My Dad’s aGoldfish – Has he ever had gout – part two

cropped-goldfish-87-1254566814ncva1.jpgThe consultant who diagnosed gout told us they wouldn’t usually admit someone with gout. Unfortunately he couldn’t allow us to take the Goldfish home at that point as he was well through being processed into the system and, because it was Friday night he wouldn’t be discharged until Monday.

Our offer to come in to help the Goldfish eat his meals was accepted though they said not to bother coming in for breakfast as they had enough staff. The DH went in on the Saturday to help with lunch.

He returned, spitting nails. He’d arrived shortly before 11.30 and found the Goldfish in the ward we did not want him in. Not only that, he’d had no breakfast and nothing to drink. When the DH asked a nurse about his medication she’d smiled, saying: “Oh, he was sleeping so peacefully. Thought it best just to let him sleep.” He succeeded in getting the Goldfish transferred to another ward – though his lunch disappeared during the move.

We kept thinking about the wonderful nurse who had spent so much time gathering information on how we deal with the Goldfish when he’s in one of his ‘sleep-mode’ days, ensuring he gets his meds and food. The poor woman could have knocked off work at her usual time because everything she recorded was ignored.

I recorded in my diary that evening: “I’m on a downer about everything right now: the Goldfish being in hospital, not doing any writing, our lives being totally disrupted. Everything sucks right now.”

The staff on the new ward started the medication for the gout and when I went in next day the Goldfish was sitting up, wide awake and very alert. Yay for steroids! The pain was greatly reduced. We looked at magazines while waiting for his lunch to arrive. It was lovely to see him smiling. He ate well – mince and potatoes followed by apple tart and custard. He was still on excellent form and with a good appetite in the evening.

Diary entry: “The Goldfish is bright and cheerful and should be home tomorrow. Not a bad day all round.”

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I only just found this photo, which has nothing to do with the post about gout. It’s  from two months earlier when the Goldfish celebrated his birthday in hospital.

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18 thoughts on “My Dad’s aGoldfish – Has he ever had gout – part two

    • It is, Lucinda, it is. A new hospital is being built here with individual rooms for each patient. I think I would appreciate that level of privacy but what about patients with dementia – how are they going to manage. Apparently there will be a two-way communication system between the nurses’ station and each room! Dad didn’t even know how to press the buzzer for help, never mind coping with the latest technology. When they were plannign the hospital it was a perfect opportunity to create a dedicated ward for dementia patients – and put in the necessary training – but no, someone at the top decided single rooms is the way to go – despite the fact that no other new build hospital is doing this, based on what they’ve learned from the first such hospitals. Sorry, I’ll get off my soap box.

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  1. it just gives me chills to think of people who don’t have loving family with the resources to advocate for their care as you and your family did. You deserve so much credit, because I know it wasn`t easy, but what about the ones who don`t have family and friends nearby?

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    • My heart breaks for those who have no one to fight their corner. Talking to staff on the admissions ward – where they ask all those questions – I asked what happens if people are brought in with no one to answer the questions. The nurse said sometimes patients with dementia are sent by ambulance from care homes – and no one accompanies them. Imagine – elderly, ill, possibly in pain and totally confused.

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  2. how wearying, not knowing what you are going to confront when you go it. Even a good day is going to leave you exhausted because of the tenterhooks you’ve been on. Like the old, and in this context not very funny joke, about waiting for the second shoe to drop.

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    • Exhausting! We were on such a high when the steroids kicked in and he was pain free and bright and we knew he was coming home. And on such a low when he did come home (several hours late and still in pyjamas because no one thought to dress him) and was in sleep mode and not interested in anything. Thanks for commenting, Geoff.

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  3. Yes, some of the things they implement are very poorly thought through (if at all). And the people who most need it usually don’t have anybody to talk for them (but the loudest are taken into account). Your Dad is very lucky to have you all, Mary and care can make such a difference! My mother was in hospital in Spain recently and they were good (no dementia though, heart problems), but it took us two days to get a bed in a ward rather than in A&E. Thinking of you. ♥

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  4. You did so well, Mary, just to keep your wits about you and be able to get a handle on what was going on. Dad was in quite a large ward in his final weeks and the beds were full of other people with very different levels of mental decline. It felt as if we were visiting a kind of war hospital and it was so scary to see other more advanced patients and their distress.

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    • Thanks, Julie. I’m so sorry your dad (and you and the family) had such a difficult time in his last few weeks. It must have been very distressing for you. I don’t know what the answer is regarding the number of beds in a ward. I’m glad dad was in for only a brief time on this occasion.

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  5. Oh Mary, I know all about having to be in every step to keep track of health with a loved one. I commend you for your compassion and I’m glad to know your dad is back home. ❤

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