Monday, May 24, 2010

one of 'those' weeks...

well, me mum's 'cold' did turn out to be pneumonia!! we had to race her into hospital last sunday because she couldn't breathe... we got to emergency about 1 pm and left her in what we hoped were capable hands 7-odd hours later...

'they' did just want us to sit in the waiting room until she could be seen, but after convincing the triage nurse that she needed oxygen we got her onto a trolley albeit in the corridor but it was at least on the right side of the doors!!! the corridor turned out to be a busy area, but she was soon moved into a cubicle and onto a proper bed where she stayed most of the night for monitoring and was then moved to the acute medical unit where she spent the next few days...

going to the emergency department with a chronically ill person can be a problem though... they treat the obvious symptoms but we had a time and a half getting them to understand the chronic nature of the renal failure she's dealing with which can be impacted by the medication they were giving her... and then they were quite prepared to send her home once she could breathe properly - until the treating doctor finally took in "she only has 14% kidney function"... that's when she was told she'd be staying overnight and seeing a renal doctor... and that's when it was decided she would need to be observed for most of the week... she wasn't happy at having to stay there!!!

i can understand her hesitation at the thought of hospital - last time she had pneumonia she was given the wrong medication that almost killed her... then she had 'keyhole' surgery on her gallbladder which was where the kidney problem originated - they 'nicked' her kidney which has caused her renal failure... nah, she doesn't have a good time when she goes into hospital - nor does she have any confidence in 'them'!!!! and of course, there was a major incident when they gave her a steroid to help her lungs, which made her blood sugar level skyrocket to 19 millimoles per litre - the average for most people is somewhere between 4 and 8 - so that was dangerously high - they had to give her insulin to stabilise her but there was a real possibility of her falling into a diabetic coma - lucky they didn't just send her home with that medication!!!

the staff were lovely though... oooh, i should qualify that - the nursing staff and allied services staff along with the junior medical staff were wonderful - not so the senior teaching doctor (the alfred is a major "tertiary referral teaching hospital") that was dealing with her 'case' - he was such an arrogant prick (even the nurses agreed with that) - does that come with the 'territory' - the 'better than' attitude - the specialist 'i get paid a lot therefore i'm better' syndrome?? he very rarely acknowledged her and when he did actually speak TO her he treated her like a child, as though she couldn't possibly understand (or be interested in) anything about her own health - oh, he didn't acknowledge the family might be interested either but just spoke in 'doctor-ese' to the junior staff as though none of us were present - definitely no bedisde manner there!!!!

anyway she's home now and starting to feel 'fighting fit' (well, as much as a chronically ill older person can!!!) and we've finally been able to talk her into home help, which has been arranged by the hospital and will continue through council and community services and will be ongoing to enable her to stay living independently - and that's a fear a lot of older infirm people live with - the fear of losing their independence, their home, their friends...

okay, i think a fitting end to this post would be some more pictures of me mum... she was between 14 and 16 when these were taken so it was around 1945...





funny the things we don't know about our parents... i never knew she could ride a horse until i saw this photo (and asked her whether this was just a 'posed' shot or whether she could actually ride!!!) - this would have been at either the relo's in healesville or romsey...













and i can tell from the stance and lack of smile that she wasn't impressed when this one was being taken... and for some reason i think of 'little bo peep' whenever i look at this photo!!!














and this one is with me nan (and by the looks of it possibly me nan's birthday with a card sitting in front of her!)

there used to be a wonderful cafe (or was that tea-room, restaurant, or eatery) in collins street where time seemed to have 'stood still' - you went down a very steep wooden staircase to enter into a bygone era, but i can't remember it's name now - i can tell by the decor that's where this picture was taken - it seems many generations of melburnians enjoyed this little gem over the decades - probably just 'the norm' in dining in me mum's era but it was definitely a little bit of 'old world charm' in my more modern world!!



3 comments:

Curvy Kitty said...

There's nothing like finding a place where you can get a 'proper' cup of tea in the city! I always love to see photos of your mum. Hope you're both doing ok.

Proud Womon said...

thanks Kitty... things are getting 'back to normal'...

larrythelibrarian said...

hey Proudie,

You did your mum proud, I'm feeling for ya tonight on reading this.
photos are great.
so pleased to hear that your mum is ok and that things are getting back to ....

lotsa love Larry