I hope this doesn’t distress anyone — It’s something I feel I must write.
A follow up to last weeks post
It is also a fairly lengthy post — so you may choose not to read it
It all began with a tight painful feeling in the chest and shortness of breath……an ambulance was called and it was off to the hospital where they ‘didn’t know for sure’ but thought the problem was ‘a travelling blood clot’ (pulmonary embolism). Various unknown tests done, oxygen levels low so assistance given which helped.
Tests ‘inconclusive’ MRI needed, no clot but ‘serious lung infection’ so decision made to be transferred to a hospital closer to home where lung specialist is.
Oxygen level going up, chosen antibiotics seem to be working, Covid test negative, possible if all goes well she could be home for Christmas. Happy once her phone was charged and she could talk (breathlessly) to family.
Days later (Christmas Eve) told not well enough to go home…..”seriously pissed off but knows it’s for the best”.
Sudden turn for the worse, now sedated and intubated to help with recovery…… then septicaemia (sepsis) reared its head, medication changed, next 48 hrs vital but so far response is good.
31 December: Condition – serious but stable
2 January: Condition – deteriorated now critical but stable
By 5 January Drs are taking a different tack.
Covid negative- responded to septicaemia treatment but original lung infection has re-emerged. Trying to wean her off life support but lungs keep collapsing so ‘they may ask permission to perform a tracheostomy’. Cardiologists are monitoring her heart, on steroids for weak muscles. They’ll keep trying to ‘wean’ her.
The next day her husband signed the consent form
No luck getting her to breathe on her own so operation went ahead four days later
Now being ventilated in a different manner.
Day after operation there is the first bleed – a known complication. Appears she has a ‘weak trachea’ ??..hence the bleeds so more steroids to try to strengthen it.
Days pass, problems getting her lungs to work on their own without the ventilator, other organs strong plus good brain activity. Drs say it’s just a matter of time before she responds.
19 January: Decision made to give blood transfusion because of trachea bleeds – blood count good, transfusion has not been rejected, no change in condition. Hopeful this will make a difference.
Couple of days later news she now has an infection….family told nothing to worry about “ it’s something that can happen if you’re in hospital for a long time….however (not actual words) it’s playing havoc with her vital organs, but don’t worry they are dealing with it”. (Bloody golden staph!)
Many days of no change, respiratory condition still the same, no progress. Has been un-sedated at times but not responding as they would like.
29 January: Not doing well, getting weaker, drs doing all they can 2 steps forward 1 back. Condition gone from critical stable to critical.
1 February — Goodnight Patricia ….sleep well my little one ❤️
It’s been a difficult time for family spread over 3 ‘continents’ – a husband and a son….hers not his…. living locally, other children plus extended family in UK and us out here.
Because of different time zones communication was difficult (husband not internet savvy) so son set up a messenger group where he posted up dates. Even though we all spoke independently to each other it meant nobody could complain they ‘weren’t told that’ even if they read it at a different time to others. It also meant I was able to refresh my memory to be able to write this post.
Language could have been difficult – English is mainstream now not the 2nd language it used to be but it was a help to have son’s Cypriot partner available when meeting with specialists.
Covid regulations meant no visitors – same worldwide restrictions only eased in exceptional circumstances. After applying (and reapplying) to the hospital director husband was only allowed four very short visits in the eight weeks, he was reliant on daily bulletins same as everyone else. Patsy’s son none (except to ‘view his mother’).
COVID stopped any travel in its tracks. One of Patsy’s daughters booked early on to go and visit and help husband- then all flights cancelled. Sister planned on quarantine before being able to help nurse Patsy (for when she would be discharged) but it became difficult after flights were cancelled….and then sadly not necessary. Strongly voiced emotional disappointment.
Also something that happens many times after a traumatic event like this. Strongly felt views on ‘decisions taken at hospital’ are emerging, little cracks are appearing……..why the operation….we know it’s not what she would have chosen , why not have left her to recover slowly in her own good time (or not) how on earth was she infected with golden staph (we should sue them )
Now there are other ‘arrangements’ to make. Husband and son are doing that without the healing cocoon of family close by. Something that expats, still with strong ties to family (and a country) elsewhere, have to cope with.
Patsy is being repatriated to England- her long time wish – the decision made to honour her wish feasible but so difficult to execute (well, involved more than difficult) especially with a pandemic ‘raging’ . It will happen, all in good time. So will husband’s return to England sort out other legal ‘problems’ but nobody knows when.
Then, all things being well and local Covid restrictions allowing it, children will be able to farewell their mother, grandchildren their Nana, and siblings their sister
In a very reflective mood today, I like to think my early attempts at loving kindness meditation were felt by Patsy.
I’ve been assured she died peacefully with no pain, in a quiet warm safe environment
It’s nearly time for my second early morning cup of tea then to start the day. Supposed to be fair to middling 20c/68f cloudy with a low chance of rain……no grizzles from me about the rain because even though we’ve had enough of it lately to ‘float an ark’ I still have vivid memories of the 10yr Millennium Drought .
Joining Denyse for the latest edition of Life this week.