Monday, 18th March, 2024

[Day 1463]

And so a new day dawned but I must admit that last night I did not sleep particularly well as so many things were going through my mind for most of the night but I did fall into a deep sleep at 4.45 eventually. This morning, I knew would be quite a busy one as there were a lot of emails to write as well as telephone calls to make. As I suspected would be the case, my blog was no sooner posted last night than my sister, who lives in Yorkshire, phoned me and we spent the best part of three quarters of an hour in mutual support of each other. The text version of the blog held on a different server in the case of disaster striking is useful and to update some of the key professionals looking after Meg i.e. the specialist Admiral Nurse and the excellent occupational therapist, I merely pointed my emails to the text version of the relevant day of blog and this evidently saved a lot of repetition. I have since received very supportive reply emails back from both of them for which I am truly grateful. This morning, I raced around filling bags with a variety of things that might be needed. The first was evidently clothes in case of an imminent discharge, the second was toiletries which I had assembled into a toilet bag not used since our vacationing days and the third was little objects that I thought might be useful such as a little stand alarm clock in case the ward clock was not visible. Before I was due at the hospital at 12.00pm, I popped into our local Waitrose where I bumped into two of our normal ‘Tuesday’ friends so I was able to give them some indications of the events of yesterday before I bought some bottles of cordial to take along (which I remember was an item which was sorely needed after my own hospitalisation some 5-6 years ago) I arrived at lunchtime and Meg had been served with a rather wonderfully tasty meal of what I think was a haddock kedgeree with new potatoes and green beans, followed by rhubarb and custard. I snaffled the sweet for myself as it was the only lunch I was likely to get and then Meg enjoyed her lunch. Shortly afterwards, we ere promoted to a proper medical ward one floor up which was a much larger and more pleasant atmosphere with, I think, six bays in it for the patients. There we whiled away the afternoon until it was time for the physiotherapist to come and assess Meg. When the physio saw that Meg could hardly stand, let along walk she diverted her attention to a wonderful contraption called a SARS machine which transports patients quite easily from bedside to commode to toilet and elsewhere. Meg was showing some signs of truculence at this stage and I wondered what was about to come in the afternoon after. I left.

I left the hospital at about 4.30 and it only takes me about 20 minutes or so (and a car parking fee of over £7) to get home. At about 5.30 I got a telephone call from the hospital because Meg had ‘gone ballistic’ and they had no idea how to cope with her. Eventually, the phone was passed over to me but before it was, I heard Meg’s clarion tones declaiming in a very loud voice and with no incomplete sentences ‘This is an absolute disgrace. You ought to be ashamed of yourselves’ and similar imprecations. I am used to this sort of thing if Meg has a sudden mood swing but the hospital, full of sweet little old ladies slumbering quietly on the beds, were suddenly assailed by Meg in full fighting mode, as it were. I said to the hospital that I would drop everything, which I did and drove along the dual carriage way at 80mph to get there as fast as I could. I managed a quick phone call to my son to appraise him of the situation and he promised to turn up an hour later. By the time I got there, the nursing sister had managed to exert a slight degree of control over Meg but I had taken the precaution of taking along with me Meg’s heavy blanket which can work wonders in situations like this. But the combination of the reduction of the evident separation anxiety, the heavy blanket and a degree of hand holding and stroking her hair gently was enough to get Meg calmed down and almost in a beneficent condition. When my son and daughter-in-law turned up, they had brought along some chocolate which is always helpful in the short term. As it was the end of meal time I wondered if there was any ice cream left over but was informed that Meg had consumed at least two of these already. Nonetheless, the nursing staff managed to rescue another making the third in a row. I made a half-hearted attempt to get Meg discharged on the spot because I told them that I thought I could manage her condition much better at home rather than having the whole life of a hospital ward disrupted. Of course this attempt failed but tomorrow is another day. There should be an Occupational Therapy assessment tomorrow and Meg is, in theory, medically fit and waiting to be discharged but we have to ensure that all of the support packages have got to be in place before the hospital will consent to a discharge which must be ‘in their eyes’ to a safe environment. A nursing assistant and I got Meg washed and ready for bed and when I left at 9.00pm Meg was quite calm and peaceful but I wonder what the night might bring.