Thursday, 26 November 2015

Mum in hospital for fourth time this year

Today I spent about two-and-a-half hours at Ryde Hospital, from about 10am until around 12.30pm. I first got the phone call this morning at around 8am from the nursing home saying that mum had not improved and that they were calling the ambulance. I phoned the nursing home back later in the morning, after I had gotten up and had some coffee, to confirm it was Ryde Hospital she had been taken to.

I waited until the traffic had improved a bit before setting out this morning in the car on the motorway. The traffic actually doesn't settle down until about 10am but I left well before that. It was a bit slow getting over the bridge. After I arrived at the hospital and found a carparking space I bought a ham-and-cheese croissant from the canteen and ate it on the outside furniture, then went into the Emergency Department. They took me inside straight away.

I spoke with a nurse initially and they said that mum had an infection but that they weren't sure where it was located. I sat down to wait and one of the ED admin staff came and got me to sign some forms. A bit later a doctor came along and we talked. He brought my attention to mum's advance health directive and we talked about what should and shouldn't be done in case mum's condition worsened but to be frank I'm not sure how useful I was since I don't know much about hospital procedures. From when I arrived inside the ED mum was sleeping most of the time. The staff were mainly worried about her low blood pressure.

I sat in the corner of the ED room on a black plastic swivel chair and sent and read messages on my mobile. Another doctor came along and we discussed mum's situation. She had sepsis and her blood pressure wasn't improving despite medication using antibiotics. I went outside to the canteen and bought a flat white and drank most of it outside on the outdoor furniture before going back inside to the ED waiting room.

They called my name after a while and told me they were taking mum upstairs to a ward. I followed the nurse inside the ED and an orderly came and packed mum's equipment up in preparation for the move. We went to an elevator and went up a level before stopping and getting out. I was immediately asked who I was by a tall woman with completely white hair - it must have been bleached - and I introduced myself. The ED nurse came along behind me and we went into the ward. The orderly brought mum's bed and installed it in an empty room.

After mum had been set up the same tall nurse came along for the handover done by the ED nurse and after that was finished she talked to me about mum's advance health directive. I told her I wasn't really sure what kind of procedures would be likely to be excluded by it. I asked what mum's chances were and she said, "If she's been getting worse since she's been in here the prognosis is not good." I told the nurse I would leave and come back in the morning, and I left the hospital. The steering wheel in the car was scorching hot as the vehicle had been sitting in full sun all morning. The aircon soon cooled it down.

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