Yesterday my wonderful neighbour was unwell, he was pooping blood and too embarrassed to talk to me about it, his wife is kind of like my other Mother and he is more like my Father in law.
My husband and he have a very close relationship for men. I don’t mean I think men can’t have close relationships but rather because the nature of those relationships is very different to the ones I have as a woman.
I usually get up at 5.30am to find a little quiet space to myself in a busy house-hold but yesterday I didn’t, I got up put the washing in the dryer at 4.30 went back to bed and wasn’t up until more like 6.15am. As soon as I put the kitchen light on I heard the familiar tap of Cath’s broom on the back door.
It didn’t occur to me it was early when I opened the door. She was standing in the drizzle the other side of the fence. Pete had been unwell since 3am, she’d waited for one of us to get up to see if Chris would run him to A & E. As I said, he didn’t really want to talk to me so I got Chris up it was about 6.20am. Pete had called Drs on Call, after about half an hour the on call Dr rang him back and told him to go to his GP at 9am. He couldn’t drive and was in excruciating pain, he was also loosing blood; concerned at the level of pain and blood loss assuming the GP would have just sent him to A&E Chris drove him in.
After a long wait he saw the registrar and was released with antibiotics. Having not eaten most of his symptoms had subsided.
When he got home he ate half a banana and took an antibiotic because it was suggested not to take them on an empty sromach.
Within half an hour he was in excruciating pain and passing an egg cup of blood every time he went to the loo, which was every 15 mins or so (sorry tmi!) This time he called an ambulance thinking it would be quicker than going back through triage, 3 hours later a 1 man crewed ambulance turned up to take him back to hospital about 7.15pm. Ambulances were queuing outside the hospital, waiting to allow patients in because they were so busy and there were no beds! Eventually he was seen still losing blood, barely checked over, he was told to continue with the antibiotics and released, they told him to “find his own way home” It was 10.30 pm 14 miles from home in a rural community, the last bus is at 7.20pm his wife doesn’t drive, a 73 year old man..
I was really shocked, not at the treatment he received from a medical standpoint we’re very fortunate in the UK to have a free health service, I’ve said before they do an incredible job with the limited funds available in this time of austerity with an ever growing population but wow an elderly man having to find his way 14 miles home at night while bleeding and in pain!
This experience shocked me, except for the autistic spectrum thing, asthma,eczema and Lewis’s allergy to eggs, we’re very seldom unwell. Our experience of Hospital is generally an accident usually involving my husband something like arch eye or a screw driver in the hand (he’s a mechanic, enough said!) Or Lewis’s regular appointments with the allergy specialist.
Recalling the experience and my feelings about it to my sister in law, she was completely underwhelmed.. she works in a care home for the elderly, apparently this is quite normal, they frequently refuse to take their elderly residents at all and equally often having been taken away by ambulance following a fall or whatever, they are returned for the staff to deal with.
It seems the elderly are deemed less important, their ailments less readily treated. The majority in care home have ‘Do not resuscitate’ orders on them, the label speaks for itself.
More and more people are reaching greater ages than ever due to better medicine,nutrition,housing,sanitation etc.
With an ever aging population where will the resources come from to look after them/us when we get there?
It’s frightening to see the treatment of the elderly here in the UK, I can’t speak for other countries but imagine they’re not so different in the 1st world at least!
It seems over a certain age, once you’ve served your purpose, out lived your usefulness, you really are waiting for God!
#waitingforgod #middle-aged #life #aging