Saturday, December 29, 2012

How I spent Christmas

My mother, who is 81, lives on the other side of town. She has generally enjoyed good health, but fell over one night at the start of the month, breaking a finger, and had a chest infection shortly afterwards, so I had to spend a lot of time in December looking after her.

Then about a week before Christmas she suddenly became confused, often finding it impossible to initiate conversations or make telephone calls. We both assumed that it was a form of dementia.

I really do not recommend going around shops playing Christmas songs when you are feeling that unhappy. And I have spent a lot of time reading websites about Alzheimer’s in recent days.

Yesterday I arranged a home visit from my mother's GP, and he sent her off to Leicester Royal Infirmary for tests. It was a long day and I had to persuade my mother to persevere with it, but we got through somehow.

The last test was a brain scan, and a short while after my mother came back from it a young doctor called me over. The scan showed a bleed on the brain: she would have to go straight to Nottingham for an operation.

Then we saw a specialist who decided that as it was an old injury (probably from that fall at the start of the month) there was no need for an operation or even to keep her in overnight. So we went home.

The hospital experience, perhaps typically for the NHS, was mixed. The GP faxed my mother’s details through, so we were expected. Yet there was still a long wait in a shabby area, complete with a drunk and a prisoner handcuffed to his escort.

But when we were seen everyone was efficient and I thought that two of the three doctors we saw were simply outstanding in the way they communicated with us.

The really good news is that my mother's confusion results from this injury should be only a temporary symptom.

Me? I need a holiday to get over this holiday.

1 comment:

Mark Pack said...

Crikey, though thank goodness the story ends with the relative good news it does. All the best for you and the family.