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Admitted to the hospice

By Gillian

We’ve had a truly dreadful weekend. Chris has had uncontrollable vomiting all weekend – he couldn’t keep anything down, not even water or his pills, so the pain was getting bad too, and he was getting very weak from lack of food and drink. Of all the weekends my sister could have chosen to come for a visit, she really picked an eventful one! However, she was able to rearrange her work commitments today to stay over last night and help me, which was great.

Yesterday I phoned the hospice for advice and was called back by their on-call doctor, who was helpful and very reassuring. She said that Chris ideally should go into the hospice for a period of monitoring and review, to get the symptoms under control. However, they were unable to handle new admissions at the weekend, so we would need to tough it out with the help of the District Nursing team until today (Monday).

So Chris stayed in bed all day yesterday.  I called out the District Nurses three times, the first twice (lunch time and early evening) to give Chris an anti-emetic injection, and the third at bed time to give him both a shot of morphine and a different anti-emetic injection since the first two clearly had not worked. I talked it over with them, and they said that they too thought he should be in the hospice, and one of the nurses said she would speak to our key-worker there in the morning.

This morning the district nurse phoned three times to check on progress and plans. I also spoke to our GP and discussed what our options were. She too was of the opinion that the hospice was the best option, though she also proposed a home-nursing alternative if there were no beds available. I was reluctant to go for the latter (though if there were no beds there would be no choice) as I was at my wits’ end dealing with him and badly wanted the professionals to take over.

Fortunately, I was phoned by the hospice mid-morning and told that they did indeed have a bed free, and would admit him immediately. Then it was just a case of how to get him there. Since he was still so weak and nauseous whenever he raised his head, the hospice admissions and I decided that the best thing was to get him there by ambulance so he could lie down. My sister and I followed behind in her car, with a hastily-packed suitcase of clothes for him.

We’ve settled him into the hospice, in a pleasant airy room of three beds. He’s next to the window, with a view out over the duck pond. I had a long chat with the doctor who will be in charge of him, and she seemed pretty confident that they would be able to get his symptoms under control and send him home in a better state. I expect him to be there for at least 48 hours and probably for the whole week, depending on the progress they make.

{ 9 } Comments

  1. Elly Smith | 26 July 2010 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

    Dear Gillian, I am so sorry to hear that Chris is feeling so awful and that you have both had such a dreadful weekend, but hope that the hospice will be able to make him more confortable so he can be home again soon. Will you give him our best wishes?
    Kind regards, Elly and family

  2. Veronica | 26 July 2010 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

    Gillian, David & I are sorry that Chris is having such a rough time. It’s good news that the hospice was able to accomodate him, and hopefully they will stabilise him, and get him back to a fit state to be back at home soon. It should give you both a chance to get your breath back a bit after such a stressful weekend. I’m sure that you will already have looked into the possibility, but just in case you haven’t, it is possible to get bank nurses to come to take care of people at home, to give you a bit of rest. I know that we had them for my grandmother when she was being nursed at home, and for various other family members at various times. Just a thought.
    Please will you give Chris our best wishes when you see him, and take care of yourself.

  3. Jayne Alexander | 26 July 2010 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

    Gillian, I’m so sorry to hear that Chris has been so poorly lately, it must be so dreadful for him and for you. I truly hope that the hospice can get him back onto an even keel. Send him my best wishes xxx

  4. Seonaid Teal | 26 July 2010 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

    Hi, Sorry to hear Chris is having such a rough time. Hopefully the medical staff will be able to ease things and he’ll be feeling better soon. Don’t forget to look after yourself and try and get some rest. Thinking of you both.

  5. Catharine | 26 July 2010 at 9:31 pm | Permalink

    You’re both in my thoughts and prayers. I hope Chris feels better soon!

  6. Mantina | 26 July 2010 at 10:50 pm | Permalink

    Best wishes to you both.
    I hope the hospice provides a solution and you alsop get some respite
    So sorry

  7. Paul D | 27 July 2010 at 9:49 am | Permalink

    Gillian, Sorry to here that, hope they can get something sorted out.

  8. Gillian | 27 July 2010 at 8:17 pm | Permalink

    Thank you everyone. Chris has wi-fi access as the hospice so, although he’s feeling too ill to post at the moment, I’m sure he will be reading all the comments and it will help knowing that you’re all thinking of him.

  9. sue hawkins | 1 August 2010 at 5:36 am | Permalink

    I’m so sorry to hear about Christopher feeling so rough lately; That has to be so rough and I can’t imagine what it must be like. As has been pointed out, it is good that he was taken in so quickly – I hope you are able to wind down for a bit and take advantage of your own healing time.

    Thinking of you both —sue h