Thursday, 1 April 2010

A bit of a family emergency

I just want to explain why I haven't been able to visit fellow bloggers very much during the past few days.

Saturday evening, just as I was about to get ready for bed we received a telephone call from my 88 year old mother telling us that she had just fallen over. We went straight round to her and OH managed to get her onto her feet and into a chair. We stayed with her whilst she recovered from the initial shock and I asked her should I call the doctor. "no" she said, "I just want to get to bed". She wanted to freshen up first and I helped her in the bathroom and then into bed. Asked again, should I call the doctor. She was complaining of pains in her right side. Another refusal. I listened carefully to her breathing and it seemed OK so I left, somewhat reluctantly, after explaining that if she needed to call during the night, at whatever time, she must do so.

I didn't sleep too well, kept thinking perhaps I should have called the doctor. However, dawn finally came and at 7 am another call from mum to say could I go round please. Off we went again, fortunately it is only about a 5 minute drive. Once there it was obvious that she was quite distressed so I got straight on the phone to obtain an "out of hours" number from her doctor's surgery. Number obtained I made a call and was asked a few questions about "the patient" and was told a doctor would ring shortly. Sure enough, about 10 minutes later a "doctor" rang. He also asked a few questions then asked if mum's breathing was OK. I confirmed it was. Then he asked was there any blood. No, no blood. Then "has she any painkillers" and when I said there was, "OK just take them as and when necessary for pain. I was incensed. "Does that mean you aren't sending a doctor" I asked. He replied "Oh do you want a doctor to call"? Then I exploded, "I certainly do want a doctor to call. My mother is 88, has had a fall and is in extreme pain". I had already told him these facts. So he reluctantly agreed to send someone along, "within 4 hours". Thank you!

About half an hour later a paramedic arrived. A very pleasant young man called Steve. I explained the situation and he examined my mum. He was so kind and gentle and thorough and was with us for an hour. She has cracked ribs! No treatment, no X-ray or strapping these days, just painkillers. He asked if I was able to keep a close eye on her as pneumonia could be a danger at this stage, although he was happy with her breathing. Her temperature was slightly raised but her blood pressure was quite normal! He left us with full instructions of how she should be looked after and with stronger painkillers.

So since Sunday I have been mostly at my mum's. Sleeping there at night and for most of each day although I have managed a few hours at home from time to time. I shall be there for the weekend too, mostly. My daughter is visiting for Easter so will help out a couple of times I expect.

Mum is still in a lot of pain but is improving and is reasonably cheerful.

Happy Easter everyone. I hope to see you and catch up soon.


DeniseinVA said...

I am so sorry Anne, your poor Mother and how very stressful for you all. I do hope the pain will ease quickly.

jabblog said...

Cracked ribs are very painful. I hope your mother will soon be feeling much better and that you all manage to have a peaceful Easter

Monalisa said...

How worrying for your mum and you that the doctor didn't think to come straight out to see her.
Hope she feels better soon.

Grumpy Old Ken said...

Know the feeling well, mother in law is 85.

Cynthia L. H. said...

I am so sorry to hear this, Anne. I do not understand why they do not wrap them or anything...seems like that would help with the pain.
Hope she heals quickly.
Thinking of you.

Gilly said...

Oh your poor Mum! Cracked ribs are so painful! But at least she didn't break her hip - not good at 88. I hope she soon improves.

Out of hours doctors do vary so much - we have had splendid service, but that is not the case everywhere, I know.

Jay said...

"Oh, do you want a doctor to call?"

Unbelievable! Well, actually, sadly not unbelievable at all, but it should be. It's what we've come to expect these days, isn't it? Good grief ...

My mother is very fortunate to be a patient at a practice which is very pro-active in caring for it's geriatric population. There would be no question but that a doctor would call. EVERYONE should be afforded the same level of care!

I'm glad your Mum is OK, but what a scare!

Maggie May said...

I am really sorry.
Thank goodness for paramedics like Steve & for you being able to cope.
Pity about the doctor.

Nuts in May

cheshire wife said...

I was so sorry to read this post and hope that by now your mother is feeling better. It is a worry as parents get older and live on their own.

joo said...

I'm really sorry Anne - what a horrible situation! Seems that the health care is the same as here - you can wait ages for a doctor to come!
Hope your Mum will get it over soon!

Winifred said...

It must be a worry. Hope she feels better soon. Have a happy Easter and hope your weather is warmer than ours Anne!

A Heron's View said...

Cracked ribs are uncomfortable enough when you are younger, have experienced that myself.
Comfrey otherwise known as boneknit ointment gently applied is very good.
Do hope your mum will soon be feeling a bit easier.

Dusty Spider said...

Glad to hear Mum is on the mend. My Mum is the same age and I dread late telephone calls. Well done too for putting your foot down with the doctor. It's your peace of mind at stake too after all. xx

Strawberry Jam Anne said...

Thank you everone for such supportive and caring comments. Mum now has a lot less pain but, of course, very afraid of alling again. I am permanently back at home (after a week) but going to see her a couple of times each day. A x

Gill - That British Woman said...

it's such a worry with elderly parents isn't it? Hope she is feeling a little better now.

Gill in Canada

fizzycat said...

Hope those ribs heal as soon as possible, best wishes.