There’s just no knowing what’s coming round the corner at you. The Goldfish was on great form on the morning of Friday, May 20th 2014 and in hospital by the evening. In the morning he was alert and talkative. He didn’t even have his usual post-breakfast and shower nap. I couldn’t leave him to go and work in the other room so brought paperwork and laptop into the living room. He is fascinated by the laptop and likes to ask questions about it.
DH came up in the evening bringing fish and chips, which the Goldfish tucked into with his customary relish. Afterwards, DH took the Goldfish to the station to collect our son who was coming down for the weekend and I took the chance to go for a walk. I was back, doing some weeding and wondering when I’d have the chance to do the same in my own garden when the DH phoned from the hospital.
All had gone well on the drive to the station but on the way back the Goldfish started to shake uncontrollably and lost consciousness. Son, sitting behind his grandfather held on to him. DH turned the car and headed straight to A&E knowing it would be quicker than waiting for an ambulance. He called ahead so they were expecting him.
By the time I arrived the Goldfish had regained consciousness, though was very confused, and still in A&E waiting for a bed. His speech was not good. Last year when he lost consciousness, his speech came back after about ten minutes. We don’t really know what happened then as it was before the Step-monster had moved out and Wee-sis arrived one morning to find the Goldfish out cold on the hall floor.
Doctors can’t find any signs of infection so don’t know until test results come back and further investigations are done if it was a stroke or a bleed or ‘just’ the dementia. Wee-sis arrived, having had to find someone to cover her shift.
A bed was found in the admissions ward. The nurse, who admitted him, was she told us, brought in specially to look after him. I was torn between apologising for messing up her night off and congratulating her on being able to earn some overtime. For once, I held my tongue, determined not to alienate the person who would be looking after the Goldfish.
When he was ‘settled’ (I’m learning hospital jargon) Wee-sis and I sat with him for a while. He became increasingly agitated, wanting to get out of bed and we realised he needed to pee. They had put a sheath on, which he’d pulled off so I called the nurse to tell her the Goldfish needed to pee. She said it was okay a sheath was in place. I said it wasn’t because he’d pulled it off. She sighed and tutted and came to look, sending me and Wee-sis out of the room. She then called another nurse and told me the Goldfish “has to be catheterised because he’s unable to pass urine.” I didn’t argue and we waited outside until the job was done.
We went back in to say goodnight. Torn between wishing he could just slip peacefully away and willing him to fight. I’m sure he’ll fight. He is physically strong enough to fight back and will come home – thought will, no doubt have taken another step or two down the dementia slope. I’m not ready to lose him.