NHS Hospital

By Nick Gilmore

Published: 31 May, 2023

Wednesday

Arrived on the ward to be told that Mum had been quite bright that morning and they’d managed to get her to eat something. She was sleeping soundly by the time I got there.

By the time Sue arrived, Mum was almost totally unresponsive. Dr M explained to me that the MRI for the suspected stroke had showed five separate lesions. They were adjusting their plans and expectations accordingly.

Although mum was currently stable she explained that there could be a very sudden decline at the end. I was asked to decide where, if we got the choice, we would prefer that to happen – at home in familiar surroundings was an option. I decided that if she was declining that fast and if she had no knowledge of where she was then the hospital would be the most comfortable for her. I reasoned that being left where she was was better than having her hanging about in the departure lounge waiting for transport followed by an uncomfortable ride in an ambulance and then being man-handled upstairs to bed.

We sat with Mum but by 4pm mum’s condition was starting to cause the staff real concern.

By 4.30 the senior medics decided that another full assessment was needed. You can get a real feel for how serious a situation is by looking at three factors:

  • how senior the people who react are,
  • how many of them react and
  • how fast they’re moving

This was a “Three Doctors Running” situation.

At 5 I was told that they suspected further bleeding from those 5 lesions and a further scan had been requested. As it was out of hours by that time, that would have to happen sometime during the night. The stage Mum was at is Hypoactive Delirium apparently. Not uncommon with stroke patients. Their current hypothesis was that the problem in Mum’s heart was causing blood to pool and clot. These tiny clots had made their way to the brain and got as far as the the first vessel too small to let them pass through. These blockages and restrictions were now starting to bleed. They weren’t going to say much more specific than that until after the scan.

Earlier in the day, the plan had still been to send Mum to the stroke ward as physio would still have been of some help. That was now all in doubt.

I recommended that anyone visiting from then on called ahead before making the journey even if only to find out where she was.

The day closed with a sudden realisation that before she was taken ill Mum had ben talking about having the dining room decorated. I knew the decorator’s first name was Simon but I had no contact details and no idea how she found him. He needed to be put off for a while or cancelled completely.

 

Author’s Note

My Mum is in a nursing home in a small village in the Thames Valley. The photo is not of the home. I used an AI image generator to give the reader some idea of the home she’s in.

All, some or maybe even none (you’ll never know!) of the names have been changed to protect privacy and hide real identities. If you think you recognise someone then let me know and I’ll edit the post or remove it entirely

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