I phoned the hospital this morning before I started work. Father had been agitated and aggressive all night and had had a very high temperature. No one could get near him to treat him. He had calmed by the morning – well enough to allow an N/A to assist him to eat cornflakes. When I arrived in my short teabreak he was asleep and he looked drained and poorly. I didn't wake him. A doctor requested to speak with me privately in a room, which really alarmed me. Father had replied 'yes' before his operation to being resuscitated in an emergency so the doctor told me – that's the answer most people if not all would have given wouldn't they!!! The doctor felt that maybe my father hadn't got the capacity to make the decision and being as father was poorly wanted to know what the family's thoughts were. I clearly stated that we would want him resuscitated. Just because he is 88 – it doesn't mean we are going to give up on him! I phoned my Mother later in my lunch break about this which obviously stressed her, but I had no choice but to ring her as I was at work all day and she was too exhausted to come up to the hospital and the doctors wanted to know our thoughts on this today in case something happened. So I had 30 minutes to eat lunch, ring Mother and Vivien and fly up to the ward to visit Father. I managed to have 15 minutes with him – sadly he was aggressive and non-compliant again. He made a fist and raised it, but calmed at little when he knew it was me. I can't begin to imagine what it must be like to be in that dilusional state, combined with the fact that he is also virtually blind – anyone coming near you, to care for you or treat you, would be part of the horrific reality dreams that people have – no wonder patients lash out in defence! Heart breaking to see him like this and torture to have to return to work. I just about got through the afternoon.
At 4.25pm I returned to the ward to find my dear sister Lucy sitting with him. The scene before me made both smile and cry. Lucy was smiling, father was smiling. Between the anti-biotics kicking in and Lucy's excellent nursing skills, father looked relaxed, smiling and co-operative. Lucy had helped him drink a whole beaker of coffee and he was munching on Mother's grapes she had left yesterday. He asked me if the fire had actually happened?! In his delusional state he had been in a huge fire – no wonder he was screaming and shouting all night. Lucy said he had been sent for a chest x-ray. The nurse told me that his blood test (taken yesterday) had all come back fine and his temperature was now much better, but he had refused lunch earlier (when he was confused again). He ate around 10 grapes and I went to the hospital kitchen to get him a banana which he ate all of and also drank a whole beaker of orange juice. He looked like Father Christmas – never seen his facial hair in this state before, he had a mini beard going on! No one had been able to shave him because of his confusion. He allowed me shave him, which took a while to do in the state he was in and he said it felt much better afterwards. If I had not assisted the HCA to put the cannula in last night, so that the anti-biotics could be administered – I don't know where we would be today, to be honest.
I phoned Mother and put my mobile phone next to father's ear so he could chat to her, which really helped and he said 'its nice to hear your voice' which made me emotional again. I got a N/A to help me get father higher up the bed and into a good sitting position – so important when people have not been out of bed for chest reasons etc to at least be sitting high up. We helped Father with his tea at 6pm – he had a bowl of mushroom soup, another banana, an ice-cream and a coffee. He then looked sleepy. We said our goodbyes and left. Took Lucy home who then re-heated her tea that had been cooked for her. I went home and collapsed. Had peanut butter on ryvitas – too exhausted to cook. Lucy has been an angel spending so many hours there this afternoon, especially as she is not a well person herself (long story).
Of all the weekends, I have to work on Sunday – can't cancel as I remain on the Stroke Ward rota for Sundays. I wouldn't mind looking for the Eagle Owl, but can't see me having the time to do that.