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Hospital bed finally available

By Gillian on behalf of Chris

We were hoping that Chris would be admitted to Cheltenham hospital on Sunday morning to start the chemotherapy. The consultant oncologist had written on his notes “MUST (underlined three times) be admitted on Sunday”. But when we phoned the hospital on Sunday morning, there were no beds available. We were told to phone back mid-afternoon, as there would “probably” be a bed coming free. I spent several hours clearing the car and drive of the remaining snow, we started the car, and checked it was running ok. But then the hospital rang back – Chris was definitely top of the waiting list, but they still didn’t have a spare bed – the oncology ward was full of emergency admissions. We should phone again 08:30 on Monday morning.

Overnight we had another 10cm of fresh snow and were snowed in again. But the hospital still didn’t have a bed free on Monday morning, so we weren’t going anywhere. By now, Chris’s back was getting extremely painful – we think it is the tumours in the lymph nodes near his spine pressing on his nerves. The pain killers we had access to weren’t keeping it under control, and there was no way we could get out to the doctors. So I got started on another few hours of digging out the carĀ  – again with the help of our neighbours who have been splendid. Then at lunch time, the hospital phoned again to say that there was now a bed free, could he please come down to Cheltenham immediately. He’s there now, and will be there for at least two nights. They’ve sorted out some stronger pain management for him and he is a lot more comfortable. We expect the PICC line to be put in on Tuesday morning, with the chemothereapy starting that afternoon and overnight. However, there’s more snow forecast here for tomorrow night, so they may have to send him home in an ambulance if I can’t get out to pick him up.

{ 6 } Comments

  1. RuthieG | 12 January 2010 at 9:20 am | Permalink

    Gillian, we are thinking of you both. I am glad to hear that Chris is finally in hospital where the pain can be better controlled. Do not take risks driving if conditions are dangerous – insist on an ambulance. (It’s hard to be assertive where the NHS is concerned, I know, but sometimes you have to fight.)

  2. icyjumbo | 14 January 2010 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

    Ruth, thanks for the advice. We ended by getting a taxi in, but the ambulance brought me home. We had a riotous journey back, great fun conversation, and a really good time, so it worked out OK in the end.

  3. Robert Hughes | 12 January 2010 at 10:39 am | Permalink

    Gillian, I just can’t imagine how you’re managing but you clearly are with wonderful resiliance. Please do ask if there’s anything I can do, I could quickly be with you and am very free. Love to you both. – Robert

  4. icyjumbo | 14 January 2010 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

    Back from the first chemo now, and you’re right, Gillian is managing far better than I would in her situation. But I’m so pleased that she has her situation and I have mine. I wouldn’t swap it for all the gold in the ocean.

    Thanks for the offer, it is borne in mind.

  5. David Allsopp | 12 January 2010 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

    Glad things are finally under way; hope it goes well. Thinking of you both!

  6. icyjumbo | 14 January 2010 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

    It went extremely well, on the whole. They’re a great team. Expect a fuller account in an upcoming post.

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  1. A mammoth undertaking › First chemo | 16 January 2010 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

    […] tribulations, and postponements I finally got my date, and went into hospital on Monday this week, as planned. There was still plenty of snow around, so we decided that it would be safer to get a professional […]

  2. […] very powdery, so that I could clear it with a broom, but that is still a big advance on previous snow clearing adventures, which I had to leave to Gillian. As for the mental energy, I spent most of the weekend […]