I haven’t been able to see dad this week. It’s his fifth week in hospital and he’s had the Norovirus twice, and now the ward is closed to visitors.
Dad’s isolation is compounded by the fact that he is quite deaf and doesn’t use his hearing aid, and the fact that he is not as quick on the uptake as he once was. Accordingly any conversation tends to be shouted and repeated and this gets in the way of providing emotional and practical support.
The duration of dad’s hospitalisation has given him the chance to rest but has also made him homesick. This came to a head last Friday when the physiotherapist phoned to say that dad wanted to go home. I asked whether he can get out of bed unaided and go to/from the loo unaided. She said he can’t but is set on coming home. We then arranged a phone conference so that I could speak to dad and the physio together. This took place at 1.15 with the physio using her mobile phone on speaker and me shouting.
Dad’s position was as follows: he thinks he’d be better off at home and that he could get out of bed and to/from the loo if not for the airmatress he is using at the hospital. I asked whether dad would agree to test that theory and that if dad could get on and off a bed with a normal mattress unaided and go to the loo he could come home and have home based rehabilitation but that if he couldn’t then he would commit to going to the rehab facility so that he is the best he can be in terms of fitness. Dad agreed. (This took a lot longer to negotiate than it does to write it!)
So the physio ended the call and dad took the test using a normal matress. They then phoned back and dad said that he couldn’t do it and understands that he should go to the rehabilitation facility. I felt so sorry for him. Realising your own limitations can be a crushing experience, but better this than dad getting home and then being unable to move.
So the plan (at least since last Friday) is that dad will move to the rehabilitation unit once he is clear of the virus and they have a place. We also spoke yesterday and his spirits seem better but his intention is still to try and negotiate coming home unrealistically early. So that’s dad.
I’m having my own test for the next 24 hours. Can you guess what it is?