Wednesday, 25 November 2015

A fever and a delerium

Today when I went up to the nursing home to see mum I received a phone call on my mobile just as I was about to enter the building. It was the nursing home calling. They wanted to tell me that mum was not feeling well and that she had refused to eat breakfast this morning.

I went in the building and bumped into the assistant manager who took me in the lift upstairs to the nurse's station. She told me that mum had had a short blackout with her head on the dining table during breakfast and that the staff had taken mum back to her room and put her in bed with a light covering over her body. She wasn't sure what had happened. One of the nurses was at the nurse's station too. She told me that they might be able to get the GP to see mum today, even though the GP normally only comes on Thursdays.

I went to mum's room in company with the assistant manager and there was mum tucked up in bed. I put down my pork roll - which I had bought at the bakery just before arriving at the nursing home - and had a look at the patient. She seemed to be sleeping. She was lying on her bed with her eyes closed and a sheet over her. When we came into the room she opened her eyes and looked at us. She seemed feeble and a bit wafty, and did not greet me with a smile as she usually does.

I took leave of mum briefly, telling her that I had to go back to the car to get a book I had brought for her to look at, and walked back outside. I got the book from the car and went back up to mum's room. I handed her the book and then took my pork roll and sat down in the visitor's chair to eat it. Mum started leafing through the book, which is a catalogue from the art gallery exhibition I saw on the weekend with a friend. But after about five minutes she put the book down, turned her head to the side, and closed her eyes. She was soon asleep.

I did a Periscope broadcast of mum later, when she had woken up and after I had finished the pork roll (which was delicious; I had had little breakfast). You can see it here. You can see that mum was not quite right in the head today and she talked about a range of things that were either imaginary or that I did not completely understand. The nursing staff think this time it might be pneumonia because mum has a wet cough today. In the past, the UTIs mum had that put her in hospital did not induce delerium like this, but instead just basically knocked her off her feet, making it impossible for her to communicate in any form with anyone around her. This time it is different.

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