Juggling life through a bi-polar lens. Sometimes up, sometimes down. Mostly trying to tread water in the middle. Creating a likeness to a normal life. Whatever "normal" is...

Sunday, 8 November 2009

At the hospital.....

Just a wee update... Mum improving all the time, but I am having to keep pushing the staff at the hospital for the right care....

Mum was finally moved to a normal ward on Friday afternoon.
I got there for the afternoon visiting hour and they were just about to weigh her. She weighed 6 stone 5lb, even less than I had feared.
I raised the worry of her weight loss over the last year with the nurse, and she is going to refer her to a dietician. I've asked if she can have a blood test to check for any vitamin deficiencies etc., and I think this will be done. I will stay on their case to get it done!!!

Despite having all the appearances of a mini-stroke when we found her, she didn't get a brain scan done till Friday afternoon. At first we were told the results would take a few hours but in the end we have discovered we have to wait till Monday at the earliest because the doctors don't do ward rounds at weekends. Frustrating for us all, especially mum, who keeps asking to go home(!) but obviously can't, not till everything has been investigated.

We were told that on this ward they monitor what is eaten and what is left, which made us feel a little relieved to hear as she seems unable or unwilling to eat anything. But yesterday I arrived just after lunch and saw that mum had eaten hardly any of it, yet they wrote in her file that she had eaten it all. Ditto for Friday's food. I spoke to the nurse about it and she was reluctant to change it, but did in the end.

Then I noticed that in Mum's file it says that she was admitted with 'confusion' - nothing about being unconscious for the best part of 24 hours, or a marked droop on one side of her face, or the dysnomia (using random, wrong words).
I pointed this out to the nurse, and said that they had suspected a mini-stroke, but she said oh, we can't right in what it might be, just what needs to be investigated. WHAT the?????

This has riled me all night and I kept waking up going over it.
The doctors are unavailable to visitors so I'm not sure how to go about getting her symptoms properly listed.

It is SOOOO frustrating. I was with her through A&E and the assessment ward and now this ward too. I have given an account of what happened at every step of the way, to every shift change, the same questions, and each person wrote it down. But the info doesn't seem to get passed on.

Even the nurses now, at the weekend, are not the same who work in the week, they are agency nurses. I hope mum gets back the nurse she had Friday, she was so friendly and helpful. The nurses with her at the moment don't seem to talk to the patients at all.

She had expected to be coming home yesterday and no one had broken it to her that she wasn't. She was so disappointed.

She is OK otherwise, but bored!

There is no radio etc. but I took her a book of short stories and she finished it, so I took her a new book yesterday. Also a puzzle book, which she is working through. It's nice to see this as it means she can concentrate and write, etc.

When I was a child mum had Bell's Palsy and it left her unable to read and write and I helped her
to learn again- so I was so relieved to see she was OK with these skills now.

Today I will make a sandwich and take it in to her; maybe if it's her own bread etc. she might eat some of it. I told her, I'm bringing in cake today, and she better have a little of it because it's my birthday!!!


i beati said...

Sounds like they will lean towards alzeimers first . She'll do much better relaxed and peaceful at home..sandy

Dragonstar said...

I find it so hard to believe the way hospitals behave these days!
Are you down as your mother's next of kin? Surely as such - and as her potential carer - you should be allowed to talk to a doctor. Try making a fuss with the most senior nurse you can find. If she fobs you off with excuses, insist on seeing whatever passes for a matron these days. Anything to make them take you seriously. It's bound to be upsetting for you, but probably not as bad as being ignored.
Keeping fingers crossed!

Poopsie aka Blue said...


Only just caught up with what's happened to your poor Mum.

As Dragonstar says as her next of kin & potential carer you should be able to see her doctors -I stayed & hounded my mothers till I got answers.
The situation re nurses never fails to annoy me and I found notes go missing between departments or are incorrectly made as routine re meals etc, so can understand your frustration.
Stand your ground & keep bugging them.

Hope she's allowed home very soon.
And, a HAPPY BIRTHDAY to you!

Love & hugs

Pinkllilac said...

Thinking of you and your mum and hope you get some real answers soon if not hound them till they explain what is going on.

Happy Birthday to you.

Hugs Linda x

Ginger Jasper said...

Please keep at them and dont let them get away with this shoddy treatment. My mum was in hospital and kepy saying to me please dont make a fuss as this will make it worse for me. I didn't and wished now in hindsite that I had.. You can request to see a doctor.. I realy hope they do all the tests and your mum gets the right treatment..

Happy Birthday to you.. Hope your mum enjoyed cake. Hugs GJ xx

Julie said...

This seems to be the way of things these days, noone will tell you anything.I have Power of Attorney and am/will be Executor for a friend as she has no family but I still couldn't get anything from the staff when she was in hospital with gall bladder problems. It is so frustrating when you just want to make sure that the patient gets everything they need, especially when they come home. I do hope you get a clearer picture from the doctors tomorrow. They seem happy to tell you things if you are there when they do the rounds.

I hope your Mum enjoyed a little of your cake with you today. Happy Birthday Helena and I'm so sorry I didn't get my bum into gear to get a card to you. I will make amends! xx

Angel and Kirby said...

WE have discovered that you have to have a well person in the hospital with the sick person to make sure they get the care you think they need, Not all nurses are like the ones you are seeing this weekend.

Angel and Kirby said...

PS. Happy Birthday and we will keep you and your Mom in our thoughts.

Feronia said...

Good on you for keeping on at them at the hospital, Helena! Your Mum is lucky to have you there, batting for her. It's great that she's reading and writing - that's a good sign. I hope she keeps on getting a little better day by day. Happy Birthday to you for Sunday...hopefully by now there will be a little parcel from Australia waiting for you when you get home!

MISS PEACH ~(^.^)~ said...

Dearest Helena! Thank you for the update. So glad to hear that mum is improving. It is most perplexing that you have to bang your head against the wall to get any proper attention for her!!! I would be dancing on the doctors desk!!!!
Don't let up dear friend and take courage and strength in all you do!
Love Karla

diane said...

Sorry to hear about your mum and the difficulties you are having at the hospital. Hope things improve for all of you.

JB's Big and Small Worlds said...

WE are sorry to hear about your mum. We are purring so hard for your mum!

Maggie and Mitch said...

We've just come from PoopsieBlue's blog! We're sending lots of AireZen to your mom.

Love ya lots
Maggie and Mitch

Helena said...

Thank you all for your messages of support- again!!!!!!!!
Mum saw a dietician and now she is home and so far has eaten my cooking! Early days....

freebird said...

What a time for your mother and what a way to celebrate your birthday. I hope the rest of your year goes much better!

We don't get to look at the files (charts) here in our hospitals so we can't see what they write or don't write. Glad you can.

Shirley said...

You are so doing the right thing. I had to do the same things with others caring for my mom. It pays off when they know someone is looking to see she is treated well. You still might think there should be more. Think about if she haD one to speak for her. You are doing great!!