Friday, 2 July 2010

Monday 28th June

Today more friends arrive.

They are staying at a B&B in a village a few miles away. And the plan is to visit each day for a few days and see what's needed. This visit had been arranged as light relief for the recuperating patient. But what they find is a different situation. Their careful plans to take the Doll sight-seeing for a break make way for a request to take her to the hospital for a visit to the Old Man.

This is agreed and after much excited chat and some lunch and cups of tea, they take the Doll to the hospital and go to find a beach for themselves.

At the hospital so far, the sub-message that I get from doctors, nurses, and ex-patients alike is to "keep banging on about your concerns."

The latest and perhaps the only doctor to sit down and listen to us, I shall call the Good Doctor.

Good Doctor warmed to the Old Man after he asked what he did for a living, and Old Man explained his computer programming. Good Doctor talked about the books on programming languages on his father's bookshelf. Not for the first time we are brought up with a jolt as doctors and nurses equate us with their parents. Ah. We never realised what an obvious Grey Doll and Old Man we be.

Good Doctor explained that the hospital has a system of moving doctors around - so to keep reminding each one of your concerns. This does not inspire me with confidence. It also leaves me sounding like a demented parrot. I fear I will be dismissed as the idiot carer who has to have everything explained to her a zillion times.

The Good Doctor said that the Old Man would not be discharged until he was stable with the Warfarin. But Hey - Good Doctor will be on another ward tomorrow.

Yesterday Old Man was seen by a physio - who told him that they (the physios) had influence over discharge from the hospital, and that he would not be discharged until they were satisfied that he could climb stairs and take care of basic needs by himself. I hope so.

But I am a bit worn out by every day being different, and being told different things every day.

It is alarming, but natural I suppose, how many people imagine hospital patients lying peacefully in striped pyjamas in the same hospital bed - with the same staff and the prospect of a nice stay in a convalescent home to recuperate. To be followed by regular visits at home from a GP and District Nurses. (Truly this convalescent home thing has been suggested to me a couple of times by friends and acquaintances. Do such places still exist?) Anyway - a kind of "Emergency Ward 10 / Carry On Nurse" vision of the NHS.

Little do they know that modern patients face an assembly line system, at the end of which they are shunted out to the hospital "pick-up" point - nicely packaged with a Booklet.

Which reminds me - I must ask the Consultant from Hell for his Booklet.

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