coming home put back because of spite perhaps from hospital staff. Or what they are saying about me.

On the positive side they took out the clips from Mums operation scar, she's doing her exercises well and so there are some positives but this kind of upset Mum doesn't need and neither do I.

Why didn't they phone and ask me to bring some clothes in, the skirt she did have at the hospital fits her well, it had one tiny mark on it and they bagged it up as being dirty with another garment.

Guess what, that garment was not dirty and is ok and you know what I did with the other one?

Knowing I would not be in until tomorrow afternoon with more clothes I took Mum's skirt and I washed it in the hospital in hot water with soap in the sink in the disabled toilet and by the time I went home tonight it was clean and dry.

If you saw how little the mark was that they were unhappy with you'd be amazed. I have seen larger marks on hospital laundry.

Mum has more clothes to change into than some other patients in her room. One patient has been wearing the same clothes all week. However, that patient did mention when she came over to this hospital that she had had problems with staff at the last hospital and she had been called rude and I believe she had complained and I think the staff here are pussy footing around her in case something similar happens.

I'm just at a loss for what happened today...

But I wasn't just going to roll over and be talked to as though I am nothing and certainly by people probably 30 years my junior.

Hopefully, these two are not on duty over the weekend. The hospital Dr is happy with Mum's progress and we are now hearing that she could be home very soon...lets hope so...

They are trying to make this ward like being at home so I understand they want patients to prove their independence and go on like they would at home but it is not home and they are sitting around doing nothing which is not helped by the fact that the tv and radio doesn't work.

The biggest problem to recovery and staying alert is boredom. It's something like 8 hours sleep, 1 hour of exercises, 1 hour for meals and 14 hours of boredom.

That would tire me out...

They say they want patients to show their independence...great! But if there is no one to act as a carer, no patient will be allowed home, that's what I am. It is because I am at home Mum will be allowed to come home. But whilst in hospital the hospital staff are carers but I do actually worry about Mum's safety whilst she is there.

I do most of the care of Mum when I am there so I am like a Nurse. Most visitors do...

In the end some of the things they went on about they gave up on so you wondered why they had said anything in the first place.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

No News Is Good News...I Hope...

Today things were much as yesterday...

It was however an improvement in that I found I was able to travel easier to see Mum and managed to get home at a reasonable time.

Yesterday was a tiring day for me in that much as I am happy to use a bus, I live a little off a bus route, I have to walk from the bus stop to home and it is a struggle. The difference in price of using a taxi compared to a bus is amazing. But it has had to be taxi's and so you can guess we are talking "Big Money!"

I had to try six taxi's to find one that could take me to see her and coming home I would've had to wait for nearly two hours for an available taxi and my usual Taxi company did not have a spare car either.

The bus service is so limited I still had to wait an hour for one to get me to my home town, it then took almost an hour to reach a bus stop as near to my home as possible and it took me around parts of towns and even my own I did not recognise and then I had to attempt to walk home, along streets that were so quiet and eerie, I did not feel safe. I have never been so happy to see my home, open the door and close it behind me. It put another two hours onto my day.

The tv system at the hospital still was not working, they were coming back for another attempt at repair today(the third day)but didn't show.

But last night three volunteers from Hospital radio arrived and two were teenagers perhaps 16-18 and obviously using it in the hope to step into professional radio and they didn't really want to be going around getting requests, especially from the elderly, they were skitty and when they knew I had been involved for 15 years stayed away from Mum's bed and only talked to one patient but they mainly talked between themselves.

The older guy at least talked to everyone.

He thought he'd get all the tv sets working that carry tv and radio even though the company has had people out every day since the fault was reported and of course he couldn't do anything at all. He was told many of the faults were caused by software and people had been out to the wards and/or engineers had tried to use tricks down the system remotely.

He then phoned the company but it has had no effect.

To be honest I enjoyed my 15 years there but I don't feel that I want to go back and I doubt that I'd enjoy mixing with those now involved in the organisation.

The only thing that my ears did pick up is that the company running most if not all of the tv and radio systems in every hospital across the UK(if what these people were saying is true)actually folded owing millions and the other tidbit I'll not say here.

I am not impressed with the system. Or really with the Hospital Radio service either. It is not a case of sour grapes but I know what I see and am very susceptible to atmospheres.

We were better off when a tv/tv's were in each ward and you could hear radio and tv piped in the wards via a system installed and listened to via bedside headphones or going into a tv lounge.

The system often failed but this one also fails and you have to pay to use it. At least the old system was free. And if the system isn't working it's not going to get satisfied customers or build up goodwill with potential users.

Without something to listen to or watch each day is pretty boring. It does not speed up a patients recovery.

We'll see what happens tomorrow. Tomorrow is another day.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Keep Your Fingers Crossed...

Mum may be home by the end of the week...

She did more exercises today and the Dr and staff were pleased with her performance. Her overall health is good. They tested her memory and the Dr was pleased with the results but later on having heard the questions asked I tested her again and she was getting questions right that perhaps she had not earlier and I did not prompt and as she was not given the answers earlier or told if she was correct, I think that her memory is even better...

Unlike the staff at the hospital where they have forced Mum to use sticks, the Dr said she can use a Zimmer Frame and Walking sticks and work between the two(mind they still have not given her the zimmer frame back as yet!)

It's suggested that the hip may've actually been fractured or damaged when she had the fall down the stairs in December last year but that suggests that the injury was missed back then. Or the injury began then.

The biggest thing they have been happy to hear is that we are installing a stair lift.

I also plan to install a new cooker, probably a washing maching machine, we will probably get a new bed or at least a new mattress(and move her bed nearer to one of the walls so only one side is accessable)If she has access to a Zimmer Frame that will give extra support should she get up.

She has slept better in hospital and not got up as much, so I hope we can continue that. They are also happy that I am at home so she has in effect a carer and is not alone. We may also invest in an extra armchair.

We can turn her bedroom into a bedsit and of course toilet and bathroom are upstairs on the same level as is my bedroom where I am often on here or relaxing when tired so I can hear her shout or blow a whistle for attention or I can keep a check on her anytime that I wish.

Mum may get out eventually but she says as long as she is in her own home she believes she'll improve and be able to exercise more but if she is housebound she doesn't mind that, she does not want to go into a home.

So things are much more positive than at first we may've thought some 2-3 weeks ago.

What were some of the questons asked in the memory test?

What year is it?

What Month?

What season?

What country do you live in?

Which county are you in?

Which hospital were you in before you came here?

Which hospital are you in now?

Which Ward?

Can you repeat these three objects?

Orange, Ball, Key...

They ask later on after a few questions if you can remember those three objects and ask you to say them again...

They ask you to write a sentence on a piece of paper...Mum wrote "I am Getting Better!"

Can you spell World backwards?

They ask you to draw(copy)a picture or pattern that they show you

They ask you to perform a task(Mum was asked to fold up a piece of paper and throw it to the ground)Another lady was asked to pick up a cup off the floor and place it on the end of a table.

There are a couple of questions about numbers...one was take 7 from 93.

That gives you an idea of the test.

I again took some food in just in case she did not like eat the food...and again it was a mixture, she ate most of her food but disliked tonights main meal...she was expecting a jacket potato but got Irish Stew. Most patients only ate some of that or refused it.

I heard one patient on a mobile phone say it was "The supper was unspeakable!" The soups and deserts are the best bit. Some meals are ok.

But I take in lovely sandwiches and really high quality soups in a flasks like Chicken and White Wine or Tomato and Basil etc...

Tea and coffee etc...

I now usually stay when Mum has her meal and I have something that I take in such as a salad and fruit salad. Followed by fruit juice.

Anyhow, I'll be back then again tomorrow...and perhaps we'll have more news...

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Sorry For Not Keeping You Upto Date...

September 30 2009
Today was a day which was neither one thing or another for either of us...she's still in the same ward/same bed...she has proved to me again that she can get out of and into bed, walk to the bathroom and back, sit in a chair and again they came and gave her exercises in bed...and she did them well...(she even did a few whilst I was there)again she had some food I took in(sandwiches...Cheese and tomato ketchup and pork and Branston Pickle)Soup...Stilton cheese, broccoli and bacon.

Tomorrow she'd like a flask of tea or coffee as I make it and I suggested salmon sandwiches...

She has a selection of cakes and biscuits etc...

To fill time I bussed to a small suburb near the hospital to do a little shopping and on the way back a lady smiled and I felt I knew her near the hospital and I spoke...It was a Sister or nurse on her day off from Mum's ward, she asked how she was and was happy to hear how she seem to be doing, she asked how busy the ward was and I told her today it wasn't as busy but another patient was now in the empty bed that has been that way for a few days, she is sleeping alot and talking all kinds of rubbish in her sleep and it's not restful sleep. She said it's a pity that a bed isn't coming up so Mum can go to rehab quicker. Then again...at least she's not being rushed.

The electric went off a couple of times today too. But the hospital power supply kicked in quickly but it makes all the machines go wrong.

October 3 2009
They had said Mum might get over to the other hospital at 2pm but by the end of visiting hour at 3.30pm that wasn't going to happen. So I filled my time and when I returned at 7pm I was told by Mum that she might not have been there for my visit as they had again been talking of transferring her and another lady during the afternoon or earier in the evening when I wasn't around so when I arrived I'd have found that she'd gone.

So I sat until the end of visiting hour and they still were saying neither one way or the other. I didn't know whether I could go in the ambulance with Mum, if she was going tonight and how long to wait for a taxi to follow her and if I did, where to wait in the hospital, I did not want to come home and go out again but you cannot stay on the ward.

8pm came around and they said it looked like another night in the same hospital again. Not knowing what was happening I had cancelled my taxi home. I did not want them to find I was unable to leave or that I had disappeared. But then the Nursing staff said after 8pm transfers usually don't happen.

I was about to re order a taxi and they appeared on the ward and collected Mum and the other lady to go to the other hospital...The ambulance crew had space and allowed me to...It saved me approx £15

There was a spare seat after all.

It was a real bone shaker and seemed to have no suspension. It was some kind of Private service hospitals use. Very basic.

If you were not ill to start off with I doubt the shake up on the journey helped anyone getting over surgery.

Anyhow, Mum is now at the other hospital, still six to a ward but lots of space between beds(I assume to allow for exercises and use of machines and aids...)and this ward has an open visiting policy you are not restricted to an hour in the afternoon and an hour at night so you can spend hours with your relative...(the only time they are not too keen is meal times...)

So I do not have to fill time in shops or restaurants or reception areas on my own I can decide how late/early I go to see Mum...but the hospital is also virtually next to two big supermarkets so I can shop and have a meal there if I wish.

The taxi's(though on a meter)are also slightly less expensive so if I use the taxi's in that town it's cheaper for me(even if I pay a tip)

Unfortunately, there is(but she is not very loud)another patient like at the previous hospital asking for help and wanting a nurse all the time...I don't know if this is because she is troubled or in pain...it's sad to witness.

Anyhow, I hope with this transfer and if Mum shows she is determined, it will work in her favour and we will get her back home again...

As of yesterday even though the hospital Mum is in hasn't been open very long and is newer they have closed Accident and Emergency and ITU so some of the hopsital has been wound down.

I wondered if I should cook a meal but I had some bacon, lettuce, tomato sandwiches in wholemeal bread and a fruit salad I had purchased early so I had them and two hot cups of tea when I finally came home around 9.30pm.

Mum is doing well with her exercises...the staff are pleased with her progress and yes she's popular...she asked today when she can come home and they said when she wishes to so I've told her to do all that she is told to and prove she is strong and able. I suspect early next week someone will talk to her about aids to help her in the home but that zimmer has made a difference and she's happy and accepting of using it.

She is the best one there regarding mobility etc...thank heavens...

I am sure more help will given when she gets home and I am also sure that her Dr will call to see her...

I've told Mum not to rush things but she is talking of coming home Tuesday/Wednesday and she still believes she can do as much/more than what they are doing at the hospital now...most of the time people are just sitting in chairs or in bed, she's doing as much physio on her own...

When I visited today between 2.30pm-8pm the nurses popped in to ask how she is and served the meals but that was about all that happened.

I made life easy and just had a salad(did not get around to cooking any new potatoes)and a fruit salad when I came in around an hour ago...oh a nice hot cup of tea...

October 4 2009
I spent around 6 hours with Mum today and when evening meal came I was not kicked out but allowed to stay and I ate what I had taken along a salad with just about any salad vegetable you could think of plus mayonnaise(just no potatoes or chips)but I ate half of Mum's Jacket Potato and followed it with fruit salad and apple juice.

She was doing ok and still is in reality but was knocked back today because they have her on sticks and she has never ever managed walking sticks which they tried in December when she damaged her back and then they decided sticks were not suitable for her so to try now...

She really was getting away like no one's business with the Zimmer...we'll see what tomorrow brings...

I bought a card for her to watch tv...nothing happens and it's so boring but I then found it didn't work and the hospital have nothing to do with the TV and Radio service so if it's not fixed we have to try and get that £5 back...the radio is free but she cannot hear that even...another set isn't working but that lady had not purchased a card so has lost no money(24 hours = £5)

I took Mum's radio in and that is allowed but it doesn't work on the ward.

They only do very little in the way of exercise and Mum still thinks she can do more of them and get better quicker at home...I would guess 23 hours+ she is just sitting in a chair or in bed. They were doing more exercises over at the hospital she had the operation than here where they are supposed to assessing and giving rehabilitation...

Someone I think who is in a worse condition than Mum is going out tomorrow to stay with her sister.

A taxi driver tonight told me that a person he picked up last week was told as he picked up his fare to stay with her as news came through that her OH had passed away whilst having his hip replaced because he had not survived the anesthetic.

How do you get over that?

They keep giving Mum an injection in her stomach to stop blood clots...

Otherwise she is not on much medication for what she has gone through...

I understand they are not letting her have the Zimmer Frame that she is used to in hospital to bring home, I hope I can find one the same outside of the hospital and I will get her one when she comes home even I have to buy it. If she likes a frame, she can have one. She was used to that.

I'll be back there again tomorrow...

Thanks again for the support and advice everyone...