The day after the ball I went to the hospital expecting Dad to be in a really bad way.
But the bloody bugger was sitting up in bed eating! However the Doctors still weren't confident, so much so that when the Health Care Assistant kept hearing Dad request a Whiskey instead of a cuppa they spoke to the Docs, who were happy for him to have it!
For a week or so Dad seemed to make a miraculous recovery. He drank whiskey and beer. Ate jellied eels and smoked salmon. Charmed the staff, Male and Female alike. Chatted with the other patients and their visitors. And became very animated, for the previous couple of years he had been almost housebound and become very lonely. suddenly here he was with a reason to wake up every day. I saw hope, we talked about him going into a care home, he would have the company he needed. He was in pain a lot of the time, but we talked and reminisced. And for the first time ever he told me he loved me.
But then, for reasons known only to the bloody bed managers, Dad was moved to a care of the elderly with complex medical needs ward. In a bed away from the window. And that was the beginning of the end, the staff on this ward were over worked, and some didn't even care. The patients were challenging and Dad did not get the care he deserved. Each time I visited he had deteriorated further, I was having to change his sheets, wash him, shave him, even having to request that he had mouth care, a basic nursing care, their response was to give me the sponges and mouth wash 'you're a midwife you know what to do' was the attitude. Not the point, although of course I did it. He's my Dad.
His body started to shut down and they could no longer cannulate him, he was so dehydrated he said even water was too dry to swallow. They gave him fluids subcutaneously, but then his sodium levels became too high. So they just stopped fluids. It was time for him to go. With dignity. But no. They starved him, kept him without fluids. But kept on taking bloods and trying to find out what was *wrong* with him, wanting to give him injections that hurt him and pills he couldn't swallow.
He started leaking fluid through the skin on his arms and legs, he became so swollen I thought he would burst.
I nursed him, I changed his sheets, cleaned him up, checked his catheter bag was emptied, rolled him, lifted him, wrapped his arms when the fluid leaked out so much he was swimming in it.
This is basic nursing care that any person should receive, let alone an elderly sick dying man.
after being on this ward a week, and being without fluids for 4 days the decision was made to insert a Femeral line for drugs and fluids. My opinion? now was the time for the LCP.
He was distressed and crying throughout the procedure, I should leave they said. Oh how I wanted to, but Dad needed me. I held his hand and bit back the tears as this man sobbed as they put him through more trauma.
I wanted to SCREAM STOP. Why didn't I, I am a strong independent woman I have no problems speaking up to Doctors at work, here though I am a Daughter, a scared Daughter.