A favourite quote and a way by which to approach life.

Today is the tomorrow that you worried about yesterday.

Monday, 21 September 2015

Long time no see

It's a very long time since I last posted, for which I apologise, but a lot has happened this year and much if it has been very difficult. I will update you with all the happenings over time, but at the moment I need this space to write because I am in hospital whilst away from home.

I was on holiday. I had a brilliant week in Wales the week before last, then came across to Cambridge for a few days here. I managed a couple of days in the youth hostel and then ended up here in Addenbrooks. I'm on day seven of the admission now, but the first six days were in the Critical Care Unit. I am a lot better than I was, but still have a way to go before I can think about leaving hospital and then getting home to Newcastle.

Earlier today they moved a woman into the bed opposite me (here in the respiratory ward). Someone else was there before, but she was moved into a side room so that this woman could come in. That is a very usual practice, except that, in my opinion, this woman ought to have the side room. She is dying. Her family have been called in and they are taking it in turns to be with her in small groups. The curtain is pulled between her and the lady beside her who has the television on and distracting herself with the news. It is filling any silence there might be. The doctor is in the corridor with the rest of the family and giving them information about their relative's situation. The teenagers are crying. The young children are bemused. The adults are trying to stuff their emotions back behind their eyes and keep that typically British stiff upper lip. They talk to the woman, ask if she wants a drink or some yogurt, tell her to lift her head so they can move her pillow. They are trying to help her be more comfortable, and trying to help themselves feel in some way useful.

I don't want to watch this woman's death. I don't want it for me and I don't want it for her dignity. Everyone ought to have privacy and dignity in death, and this is too public.


Anonymous said...

Thinking of you Becky. Its so hard in that situation. I have been in it several times as a patient when one patients gets moved into a side room maybe because of infection but it means a patient who is TLC ends up in a room with lots of beds. Its not nice for the patient their relatives or the other patients in the room. I remember coming out of intensive care to resp ward one morning and later that day they moved a patient who had infection into a side room and this other lady out with all her family etc as she was dying. It was terrible. I found it so hard to deal with as I had just been really fighting with my breathing and to be confronted with death so son after almost sent me over the edge and not able to cope at all. At work it is the one thing we are good at is end of life care and we will always ensure patients have a side room even if it means a patient with infection stays in a 4 bedder room we just take extra precautions with hygiene and sharing of equipment etc.

Thinking of you lots and hope you feel better soon and get home soon too. x

vivinfrance said...

Dear Becky,
I'm so relieved that you are feeling well enough to write, but saddened by the circumstances of your fellow patient. I hope the staff has the sense and sensitivity to do something about the situation, but the staff must be feeling a bit punch drunk with Addenbrookes all over the National news.
With love,
ViV xox