Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas

Just a quick post to say Merry Christmas ... or as Dad's hat says Bah-Humbug ! Enjoy your day.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Season's Greetings

Dad hasn't written any Christmas cards this year - apparently it's one of the little known side effects of a heart by-pass operation especially when the op is done in the run up to Christmas, who knew !  So if you've sent him a Christmas card and he's not sent one back, don't worry you are not alone !  Normal service will be resumed in 2015 !

Many thanks to everyone that has followed Dad's progress over the last few weeks, that have sent their best wishes, been in touch or visited. It really is appreciated.

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

Jack & Kendal

Saturday, December 20, 2014

It's the weekend

Well Dad had a little walk along to the Drs yesterday. Took his time but he made it there and back ! Said it was cold though. This ain't cold this is fairly mild ! I gave him a call in the afternoon and I got no reply, a bit of panic sets in but I left it 10 minutes and tried again. I'd only managed to catch him in the shower :)

Today he's had his shopping delivered with my Asda online shop so I've been and dropped that off at his this morning and put it all away. His shopping cost a fraction of my weekly shop ... I'm blaming my cat for his expensive tastes !

This morning I've been to visit my Mum in the home, so Dad tagged along for a visit, a chat and a cup of tea! He usually visits Mum once a week and he's not been since before his op so she was really pleased to see him.

Mum with her frame that Dad "customised" with her name and the fairies have put tinsel on it overnight ! 

Dad has also caught up reading this blog.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Three Weeks on from the op ...

Well it's been three weeks since Dad had his op and just over a week since he came home. Been a stressful few weeks but hopefully we are now over the difficult part. Dad is doing good, he gets tired but that's to be expected after such a big op.

We still "check-in" by phone several times a day and I call in on my way home from work.  Dad also gets regular visitors and phone calls from his friends as well.

Dad has been out for a couple of pub lunches this week. On Wednesday he went out with a friend and they headed over to a pub in Market Drayton and even though Dad had said before he'd not got much of an appetite he did manage to polish off steak pie and pint! Today he's been out to The Mainwaring Arms and managed polish off another hearty meal and a pint ! So much for not having much of an appetite !

I've been dropping him a newspaper off on my way to work and he's also been reading his books, so with that, his visitors and trips out he's been keeping himself occupied. He's hoping to go for a little walk tomorrow, just to the end of the street as he has a Drs appointment. I've told him he must carry his mobile phone and an "In Case of Emergency" note with my contact numbers on ! What's the betting he forgets both !

Monday, December 15, 2014

The last few days

Well Dad has been home a few days now. I've had to keep my distance as I've had the lurgy and haven't wanted to give it Dad. We ring each other several times a day and I've nipped in briefly a few times. He's doing ok. He gets very tired so spends his day reading his book, having a sleep, watching TV, having a sleep and still manages a good 10 or 11 hours sleep at night. They do say sleep is a great healer !

He says he's lost his taste buds so doesn't fancy anything ... I'm tempting him with things and he keeps saying "nah don't fancy that". He's got a box of Thorntons that someone has bought for him and he says even chocolate tastes funny - how can chocolate taste funny !!! I've told him that it will come back in time.  I've offered take him the pub one night and I know his friends have said the same but he says he doesn't fancy a beer yet ! This will probably be the first alcohol free Christmas he's had in many years !

He's not really been out yet, other than nipping round a neighbours. He did announce this morning that he'd thought about going to Newcastle on the bus today !!!! Errrr I don't think so. He said "I was going to tell you before I went", like that makes it alright ! I've told him he needs to start off slowly. A walk around the cul-de-sac, a walk to the newsagents, and then slowly build up to walk to the village ... not first time outing a bus trip into Newcastle.

Many thanks to those that ring and call to see Dad. 

I will continue to update the blog on Dad's progress, just might not be as often as I was doing before. Dad hasn't read any of what I've been writing about him yet. It'll take him a good while read through it all.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

There's no place like home !

There is definitely no place like home and Dad had a good nights sleep in his own bed. He did say his feet where cold though and he had to get up and find some socks! I let him lie in and he called me when he was awake (about 9.00 ish). Didn't stop me worrying if he was ok though. I rang him just before lunch and then popped round this afternoon. He is doing ok but needs to take it easy for awhile.  He was sorting through all his post - lots of Get Well cards as well as Christmas cards.

Two weeks ago I was worrying as he'd not got back from theatre until late but I'm so pleased I'm not doing hospital visiting tonight as it's a cold and wet miserable night.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

He's home !

Collected Dad from the hospital tonight. Why they discharge people at 7.00 pm is anyone's guess ! He survived  the journey from the ward to the car in one of those hospital chairs with me "driving". If he wasn't pale before we set off, he was by the time we got to the car.  They say "oh it's easier to pull it along". Yes that may be but not with Dad in the chair and two bags hanging off the side of the chair. Struggled getting through the doors until someone came to my rescue. I did think I might just "charge" through them like on Casualty but then I remembered that is with one of those trollies and not a chair !

He got discharged with more drugs than Lance Armstrong ever had in his possession. I'm sure if the UCI turn up at Dad's to do a random drug test, he'll never get his racing licence renewed ;)

We stocked up with essentials on the way home - milk, bread, bananas and a pack of scones. I did drive slowly past The Smithy and asked him if he wanted to nip in for a swift half but apparently Wednesday aren't that busy.

He was glad to be home and was soon settled in front of the TV, remote in one hand and the phone close by the other. I was soon shown the door but with a promise that he checks in at least a couple of times tonight. I've already had one phone call. Nice to see the phone flash up "Dad Home" when it rings.

He needs to take it easy for a few weeks and not over do things but home is definitely a better place to recuperate.

The staff have been great on Ward 223 looking after Dad. Early days he got told off for trying to do something so I asked him tonight if he ever pressed his button to get help or assistance and Dad so no as he didn't want to bother them !

Thanks again everyone. Give Dad a little time and I'm sure he'll be back to his old self again soon.

He's coming home !

Got a phone call earlier from Dad to say they are letting him home tonight !

Off to collect him at visiting time. Seems an odd time to me to be coming home. Just hope he's had his tea.

He'll need lots of R&R (rest and recuperation) and I just hope he doesn't try to run before he can walk. Give him a few days and I'm sure he'll be up to the odd visitor or two. I would imagine he'll tire quickly so if he tells you "bugger off .... " I suggest you do sharpish :) I've whopped up his central heating, he'll be having palpitations when he sees the gas metre ticking round :)

Again, many thanks for all the good wishes, visits, support, cards, etc. It helps loads.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

It's nearly been a fortnight !

Spoke to Dad at lunchtime. He's been for a CT scan this morning. They got him up at 6.00 am and wheeled him off. The Drs have been round and they want to do some more physio on Dad so he's there for another night at least !  I asked if he needed any more clothes (he'd dropped his dinner down his trousers yesterday!) and he said no as he'd managed to swill his trousers in the sink and then hung them over the chair to dry!

He's still got his slippers and they've been on their maiden voyage to the toilet this morning.

Been to visit tonight. Dad is on good form. I asked if he'd any more news and he said no. He's not had any physio yet either. He did say that the Drs turned up when he was in the shower this morning, so when he got back to his bed there was two Drs, a staff nurse and a nurse waiting for him ! Of all the times Dad has to go and take a shower !

Dad said it's been a good day. He's had a few visitors this afternoon so many thanks for cheering up his day. He's almost finished his book and there's footie on the TV tonight.

The bed opposite Dad in his bay we call the "unlucky" bed as there have been at least four or five people in that bed who have not made it to theatre as their op has been cancelled at the last minute and have then been sent home. There is a different man there tonight, he almost made it to theatre today but they postponed his op as they found a complication before they started. If you ever get admitted to Ward 223 and get bed 30, don't bother cancelling your paper as you'll be back home for the morning !

Today's photo is the corridor from the other end ... the only difference is that the signs now say "way out" ! See you thought I was joking when I said I never see another soul in the corridors !

Monday, December 8, 2014

He's still there !

Been visit Dad tonight. Was half expecting a call through the day to say he'd been moved/was coming home but nothing. I nipped in Asda and picked him up a new pair of slippers on the way to the hospital. He'd better get more miles (or at least a mile!) out of this pair. It was suggested that we put elastic on the slippers and fasten it around his ankles (like you did with your gloves when you were kid) so that they didn't get lost again  !

Dad had an x-ray last night and they want to run some more tests before they allow him to be discharged so at the moment he's just hanging around. He did say today has been a bit boring ! I think the highlight of his day was a shower and dropping his lunch down his trousers.

As I was leaving he was heading into the day room to watch a bit of TV.

This is a photo of the corridor, I've walked up and down, up and down daily. Typical that Dad's ward is right at the very end ! I rarely see anyone else in the corridor. It is a bit eerie at times !

Many thanks for all the good wishes, emails, telephone calls, comments on the blog, get well cards and visitors ... they really do help.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

The new slippers have gone walkies !

Popped in on Dad this afternoon. Sunday afternoon parking is a nightmare (I remember back to last week). I'd even got there early in the hope of finding somewhere without having to cycle round every car park on the hospital grounds. This time I did have better luck and managed to sneak my car on some rough ground not too far from the Main Building.

He has had the drain taken out so was mobile again. Only one problem now his new slippers have disappeared! He's probably only done a few laps of the corridors in them. I should have left him with the old ones, no one would have nicked them!  They have given Dad some very fetching red slipper socks as a temporary measure. Today he was dressed so he'd got his shoes and socks on.

He feels better now the drain is out.  He's had his lunch in the day room and was off back down there later to watch the footie.  He even walked me to the door.

Not sure what the next step is and whether he stays there for a few more days or they go back to the plan of moving him to Stadium Court.  Once I know more will update on here.

A bit of an update - Dad has just rang to say Dr has been round and they are happy with him. He's had an ECG and they are happy with that. They are going to do another x-ray tomorrow and then maybe a move to Stadium Court.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

He's doing ok

Checked up on Dad a couple of times during the day and they said not to worry that he was doing ok. The staff even told Dad I'd rang ... I think the phrase was "your daughter is mithering about you"! I did try Dad's mobile a couple of times, it rang (he NEVER has it switched on) but he didn't answer. Apparently it was on silent. As I was out at Chester I just wanted to make sure he was fine ... a daughter is allowed to worry about her Dad :)

Been to visit tonight. He's still got the drain in which unfortunately makes him less mobile. He got a ticking off as he un-screwed the drain and tootled off to the loo at one point!  I bet he was eyeing up the tubes and thinking back to his plumbing days ! No more fluid has drained off so hopefully tomorrow it is coming out. Hope Dad doesn't get someone that has been out on the Christmas party tonight taking it out!

Dad got a better nights sleep as there was no noise but it's bit uncomfortable to sleep with the drain as basically there's only one position to lie in !  He is still in some pain but he's hoping once the drain comes out that'll ease.

I took him a little radio in so he could listen to the football. I asked if he used the headphones and he said no as the other guy on the bay wanted to listen as well and one of the nurses kept popping up ! So the radio was a good idea and Stoke won !   I've also taken him a TV mag so once he's able to pop along to the day room he can find something to watch on TV.

Friday, December 5, 2014

A bit of a blip ...

Had two phone calls from Dad today. One around lunch and one around 4.30 to say he was still on the ward and they weren't sending him anywhere today. When I got there at visiting was a bit surpised not to find him sitting in his chair, instead the curtains were round the bed and I could see a couple of feet around his bed which weren't Dads. I headed back to the desk just to check that it was still Dad's bed and they hadn't moved him. Yeah it was him behind the curtains and he'd been for an x-ray today and they'd found some fluid around his lungs so were just inserting a drain. I went and sat in the day room for 10 minutes or so. I then headed back to the ward and there was Dad lying on the bed. A quick u-turn by me as they were just heading back in to clean up around Dad. I thought it was blood, turns out it was fluid. It was red, it was liquid, I'm in a hospital - an easy mistake !

Dad was a bit rough and in some pain. They'd given him a local anesthetic and then inserted the drain and then stitched him. Dad said it was worse that his op (I don't think so!) The Dr came back and checked and they'd drained over a litre of fluid off. He said the body has around five litres so Dad asked for a beer to make up the fluid!  They are going put an IV line back in just in case they need to put him on some fluids later to keep his blood pressure up.

The two guys that were a pain have gone today (cheers all round!) and there's only one other person in Dad's bay so hopefully he'll get a decent nights sleep tonight which will no doubt help. At one point they came in to x-ray the guy opposite so us three visitors had to shufty up by the door whilst Dad just lay there opposite!

Fingers crossed once the fluid is all drained off he'll be back on the road to recovery.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Back in civvies today

A couple of phone calls to the ward and I established that Dad wasn't moving anywhere today, so popped in visit him tonight. He was very popular this evening ... as he also had another two visitors ! Dad was in his element with three ladies sitting around his bed. It's a good job the other two guys in his bay don't have visitors ... as Dad certainly has his fair share. I think he had at least three at afternoon visiting.

A week after surgery and Dad has showered and is in back in civvies. He's done a few laps today and even two flights of stairs and he has passed the physio part. In fact he got awarded a badge. He can put that on display with his 11 - 100 mile challenge walks.  They did bring him a zimmer frame to try and Dad "carried" it along with him. I think that was the point where they decided he didn't actually need a zimmer frame!

Dad has definitely joined the "Zipper Club" now and was showing us his new zip (look away at this point if you are squemish!)

Just noticed that it looks like he's wet himself in the photo ... he's not, he'd just had a drink and I think he's sprung a leak on the wound. I think he needs some bath sealant on that wound :)

Dad is doing good. He probably needs a week or so somewhere to recuperate a bit more and hopefully he'll be moved in the next day or so.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

He's doing good

Been to visit Dad tonight. Had a frantic half an hour earlier when I got in from work and found two missed calls (close together) from Dad's ward. I tried desperately to get through to them on the phone but no one was picking up. All sorts of things were going through my head, especially why hadn't they phoned my work or mobile number or even left a message ! When I did manage to speak to someone it was nothing urgent they just wanted to talk to the family (me) about looking into discharging him for convalescent care.  Communication is one of the things that needs sorting in Health Care. Nothing has moved on in the two years since I had all this with Mum.

When I got into see him Dad was on good form. He's had all the stitches out now - so not much holding the middle of him together ! He's had some blood tests today and there is no infection so medically he's fine, he just needs to build up his strength. He's walking a bit further and he's done a few laps of the corridors. They did suggest a walking frame but not sure Dad is keen on that idea!  He's had his lunch and evening meal in the day room.  His new glasses, case and chain (more of string) went down well and the new slippers have now got the "worn in" look to them!

I said yesterday he's now at the end of the corridor (bed 31) and the next place is out of the door.  At the moment they are possibly looking to discharge him to Stadium Court but when (and if) we are not sure. If you are planning on visiting Dad, keep an eye on the blog and as soon as I know he's on the move, I'll update. Would hate for someone to find a parking space, pay parking only to get up on the ward to find they've just booted him out! Dad will be glad to be out as there is one particular guy on his ward that drives Dad (and everyone else) nuts! I think Dad is looking forward to moving on, he's been in there a week today. It will probably be better for me visiting him there and hopefully parking will be much improved !

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

He's been moved again !

Been visit Dad tonight and he wasn't in his usual bay and bed 15, so frantically scanned down the list and he's been moved to the end of the corridor .... if they move him any further he'll be out the door ! This is a much quieter bay of 4 beds and a less dependent ward. Dad has been up and walking on his own. He's been down to the day room which is looking very festive. He is off the catheter and has several visits to the toilet - he did go in to detail which was a bit TMI (too much information!). The first visit to the toilet was with a physio and they just wanted to see if Dad could sit down on the toilet and get up himself ... Dad had to reenact the whole scene by dropping his pyjama bottoms! Trust Dad !

He is looking a lot better now he can get about. Just got one IV line to come out now and that should be out tomorrow.  He's eating well and drinking. The scars and bruises are on full show but they seem to be healing good. I took him a couple of Get Well cards and straight away Dad noticed one of the stamps hadn't been franked and said save that stamp, I can reuse it - a sure sign that he's feeling better.

The new slippers are on and Dad even walked over to the bin to drop his old ones off - well I wasn't going to touch them. I think he should have dumped them in contaminated waste! However he has managed to break his reading glasses so that's a new pair of readers needed now.

This was Dad earlier tonight reading his Get Well cards

Many thanks to everyone that sends their best wishes ... I turn up with a list so I can tell Dad.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Up and sitting in his chair

I rang and checked on Dad earlier today and they said they'd had him up and out of bed. Hopefully that'll help convince him even more that he isn't quite ready to be knocking on those pearly gates !

Got there early tonight so I made sure I got a parking spot so was in to visit him as soon as the doors opened at 6.30. There he was up and sitting in his chair. Those hospital pyjama bottoms aren't really suitable for sitting in a chair with the gaping fly ... but his modesty was soon covered up as I dragged his blanket off the bed! That's definitely not what a daughter wants to catch an eye full of !  They are slowly removing various tubes and he has some lovely bruises appearing. They've had him up and for a small walk but Dad was a bit like bambi on ice so they got him back in bed ! Hopefully tomorrow they'll get him going a bit further.

He has had a ticking off tonight for the state of his slippers. I know he doesn't like shopping but I could have got him some new ones! I'm not having my Dad walking around in slippers that his toes are peeking through (and no they're not mules he's wearing!). So I've been get him some new ones on my way back from the hospital. I've actually got two pairs so he can try them on and see which ones he likes best! If he likes them both he'll get the other pair at Christmas!

Dad is much brighter and alert today. Been laughing and joking about his hallucinations and he's decided he ain't doing drugs if that's what it is like ! He's had quite a few visitors today and now his shelf is full with Get Well cards !  He's eating well and drinking and when I left he asked for his book to see if he could read a bit which is definitely a good sign that he's on the road to recovery.

I took him a collage of some "selfie photos" that I'd taken of me and him and the collage from his 80th Birthday cake and that cheered him up.  This is a photo from Le Tour in Yorkshire earlier this year ... I've told him his moto is now "put me back on my bike" ...

Many thanks to everyone that has sent their good wishes, folk who have phoned and emailed me. I tell Dad it all and how yesterday he had nearly 150 hits on his blog !