Diary of an Elderly Gentleman

Obsidian Cat, Going Postal

My doctor says my blood pressure is high. He gave me some pills for that. My feet hurt. The doctor gave me some medicine for that too – it’s a liquid and it said that it was Morphine on the bottle. It’s since been changed to tablets, which also say Morphine. I’ve got restless leg syndrome. It makes me need to get up and walk around all the time, especially at night. The doctor gave me some pills for that, but they stopped working after a while. He gave me some different ones, and they were wonderful for a while, but now they don’t work any more.

I’ve stopped playing in the band. I’m too immobile and can’t follow the music properly any more. I’ll sell my trumpet.

I keep getting dizzy and falling over. I haven’t told my wife Jane about that, but she has seen me fall over once. I crashed the car and wrote it off. One minute I was driving along, next minute I was in a ditch. I told Jane that I’d fallen asleep whilst driving. The doctor has stopped the blood pressure tablets.

I’ve been to the hospital and been fitted with some special shoes. They are very comfortable, but I can still only shuffle about. I can’t walk any distance, and a friend takes me to appointments by car, and if necessary, takes the wheelchair. Jane is too old and infirm to help and she doesn’t drive. She has arthritis, and macular degeneration so can’t see very well.

I’ve stopped playing the recorder. I can’t cover the holes with my fingers properly and it’s spoiling things for everyone else.

I’m constipated a lot. I’ve tried lots of different medicines and foods but none of them seem to work.

I keep shaking and trembling. Have I got Parkinson’s disease?

My son Jim has been talking about a care home for us. How does that work? How can we afford it? What will happen to the house? Jim says we can let it to defray some of the cost. How do I let it? I can’t get out to arrange it. Jim says he will organise it with a letting agent. How do I arrange to let it? It needs painting. I need to organise that. What about the stair lift? Jim says it can be sold and removed after we move out. But I need the stair lift to get upstairs. What about the carpets? If we have new carpets, the door will need to be taken off. It’s difficult to put back on its hinges. Jim says carpet layers will do that. How do I get the door back on its hinges? What about the meals we have delivered? We get 3 weeks’ worth every 3 weeks. Jim say’s we can reduce the order so that the amount in the freezer reduces. I don’t understand because we get three weeks’ worth every three weeks. What about all the meals in the freezer? How do I let the house? If we sell it instead, how do I sell it? I don’t know any solicitors. I’m house bound. How can I manage without the stair-lift? What about the carpets? What about the food in the freezer? What do I do now?

My sister came to see us with her son and daughter in law. Jim and the grandchildren came too. It was very jolly and we had sandwiches all round. Jane was happy.

They’ve changed my restless leg syndrome medication this afternoon. I had to keep standing up and walking round the waiting room, because of my fidgety legs. Tonight I couldn’t get out of my chair to go to the loo, or go to bed. Jane tried to help and we both fell over. She got me back into my chair somehow. I called a friend, who came round and called 999. After lots of questions, the ambulance came. They were very prompt, and did lots of tests. They helped me to the stair lift and put me to bed. I couldn’t walk unaided. They looked at my medication and it seems I took the new medicine too early, and took it twice by accident. I was supposed to take one a day before bed and I took 2 at about 6pm. They said I wasn’t ill enough to go to hospital.

I’ve been taking these laxatives, which haven’t been working. Today they worked, and I went to the loo in the middle of the night, but now I can’t walk away from the loo. I’m just standing there unable to move my feet. Help! What do I do? Jane phoned a friend and who came to help. She got me back to bed, but I needed the loo again straight away. She took me to the toilet again, and then back. It was taking 10 minutes to get to the toilet from my bed, and 10 minutes back again. I can only move my feet a couple of inches. This went on for 4 hours. The friend dialled 111, but they weren’t any help. The on call doctor just referred us to the GP in the morning. Our friend phoned Jim and he came out in the morning to take over. He called the doctor out.

I can’t see – I’ve gone blind! I called our friend and she called the doctor, then came round to see me. I can’t focus on anything, with or without my glasses. The doctor phoned me, and I told him I was the same as yesterday, when had come out to see me. He spoke to our friend and told her that she was wasting NHS resources, and there were people who were ill and needed his time. He was really quite rude. Jim arrived then, and agreed with the doctor that I should go to hospital. I don’t want to go to hospital – how will Jane cope without me? The ambulance arrived and took me, with Jim, to hospital.

I’m in hospital, and they’re trying to find out what’s wrong with me. They’re going to test for Parkinson’s. They’re reviewing my medication. All the staff here are lovely and friendly. My cataract operation has gone wrong and I can’t see properly.  I don’t want my hearing aids or glasses, take them home, they don’t work any more. I’m constipated. My arm’s shaking – have I got Parkinson’s? I want to go home. I think I’ll try to stand up.

Jane is coming to see me every day. Our friend is bringing her, and using the wheelchair to get her to the ward – it’s too far for her to walk. My bed is a mess, I keep fidgeting. I want to stand up. I keep trying but can’t do it. Everyone tells me not to, it’s too dangerous. I think I’ll try to stand up. What do I do now? I don’t like it here. They’ve given me a special air mattress which they tell me is to stop me getting bed sores. I don’t like it, it’s uncomfortable. I want the old one back. I’m still constipated.  They’ve put me in a nappy – it’s all so undignified. If I don’t drink anything then I won’t need to wee so often. I’m shaking. Have I got Parkinson’s? I think I’ll try and stand up now. I want to go home.

My visitors have arrived at 6 o’clock in the morning. Why are they here so early? They keep telling me it’s yesterday and 6 o’clock in the evening. I’m sure it’s not. I don’t like the ward. They’ve changed the configuration. I want them to change it back. People tell me it’s the same as it was, just some of the people have changed. I want it changed back to the way it was. That window needs to be closed, and that door over there. They tell me there isn’t a window or a door over there. They’ve put black patches on the walls, and there’s a black swan flying over there. I think I’ll try and stand up. There’s a black girl over there. Waitress! Waitress! I want a drink. Look how I’m shaking? Have I got Parkinson’s? I want to go home. I think I’ll try to stand up.

The consultant has sent me a letter – Jim read it to me. I’ve got drug induced Parkinson’s, not real Parkinson’s. They’ve changed all my medication, and I don’t have morphine any more. The physios are seeing me. They are making me stand up with their help. My foot has gone a funny shape since I’ve been in hospital – a bit claw like. I can’t put any weight on it, it’s agony and I think it’s going to break. I want to go home. I think I’ll try to stand up. The consultant has made an outpatients appointment for me next month. Jim says that’s a good sign, as it means they will let me out soon. Look at my arm shaking. I want to go home. I think I’ll try to stand up.

They gave me some suppositories. It was so painful. They took me away for an operation to clear me out. I don’t like it here, I want to go home. I think I’ll try to stand up.

They sent me home, but I couldn’t walk unaided. The ambulance people said it wasn’t safe for me and took me straight back to hospital. I’m in the same bed as I had been before. I want to go home. I think I’ll try to stand up.

The occupational therapist has seen me and has been to my house. They need to get special equipment in for me – a bed, a commode, a rotary stand thingy and other stuff, and then they can send me home. I need carers in every day as well, four times a day. She is going to arrange that. Look at my arm shaking. I want to go home. I think I’ll try to stand up.

They’ve sent me home again – I was in hospital for 3 weeks. The equipment has been delivered and the bed is downstairs in the living room. I don’t like its being there. I can stand up by pulling myself up on the end of the bed. What does this box do – I can press all the buttons and the noise from the bed has stopped. Jim’s telling me to leave it alone or the mattress will go down. What do I do now?  I’ll sit down again. The Social Services people have been to see me and the carers, who are very nice and efficient. They’ve explained things to me but it’s gone whoosh over my head. I think I’ll stand up. What do I do now? A key safe has been fitted. I’m told it’s a little box outside the front door that the spare keys are kept in, with a push button code to open it, so that people can get in, in case of an emergency. I don’t understand it. People keep explaining, but I still don’t understand. I think I’ll stand up. What do I do now? They’ve given us an alarm system so we can call for help in case of emergency. I’ve dropped a tissue on the floor. Oh, look, the call fob is round Jane’s neck. I’ll press the button so they can come and pick the tissue up for me. Someone spoke to me and said it wasn’t an emergency. Jane is keeping the fob tucked inside her top now. My foot is a funny shape and I can’t put any weight on it, it’s agony. I think I’ll stand up. What do I do now?

Social services came today, and the district nurse. Jane is crying. It’s too much. I don’t want to live any more. I talked to Jane. We had agreed when we were young that we were going to go together. She wants to be with her Mum. There’s a sharp knife upstairs that I brought back from the army. Would that do? What about the gas oven?  Oh, what about all the drugs I’ve got – but someone has hidden them. Jim has arrived. He’s telling me I mustn’t talk like this. It’s not fair on anyone, but especially Jane. He’s staying here now, taking time off work. He says I mustn’t be left alone. He needs to be working – he mustn’t take time off for me. Look at my foot. I think I’ll stand up. What do I do now?

Jim has arranged for both of us to go to a care home, in the town where he lives so we can be near to him and the grandchildren. How will we afford that? What’s happening about the house? I must organise something. What do I need do? It’s very new here and all the people here are lovely. The food is very good, and Jane doesn’t need to do any housework. Our friend comes to visit on Sundays and they let her stay for lunch. They need 2 people and a hoist to get me in and out of bed. I’m in a wheelchair all day, and never stand up. My muscles are wasting away. I don’t like it here, I want to go home. I’m bored – I can’t see or hear the television properly. Jim has brought my reading glasses  and hearing aids. I can’t put the hearing aids on or change the batteries, my hands are too unsteady. I’m told the staff will do all that. Are they trained to do that? Are you sure they can do that? I can hear better now.  I’m told I have a hospital appointment soon, and the care home will take me there. How will I get there? I can’t walk to a car – I can’t get in a car – look at my foot. Does the appointment need to be transferred to a consultant at this health authority? I don’t understand any of this, it’s gone over my head. Have I got dementia?

I don’t like it here, I want to go home.

© Obsidian Cat 2018

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