The Vault Regulars

Monday, April 30, 2018

Headlamps - your choice.

I read this post with interest so thought I would pass it on to readers who may have missed it.

https://www.greenbelly.co/pages/best-ultralight-backpacking-headlamps

. It’s worth a look.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Not what we expected or needed this year.

Because of the lack of blog posts here recently and the relatively few visit and comments to other blogs you may be thinking I’d called it a day. This isn’t the case.
A couple of months ago Sheila’s mum took ill and without going into detail we took her to a walk in centre. She’s 78 but has never been registered with a doctor. Big problem.
The centre had reverted to a surgery and as she wasn’t registered they wouldn’t see her and were actually quite rude and off hand.

We had time to get her to our own surgery but again they couldn’t see her as all appointments were taken. This time though everyone could see how poorly she was and were full of apologies.
They recommended that we should go to Rochdale infirmary where they had a another walk in centre not A and E.

We got there and they saw her pretty quickly. Heart problem, pneumonia caused by Edema for starters. They couldn’t cope with it and so an ambulance was called to take her to Bury Fairfield hospital.
Two days later, she talked the staff into letting her out. We don’t know how. We got her to our house and put her to bed. At 2.00 am she was in a bad way and although she had stressed all along that she didn’t want help, we called an ambulance.

The paramedics were in the house within 6 or 7 minutes. They spent around 30 minutes with her and the news was not good. They said if we hadn’t have called them out she would have been dead within the hour. The ambulance took her back to Bury hospital.

At this point we thought the worst, she was in a bad way. We were rushed into Resus where I can only say these medics were 1st class. We stood at the side whilst these magicians did miracles. We watched everything as it happened. She was in Resus for 6 hours. Many wires, injections, forced oxygen and much more.

It was so stressful and very upsetting. The specialist called us to one side and told us it wasn’t looking good and if she passes do we want them to resuscitate. Tears flowed. We couldn’t make the decision alone, we needed to call Sheila’s sister in New Zealand.

It was a difficult conversation and with advice we took the decision that resuscitatation would not be the right thing.
Resus stabilized her as best they could and then she was moved into intensive care. Again we stayed close to her whilst ICU performed their job. In the meantime Debbie in New Zealand was on her way to Manchester.

After 3 days in ICU she was moved to the coronary care ward. Debbie had arrived and so we were able to share our stress, anxiety and the responsibilities with someone else.
Sheila’s mum (Dorothy) turned out to be a nightmare patient, for what ever reason everyone was out to kill her and she was hallucinating and shouting.

When in the CCU ward all information dried up. We became mushrooms. When doctors did the rounds we were moved into the family room. We never got into a position where we could ask questions. The nurses told us bits but not enough.

As it happened, one day a specialist nurse from ICU came down to see how she was doing. We were thankfully told not to get our hopes up too high as it still could end up badly, she was still in a serious condition. Even though you don’t want to hear news like this at least it was news.

Another week or so passed, not eating, no progress, still a bad patient. We spend most hours at the hospital and even staying overnight when things were bad. It was now taking a toll on us all. We were now calling staff on first name terms, we had become part of the furniture.

We tried to get more information as to what was their future planning. We got passed around. We rang the consultants office. We spoke to the registrar, we rang  the consultant again. Eventually one day after speaking to the registrar ( a different one) we were told the consultant would speak to us after rounds. We waited and waited. He had gone.

Back with the registrar, he rang the consultant and back he came for a chat. We found out that the left ventricle was not working, she had poor kidney operation, but the pneumonia and general well-being was under control. Their plan was to try and improve kidney function and then do an angiogram with the probability of putting a stent in the heart.

We waited, day after day, night after night.

At some point, can’t remember exactly, we asked where she was on the op list as she was getting more and more anxious and we were no better. The next day we were told the kidney function was no better and so they could not do the op. Also she was so weak, now weighing 5st. 4lb that the op would/ might kill her, she may die on the table.

Not good news. So what happens next.
There’s nothing more they can do and so she being discharged.
Meantime we had spoken to social services and to be honest, although nice enough people, they offered no real help.

She is now home. With no real improvement possible to the problem she is on 14 tablets per day which will maintain some sort of normality. The 3 of us are doing 24/7 care between us. Not easy believe me. We have had one call from social services. Saying nothing basically.

Is there a light at the end of the tunnel? It doesn’t look like it.
Debbie has to return to NZ in early May. Without her we would probably have caved in by now.
What happens after she’s gone who knows, we have to take every hour as it comes.

Sheila is struggling with stress and anxiety and being honest, so am I but to a lesser degree. What will happen when Sheila has to go back to work will be a whole new ball game. One which I am not looking forward too.

We have a week in Norway booked and flights paid for in June, this is now looking ominous. We are not in a great place.

As an aside, Twitter has been a good stress reliever and I have had a few laughs. Thanks to everyone who has commented on some of my stupid sarcasm. At least I haven’t been blocked. Yet.


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