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?