Sorry folks this is a more serious post this week though I won’t deny there’s humour ( maybe) to be found in it. A week and a half ago my ‘bro’ informed me a friend had been taken to hospital with a stroke. Mike said he was coming up to see me so we could visit together. I’m not going to say the stroke was a major surprise since our friend has had heart problems, has angina, diabetes and atheriosclerosis. I won’t tack a partridge in a pear tree on the end in case you think it’s his Christmas shopping list and I’m jealous. Anyway, a week last Thursday evening Mike arrived and before we went to visit our friend on the Friday he filled me in on the saga.
It seems our friend has woken on the Wednesday morning feeling a bit under the weather but wasn’t able to put a finger on the reason. ( hardly a surprise since I think one arm was affected). He’d gone off to DRIVE to the supermarket to shop, despite having done his shopping the day before, had reached there safely but stood in the doorway with no idea where he was or why he was there. He then decided to go home, unfortunately he couldn’t remember where home was. The God of ‘Crazy’ was looking down that day and reminded him that his sat-nag system would hold directions home. Amazingly it did and DRIVING again he actually made it. Still feeling unwell he decided to go back to bed.
A while later he got up and realised there must be something wrong as he still didn’t feel right. How someone’s brain functions under these circumstances I will never fathom but he decided to phone the doctor. He got through to the receptionist. For those of you who don’t live in the UK there is a breed of receptionist who regard the doctors as their cubs and protect them accordingly. They ask innumerable questions regarding your need to see a doctor which includes a questionnaire as to whether you have ever, do now or will in the future, harbour any ill will towards said doctors. The end result of this phone interview was ‘Come In’.
This wasn’t what I expected to hear. My reasons for this will become apparent. He DROVE to the surgery after once again getting the whereabouts from his sat-nag. Had it not been for the fact he has to go quite frequently he could still be driving around now. Anyway the doctor took one look at him and listened to him, sathim down and sent for an ambulance to rush him to hospital. Our friend asked about his thrummer and the clever doctor advised him his car would be well taken care of while he was away. That’s mainly the reason I was incredulous at the receptionist asking our friend to come in rather than arranging a home visit ( yes folks out there, we still have those over here).
On the Friday Mike and I visited the hospital and though out friend was able to stand unsteadily he was suffering from aphasia. ( a disturbance of the comprehension and formulation of language caused by dysfunction in specific brain regions. This class of language disorder ranges from having difficulty remembering words to losing the ability to speak, read, or write ). The visit was a shock. It was frustrating for our friend seeing the lack of comprehension on our faces when he asked Mike how his flimflamgorgle was. I was ready to suggest the cream he’d used was taking the swelling down , but Mike himself was playing twenty questions trying to guess what the actual word wanted was. A three-minute conversation took at least an hour and our friend was becoming more frustrated and excitable the longer it took us to guess. When he said he remembered my frit it wasn’t a French fry he’d once seen me eat he meant but my Ju. Ah well, she’s been called worse things.
By the time visiting was over we were all worn out. Mike and I left promising to call in and sort out the dog before we went home. That meant travelling a good way further away from home to do so and to check all was well before heading for home again. The entire car journey in both directions was spent talking about how lucky he, and all other road users, had been on that Tuesday. Saturday was pretty much a repeat except our friend’s sister was there at his bedside. She was sharing our doggie duty by seeing to the early shift. By a series of sign language, gestures no woman ( especially a sister) should ever see, and guessing games with dromfangfoodles we managed to get through the afternoon after which we went to supermarket for dog food, cigarettes ( yes, he was smoking in the hospital) and a quick look for a gift for my son-in law in the sales ( I’m physically unable to walk past a sign that says SALE or I’d be poorly), we ran his sister home and went to see to the dog. That done we headed back to the hospital to drop off the cigarettes and some pastilles to stimulate the salivary gland ( don’t even ask how we worked that one out), then headed home to eat. On Sunday morning Mike had to head off home again. It’s a couple of hundred miles as the crow flies but since our roads don’t do the straight lines that crows do, it takes him a while.
My bro and I keep in touch, so when I had a message on Wednesday it was nothing unusual until he told me that our friend was home. WHAT !! (No, I’ve not gone deaf, that was showing a new round of incredulity). What happens in stroke cases is that before the patient ( impatient) is discharged a doctor will decide he’s well enough to go, the social work team will take the patient ( impatient) home for a few hours to assess them. Can they manage stairs, can they make a cuppa without scalding themselves, do they know who they are etc. We had left our friend knowing this would happen and hoping that the assessment would show that he’d need a warden controlled bungalow or something smaller he could manage. However, we hadn’t taken into account our friends predilection for being a very impatient patient and leaving before that happened. So, today Mike is here again and we’ve been over to visit our friend at home. His aphasia has improved remarkably so that now we can catch almost every swear word. He hasn’t informed his doctor he’s home( his sister is away and doesn’t know), he can’t manage his stairs easily but at least he can still make a coffee though he made mine too strong and didn’t put enough sugar in Mike’s. We think he’s come home too early since his memory is obviously affected too. He should stay there till he knows how we take our drinks and can serve them without spillage.
It’s obvious that our friend is really much improved but that his impatience could cost him dear in terms of help since he left early. Now we have to liaise with his sister to see if those assessments can still take place and he can be found a more suitable place to live. Some folks don’t help themselves do they~?