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Hospice update, day 11

By Gillian

I’ve spent all week at the hospice, from Monday morning continuously until this afternoon. Chris was so unstable, changing from hour to hour, that I did not feel it was reasonable to leave him. And until we’d heard what the consultant said, we didn’t know exactly what we were facing. Now we do…..

I’ve been staying in one of the family rooms the hospice has – a perfectly pleasant twin room with en-suite facilities, just down the corridor from his room (Chris started off last week in a 3-bed ward, but was moved to a single-occupancy room on Sunday afternoon after things started to go downhill rapidly).

Things have stabilised a bit this afternoon. Chris is quite heavily sedated, to prevent another fit, so is sleeping most of the time. It takes a huge effort for him to speak clearly. His vision and hearing are both very poor indeed. I can get through to him still, as he is so used to my voice, but other people struggle to communicate with him – he literally can’t hear them.

But the doctors do not anticipate another imminent crisis. They are adamant that I need some time away from sitting with him, to recharge my own batteries, and were quite happy that I should come home this afternoon so that I can get some sleep (huh! fat chance!) in my own bed. They have promised to phone if there is a problem. So I’ve come home with a load of his laundry to do, so that he has clean clothes for the weekend, and will go back in to see him tomorrow. My sister is coming to stay for the weekend, which will be a support for me.

{ 3 } Comments

  1. Elly Smith | 5 August 2010 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

    Dear Gillian, it is very wise of you to go home to recharge your batteries – I know that my mother made things much worse for herself when she was in the same position as you, by staying at the clinic with my father until all hours until she was exhausted, which made it much harder for her to cope with the situation. I really hope that you do manage to get some sleep in the knowledge that Chris is in the best possible place and that it is so important for you to be rested (as far as is possible!). Please do let me know if we can do anything to help you both (I know that we are quite far away but I can drive to you if you need anything) but in the meantime this comes with lots of love to you both. Elly x

  2. Paul Maddox | 5 August 2010 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

    I only found out today that things have taken a turn for the worse. I am so very sorry to hear this, both of you are such nice, warm hearted and kind people, it seems so unfair.

    Chris, I’ll never forget you, you helped shape the person I am today for two reasons;
    1) You always had a smile. Somehow you managed to find something good in what seemed like a never ending stream of problems at work. I hope you have the strength to find this again with what you’re going through now.
    2) With my english, my spelling and my punctuation. I’m still not perfect, but at least I try.

    I’ve taken on board both of these and they’re now part of my daily routine, I make sure I always find something good in a situation and try to smile. I also double check my documents and e-mails before hitting send. For these gifts I am eternally grateful Chris, and you’ll never be forgotten.

    My heart goes out to both you Chris and to you Gillian, if I can help with anything, please feel free to contact me.

    All my love and best wishes

  3. Carol L | 5 August 2010 at 8:24 pm | Permalink

    Hi Gillian and Chris
    Thinking of you both. There doesn’t seem to be anything more to say. If I can help – by coming up and doing laundry or cooking something, or doing some work in the garden – anything – let me know.