Monday, 8 July 2013

Fall what fall?

Tuesday at about 2am I was awoken by Mum standing at the my bedroom door telling me that she was 'bleeding'.  I was in a deep sleep having taken antihistamine for my hayfever on top of being exhausted as per usual with caring all day and managing the house.

I gropped around for my glasses, put them on and then switched on the light, Mum looked like Carrie from the movie, her hair and face were covered in blood and it continued all down the front of her white nightie. I calmly asked what had happened and she told me she didn't know. I sat her on the foot of my bed whilst I found the source of the blood, a wound to the head by her temple, rather deep and about 1" long and still bleeding.

I grabbed my travel medical bag that I had to hand and some cotton wool, to stop the bleeding. I got Mum to hold the pressure while I went to my fathers room to ask let him know there was a problem and to get the phone. I grabbed a towel and wet flannel from the bathroom enroute and went back to Mum who was sat oblivious of all the blood.  After cleaning up the area I took a closer look at the wound, there was apparent bruising or alien object in the wound but I wasnt happy with the amount of blood it lost or the depth.  I called the emergency medical number and they went through their lengthy questions, alot of which I was unable to answer...... did she collaspe, was she dizzy, loose consciousness, what pain was she experiencing and many more. They decided as it was a head wound and we didnt have adequate information I needed to take her to casualty.

I heard Dad head off to the bathroom whilst I was putting Mums dressing gown over her blood covered nightie.  I had already secured a pad and bandage round her head to stop the bleeding. Dad called me into the shower room/toilet he had found where Mum had 'fallen' there was blood everywhere. A large pool of it was on the floor and there were lots of heavy splatters around especially on the mat.  I mopped up the pool to save Dad slipping in it as he would stuggle to get down to mop up with his Parkinsons, (I really didn't need to add to my patients) I suggested that he run a little water in the bath while I was out and soaked the mat in it I would deal with it on my return.  This gave him a job to keep him busy.

At the hospital they were very good with Mum although there were no porters around when I got there and had to find a wheelchair after dumping the car in the emergency bay with Mum in it to go find one!  We were seen quickly as it was a head wound. After triage, it became obvious that Mums dementia was making them think she had concussion so I made sure everyone I saw was aware of the dementia! 

I felt a little upset therefore that the nurse who came along to put stickers on mum to monitor her heart (incase she had passed out) decided that Mum had not responded to something she said therefore she would shout at her because she was 'obviously' deaf!  I leaned across the hospital bed towards the nurse and calmly but quietly suggested she either speak slower or repeat what she had said as Mum had dementia and was NOT DEAF!  She coloured up and apologised.

Well Mum was examined and re examined, x-rayed as no suitable answer could be gleamed from Mum as to what, where and if anything hurt.  Mum kept asking why I had taken her to hospital, what was I thinking, she had no idea why she was there.  They changed Mum out of her blood covered nightie and into a gown, much to Mums displeasure as she 'wanted to go home' this became her mantra. I kept the nightie close as often Mum kept questioning why she was there so I kept repeating that she had had a fall and a wound on her head and lost rather alot of blood (out came the nightie to show her the need to be there).  Mum was a State Registered Nurse and hates anything to do with doctors or hospitals so her requests to go home became more beseeching as the night went on.  Mums head was sutured with 3 stitches after pain relief was given and all the nurses and the female doctor kept admiring Mums long white hair (with red highlights from the blood).

Due to Mums frail state they wanted to keep her in for observation and moved us to CDU which I think means Critial Decission Unit (Something like that anyway) it was about 5am by the time we got there and Mum was transfered to a more comfortable bed and I had a comfy seat instead of a plastic one to sit in. Mum became more agitated as she had no intention of staying and it was obvious they intended for her to do so.  Instead of sleeping Mum stayed wide eyed and alert and so did I, I didn't want her doing an escape act and leaving me sleeping. At around 6.30am the lights came on and there was hustle and bustle all around as the patients were receiving early morning checks, so much for getting some rest!

Mum tried to object to having breakfast as that would mean she was staying, and refused to order lunch as that would also mean she was staying. She wanted out and big time! Unfortunately as the last one into the ward in the early hours we were the last ones on the rounds to be seen and cleared for leaving.  I actually had to keep reminding them that Mum was there and awaiting dischange, eventually they found the doctor who came over looked at the wound and Mums chart and asked a great deal of questions to assertain Mums clarity of thought.  I let him continue...... but should have stopped him after the first one but thought I would see how he went.

Q. Do you know what day it is today?
A. I don't bother myself with such things.

Q. What month we are in?
A. No

Q. What year is this?
A. Looking at me for prompting....... No

Q. Ok well who is the Prime Minister?
A. (blank look)

Q.  You will know this one.... who is the Queen?
A.  Looking at me with a blank look.

Q.  Looking at me he asked her - who is this you are with?
A.  Blank look.

He then turned to me with a concerned look on his face and said are you aware of your Mothers declining memory.

I looked at him and said quietly ....... You are not serious, she has dementia and I informed everyone so it should be in the notes that you are holding.

We finally left with notes on wound care, possible after effects of a head injury, a letter telling me to contact the surgery to get the district nurse to come and remove the stitches on the 10th July and a sense of desperation that although informed of Mums condition no one actually read the notes which meant that the one word that sends her into a hissy fit had to be repeated over and over again in front of her........... DEMENTIA.  We finally left the ward at about 12.30pm

Fall what fall?

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