We received a phone call in the early evening on Monday 18th from RNOH that a bed had been secured for Hubby, could we make our way on Tuesday. Well actually no as Hubby needs an ambulance + paramedic, so we made our way on Wednesday instead, Hubby in the ambulance me following in our car with a months worth of clothes and supplies. Ambulance crew were Hubby reports really nice guys.
I of course had problems finding some where to park on arrival so Hubby was already in his room by the time I arrived. Apparently I missed one of the usually very good helper staff being very rough with him, need to keep her away from him for the duration. The Ambulance driver even noticed and told him quietly as he left to not take that kind of crap. Spinal patients can end up being roughly handled when positioning them in bed, by the time you have log rolled them several times, used a sliding sheet etc it can be quite wearing and painful. I think it happened this time because the helper had not read my briefing sheet before coming into contact with her patient, I have asked the staff to be very careful when touching Hubby because of his elevated pain levels. No sudden grabbing of limbs without warning etc. I am trying to avoid nasty verbal exchanges, as Hubby will tell them in no uncertain terms if they do hurt him. Treat him nice and he will be the most affable guy ever met, fall out with him, well lets not go there.
Hubby was the last patient on the surgical list, so it was very late when he finally got wheeled into theatre. During surgery they cut away the necrotic tissue, cleaned up the wound, took bone and tissue samples. They also attached a vacuum pump to the wound to drain off the blood and crap etc After such a long day Hubby was a bit grumpy afterwards and apparently having words with the theatre staff afterwards, as he was so cold and they would not listen to him about the Flowtrons they wanted to use on him, it had been agreed pre op that he could forego their use due to his spasms in his legs and especially his left knee. If you want to wind him up treat him like a stereotyped geriatric that doesn't know his own mind.
In the days since Hubby has met his plastic surgeon who will come into play later in his treatment plan. The spinal surgeon made an appearance to say things had gone okay.
We also met one of the dieticians, who basically said hubby needs to eat well to keep his protein , zinc, vitamin etc levels in his blood at good levels to help with the healing process. This sounds good but have you eaten hospital food lately. They provide meals like the home delivered ones Ronnie Corbett, comedian advertises. Everything is microwaved into an inch of its life. So I will try and get out and fetch some extra food, which I need as well as even though I am here full time with hubby they do not feed people's carers our particular hostess is very huffy about me even pinching a mouthful Hubby's left overs. They have choice on the menu but no where near enough for long term stayers. I would find the menu easier to cope with as I like food with some spice in it, but hubby hates sauces except gravy , only eats pasta and rice occasionally, so that further limits his choices. The menu has also missed a few staples of British diet , spaghetti bolognese being one.
Getting food on the hospital site is a bit problematic, the main EAT restaurant is not open 24 /7 and was closed when advertised as open Wednesday evening when I went to check it out. Last time I went there the food wasn't up to much.Can recommend the bacon sandwiches cooked by the volunteers in the WRVS. Basil's Cafe, in the Aspire complex has very good atmosphere and food, although a bit pricey.
The ward is very noisy most of the time so Hubby is having problems getting enough sleep / rest. The front ward door continually bangs. He also has a pump running draining fluid from his wound and the special alternating air mattress which is also very noisy. So we have swapped one lot of intrusive door banging at home for another lot. I am sleeping on the floor on a couple of memory foam mattress toppers which get taken up at every morning at 6am and vacuum packed in a bag to save space. Trying to persuade one of the local hotels to give me a special rate so that I can leave Hubby on nights at least, sleep in a real bed and get a shower. At the moment the sink washes are becoming more than a little tedious. Mind you solidarity with my poor Hubby as I guess lord only knows when he will get a shower again, I have been bed bathing him and have bought him some of those waterless shampoo shower caps so that his hair does not become so greasy you could fry chips with it.
This week should be pretty calm, although on Friday he will be put under anaesthetic again to fit a long line in for his antibiotics. Better than hand based cannula which tend to get in the way of his already under functioning hands.
We are lucky in the fact that this ward is supplied with TV/DVD players that were supplied by the Buttercup walk charity, but over time the remote controls have been taken by the little people. I am surprised this has not been addressed as it is a form of disability discrimination leaving this group of patients at the mercy of the over worked under resourced staff to change channels etc.
onwards and upwards...