I wished Father Happy New Year at midnight, but he was out for the count and remained that way all night, even with being turned by nursing staff every two hours. However, I was not so lucky and was awake most of the night, as the previous night. I managed to get an hour or two in the early hours and felt wrecked when I got up. I went off to have a shower in my 'secret place' and returned to Father's room by 8am, by which time nursing staff had washed Father. I then helped him with his breakfast. He managed a whole bowl of porridge and nearly all of a banana mashed with apricot yoghurt. The coffee is not going down well, even with thickener today.
Whilst waiting to see the Consultant and Doctor on their ward round, I wrote up a sheet of information for the Occupational Therapist and Physiotherapist and ward staff in general, about Father's normal daily routine (they need to know this, to decide if a patient needs extra help/assistance etc when they are discharged and being as I work with OT's and PT's every day, I knew exactly what to write to assist them! I then phoned Summerville Care Home to update staff about Father and how he was doing.
Father's BP remains fairly consistent and at a normal level for his age – a typical reading this morning was 154/86 and temperature 36.7. The Consultant said he was going to reduce the Respiradone to one dose of 0.5mls a day, instead of his normal dose of this twice a day – he explained that when someone has been dehydrated, the Respiradone can be more toxic and act like its a higher dose and can make someone more lethargic. The dose can be increased to its normal level if and when appropriate. The Consultants exact words to the his F1 doctor were 'lets start removing tubes' and hopefully Father can get out of bed in the next few days. Referral to Speech and Language (S.A.L.T. as its abbreviated to) to assess his swallow, which not good with liquids currently. The Consultant seemed very pleased and surprised by Father's progression. Something really annoying happened – I had not been able to get a word out of Father all morning, but when the Consultant asked how he was doing, he replied in a very clear voice 'not too bad thank you'!!! I was shocked! He then followed the Consultant's instruction and lifted up right and left arm and smiled. The same thing happened later with two lovely nursing auxiliaries – one of them said 'Happy New Year to you Peter' and he replied 'and a Happy New Year to you too'!!! Not once did I get that reply back – five whole days I have been here!!! Its very funny really! At least his sense of humour remains!
I went upstairs to the canteen for breakfast and when I returned Father had been taken for a CT scan (brain), which came back clear later on, so no sign of another stroke or anything else – all good news. I helped Father with his lunch, which is now Puree 2 and it was lamb casserole, carrots and mash and much easier to feed him in this form. He also had an ice-cream and half a bowl of warm custard. The coffee did not go down well at all and after speaking to the doctor, he is now not allowed to have any more oral fluids until he has been assessed by the S.A.L.T team, who frustratingly do not work over the bank holidays and won't be back until Tuesday this week, but at least he is having saline drip going into him, so fluid levels will be ok.
I took my spare clothes, sleeping bag etc down to the car, as I am returning home tonight. I want to stay for Father and don't want to leave him at all, but he is fairly stable at the moment and I need to think about myself and need a normal night's sleep in my bed! When I returned to Father's side room, I crashed out for an afternoon snooze on my camp bed, it was lovely! Father was very, very sleepy this afternoon. At 3pm I went up to the canteen for a late lunch (they close at 4pm today) and there was very little left, but I was lucky and found a Mozzarella Cheese Panini which was toasted for me and got a cup of tea and returned to the ward. Then I started typing the blog up and its now 5.25pm. None of my family have visited again today. I was going to pick Mother up, but she was exhausted (she isn't well herself), Lucy was the same I think and Vivien now has her partner's stinking cold! So that left me to hold the fort again today – oh well!
Oxygen was reduced to 1 litre and then to nothing for a trial of 10 minutes at 4.40pm. BP: 148/78 and temperature 36.4. I went for a walk around the hospital to look at the Pied Wagtail roost – such a delight to watch. Two porters walked past and I pointed them out – they said they had no idea they were there, but then not many people look out of the courtyard windows when its dark!
Helped Father with his supper, which was pureed turkey, potato, carrots, peas and cranberry, followed by a chocolate mousse and an ice-cream – he managed most of the main course and all of the desserts. I then read all items of interest and nature news from Saturday's EDP, which he seemed really interested in, but then fell asleep! I will be going shortly, which is going to be difficult, as I feel like I have moved in here – quite cosy in this side room, even though I haven't been sleeping. Its also been great meeting all the lovely staff here. Sadly though, Father may well be moved out of here into a main bay with five other patients, which will stress him out, being as he can't see and hates noise. You only get to be in a side room if you are contagious eg: D&V or very poorly, of which he was both, but not anymore, so as soon as someone else needs this room he will be moved.
I delayed going home as I didn't want to, I felt very emotional leaving him – I have been with him for five days, day and night. He was fast asleep when I left and didn't even know I had gone – I did explain about me leaving to go home earlier, but he won't retain that information. I was very tearful as I left and as I walked along the corridors to the exit doors – this is the time when you need support, but there wasn't any available. None of my family have rung this evening to ask how things were – sometimes I feel like a one man band. I feel really sad right now. Now going to sleep for a week – good night.