Day to day musings of a cat minder/ sitter in North Tyneside and Newcastle upon Tyne . For details of services go to http://www.catminders.biz

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Welcome to CatMinders

Monday, 21 December 2009

Emergency Care Unit

D is perturbed that he is the subject of a blog , which becomes apparent when a reader texts me to ask how he is .
I tell him not much personal information has been revealed .
When I arrive at the Emergency Care Unit where he is transferred finally , I am moved by the level of support offered by a fellow patient who teaches me how to help him transfer out of a hospital issue gown into his own t shirt/pj top ( purchased for his recent trip to Spain no less ) including the threading through of a drip bag via two sleeves. I may be expert at report writing and standing up in court and holding my own . I am certainly proud of my skills in soothing the nervous cat but my spatial awareness skills are cr*p and that drip bag and its wires are all over the place .
Our neighbour is kindness itself and finally comes over to help . "I know exactly how to do this " he offers "I've had to do this all too often myself " . It is visiting time on the unit when D is admitted and I notice that not one of the men has a visitor , so when I return a couple of hours later I am pleased to see his wife and son there and they give us a cheery wave .

To D's right is a man approaching ninety, W, who is delightful , and explains that latterly he has lost something and can't always recall everything . I know the feeling . He is speaking of course of his memory . By the following morning D is feeling a little better and has taken on the role of mentor and general assistant to W and his pal across the way who is also unable to walk , pinned to his bed by a series of drips and catheters but is clearly in discomfort and rises frequently trying to set off using his tray on wheels as a makeshift zimmer frame .
I am present when W's family arrive and a young doctor engages them in a family conference behind the curtain . There is little privacy anyway but W is unhappy that we are being excluded and attempts to pull back the curtain so that he can check details with D from time to time " Can you just confirm for me where we are ? We are in a privately run hotel here aren't we ?" he asks D .... " They are trying to tell me this is a hospital " he announces with a laugh . D responds firmly " Yes this is a hospital , a very well run hospital but a hospital no less " with the air of one who has answered a number of such queries .
W's wife is patient but firm and points out that he has already checked this point several times .
When W emerges later he notes the cat at the end of D's bed ( pointing at his feet ) and asks how many cats we have . When we tell him he says he has sixteen at home though I am not convinced on this point .

He reminds me so much of my granddad , courteous , conversational , delightful , aware at some level that things are not quite adding up .

I arrive again later and everyone is traumatised.
A man who has just been admitted was eating dinner , joining in the conversation, and started to cough . D ran for a nurse when problems developed and the curtains were pulled round all the men leaving them all in their separate isolation staring at nothing and guessing at what was happening . When the curtains went back , the man and his bed were gone and the staff were clearly upset . The man's death has an impact on them all and I wonder how any of them will sleep that night . In fact I hear later they don't .

PS Thanks for messages of support . D Still waiting for more tests and diagnosis . And no doubt wishing I would write about my Christmas shopping ... what Chrismas shopping ?

1 comment:

joan said...

Hi Shelagh
Wishing you all a happy Xmas and new year
Hoping D feelin bit better, please give ear tickles to Alice and all her buddies
happy xmas also to all your readers
lv joan and family xxxx

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