Anyone with parents of advanced age knows that it can be a bumpy ride. This week we had a very turbulent time, it all began with a fall, which I am actually grateful for.
On Tuesday night I got a call from my brother who lives with my parents to say my Dad had fallen, he wasn’t able to help him up so an ambulance was called. They took him to hospital as they were concerned for his low blood pressure. So he was now in Accident and Emergency.
Later on my brother rang me to say my Dad’s heart was only working at 5% capacity and we can visit at any time, naturally we got straight into the car, it was about 11 pm. Of course sometimes nothing is straight forward and the car battery was flat as it hadn’t been used for a while, thank goodness for the starter pack. My brother wanted to go and was going to make sure my Mum got to bed first, I pointed out that if she wanted to go she should be given the chance (she has dementia symptoms but for some reason has not had an official diagnose of Alzheimer’s yet, unlike my Dad).
As we arrived at the hospital, we are about 12 miles away whereas my Brother is less than one mile, I saw he was helping my Mum out of the car and into a hospital wheelchair to go and visit him. Taking one look at her and hearing her chest I told him to get her seen too.
While he was checking my Mum in I was directed to my Dad, he was in the acute medical assessment area and although was not out of the woods was more stable. He had pneumonia symptoms as well as the low blood pressure.
Once I was reassured that given my brothers phone call my father wasn’t about to pass away any minute now, I mentioned that I was going to see what was happening with my Mum, to be told she was about to be brought into the bay next to my Dad and she was really poorly.
So for a while I was sat there in the middle of the night between two hospital acute medical care cubicles with monitors going off (in mum’s case) and heart rates soaring high and a feeling that this may be the beginning of the end. I couldn’t help being grateful that Dad had that fall because I don’t think my brother had any idea how ill they both were.
In the end we had to head home, Dad had moved from the acute end of the department to one for more stable people waiting for a ward. The doctor said Mum may stabilise soon or it could take a few hours, we had to drive home still and ultimately as she said we needed to look after our own wellbeing.
When we finally left, it didn’t help that there were some roadworks going on that sent us in the wrong direction on the motorway which then led a merry dance because a few motorway junctions were closed. As soon as I realised something was wrong I switched on the Sat Nav and couldn’t help feeling it’s resentment when we had to keep ignoring it’s directions because of the closures. At least the silver lining was the car battery got a decent run.
So here we are three days later my parents are on separate medical wards on the same floor of the hospital. Mum has been taken through to see Dad at least once, she was apparently requesting the police to find him for her. 😞 Sadly a couple of hours later had no memory of seeing him.
Neither is fully out of danger, so we are suspended waiting to see what will happen. Knowing that their comfort and quality of life has to be at the fore front of any medical decisions.
Of course, as someone with Fibromyalgia I have talked about the role stress plays. Although I am mentally doing everything I can to minimise it, the migraine and IBS flare-up have let me know that I am kidding myself if I think I am not stressed. Hopefully next week things will be looking brighter and I can talk about something more cheerful.