Sep 21 2013
I received the following harrowing information this morning from a friend and regular reader of mine whom we shall call Mrs R for the time being.
Mrs R’s mother is sadly dying in hospital, yet the woefully poor standard of care, comfort, support and lack of professionalism that the elderly lady is being subjected too in hospital is nothing short of a national disgrace.
Course, we have all heard about the ‘Liverpool pathway’ – loosely translated as “fuck the old useless eaters, let em die” – which appears to be now common practice right across the board in hospitals throughout the country.
Having said that, the abhorrent practice – unless of course, the person in question wishes to die – is no excuse for neglect and abysmal care being afforded to Mrs R’s mother.
Mrs R has made me privy to further information involving more serious malpractice and tells me that there is even more than that to this case.
However, with Mrs R’s mother still alive & an in patient, she has asked me to withhold the name of the hospital along with the names of the Doctors, nurses and staff involved… For now.
Never the less, this is not the first time that this hospital has received attention for all the wrong reasons.
Not withstanding that fact, any dying person, whatever their age, should be attended to with dignity, compassion and made as comfortable as humanely possible… You never know, next time it could be your Mum.
It’s not about the pie.
As you know, my Mother is dying in (name witheld) hospital.
The last ditch attempt for her to go home was a PEG feeding tube, which was only fitted Monday last, despite being sent for the procedure on August 6th by her GP.
Mother has a long standing condition, Sjogren’s Syndrome, which affects all her bodily secretions, particularly her tears and saliva. This has been ongoing since I would guess 1976.
Despite this, the hospital left her without artificial tears for at least four weeks, with a myriad of excuses, including ‘it’s not prescribed’, ‘it’s the weekend’, ‘it’s the Bank Holiday’, ‘we can’t get any’ (despite there being an eye unit in the hospital), and ‘we have just moved over to e-prescriptions, and we don’t know how to use the computer’.
Mother has been assessed by Speech and Language therapists, and due to her high risk of aspiration, certain rules are supposed to be followed with regard to her feeding; the main ones being sat upright and alert.
She is now allowed normal liquids, and I have witnessed on more than one occasion, Mother being fed whilst not sitting upright. In fact sitting her upright is usually the first thing I do when I get there.
As Mother is getting towards the end of her life, she is allowed anything she likes, within reason. To this end, she asked for her favourite, lemon meringue pie, to be brought in. She wouldn’t be able to eat the pastry, but the filling would be tolerated with ease.
My husband went down to our local shop and bought an Aunt Bessies pie, and I cooked it up. That evening, we went down to the hospital, and the look on Mother’s face was a picture.
A Healthcare Assistant took the pie, saying she would put it in the fridge, and Mother could have it for dinner the next day. I was pleased as there are only a few options for the puree diet, and I felt that it would be something for her to look forward to.
On visiting the day after, I asked her how she enjoyed the pie. “I didn’t have it”, she said, “they couldn’t find it”.
Here I have to explain that Mother is very difficult to understand, the stroke not only knocked out her ability to swallow, it has affected her voice to such a degree, that she can speak in breathless whispers.
I asked a nurse about the pie when she came round, and she joked that it was quite common for cakes to go missing where nurses are concerned. I said, but Mother’s bed number was on it, she then shrugged her shoulders, and said she didn’t know anything about it, but a similar thing had happened when she took cakes in.
I bought another pie when I got home, cooked it up, and took it in the following night. I Clearly marked the bag, Mrs name witheld, Bed E1, but this time, I fed some of it to her, in fact half of it, such was Mother’s delight, and undoubtedly massive hunger.
Needless to say, the remaining half was available for me to feed her the following evening, after all who wan’t to chomp on a half eaten pie?
Last week I took two individual egg custards in, still boxed from Asda.
Again I wrote on the freezer bag Mother’s name and bed number. She didn’t want anything to eat, as she’d just had the PEG put in the day before, and she was experiencing a high degree of pain.
A shitty nurse told me that the pain was ‘probably constipation’.
That may well have been, but not one to complain, Mother never cries ‘help me’ when she needs a shit… Just saying.
In fact, she has had nearly every illness going, and I’ve never heard her cry ‘help me’ before.
She was offered paracetamol syrup, of which half dribbled out of her mouth, as again, she was lying at an angle and not propped up. Shitty nurse should have put it through her PEG.
Anyway, there is more, and I’m sorry again for burdening you with it.
I went in the night before last, propped Mother up to right angles again, and gave her some lukewarm tea which had been left on her table, and asked her how she enjoyed the egg custards.
‘I didn’t have them’ she said, nobody could find them.
So here we are Chris, some greedy cunt stealing food off a dying woman. I was half thinking of making some hash brownies and leaving them out, or making a chocolate cake with ex lax in. I would, but having a stoned member of staff with vulnerable patients, it could end badly, someone could die.
Sorry again for burdening you with this shit, I still read you daily, but don’t contribute much now because of being back at school, and having all this bollocks and more going on.
I am going to make an official complaint about this shitty ward, shitty staff, and the neglect. Cheers