NHS Hospital

By Nick Gilmore

Published: 14 Jun, 2023

Wednesday

I got to speak to one of the physios briefly today. They’d had Mum out in the garden this morning but she got hot very quickly so they brought her back inside. Nothing much to report other than that she was more responsive today than they’d seen so far. Slow, steady progress rather than any blinding revelatory leap forward. Two decent days on the trot was a first though.

The IV regulator was no longer here. The catheter and bag have gone too as had the cannulas in her arm…

Mum’s period of responsiveness didn’t last much beyond mid afternoon. She went progressively deeper and deeper asleep from then on. The doctor I saw explained that Mum’s infection markers were still elevated but they now suspect it’s viral rather than bacterial. Mum was extremely fidgety last night but that is typical of hypoactive delirium.

I asked about the disparity between what I gathered was their assessment of her pre-morbid cognitive ability and what we saw. She said that the family is commonly misled by a person’s ability to perform a routine. When that routine is perturbed, even a little, the whole thing falls apart. Mum’s ability to wash, dress, prepare a cold meal or a cup of tea had been deceptive. Their tests have shown that mum was quite poor even before the stroke. What they were doing at that stage was to wait for Mum to find her own level and stabilise before pushing any therapy. This doctor was another person who was flummoxed by Mum’s appetite and thought there had been a mistake on the notes. She had to see for herself as that’s not typical of hypoactive delirium or cognitive impairment.

Eldest Sister popped up in the family chat to say she would do the visit tomorrow. I told her that Mum’s condition would be hit or miss. Mum might be ok but to be honest she would probably be asleep. As an example, the lady in the next bed was extremely anxious and screamed bloody murder the last time she had her blood pressure taken. Today, they changed her catheter. It took 4 nurses to do it and the racket was awful.

Mum slept through the whole thing. The end of the world was happening 2 feet away and she didn’t know anything about it.

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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