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...

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Mum's Home

Yesterday at 11am, Mum rang my mobile from the hospital to tell me that they were discharging her. I was already on the train, on my way to her!

Despite telling her before 11 that she was going home, the hospital pharmacy didn't deliver her going-home meds till 6pm. So we- and the woman in the bed opposite- we hanging around all afternoon.

When I arrived about midday, I asked mum if the doctor had said anything to her about why she had been admitted. He hadn't. She said that he had seemed surprised to see her still in hospital. The date on the discharge form was Saturday's, so what the other nurse had said was correct- he hadn't reviewed her case since Saturday morning, when he said that she was "fit" to go home.

So! Off Helena the Avenger goes again, straight to the nurse station on the ward. I asked if anything has been said about epilepsy -NO, had anyone spoken to her about the fit she had? -NO, were there any leaflets about epilepsy we could take home? -NO, any advice re management of the condition? -NO, were we sure now that it WAS epilepsy? -DON'T KNOW. Erm, can I speak to a doctor, please? No, they are on other wards now.
OK, erm, I am not willing to take mum home till I have spoken to a doctor.
Nurse pulls face and takes deeps breath.
"OK well, I'll go and call him then."
I wait for 15 minutes...... she returns-
"Well a house doctor can come and see you but it won't be for a least an hour. She said to call the registrar but the registrar isn't answering her buzzer. Dr DM (the most we were allowed to know of his name) is busy with sick patients now."
"MY MOTHER is a sick patient!" I repeated that I needed to see someone because we still didn't know WHY mum had had a seizure.
"Well they'll cover that in clinic. He's making an appointment for her in a few months where he can answer your questions there. In the meantime, if it happens again, you'll just have to bring her back."
"Erm, no, it has ALREADY happened 4 TIMES. I want to know why."

...... FINALLY. The mysterious "Dr DM" appeared in a hour, accompanied by a registrar, and off I went into a little room with them, followed by the nurse I'd been badgering. Obviously, witnesses were required in case I punched someone by now. Ha.

The upshot is this- he thinks it is epilepsy.
So, I ask, where did it come from? Another doctor at the hospital (it's becoming like a song, another suitcase in another hall, another doctor on a another ward...) had told me that it was very rare for anyone in later life to develop epilepsy. Dr DM disagreed. He said the other doctor was talking out of her hat. Mum, he told me, shrugging, probably had it in childhood anyway.
Er, ok then, but she has got it now.

They think that the meds she was on was ok- sodium valproate, but it failed to prevent Friday's seizure because "her infection lowered the threshold for a fit".
OK, so does she have to take a higher dose?
"Oh, yes, that's an idea. I'll think I'll raise it..." Dr DM gives a note to the registrar.
Hey, good job I suggested that, huh?

No real info re epilepsy, no notes, nothing on what type it is. But there is always the internet, I am told, which is a great source of information. Hey, you're telling me! You should see the reviews you can find on here about Medway Hospital!

So I got mum home in a taxi by 7 last night.
She slept ok.
I didn't.

Today there are still enormous gaps in her memory.
I recall having these worries back in November, and I think the memory gaps came back ok.
I hope they do this time, too.

Mum doesn't remember anything about the house being up for sale, about moving to the bungalow etc. Just as well, really, as the buyer has just this weekend announced that he wants to drop his offer by £10,000- which we simply can't afford to do. If he insists, the sale is off. We'll have to take our chances on the open market. And that means getting it decorated and ready for advertising, etc. Plus the trooping through of strangers. Mum just isn't up to that. Luvbug was on the phone talking all this through last night. I could tell he was stressed. In the end I said that maybe we just needed to sleep on it. For a few days....

*** ** *** ** *** **

Thanks again, for all your messages :) you are great, and I am so thankful for this little oasis of friendliness and support. It means so much :)

Have to go..... Mum just asked me if she has my address....


Angel and Kirby said...

Helena, I am so sorry that you and your Mom are getting such poor help for her health! You both deserve better! We are purring that the memory gaps fill in and that the higher dose helps her control this!

Bodecea said...

Hi Helena,

I KNOW you live in the UK in the 21st century, but reading this I ask myself - are you talking about a jungle clinic in the 19th century?

Best wishes for you & your mum!


Calamity Jane said...

Hi Helena, don't know what to say except I'm sending healing vibes. This has all stirred up memories of my Mum's last stay in hospital and last night I struggled to get to sleep, just lay there for an hour or so reliving everything - seems your Mum's treatment has been a near carbon copy. I just cried for you, me, your Mum, my Mum ... I'm off again. Big hugs xx

Ginger Jasper said...

I read this and remember back to when my mum was getting the same treatment.I sometimes think we are breading a new era of dont care people. What is happening.. I so hope it gets better for you soon.. Thinking of you.. I am transported right back and hate the images it evokes.. All our families deserve better.. Much much better.. Hugs GJ and Carol x

Linda said...

Sadly Helena we have the same problems with our health care system overhere:( I'm praying that the house sale goes through and your Mum can be closer to you. Hopefully now your Mum is back home she will begin to improve every day. ♥ to you all. xoxo

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

Know I am holding you close in thought and heart...I echo all the comments left by those who care so much. You are a brave warrior...fight on till the last breath!

Julie said...

Helena, big hugs to you and your Mum. Maybe her GP can offer better support? Sending you lots of love xx

Feronia said...

I am thinking of you and your Mum, Helena. I agree with Julie's idea that perhaps your GP can offer you more local and consistent help now that your Mum is home again. Hugs xx

Stardust said...

I'm getting really crossed at the hospital for stressing things out instead of helping. I truly feel for you... I guess we have to put the unpleasant stuff behind and concentrate on the present environment when mom's home. Hope that things look up when you allow positivity finds your good soul.

Promise you'll be nice to yourself, lots of tea and Luvbug's help. Please skip my place during your blog hop, we can always catch up later. Tight hugs.

i beati said...

Stay a warrior my angel - health care sucks !!!

Helena said...

Thank you all once again for your interest and your support and kind words.

I am very sorry, CJ, to have triggered bad memories and making you cry :(