Wednesday, October 08, 2014


I am writing a post as I heard from one of you last night mentioning the blog, and it turns out today is such a mess I don't know what to do with myself that.. here I am, writing to distract myself.

I can't explain it all, it's complicated and long - as so many things in life are. But I will do my best to make sense for your sake, although I am sat here writing for *my* sake.

My dad is ill. No great shocker the man is 80, and I imagine most are ill with something by that age. He's had diabetes for years, but last October he stubbed his toe and things just went from bad to worse from there - all because of the stubbed toe.

By February they wanted to take his right leg off just below the knee and at the start of March, that's what they did.

He spent several months in hospital, as 80 year old diabetics don't exactly heal fast.

That was all a nightmare. He didn't want it to happen. My mother is 76 and can barely move her neck so she wasn't thrilled either.

He started off in a private room as they do have medical insurance, not that that was ideal as my father is 6'3" and the beds are not long enough, plus he's used to super king size which of course they are not - whilst on the face of it sounds amusing, less amusing when he falls out of it, as he did a week after the op. They started putting the bed rails up all the time after that.

Anyway, after a month or so they said he was well enough to move to a recovery hospital - and although it wasn't 'private' - it did come with his own room, so not so very different.

But the medical service doesn't know it's left hand from right, so they sent him up to the 2nd hospital without any meds for the pain, and there weren't any Doctors about, so no one gave him any meds. 12 hours after arriving he was delirious with the pain; it was 2 in the morning; he was over tired; confused and unhappy. They forgot the bed rails; he forgot he didn't have a leg and tried to get out of bed. So again ends up in a heap on the floor.

He hurt himself pretty badly that time, and wasn't very nice to the nurses. But they did FINALLY call a damn Doctor. Course the Doctor wasn't thrilled at getting a middle of the night call, because of a patient who was grumpy and didn't mince his words about what he thought of the place. They gave him tramadol, and not a little.

In fact they downright turned him into a dribbling mess who no longer even cared where he was.

By the time visiting hours arrived I had a father who kept asking me to phone the Chinese Snooker Team as he need to give them some tips - that was when he could stay awake. But I suppose I should just be glad he knew who I was as he no longer recognized my children and kept asking how I had gotten to South Africa so quickly (no, we were not in Africa !)

Anyway his vitals then went nuts, so he was shipped on to ICU back at the 1st hospital. Then after a few days, back to the private ward he went - although he still didn't know where he was. Clearing the tramadol from his system took several weeks, but thankfully it did clear.

So then we were back at the Recovery Hospital. They were surprisingly more gentle the 2nd time around, maybe because we ignored the visiting hours and did what we liked - which was staying with him all day. Occasionally they hinted a reminder about visiting times, but we smiled and were super nice, and we didn't disturb others by sitting in his room - and to be honest my father can be difficult when he doesn't get his way, so they left us all alone.

He go to go home in July. Things weren't so bad, he could transfer from bed to wheelchair himself and my mother dealt with the personal side of things, I did the exercises and amusing him for hours each day - mostly consisting of taking him out to lunch in pretty locations. He's done well, and has only had a few days of depression all year.

Two weeks ago the Doctors even said his stump had finally healed enough that in another month they will start to look at getting him a prosthetic limb. Great news! Except.... when he had been in the ICU they had put a compression sock on his right foot - because he had clots years ago, and does take warferin. They didn't ask my mother if this was a good idea, they didn't consider how easily he bruises, or how calcified his veins are. The seem gave him a slight bruise, and over the months it got worse, and now his right toe is black and a mess - just like his stubbed toe was. Of course with the the hope of a prosthetic limb soon to happen they wanted to make sure he wasn't about to lose his right leg either.

They scheduled a procedure for Monday morning just gone, to color dye his arteries and maybe put stents in his right leg. The color dye stuff was a risk because of his kidneys - but they weighed up was worth it.

They took him in on Sunday so they could hydrate him before the procedure - he wasn't happy as he had to go on a general ward as the insurance won't cover vascular issues anymore, after he cost them so much in the last financial year.

But hey.... it's only ONE night we told him! And frankly it's the others on the ward who need sympathy as my father SNORES louder than a elephant could ;)

Do Monday morning came, we couldn't see him due to the visiting times, but he called right after and said it was great news - the dye had revealed the stents weren't needed. He just needed to stay in bed for the next 6 hours due to the fact they had gone in an artery (his warferin was stopped a week ago).

All good. Except it wasn't all good. The blithering effing idiots who had brought him back to the ward hadn't put up the side rails on his little bed. They hadn't left a pee bottle within his reach. And when there were no nurses about, he reached for one....

This time he really smashed himself up. Odd really as his warferin had been stopped a week - so you wouldn't think he could bleed so much, but when I showed up he was still covered in blood. He was also lying in a pool of pee - as he had wet himself as it all happened and after too.

But frankly the blood could be washed off, he would heal - what bother them more was that they had noticed he couldn't use his left arm, he can't even feel it, and his speech is slurred.

Don't worry they said, it's probably just a mild stroke and he's in the best place for this to happen, in fact they say that's probably why he fell out of bed..... so long as we get the drugs into him within 3 hours and we've scheduled a CT scan....

He had the scan at around 2 hours, and at the 3 hour mark they were giving him an ECG - whilst he still lay in the pool of pee covered in blood. I was getting rather 'anxious' by that point and sort of did get a little sarcastic with one of the nurses about this supposedly being the 'best place this could happen'.

Poor chap hurried of and a Doctor arrived, saying they weren't going to do anything as they felt the risks outweighed the benefits. Although they did change the bed and put a catheter in.

I ignored the visiting times yesterday and spent the day with him, wiping his face when he dribbled. The speech people came on up and talked him through how to swallow (he'd near choked the day before when trying to sip water and had gone onto IV only).

They also moved him to the stroke ward last night, and it looks like another long stay in hospital all over again.

He's so unhappy. He called my mother at 6 this morning begging her to come and get him.

I then got told I can't go in until 3... as that's their visiting time. Fucking hell. He doesn't like being alone. He's never alone even when he's well - me or my mother are always with him. And they are all so fucking useless, and I'm supposed to be fine about leaving his care to them.

Christ I feel so damn useless. What if this is it? What if he never gets out? What if he just has some giant stroke and that's the end? He's supposed to be on his own for that? in a place he doesn't want to be? And I'm supposed to sit here and think 'oh yes well it is a hospital, they are busy, so I'm supposed to just trust they will do best by my father' ? Like they have done already..........??!! This is not how things are supposed to be.


Blogger MarkD60 said...

Oh Debi, I'm so sorry to hear about all this.

My father died when he was 79, after he had a stroke and basically went brain dead.

Your fathers situation sounds much worse and painful for him and for you.

I wish i could comfort you and I hope you find some peace.

Wednesday, October 08, 2014 1:07:00 pm  
Blogger Page Turner said...

I'm glad you turned to writing it all out. It sounds like a horrible ordeal and I can only hope that the medical care improves for your dad.

I'm also surprised that in his state, they don't allow open visiting hours. Sounds cruel to me.

Stay strong.

Thursday, October 09, 2014 11:36:00 am  

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