Tuesday, 19th March, 2024

[Day 1464]

Well, you never quite know what a day is going to bring. After a better night’s sleep and suspecting that I was going to be with Meg for most of the day in hospital, I decided to take along with a couple of iPads on which are stored a lot of photos and also an incredibly ancient iPhone in which there re something like 200 classical tracks and which I can therefore use as a type of MP3 player. I knew I had some brand new and high quality Panasonic ear pieces which are skilfully designed so that they do not drop out of the typical ear. Before I started to go to the hospital, I called in at Waitrose and saw two of my regular Tuesday mornings where I could give them a quick update on the vents of the last two days. One of the regular staff was confiding his woes to me as a close family had had an accident and damaged his spine so we were swapping macabre hospital stories with each other. I timed my visit to the hospital to arrive just before relatives are admitted which is 12.00pm. But the 12.00pm opening time related to the initial ward to which Meg was admitted on Sunday evening whereas the ward to which she was relocated has access time starting at 10.00am. So tomorrow, I shall be there at 10.00 and prepared for a long day (until 9.0 in the evening) but meal times punctuate this as well the diversions provided by the iPads. Today, Meg was somewhat calmer than she had been yesterday when she suffered from an acute bout of separation anxiety. As I arrived just before lunch, Meg was served with a delicious pork steak that would not have been out of place in a high quality restaurant. I was going to purloin Meg’s apple crumble but the staff came to my aid. They told me that there was a system of vouchers that could be supplied but you had to go off to a restaurant in a different part of the hospital. I indicated that I would forego lunch as I really did wish to stay with Meg all of the time and did not want to leave her. The staff took pity on me and rustled up a full scale meal for myself as well, which I accepted with alacrity. After lunch and a bit of a rest, we had a visit from a couple of Dementia nurses and they were very jolly and we had a good chat together. To be fair, everything they had to say I already knew but I did point out the advantages of the ‘heavy’ blanket which I went home and fetched yesterday and which has proved useful ever since. I have told several staff about this aid and some staff had never heard of it at all whilst others know of it vaguely – certainly none of the staff in the hospital had actually seen one before. So I have been suggesting the use of this to many of my contacts. For example, my University of Winchester friend might be interested in this for his wife. Juts before I set off on the road this morning, our new Asian neighbours who have just returned from several trips around India had only recently returned home but seen the ambulance on Sunday morning, So the wife of the couple phoned me and I have her a quick update of the events of the last two days but she was very interested n the concept of the heavy blanket might prove of benefit to a nephew living in Canada who is experiencing autism quite badly these days. I posted the web access details through our neighbours front door before I left this morning.

No occupational therapists showed up today so I felt that this day was a bit of a wasted day, today, and therefore somewhat frustrating but I am hopeful they may get their act together so that I can Meg discharged back home as soon as possible. In the late afternoon, Meg had quite a wobbly session so this was a bit tricky but I managed to get through it with a variety of strategies. Of the six bays in this particular ward, I think that dementia patients probably constitute four of the six. Having said that, some of the others receive a visitor for an hour or so but I am the only person who is there the while time to provide support to one’s loved one (and the staff have noticed this and evidently appreciate it) Quite often of it is a case of getting Meg transferred from bed to chair or given a wash at the end of the day, the nursing staff appreciate an extra pair of hands – this may break nursing protocols having relatives assisting them but as I point out to them, and they acknowledge, I am only doing in hospital what I would have done (and have been doing for months) at home if Meg were not in hospital.

During the day when Meg has one or two more restful moments if have cut and pasted updates of what is happening to Meg so that our friends know what is going on. Our two intimate Spanish friends had read my blog and were horrified and email me profound messages of support. I replied that it was best for them to follow the blog every day and we would FaceTime them when I get Meg home. As soon as I returned home, my next door looked out for the car lights and then insisted on coming in and making me a cup of tea whilst I updated her on all the news. People are really rallying around for help and I do appreciate all of this very, very deeply.