Monday, 26 August 2013

5 WEEKS THAT CHANGED MY WORLD

 MY MUM,ANGELA JEAN LAKE DIED LAST THURSDAY THE 22ND OF AUGUST,AGED 92.SHE DIED IN KELLING HOSPITAL.a small cottage hospital.12 miles from me.they rang to say she was unlikely to live much longer,did I want to go and be with her.i said yes,my friend rushed over to pick me up.as she pulled up,hosptal rang back.too late.she had gone.too late.
 So,why the title??5 weeks??well,5 weeks before,on the Thursday the 21st of July,my mum was fine.she was eating well,we had been out that Tuesday,she was vague at times,dementia was bad BUT she was pretty well in herself.then came Friday the 22nd.she had her breakfast as usual,carer came to wash her.we had new carers,a new care package in place,and she liked the girls.the carer washed her,and helped mum to dress,and she came through on frame as always.all normal.just another Friday.but the countdown had started,about 10am mum started to feel sick,and was,violently shortly after,she continued throughout that day.in the end couldn't keep water down.i rang 111,the new number we have for non emergency cases.( I SO WISH NOW I HAD DIALLED 999)  when you ring that number,or use your own Drs number out of hours it goes to triage.a call centre,who ask various questions to determine the seriousness of the situation.in the end I was told a doctor would ring me.this was at 6pm.at 7 a doctor DID ring.and agreed mum needed to see a doctor ASAP.and one would be with me shortly.at 10pm,still no Dr.so I rang again.again triage.again questions.couldnt understand why I hadn't had a visit.promised I would hear within a short while.at 11,knock on the door.emergency Dr.he examined mum.gave her injection to stop her being sick.and left.i went to bed at 12,mum was sleeping.peace.UNTIL.......1.20am my phone rang.IT WAS THE EMERGENCY DR,RINGING ME FROM THE SECOND CALL I HAD MADE.OVER 3 HOURS AFTER I HAD MADE IT.i explained  we had had call.very curt indian Dr.just rang off.back to sleep for me.
 Saturday,mum was not too good,ate very little,kept in bed as I went shopping,but seemed a lot better.
Sunday,she had a cup of tea,and vomited it straight back up.that was 8am.she was sick all morning.i rang the damn emergency number.again.triage.again.need to speak to dr.again.finally got rang at 2.15.yes a dr would be along shortly.5pm he turned up.indian dr from night before I assume,very brusque.briefly examined mum,oh yes,she seems to be constipated.stomach distended.gave mum ANOTHER injection.then left.sadly this time it had no effect.she continued to be sick all through that night.not much at a time,nothing inside her.but sick.i was exhausted.so was she.
Monday I rang my own surgery.dr.M was on holiday.so the lady dr there on call.i was told,cant it wait til after surgery??as I was ringing,the carer came.she went and saw mum,came through said let me talk to surgery.mum was  drifting in and out of consciousness all the while by this time.i was in tears.Della told surgery in her opinion,and she had been a nurse over 25 years,mum needed a dr.NOW. she came out in 10 minutes.bit put out at being called out,but della soon put her in her place.explained that mum was drifting,dr said she seems ok to me,and............oh shes gone asleep.came through to me,said,ok,im sorry,your mum needs to go to hospital,ordered ambulance.non emergency one,no blue lights.and one arrived within 2 hours.
NOTE,I TOLD THE NICE LADY  AMBULANCE ESCORT MUM HAS DEMENTIA.WAS SCARED OF GOING INTO A HOME,WAS CONFUSED.WROTE IT ALL DOWN.
mum was taken to the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital.accident and emergency.i followed in my car.somehow,mainly me using back roads,and warp speed,i got there before her.sat and waited til I was told she had arrived and buzzed through.very busy,but a kind dr went and found her,having ECG and bloods.saw a dr.eventually.sent for Xrays on distended stomach.that showed a blockage of the bowell,probably caused by constipation? she  was taken to low dependency ward.a ward for patients before surgery,minor ops.mum was confused.a foreign,probably Romanian nurse wasn't pleased when I asked if mum could go to toilet.i was told,she can ring bell  and someone will come........I said she has dementia,she wont remember.oh I didn't know.well why don't you read the notes I asked??I left mum at 9pm.i had been there since 11 that morning.no food.mum scared.
next day she was transferred to Docking ward.which should have abandon all hope all ye who enter.i went to visit at 2.until 4/again from 6 until 8.and I did that EVERY  DAY FOR 4 WEEKS.ITS A ROUND TRIP OF 76 MILES FROM MINE. EVERY DAY.after 3 weeks,the blockage was supposed to be clear.unpleasant procedures had to be done to remove the constipation.
mum wasn't eating much,food was VILE.her dementia had worsened.she was ignored,tea in a big mug just dumped in front of her.her hands couldn't grip the damn handle.if I wasn't there,it got left.as did her food.after 3 weeks GOD SPAKE TO HER.well the consultant obviously THOUGHT he was God.he told his retinue of followers,oh shes clinically well,she can go home.mum thought she was coming home.
they rang my care providers.told them angela is ok,go in tonight and care,we sending her home in hospital car,and you can look after her tonight as usual and.............WHOAAA said Claire,the acting manager.i want to speak to nurse in charge.oh that's not necessary,shes ok and...........I WANT TO SPEAK TO NURSE  NOW.
tell me said Claire,angela.is she mobile???well no,shes been in bed all this while,we have to turn her every 3 hours   Well,before all this,.she could get through to lounge,and back using frame.oh said nurse.i didn't know that.is she continent???well,no,shes had catheter in,so she wont be continent,,,,,,,,,,,well she went to toilet normally,before this,oh says nurse,can she hold herself up by arms??oh no,shes too weak,and................HOW ON EARTH CAN MY GIRLS CARE FOR ANGELA LIKE THAT??AND YOU WANT TO SEND THE POOR LADY HOME?NO EQUIPMENT?she refused point blank.thank god for good carers.
first I knew was when I got there at 2.im going home says mum.yes mum,course,very soon,when youre better and.......SHE IS,says lady in next bed.I HEARD HIM SAY SO.i went and founf ward sister.bit abrupt.your mother is well enough to be discharged  but your care company refused.i know Claire well enough to know something was wrong.so I rang.she was in tears nearly as she told me all that had gone on.i had to tell a very sad mum she wasn't going home.not yet
I rang social services next morning,got them to put a protection order on my mum,so she couldn't be  discharged without their permission.O.T.and physio to check her,assess. oh they LOVE those assessments.little S**T of a Physio asked me,in front of my mum,is she always this vague??DO YOU READ NOTES??ARE YOU TOO IMPORTANT???DONT YOU KNOW SHE HAS DEMENTIA??idiot.no he hadn't read mums notes.NOBODY EVER BLOODY BOTHERED.WHY SHOULD HE?finally,on that Tuesday,i went and saw my Dr.explained to dr.M that I was doing all those miles,and I was exhausted.he rang the hospital,shortly after the O.T. rang to say,mum would be moved to Kelling.then rang me back,oh,it will be Thursday as no bed til then.ok,least she was coming nearer.still not eating,or drinking enough.but hope on horizon.
thursday came,alas no bed,but any day,any hour,i was told.i went up that Thursday,i said to them,YOU WILL TELL ME WHEN MUM MOVES???OF COURSE WE WILL.i promise Mr Lake.it just is impossible you wont be told.my word on that
so on Friday,OF COURSE I RANG TO CHECK.4 BLOODY TIMES I RANG.NO REPLY JUST RANG,AND RANG.SO I WENT UP IN AFTERNOON.I HAD BEEN PROMISED.
got there,went in,round to ward,and............no mum.i went to desk.oh she was discharged this morning at 11am.W H A T?????????????????? IN THAT CASE WHERE IS SHE NOW?????no idea.finally found she had been sent to another unit.i trudged the length and breadth of that damn hospital until I FINALLY  found it.only to be told mum had been sent to Kelling at 2pm.so I wasted all that petrol.kellings only 12 miles from mine. I went to my friends for tea,got to kelling at 6.poor mum.so upset.confused,afraid.no idea where I was.where she was going.
that little hospital tried everything.she was got up,dressed mornings.nurses tried everything to get her to eat.mum told me and pam,ive had enough.i want to go.  she didn't mean home either.
last Thursday pam sat with mum,from 10 am until 6.30..i went in at 1. my mum.so weak now.just curled up in a ball in bed.didnt know us.didnt want to drink.or eat.or talk.MY MUM DIDNT KNOW I WAS THERE.i just burst into tears and sobbed on pams shoulder,i cant see mum die,i don't want to see her die.pam sent me home.rest I have told.
MY MUM,ANGELA JEAN LAKE.BORN 3RD JANUARY,1921.DIED 22ND AUGUST 2013.
5 WEEKS IN HOSPITAL.SCARED.LEFT TO DIE.OUR N.H.S.  I WAS SO PROUD THAT HERE IN THE UK,WE HAVE FREE HEALTH CARE.
SHAME ON US FOR HOW WE TREAT OUR ELDERLY
5 weeks is all it took.5 weeks to kill my mum.
funeral is next Wednesday,4th of September.she will be buried next to my dad.
REST IN PEACE MUM,YOU WERE THE BEST MUM ANY SON COULD EVER HAVE,IT HAS BEEN A PLEASURE AND A PRIVILEGE TO CARE FOR YOU. YOU WERE LOVED.
but you were let down. 5 WEEKS, I am no longer a carer.i miss my mum.thanks for reading,tc xxxx

14 comments:

Sybil said...

Dearest Mort,
I am sorry that you have had to go through these last 5 weeks, Please whenever you can copy what you have written and send it to the local MP, The Prime Minister, the person who is in charge of hospitals (sorry I don't remember her name) the hospital boards. and anyone else we can think of. They need to know some home truths..It may not help BUT it mught just make someone think and I hope that it will prevent someone from having to go through the same pain as you have had....
As you have jut written this I presume you cannot sleep either...Liek me ! but I am now going back to bed to try again.. I am holding you in my prayers...Goodnight dear friend x

jack69 said...

Ah my man, what an ordeal. so sorry to hear this you have our dearest thoughts and cares.
BUT, although it was a sorry end to a wonderful life, She no longer is suffering the terrible gout sessions, the confusion and pain. She is at REST.
Thinking of you, my friend.

mortonlake said...

thanks Sybil.i am going to do just that xxxxx thanks jack,mum didn't deserve this mate.and im glad shes out of her pain.tc

Anonymous said...

Dear Mort, Sending my thoughts and prayers to you, dear Mort. You were a great son. Your Mom would not want you to blame yourself for this. Please know that I care and am praying for you. Your Mom is in a much better place. I know this will take a lot of time for you to get past. Give yourself permission to grieve. It took me over a year after losing each of my parents. Thinking of you!

Anonymous said...

The above comment was made by me, Merry Kenyon. merry1621@aol.com

ADB said...

I hope, Mort, that given time, you'll be able to put this horrendous episode in its proper place and focus on the many good memories you had with your mum. She looked remarkably good for a 92-year old. Meanwhile, I wish you every strength, as you face so many challenges of your own. RIP Angela

egtara said...

So sorry for your loss. sounds like an ordeal you went through.

Charlene Bell

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

I'm so sorry to hear of your terrible 5 weeks. So sad and you have my sincerest sympathies. Try to remember the good times with your mom. You were blessed to have her for so many years.

Sugar said...

she is finally at peace. may you, my friend, find strength in all your friends that are sending prayers & loving thoughts, from around the world. God bless...

Barb said...

A nightmare for sure, dear Mort, one you'll never forget, though I hope as time passes the pain is not so acute. Please know you are in my prayers. I care so much for you, so want you to be well and able to care for yourself. I know it is hard, losing the one you loved so dearly, but midst your pain, try to remember to take care of yourself. It's easy to forget to eat, to sleep, to do what needs to be done for ourselves. You were an awesome son. It is a shame more Mom's don't have sons like you. Take care, dear friend. Love you much.

Lucy said...

Mort, You gave all the love and care a son could give. She lived a long life but when she said she wanted to go, she knew it was time. Now you must take care of yourself. I am so sorry.

mortonlake said...

MANY THANKS TOM YOU ALL.XXXXX

Aileen said...

So sorry to hear of your heartache and the circumstances.....do hope that you get some resolve with this.

You seemed a devoterd Son, and also dealing with your own health issues.

Take care of you now Mort

Aileen...x

Anonymous said...

It is a tough time for you. my mum died in 2013 and like you I felt she was late down by the system.Thinking of you and hoping that you get through your grief it took me a year but it gets better.Therese