Sunday, December 29, 2013

Christmas has been and gone!

This year it was always going to be a difficult Christmas. We were all expecting things to be difficult, but we tried to carry on the best we could in the circumstances. I was lucky because I had bought most of my presents before my operation in November which was lucky as it turned out!! I was able to  wrap most of them before as well, leaving little to be done before big day. So for us it was the food shopping that had to be done, we decided to hit Asda this year for a change, their drink was cheap so well worth the change!

I am very proud to have three beautiful God daughters, and it was lovely to be able to get them together for a photo with their 'Fairy God Mother' !!!!So left to right Becca, my longest time god daughter, who is beautiful talented and lives far too far away for my liking! After me is Gracie, my youngest God Daughter and the one most likely to become Mrs Davidson (if my perfect plans come together, after all she has grown up with Carl and they have been long time friends!!) But if that doesn't happen then she will one day be in charge of Waitrose media department and will earn lots and lots of money!! Finally on the right is Emma, she is the young entrepreneur, from the low times she has picked herself up and started her own business renting baby birthing pools to mums to be. All of these girls will do well and I am sure they won't forget their Fairy God Mother!!! 

On Christmas day Beth did one of her world famous 'selfies' this time we all managed to cram into the frame!! It turned out to be the surprise snap of the Christmas. We had invested in some Christmas tops, three Elves and two Father Christmas !
Christmas was a subdued affair and I felt very blessed to have such wonderful friends and family who gave me beautiful gifts. I have some beautiful opal jewelry, perfume, photo frames to name but a few. 

Considering where we were we had a good time, we are looking forward to the new year with the hope of better things to come.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Catching up....

I think its true to say that this year has been a particularly hard one, not only for us, but also for lots of other people as well. We started with so much hope and expectation, not much of that came to fruition. 
Sadly on the 7th of December Mum passed away. She finally had her repair operation on the 6th of December and on that evening she was uncomfortable but talking to us. They had told us that she was being looked after in intensive care as a precaution. When I left at the end of visiting time, I felt positive, she looked like she needed a good nights sleep, but was with us.

When Dad and I went in the next morning we were met by the ICU Consultant and his team. He explained that overnight they had been having serious problems stabilising her, her heart was racing and blood pressure dropping, they really needed that to be the other way around. They told us that she was at crisis point and they were not sure they would be able to turn things around. We decided to call the rest of the family in, she wasn't fully conscious, but she was opening her eyes and squeezing our hands when we called her.

By the afternoon she was noticeably less responsive, she didn't seem to know we were there. The Consultant said that they were still giving her drugs but they were having no effect her heart rate was climbing and was running at 150/160 bpm . She had an underlying heart condition which had come back with avengence. The Consultant said that at this point the best they could do was make her comfortable and allow her to slip away. It was clear to us that she was not with us, the heart monitor was racing and although she was breathing on her own she was struggling, they were giving her oxygen. From that point it was a very quick 3/4 of an hour before she passed away. 

It was pure devastation all around very hard to comprehend how we had ended up here. 

My over riding emotion was anger, anger at how she had been treated by the East and North Herts NHS Trust, who had simply failed her when she needed it most. The irony of it all is that the actual fall that lead her to this final situation was an accident, she was adamant it was no ones fault, a pure accident. The previous incident at The Lister Hospital despite being reported was going no where fast until the point where Mum passed away. They have now some 9 weeks later phoned to say that they will invite us in to discuss the outcome of that investigation!!! I have no faith in their ability to investigate themselves, and I have no doubt about the outcome of whatever investigation they have 'carried out' . In the past they have only ever got their act together once we have gone outside to either the National Press or our local MP. So I am not holding my breath. 

I am not sure what to do going forward, part of me wants to move on and part of me wants to stand and fight, but I am not sure I have the fight left in me to do anymore of that. I am recovering from a major operation and if I fight them they will close ranks and it won't bring Mum back . I am very very sad that the last months of her life were so unhappy. 

So I must try and take the positives from this situation. Mum is no longer in pain and I pray that she is in Heaven with my sister and all the previous relatives that have gone. 
I will remember all the positive things and the fun times we had and how her positive influences have shaped me and my family. It has made me determined to live life to the full and not to put things off because its simple one day tomorrow will not come and it will be too late. I will try and do as much as I can now and not live to regret the things I did not do!! I need to gather myself and make some important decisions. I am a child of the 60's which put me and my fellow baby boomers at great risk as once we get to be elderly the NHS will be less equip to deal than it is now. 

On the 19th of December we celebrated Mums life at her funeral. We had a lovely Church  service at St Bonaventure in WGC. Father Norbert knew Mum, he visited her in hospital and had been the butt of her plain talking (as he called it!!) she had told him a couple of days before her passing that life in WGC was agreeing with him too well as he was putting on a bit of weight!!! Because he knew her the service was personal and a great tribute to Mum. Beth excelled herself, she was the only one brave enough to get up and pay tribute to Mum in the form of a Dear Nan, letter. She was fantastic, although it was an uplifting and funny letter there wasn't a dry eye in the house by the time she finished. 
The Church looked beautiful with both Christmas and pink flowers, we had asked people to wear a little splash of pink so Beth said it was obvious looking out at the congregation that people had done so. 

Looking back on the day I would say that we did her proud, we made the floral displays so we could use flowers that she loved, we included pink her favourite colour and it felt warm and comforting rather than bleak and upsetting.

We are blessed with fantastic friends and family who all attended the service. They have been so supportive of both me and dad, I have had a steady arrival of flowers and cards over the past weeks. Friends have stepped up to the mark and helped with flowers, cakes, transport and just being there and able to step in when the going gets tough. I can't thank you all enough for all that you have done for our family.

We are hoping for a better 2014, Rest In Peace Mum, you are missed.

Thursday, December 05, 2013

History repeating itself.

We are having a terrible time of things at the moment and I am so cross with the NHS (the part of it that is causing us a problem) This is an exact re-run of a situation that happened three years ago when mum broke her femur for the first time. 
Recently mum was admitted to hospital initially to have a knee replacement, before that could happen she contracted a urine infection, so she was transferred to The Lister hospital in Stevenage where she received in patient treatment for that infection. While she was there she was assaulted by one of the nurses who seemed to think that she should not have wet the bed, despite having an infection and no one answering her call bell. The other patients in the bay reported that she was slapped and left exposed on the bed, one of those patients got up with a broken leg and went over to cover her up. I am so angry with how she has been treated. I reported the incident to the Matron and to this date we have heard absolutely nothing, not a letter , not a phone call, NOTHING. We are not living in a third world country, this is 2013 in Great Britain. Mum was frightened to say anything because she had to stay in hospital there so declined Police involvement despite the hospital calling in the Police. If I had been there I would have ensured that action would have been taken, but I was not.
She was transferred to the Queen Elizabeth the 2nd hospital in Welwyn Garden City where she subsequently had her knee replacement. She recovered well from that until last Thursday when in the care of the Hospital she fell and fractured her ankle and femur (again) She has been in considerable pain and initially fell foul of the weekend intervening because as we all know no one becomes ill at the weekend the NHS simply shuts down and goes to skeleton staffing, so she had to wait until Monday for an operation. We then started to be told that she had a complicated fracture and she would need a specialist surgeon to deal with it, She was Xrayed and waited. Tuesday morning they decided to operate and when she was seen by the anaesthetist they called the operation off. The bloods were wrong and she needed several transfusions to build her up. That was done straight away. We have no complaints about that the operation needs to be as safe as possible, we were not seeking to force them to carry out the operation unsafely.
What truly ticks me off is the lies that were trotted out to us we have been told that there hasn't been a surgeon available because of the complicated nature of the operation, so how did that anaesthetist call off an operation where there was no surgeon?? We were told she would be transferred to a specialist hospital, then they couldn't go ahead because they didn't have a clear X-ray, apparently it had been asked for but no one had taken her there!!! You can see the X-ray department from her bed, I could have pushed her there myself. 
We asked when the operation would happen, we were given more half truths (if I am being generous) downright lies. we have had every excuse that they could muster while quite clearly no one knew what was going on!! They couldn't even tell us which consultant was dealing. 
Throughout all of this Mum has been sat in bed drugged up to the eyeballs in a great amount of pain. She is mentally and physically going down hill and we are seriously concerned for her. 

The very best crap excuse that they have come up with is that the surgeons can not operate because they have lists full of elective surgeries!!!! If they don't operate on those people they will breach the 18 week rule and the hospital will be fined!!! I can not believe that they can use such a crap excuse to keep a 77 year old woman in this position.

This morning I phoned the hospital and had a very full and frank discussion with them, I also contacted PALS and my MP. this has started to get results. Mum is deaf in both ears and while in hospital she has lost both hearing aids, these are the tiny in the ear aids which cost £1500 each. We have them insured, but the insurance company need a letter from the hospital to say that we have reported it to them. I asked for that letter nearly five weeks ago, five weeks where Mum has not been able to hear properly, five weeks where she has not understood what is being said to her. I have chased up this letter , an incident report, because I am pretty sure they were thrown away by staff changing the bed. on a weekly basis, it has not been forth coming. How dare they leave her essentially deaf because they can't be arsed???

Her operation is supposed to happen tomorrow and they have told us that the surgeon dealing is Mr Harishbhai Parmar. He looks to have a good track record, so I hope he has a good nights sleep and that he is able to repair the damage.

Please say a prayer and spread this message, people should be made aware of how the NHS treat our elderly vulnerable people, IT IS DISGUSTING.