Not so much a blog - more notes and thoughts

Nan2seven

Registered User
Apr 11, 2009
2,525
Dorset
This WILL read like a blog to begin with. But there are things I will record here that do not belong in a blog proper.

Left a message with GP's surgery, asking him to ring back and leave message on 'phone if he were happy to continue to look after Brian. (He rang back while I was at care home saying yes, but wishes to talk to me within next two or three days.)

To BH for 12 p.m. lunch. Brian in electrically operated recliner chair under rather loud TV. I asked for it to be turned down - several sighs of relief round the lounge. Brian then needed the loo, hoisted into wheelchair with Stand-Aid and gone for nearly half an hour.

Fed him about half of each course as very tired after hoisting and changing. Fell asleep and I was asked to go and see Pam, Head of Nursing, and Manager. Manager seemed to think I had agreed to have different GP, i.e. of their choosing. Said I had spoken to "their" GP last evening and he said he thought he was "there on a false errand" as I clearly hoped to continue with our own GP. Doc. S. had said he would be happy to step in if our own GP could not continue. Told Manager all of that and said I was waiting for our own GP to let me know. He then left the room.

Long chat then with Pam, charming woman and I think we agreed on everything. She particularly wanted to know more about "Compassionate Communication with the Memory-Impaired" (I had asked if I could tape a copy of it up in Brian's room) and I said I'd take in some copies. Finally left the CH at 2.20, as yet lunchless.

Home to eat, delighted to get our GP's reply on telephone message, read mail, get together Comp. Communication, list of Brian's health problems for Pam and Ward, clean clothes for Brian (think they were sweated into rather than wet), and left again at 4.40 to help Brian with his tea.

He ate only half the scrambled egg but finished large dish of yogurt. He fell asleep at about 6.15 (takes him a long time to eat anything), very tired, while what I took to be sundowning going on across the lounge. First time I have witnessed it. One chap shouting "Oy, oy, oy, oy!" sharply at his immediate neighbour and banging the table between them while she serenely ignored him. Another rather anxious lady at the tea-table expressed the view that "All men are dirty devils." Others seemed to be just frail elderly sat tutting at "bad manners".

Another elderly lady asked a care assistant (looking across at Brian and me) "Is that that lady's son or her husband she's with?" which made me smile. The CA explained Brian was my husband and, I think, gently reprimanded her for speaking out so loudly about us. I looked straight at the old lady and said "I don't mind at all. My husband is new here and I am just helping him settle." We beamed at each other.

Had to fill out yet more forms to-day, crossing out lots of clauses in the Agreement with the care home, all of those, in fact, that related to fees. Their Agreement relating to fees should be with the CHC Team rather than with me. Then another form headed "A bit about you", meaning Brian, hobbies, children, grandchildren, qualifications, holidays, previous job - and then "Lifetime Achievements". Bit stumped by that one. Dear Brian left school at 14, had ten years in the Merchant Navy, then worked hard for the rest of his working life providing for me and our three boys. Time was running short before next visit to care home so wrote in (and wondered if it would even be read or just go straight into a file) "79 years of love, honesty and loyalty." I smiled and welled as I wrote it.

All seems to be going very well at the moment. Pam told me she had been "coaxed out of retirement" to do her present job and she would not be doing it if she did not believe the CH was striving to do well. She had walked out of other jobs where care had not been the prime concern. She (along with all of you) said I needed to slow down, re-charge my batteries, get back some life of my own, hopefully learn to put my trust in the CH (although she realised I had been let down by an earlier one) and get back in touch with old friends.

I told her that even the hospital had had its shortcomings and that I had filed a formal complaint. "Who through?" she asked, and I said the P.A.L.S. office, and she said "Good." She said that when she had been to the ward to do her assessment of Brian, she had been told by the nurse that all Brian could say was "No!" and yet when she had come to say "Hallo" to him and asked him how he was, he had come out with a full sentence, "I am a bit worried about my vision ..." - he has a cataract developing in one eye and it was bothering him that day.

I told her how on Monday - golly, only yesterday - one of the nurses washing and changing him in the morning had chatted non-stop to her colleague. At one point she said "I'd love to have some chickens. I like the idea of chickens scratching around the garden. My dad kept chickens. I'd like to keep some as well." Brian had been getting slightly stressed by this stream of talk, none of it directed at him although he thought some of it could or might have been. He chimed in suddenly with "Did your dad lock you in the chicken shed?" looking at her with a rather hostile expression on his face. I wanted to laugh aloud and thought "Spot on, Bri", but just beamed at him instead and said "Your dad used to keep a few chickens, didn't he" and Brian relaxed a bit. Pam smiled and said "But that is such bad nursing" and we agreed that the focus should have been on Brian. Okay if you are standing at a conveyor belt packing sweets or something, but not across the body of a rather helpless hospital patient.

I have rattled on for far too long. Time to go and make my milky drink and go to bed. I am visiting Brian only once tomorrow - that is my intention at the moment, anyway. I must try and start to "pull back" a little. I am pleased so far with what I have seen at the care home.

My love to all those of you who have helped me through these last few weeks.

Nan XXX
 

sunray

Registered User
Sep 21, 2008
1,449
East Coast of Australia
glad Brian has moved

Nan, my Mum has been in a care home for ten years, first the Dementia Lodge with her own room, only 24 residents, lots of activities, plenty of space and now a general nursing home. In that time I have seen excellent care, good care and poor care.

I have kept a line of communications going with staff and management with the aim of getting her the best care possible. It is hard work and you have to be so diplomatic but if the end result is good for Mum that is all I care about.

I feel for you, the first couple of months seem hard but after that you get in a routine and do manage to get a little of your life back again. I wish you all the best with it. Just try and think of it as a new stage in your life, that seemed to work for me.

(((hugs))) from Sue.
 

Helen33

Registered User
Jul 20, 2008
14,697
Dear Nan,

It sounds like a very good start and I hope that tomorrow you will be able to go just the once.

Love
 

Izzy

Volunteer Moderator
Aug 31, 2003
62,811
69
Dundee
I think you must be exhausted Nan. I loved Brian's question about the chicken shed. I hope it shamed her a bit. Take care. x
 

littlegem

Registered User
Nov 11, 2010
837
north Wales
Nan what you have achieved is fabulous. Your Brian sounds a very special man with a sense of humour re the chickens.

I sincerely hope that life is going to get easier for both you and Brian and that you can start to share some quality time now that you will not be as stressed.

You have fought hard to be where you are now so try to relax and enjoy things again. Illness does makes you appreciate the simple things in life more.

My thoughts are with both of you,
Take care of each other
love
xxxannexxx
 

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
71,780
Kent
Dear Nan

Please let there be some peace now for you and Brian. You have both been through so much turmoil, you deserve some stability in your lives. xx
 

Skye

Registered User
Aug 29, 2006
17,000
SW Scotland
Nan, you seem to be on the same wavelength as Pam, and that's so important. I was so grateful to the nurse in charge of John's unit, I could always talk to him if I had worries, and I knew he'd take me seriously. Well done for establishing that communication.:)

Love,
 

Christin

Registered User
Jun 29, 2009
5,038
Somerset
Dear Nan, I am so pleased to read your notes and thoughts :)

I really hope that Brian settles well and you are able to relax. You have both been though so much.

My very best wishes to you both. x
 

Loopiloo

Registered User
May 10, 2010
6,118
Scotland
Dear Nan, I have read your latest blog and post on your other thread and can sense some relief from you, not quite the right word though perhaps you know what I mean. Some shedding of the strain of the awfulness you have been through. Delighted to read about the new care home getting off to a good start, that you are pleased with it, which I sincerely hope continues. Good communication is so precious, and vital.

I think you are wise to go only nice next time, although it will be difficult to as you say "pull back" a little.

Loved Brian's chicken shed remark! :)

Much love
Loo xxx
 

Nan2seven

Registered User
Apr 11, 2009
2,525
Dorset
Thank you

Sue (sunray) - Head of Nursing told me yesterday to go to her with ANY concerns I might have, or suggestions to make things better, and not to hesitate to do it.

Helen - did go just once to-day. Arranged to have coffee with my sister-in-law and she then cut my hair for me (for the first time - has often said she would like to do it). So I "fixed" it for myself that I would not have time to go down to the CH for midday.

Izzy - yes, I was wrung out yesterday. But feeling so much better to-day.:)

Anne (littlegem) - Brian always did have a lovely sense of humour. I just love when it suddenly pops up again.

Sylvia - I hardly dare to write it, but I feel as though things are finally calming down.

Hazel - when Pam realised that all of Brian's losses, the walking, sitting straight, weight-bearing, plus inability to feed himself, hold a drink, swallow properly, had all happened over the last 5 to 6 weeks, she could see how stunned I had been by it all. She was as concerned for me as she was for Brian. I am not used to that, face to face ....

Christin - thank you for your good wishes. I think I am beginning to believe that I might now start to relax.

Loo - I think relief could well be the right word. Brian and I seem to have lurched from crisis to crisis since last June, when he began to have TIAs several times a week.

Pied - I've just re-read my original post and you can almost see me unwinding a bit, can't you. Thank you for the hugs.

Spent the morning with my sister-in-law, came home for lunch and then gardened from two until 4.15.

Got to the CH for five o'clock. Brian's choice of tea was a hot dog or hamburger, or a round of sandwiches. He doesn't like hot dogs or stuff in a roll so ordered the sandwiches, hoping he might manage to chew his way through just a quarter of a round. All the crusts were cut off and the bread very soft - and he ate the entire round. I was so delighted. So often he will chew a single mouthful for several minutes, but this afternoon he ate slowly but steadily. (Had a bowl of soup halfway through.) Back to the sandwiches. Then a bowl of custard dessert. Back to the last quarter of sandwich. To me, this is a huge step forward.

And he talked to me several times, i.e. made the first remark. BUT when I first arrived he looked very serious and anxious. "I'm bleeding" he said. I checked him over. "I've been shot" he told me. He has thought this before, after watching a cowboy film on the TV. The programme must have been on earlier as it was now Anne Robinson firing off questions.

I popped through to tell the Sister about what was happening. I had put it on one of the many forms I had filled in, but thought I would bring it to her attention then and there to make my point - so that if he told a member of staff he were bleeding they would know to check what had been on the TV and be able to reassure him. She thanked me.

Brian's chair has been moved from under the TV to the opposite side of the room, not far from Mr "Oy, oy, oy, oy!". Oddly enough, I recognise him from many years back - but I was a mere "legal secretary" at the time. (Odd title, now that one looks back on it.) He probably got used to people jumping to do his bidding when he shouted at them and it is now an unbreakable habit. He shouted at me twice and I told him firmly and at once that I did not like to be shouted at. He promptly apologised both times. When I went to leave later I said goodbye to him, which he returned, and also gave me an "Au revoir", which I returned.

Brian again seemed quite unbothered by the shouting and was still awake at 7 p.m., when I decided to leave - "to go and do some shopping." For weeks he has accepted this as a reason for going. To-day he said "Where will you go shopping?" "At Asda." He pulled a face. "Shock, horror" he said, and I laughed. "What will you buy?" he asked. (This was a conversation. We have not had a conversation in weeks.) I listed a few things, none of which I needed as I had no intention of going shopping. He nodded. "Okay" he said. "I'll see you later, then" I said, and kissed him goodbye. (By then I was back to being me again. Not long after I had arrived he had told me I was a very good-looking young lad ... Went along with it - my hair is cut rather short - and thanked him very much. Don't quite know when I switched to being me.)

May things continue to go on as they are. I am beginning to relax.

Love to you all,
Nan XXX
 

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
71,780
Kent
What a lovely post Nan.

I do hope you and Brian will now be able to have the quality time together Dhiren and I are enjoying.
It sounds such an improvement. Long may it last. xx
 

jenniferpa

Registered User
Jun 27, 2006
39,448
Haven't posted on your thread much Nan, as I don't have much to offer, but I agree with Sylvia - that was a lovely positive post. So glad for you both.
 

piedwarbler

Registered User
Aug 3, 2010
7,189
South Ribble
Oh Nan, what a lovely post, so glad the light at the end of the tunnel is shining a little more brightly for you at the moment. I am delighted Brian has had a good meal and also - relieved - that the bread was soft and the crusts cut off! Wonderful.

My mum can't cope with hair cuts either - she thinks Little P is a boy now she has had a short hair cut. The brain must deal with these changes in appearance in a new way mustn't it. You can almost imagine the brain saying, "hmm, short hair cut = lad!"

Also, Mum gets very distressed at shows like Midsomer Murders. She thinks she is watching real life. I have asked the carers not to have that show on in her room. It traumatises her!

There should be a TV channel I think for elderly people like my mum, like children's channels, that shows non threatening shows all day. Lots of Alan Titchmarsh and old films. ;):D

Take care

Hugs,
 

littlegem

Registered User
Nov 11, 2010
837
north Wales
Dear Nan, I am sooo pleased for you and Brian.

To enjoy time together must be amazing after all you have been through.
You are a couragous lady with dignity and heart.

Take care of yourself and relax.
love and best wishes
xxxxannexxxx
 

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