Sunday arvo

Recipes lily sandwiches

We visited with BIL this afternoon. Earlier in the day I had been told he was in a private room so I prepared a hospital picnic and took it along. Arriving at the hospital we found that BIL had taken a tumble late morning, trying to make it to the bathroom alone when no nurse came to help, bumping his head and cutting his hand, so they had “punished” him by moving him to a four bed ward, where they ignored him anew. He is in the orthopaedic ward and they are nowhere near as caring of dying people…hopefully they will move him back to palliative care soon.

Unperturbed by the presence of others, I set out my picnic fair and we toasted BIL with glasses of old fashioned lemonade and tucked into the food with a slight frenzy. We even got BIL to eat more than we expected which was gratifying as he is so thin now. As Mr FD observed on the drive home “he looks like a man with cancer”, as he is.

BIL seemed a little confused, which I hope was just the pain medication and not another sinister turn. He speaks so softly, just above a raspy whisper. A shadow of a man.

Our little festivity was interrupted by a call from a nearby bed by a male voice asking “Would your mate mind lifting my leg into bed, please?” A look of horror passed over Mr FD’s face when he realised he was the “mate” being referred to, but he did assist the poor man to lift his bandaged leg into a more comfortable position. Once again, the nurses were nowhere to be seen.

There have been so many cuts in the health system thanks to our new state government that there are not enough nurses on the wards, and no doubt those that are, must be stressed and exhausted. Certainly the ones we saw today were not in the best of mind frames; not even for the dying, as I said.

Oh, and their solution for BIL’s bathroom needs? To sit a large bedpan on his meal tray. Yeah, I am sure he can use that solo with a fractured hip. The man is dying, do they have to tear away his last shreds of dignity? Who could blame him if he asked Scotty to beam him up?

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7 thoughts on “Sunday arvo

  1. Lord, that hospital sounds horrible. Can’t he be moved to a better hospital where there are attenders to atleast help the ailing with their toilet needs?

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  2. It is such a sad state of affairs with our Hospital system. The Nursing staff are under strain, the funding minute. He is not being treated with dignity and this is so not right. I am glad you shared your picnic with him which would have brought a ray of sunshine in his terrible day.

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  3. Not my place to say but would you consider moving him to a hospice? MIL and FIL both spent their last days in one with palliative care and were happy. gill was too because she knew the nonsense you have witnessed didn’t happen in that hospice but it certainly did at the hospital. Hope you don’t mind me saying.

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  4. I will second dderbydave. It sounds like this is a good time to move BIL into a hospice. They’re better equipped to offer palliative care and more personalized nursing. I wish I had moved my husband into one earlier: the care he received at the hospice was so gentle and kind that it made it much easier to say goodbye, for him as well as for us.

    If it can’t be done or your sister-in-law doesn’t want it, that’s fine. But I wonder why a social worker at the hospital didn’t suggest it, unless they fired all the social workers in the budget cuts. This is a sad situation every way around.

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  5. I had a difficult enough time 5 years ago with the back operation, asking for help to pee after the catherer was removed. I HATED that. But that was nothing, I’m sure, to what your BIL is facing… already I can feel hot, angry tears coming on. I agree with the others that have suggested hospice or at least some better arrangement.

    My maternal grandparents are moving to assisted living next month, so there are other reasons why this hits somewhat close to home.

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  6. I am so sorry to hear about this.
    Tom’s recent hospital stay really let us see the difference between the right level of nursing care and anything less.
    It is just terrible to be so helpless, and so much at the mercy of people who may be too busy, or just insufficiently interested in doing their jobs.
    (But good nursing is a joy to behold.)
    And “punishing” him by moving him to a yet lower tier of care is just wrong.

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