Glad that’s over . . . hopefully

The past ten days or so have been a bit stressful, to say the least. It started on the Monday when my father-in-law was rushed into hospital with suspected pneumonia. My wife stayed with him until 3am on Tuesday, in the A & E department, hoping to get him onto a ward. That didn’t happen until Tuesday evening. Then on Wednesday, in a bizarre twist, my Mother was rushed into the same hospital with the same suspected condition. She too was left in A & E for over 19 hours until a bed could be found. The staff, what little there was, were brilliant and did all they could with the limited resources available, but unfortunately, they tend to bear the brunt of patient and visitor frustrations.

They are both out now and on the mend, hopefully.


Another bit of stress came when our youngest came for a home visit. He has an obsession with Mickey Mouse and his flat, at the care home has many pictures and wall stickers of this cartoon character. Towards the end of July, he came for a visit. He came with a request for “51 Mickey Mouse stickers!!” He was able to show me the ones he wanted. They were located in South Africa and at a price of 1900 Rand (plus postage), but I managed to explain that they were too expensive, as it worked out to around £100. He accepted this, but almost immediately ask for “4 Mickey Mouse stickers.” He then showed me the new ones, and I agreed to get them.

That’s when the problem started. The seller was on holiday and wouldn’t be back until the 16th of August. He seemed to accept this, but then the nattering began. He was asking everyone for “4 stickers.” We managed to order them eventually and told him that they would be arriving at his flat on Monday 22nd. All was going well but then a new phase came in. He started asking for “16 stickers on Tuesday!” Nobody had any idea about these new stickers, but he kept mentioning them.

The stickers finally arrived on the 23rd and he is very happy with them. It was later that day when it suddenly struck me where the “16 stickers on Tuesday” had come from! I had told him about the seller being on holiday and had said I would order the stickers when he came back … the 16th of August, which was also a Tuesday. I am convinced, that in his Autistic mind he was checking that the stickers had been ordered on Tuesday the 16th!

It’ll all be fine . . .

Toward the end of last month, I had to go back to the hospital to review where I was after my stay back in February. I was scheduled to go in the middle of June, but with one illness and another, it got cancelled and rescheduled. We had been watching the news programs which showed patients waiting in corridors for long periods, waiting to be admitted to a ward. This was not our experience at all. More on this in a while.


I was to have an Electrocardiogram which shows a graph of my heartbeat followed by an Echocardiogram, to get a look at how my replacement Mitral valve was working. The Electrocardiogram showed that I still had what the medical people call Atrial Flutter/Fibrillation. This is where the heart is beating irregularly. The image shows this quite well. The large peaks show that the blood leaving the heart is going at the correct pace, whereas the small peaks show the problem with the irregular heartbeat. The Echocardiogram however showed that the valve was behaving itself.


The next step is I will need to wear a portable ECG monitor for 24 hours. this will give the Cardiologist a more accurate picture of the problem. The stage after that is the more worrying one. Once the data from the portable monitor has been analysed, the Cardiologist will decide If I need to undergo Cardioversion. Cardioversion is a medical procedure that uses quick, low-energy shocks to restore a regular heart rhythm. It’s a treatment for certain types of irregular heartbeats (arrhythmias), including atrial fibrillation.

As mentioned above, there had been TV news videos showing patients on trolleys, and in corridors for hours on end. My appointment was at 14:30. I arrived at 14:25. after both procedures and a good talk with the Cardiologist, I was out at 15:20. A total of 50 minutes. I was amazed as I was expecting to be there until 18:00ish.

Life changer – Discharge Day

So now we come to the day that nearly spoiled the entire experience.

I had been awake since 6am and my bags were packed and I had geared myself up for leaving the hospital. I felt that it could be a bit of an emotional day and was beginning to prepare for it. I had packed my bags the night before, and there was only my washing stuff still on my locker. Breakfast came at about 10 past 8, and I had decided to have cornflakes followed by a cup of coffee and 2 slices of toast. I had just finished the cereal, when I was told that I had to move to the other ward and make the bed free for someone coming up from ICU. Now, I remember the day I came up from ICU, so the idea that I should make way for someone else was not an issue. The issue was that I had to go there and then!! Halfway through my breakfast!! It could not wait for another ½ hour, I was to go then. I said a quick goodbye to the guy that I had spoken to the most and I was packed off to the other ward. I had an idea, that that ward got their breakfast first, so in a moment of defiance, I grabbed two slices of toast and took them with me, must to the amusement of the duty nurse.

I was dumped (not true strong a word) into a side ward, and had to wait until the cleaner had finished before I could have a wash and get dressed. The senior nurse came in and told me that I would be discharged at 10 am, and I had to explain to that K*** was coming to pick me up at 2pm. This, I was assured was not a problem and that I could stay there until then. Where else I was going to go, I do not know!! I was given a cup of coffee at around ½ past 10, and apart from the nurse going over the same details, the only other people to see me was another doctor. Lunchtime came and I was given, not what I had ordered but once again what had been left. I had just finished my dessert, when I was told, that I had to vacate the side room and was ‘allowed’ to sit on one the chairs in the reception area. I was not happy by this time, and I tried to explain to the nurse, that when my wife came at 2, we would need to be away by ½ past three at the latest in order to get home for R***. Once again, I was assured that this was not a problem. He also said he had the medication that I had arrived with.

From there on in, I felt like nobody cared anymore! There was another older man, who had been there since 10am and he was really angry, and his anger was beginning to get me angrier. Again I checked that they had the medication that I had come in with, and the assurances were there again. I was told they were just waiting for my prescription to get to pharmacy, they I could go. K*** arrived at 2pm and again explained to the nurse the issues that we had, and the reply came back that it would be all okay.

In the end, pharmacy came up with the medication at around 10 past 4. We went through the medication (which I already knew, because the nurse the evening before had gone over it all) and I asked for the medication I came in with. It was then that the nurse decided that he would go and look for them. K*** went off to get the car to the pick-up point whilst I waited. He eventually came back and sheepishly explained my stuff could not be found. Now I knew that it had been moved to the ward I had recovered from as the nurse the night before had shown me them. By this time, I had had enough and left. K*** was now as angry as I had been before. It was a good job that S**** had said he would be at home for when R*** came home or that would have been a serious problem. All in all, a pretty crap end to what had been a very successful week.

The feedback survey was interesting to complete!!!