This blog entry was going to be something completely different to the one it is now.
I was a little uncertain as to how ‘transparent’ a blog should should be and upon reading out all the intricacies of these last few days I then went on to delete all but the title. This is after all a blog connected to my business and not purely about personal issues.
Never-the-less I aim to be frank and candid about what goes on ‘out of hours’ as regarding my photography.. there is no such time.
This last couple of weeks and in particular these last few days I have withdrawn myself a little from the ‘new media’ world. Not so much on the absorbing of it all but more so on the content creation side of things.
I wanted to focus a little more time on my family, particularly my Mother and my Grandmother who have both needed serious medical attention within days of each other on both of their birthdays. Maybe it’s a Scorpio thing?
My Grandmother is 84 and occasionally gets health issues you would expect at that age. But my mother is only 57 and has been hit the hardest having been rushed into hospital and giving me a fresh new glance into our National Health service.
I have been shocked and amazed at how certain moments in these last few days have played out. At one point I was being told by a Doctor over the phone exactly how I should give my Grandmother an enema for her birthday. It was only when I commented on what a great tabloid story this would make that he decided to drive over and treat her himself.
Then mid insertion he muttered under his breath how “In the good old days, people used to care for their family”. She is a strong proudly independent woman who back in the war was a Partisan in the Alps smuggling secret messages cross german lines in a bicycle pump. I think the least she deserved is a little dignity and respect. I put his flippant comment down to stress.
This whole time she was being treated I was also worrying about my mother 15 miles away ill at home and who only hours later was rushed into her local hospital in Rugby with stomach complications and other issues brought on by a couple of nasty falls she failed to tell anyone about. She is not a complainer and often keeps her ailments to herself.
Rugby’s St Cross is a really friendly place full of kind and attentive nurses who seem to understand that it is the care that cures as much as the medicines.
Still as with many other places in the UK what they have in personal attentiveness they lack in technology and equipment and before long my semi-concious drip laden Mother was moved to the dreaded Walsgrave Hospital in Coventry. I say dreaded as although new, I find it difficult to erase the sad and disturbing memories of previous visits to the place.
Walsgrave (or University Hospital as it is now called) is now a brand new state of the art city of the dead and dying. So shiny you can almost see the superbugs sitting proud of the surfaces.
Under some kind of new system implemented since the last time I had to visit a hospital, from the moment you can see the building to the moment you leave, you feel you are inside of some kind of privatized corporation. Not the healing, caring centre it should be.
The car parks are vast, extortionately priced to raise millions a year and due to a non staggered visiting system always full. Up until recently even disabled people had to pay for parking. (The nurses still do, although after a lengthy and hap hazard process I think they can get a refund.) I would not be surprised if we soon see parking meters on the ambulance bays.
You can’t even phone your sick relative. You are patched through to a receptionist on something called ‘patientline’ and the message is passed on sometime later that day. Perhaps ‘Be Patient Line’ would suit better.
If during their miserable stay they would like to distract themselves from the pain the supplied pay-as-you-go TV on a hinge is there to suck you of all your benefits till you wish you were able to go private. Is that the governments plan, privatize every non-essential yet comfortable amenity till it drives the population elsewhere.
If anything is important it should be access, attention and comfort.
Yesterday the ward my Mother was in had some king of lockdown due to a ‘bug’ going round. Only one person was allowed to visit for one hour in 24. I understand the reasoning behind quarantining but sometimes visiting is the only way we get any information about our loved ones. If you phone you are told that due to patient confidentiality they cannot tell you anything and when you do get close to someone that may have a clue, they lie.
Today I asked how my Mum’s CT scan had gone, knowing too well it had been cancelled. The nurse told me “Fine, we are just waiting for the results.” I thought she couldn’t possible be lying so I re-checked into my Mum. No. She is not fully with it but she said she would remember having a CT scan.
I went back to the nurse and at first she looked put out that I wanted her to double check. Then she looked embarrassed like she had been caught out. The CT scan had been bumped for the second time. All I wanted to know was that my Mum was getting the care she needed to ensure all the details of her illness are available to those who can help.
I have entrusted that woman with my Mothers life. Should I not have a little more confidence in her.
Today I found my Mother had been moved again. Again, no one had told me and when I found her, after hundreds of yards of codrridors she was tucked away in the corner of a ward staring at a blank wall looking scared.
While sitting with her tonight, trying to cheer her up for my alloted hour, she broke my heart. Normally too week to move, her arm came out from under the sheet and she took my hand. Then looking up at me my Mother said “Christian I am afraid.. I am afraid to die. I have been put in here and forgotten.”
I was both gutted and livid. Why is my mother feeling this way? She shouldn’t be scared. Who is there to reassure? Is it not the same people that are there to care?
We all get ill and we are all going to die. I just wish with all this technology at our disposal the suffering could be somewhat alleviated.
Sorry, there is no conclusion to this rant, this blog post. This is just the story so far.