Where am I

I managed to slip over on 6-November-2015 and fracture the femoral head of my right hip. This blog is just to keep friends and relatives up-to-date with my recovery. It also will show where the NHS is good and where there is opportunity to improve. If you click the images tab (above) there are a few images of the break before and after the repair.

Update 10-June-2016 - sadly the femoral head has avascular necrosis and a total hip replacement will be carried out on 15-June-2016

I am home in Stoke Bruerne

Monday, 30 November 2015

Day 25

Goodness me here we are into another week.  Where does the time go to?  I am hoping that today we get to the bottom of the Vitamin D issue - it's a week day so everyone who can make decisions should be available and we can cast the thought of the 5 day-a-week NHS to the side for the next 5 days - I hope the proposed junior Doctors' strike can be averted but if it does go ahead I don't think the effect will mean any changes for me.

Nothing much in the schedule for today other than Physio and letting the hip get on with the all-important job of getting better.  I think my friend Ray Thorpe from Coventry may visit - makes me feel quite humble when I realise that Ray is prepared to drive that distance just to see me.  An e-mail from my sister overnight - she tells me she reads this blog every morning (NZ time) and wished she could come over and see me - I'd love to see her but it is an awful long way from the summer and lovely long days of NZ to the cold and short days of the UK in winter so the answer is she must stay where she is.  She can't influence my progress by being here. Meantime those who can and do visit more easily give me huge pleasure - thank you. There have been a couple of e-mails overnight from a very good friend which I hope will influence the clarity as to what the future holds.

Just jumped out of my skin.  The nurse on duty knocked (an understatement) and came through the door at the same time.  I must have looked a bit shocked because she said it was polite to knock - I agree but knock and wait; don't just knock (the door down) and fling it open.  In the 11 days I have been here no one else has knocked but they have been quieter!

Well I have just asked about the towel I have for showering - it is tiny and it's had a fair number of days of being used.  How do I get it changed I asked - oh you have to ask they said.  Why? Surely a towel should be changed as a matter of course.  Now I have asked we'll wait and see if it is changed. It all comes back to the fact that no one talked me through the processes and how they work here. I have struggled to make my own bed over the last few days because by 12:00 it is still unmade and I really don't want visitors to see my bed in a bit of a state - I am not sure, when I am reliant on one good leg and one fairly poor one that I should be playing storks and making a bad effort of making my bed. 09:30 - bed made and two new towels - I wonder if it depends on who is on duty?

I will wait with interest today to see if anything is done about my Vitamin D supplements. I am running a book in my mind and at the moment it is about 9 to 1 on that nothing will happen - I do hope I am wrong.

Just seen Ram the physio - he says I am progressing very well with the crutches (possibly putting a bit too much weight on my bad leg) and the only thing that is going to hold me back are my stairs. That's sounds really positive to me but I do understand the challenges of my stairs.

12:00 - Just had a lovely visit from my friend Ray Thorpe from Coventry - Ray thank you for taking the time to visit - it is much appreciated.

A bit more on the Vitamin D issue.  Apparently it has been crossed off my list of 'drugs' despite me being verbally told I need the supplement. No one knows why so I have asked the duty nurse to request the duty doctor comes over to explain the current situation.  Seems like another blood test may be the best answer.

Still nothing on the Vitamin D issue - not a jot. There will be nothing on the Vitamin D issue as all the Doctors from Cliftonville are covering the strike of Junior Doctors - what a fine mess we are in. I have had an e-mail from my insurance broker reminding me that the cover on my house and contents reduces to almost zero if no one stays in my house for one nigh in every 30 - we are on day 25 now. It's the kind of corporate clap trap I can do without at the moment but if someone stays just one night then it's roll back to zero and the count to 30 starts again - sounds like Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory to me.  I have asked how I prove someone has stayed there - will they just take my word?  The lights come on, no water is stored, the heating is on - but I suppose rules is rules and anyway they can wriggle out an insurance company will.

I chatted with PALS today (Patient Advisory and Liaison Service) about the future. They are sending Amanda back to see me again tomorrow (I don't like seeing someone like this without someone else being there but they can't, they say, give me a time).  It still seems that the critical date is 14-December but I have still have no idea who makes the decision and if it is made at the fracture clinic or if there is a subsequent meeting later that week (oh probably not because it is too close to Christmas) - the admin really is a bit of a mess. It is also difficult when they ring me when I have visitors - no privacy - seems the cards are all stacked in the hospital's favour.

Anyway very pleasant visits from David Daines, Roy Sears and Roger Hasdell this afternoon.

My friend Ray, who came to see me this morning has sent me a lovely image of Towcester - owned now by Julia Cook coming out of Blisworth Tunnel sometime before the repairs started in 1984.

Sunday, 29 November 2015

Day 24

Well, I don't think it has happened to me for 40 years, but I didn't wake up this morning until just after 7:30 - I am nearly always awake in time to have gone downstairs, made a cup of tea, and be back in bed to enjoy it by 06:15 so not to be compus mentus (well am I ever?) until after 07:30 is really quite an occasion.

Reminiscing on yesterday I thought my little part in the celebrations was lovely - thank you to everyone who organised it. And well done Sculptor for making it to such a venerable age when your estimated life span was probably not more than 30.

I had a lovely phone call yesterday from my friend (and former chiropractor when I lived in Woking) Callum Sibbald about the huge importance of Vitamin D.  Callum said he couldn't over emphasise the importance of Vitamin D for each and every one of us.  I shall see what the medicos suggest tomorrow but if necessary I shall purchase my own - I hope I don't need to.

Someone left a comment on this post about sunshine being a good supplier of Vitamin D.  I do spend a huge amount of time outside in the sun (when it shines of course) albeit I do, as a Kiwi, always wear a sunhat after having had a basal cell carcinoma removed 18 months ago.  I think as one gets older that one's ability to convert Vitamin D into Ceratonin can flag so may be that's the reason.  I'll check things out tomorrow and see what the story is.

A very quiet day today, I did find yesterday quite tiring yesterday mainly because I have been cuddled up in a warm hospital environment and yesterday was my first, for three weeks, out in the wet, cold and windy weather.

A lovely visit from Mikey P last night.  Mike is very keen that I eat properly once I am allowed home!

Saturday, 28 November 2015

Day 23

Lying here musing in the wee small hours about my diagnosed Vitamin D deficiency.  It has been identified since the first blood test, in A and E, that I am deficient in, amongst other things, Vitamin D and markedly so. I was told I would be given a Vitamin D supplement which I thought came in the form of a chewy pill roughly the size of a old penny which I am given twice a day but it now seems this is a calcium supplement. When the Geriatric (preposterous for me of course!) consultant visited during the week he again reiterated the need for Vitamin D and even spoke of a 50,000 unit booster. Well, when my friend Vicky visited last night, she was quick enough to ask the nurse what format the Vitamin D supplement was coming in.  It's not because it seems it was never prescribed. There were three professionals in the room when the consultant said I needed the supplement. As it is now the weekend that cannot be resolved until Monday.  Vitamin D has the nickname 'the happy vitamin' and the deficiency I have probably explains the anxiousness I feel on some days.

I am not best pleased that the supplement has not been prescribed and that as it was discovered it wasn't being prescribed on a Friday evening nothing can be done until Monday morning - this is the 5 day-a-week NHS that the current government is banging on about and that aspect has been brought home in no uncertain terms to me.

I have confirmed with Gabriella, today's duty nurse, that she remembers me being advised I needed additional Vitamin D but she also confirmed that it is not on my list of medicines to be given and they can't do anything until Monday.  I just wonder why there are two days in the week when errors cannot be addressed. People get ill (and get better) no matter what day of the week it is.

Now time to think about going to Stoke Bruerne this afternoon.

Just had the bandaging permanently removed so if anyone wishes to see my 'war wound' they only have to ask!

The new banner for Sculptor to
celebrate her 80 years - Lynda Payton
A lovely outing back to my beloved stomping ground of Stoke Bruerne today to help celebrate the 80th birthday of Sculptor, Canal & River Trust's Small Northwich former working boat.  Sculptor was delivered on 28-November-1935. We had a lovely cake and plenty of cups of tea (always a good thing) followed by a pleasant evening in The Navigation. Thank you to everyone who made the visit so special for me.

The banner above says:

  • Don't I look good for my age?
  • I was conceived on 29-December-1934
  • I was delivered on 28-November-1935
  • I am owned by the Canal & River Trust and looked after by volunteers from The Friends of The Canal Museum
  • I used to carry cargo for the Grand Union Canal Carrying Co and was a Fire Boat during World War 2
  • I helped maintain the Shropshire Union Canal for many years and came to Stoke Bruerne in 1986 as an example of a Small Northwich working boat

Friday, 27 November 2015

Day 22

Well here we are three weeks on from 'the fall'.  I have not taken any painkillers since yesterday morning and whilst I can feel the hip a bit more I will try and maintain the 'no painkillers' standard if at all possible.  Did a lot of Physio exercises yesterday and I think it is the results of that I can feel this morning which I suppose is to be expected.

I enjoyed my little outing in the self-propelled wheelchair yesterday so I may go to the downstairs lounge later this morning for a little treat; that will, I hope, boost my confidence for the trip to Stoke Bruerne tomorrow. Slightly anxious about the visit to Stoke Bruerne only because I am not sure of my stamina and I feel I may flag easily after so long in a warm hospital. The only way to find out is to do it and see what happens.

Last night was The Friends of The Canal Museum AGM and the first one I have missed since living in Stoke Bruerne.  The chairman, David Blagrove, also missed the AGM as sadly he, like me, is resident in NGH. I do hope things went well and that my friend, Lorna, who is vice-chairman, had a trouble-free evening.

Amanda's visit to me yesterday was on behalf of Matron Naomi Walters but that wasn't a made clear. I know I shouldn't be but I am still anxious about the short-term future after 14-December and the possibility of being sent outside Northampton for specialist care. It all revolves around being outside my sphere of friends and the ability of them to visit and for people to wash my clothes etc. as the NHS don't (understandable) but to expect friends to travel up to 60 miles round trip to visit and help keep me in clean knickers for an indeterminate period does make me anxious. I find my feelings are all over the place at the moment and that's just down to lack of clarity and the knowledge that, with almost complete certainty, home is not a viable option for some time. I shall keep doing the Physio exercises in the hope that may help tip the balance towards being allowed home.

A lovely, and unexpected,  visit from Bill Mann this afternoon just back from harvesting olives on his small holding in southern Italy. Thank you Bill.

After Bill left my friend Sue sent me an SMS message suggesting I make contact with Age UK to,ask about help (oh how I hate having to ask for help).  However I did and it seems from talking to them that NGH must:

  • Brief me on the help that is available to me outside the NHS
  • Discuss my care plan with me (they have now had more than three weeks to do that)
  • Take into account my personal needs

None of that has been done in any professional way at all (and only in fits and starts when I have asked) in the time I have been here.  I do understand they are under pressure with the volume of patients (customers) they have but there comes a time when they must front up and talk to me.  I am starting to get to the stage when I will refuse to do anything unless I have someone of my choosing with me at any discussions.

This evening Vicky popped in and we had a lovely long chat covering a huge range of subjects - Vicky mentioned that she wondered if the reason I have felt a bit down on some days is attributable to the Vitamin D deficiency identified (Vicky called it the 'happy vitamin) for which the prescription on my notes seems to have gone west.  The nursing staff have promised to follow up with this on Monday.

It seems that the Vitamin D supplement asked for by Dr Naz (the Consultant Geriatric doctor) earlier in the week has not been 'written up' so despite me thinking I was receiving it I have not been.  Being a weekend nothing can be done until Monday - this should be a seven day a week NHS and not a five day a week NHS. I do understand Jonathan Hunt's view on this.

Thursday, 26 November 2015

Day 21

Goodness me it is hard to comprehend that it will be three weeks tomorrow since I slipped, fell and snapped my hip. It doesn't seem possible. This morning marks day 8 of my time in Cliftonville.

Although I am awake in the wee small hours I feel a lot more sanguine about things now I understand the rough outline of what will happen over the next few weeks.  The milestone date is 14-December when I have an appointment to see Mr Northover, an appointment that is critical to what happens to me from then on. In the meantime my obligation is to continue with the Physio exercises I have been given to strengthen the muscles in my legs and upper body and to increase the range of movement around the bad hip without doing any damage.  It's two and a half weeks of just being in Cliftonville (which is not the most inspiring thought) but I am starting to get things in my diary to do such as Sculptor's 80th birthday and Illuminated Boats and Carols on the cut in Stoke Bruerne.  I have a standing invitation to go to the Boat Inn for their 'seniors' Christmas meal on 8-December but I am mindful that the cost is £25 each way in the specialist taxi.

I have started to put things in place for going home and to that end have asked Bob the Blacksmith to quote for a handrail for the two steps from the towpath to my front door (around £100 I think) and have asked DJ Hutchings (who rebuilt the house two and a half years ago) to quote for bannisters on the inside of the stairwell and a seat in the shower.  I know these are probably things that Occupational Therapy would cover the cost of but I believe I have an obligation to the conservation area I live in and to the house to ensure any additions to accommodate my (hopefully short-term) reduced mobility are in keeping with the house and the conservation area. I am contemplating if I should have a slightly larger shower cubicle which I believe the bathroom can accommodate.

I have taken the decision this morning to stop the Paracetamol tablets in the morning on the basis that if I do need them I just have to ask and if I don't then I am one step further down the road of weaning myself off, what could be, addictive painkillers. You get very little support in your decisions which, in the main, are met with 'it's your decision'.

I have just had 15 minutes with Amanda who came to talk about my options (I think as a result of my letter to NGH).  It seems the following will happen:

  • Next milestone is the Fracture Clinic on 14-December
  • Following that there will be a recommendation as regards weight bearing so nothing between now and 14-December
  • Non-weight bearing stay at Cliftonville :-(
  • Weight bearing gives two further options - either medical or social rehab
  • Medical rehab probably doesn't apply to me because in reality I don't have a medical condition that needs attention
  • Social rehab probably does apply to me and the (again conflicting) advice is to take whatever location is offered - this includes 'intensive' physio. I have pointed out that any location other than Turn Furlong (see link on right) will mean reduced visiting and reduced ability to get the 'domestic' things done
  • There is a very long odds option that they will allow me to go home but, at the moment, that's such long odds that it is probably not worth putting any money on
From a pragmatic point-of-view I think the only option currently open to me is to sit tight and wait for the Fracture Clinic appointment (18 days away) and hope for the best of possible outcomes from that appointment. I'm just not sure how I can influence anything other than to religiously undertake the exercises given me by the physio team.

My friend Lynda came to see me this afternoon after 10 days in Spain and encouraged me to go for a trip in the wheelchair I had.  It was of the type that you can't propel yourself.  One of the nurses saw that Lynda was pushing me and provided an exchange one that I can propel so we've done a tour of the building and had a coffee downstairs and I now have codes for the two doors for when I get home on Saturday evening.  Another milestone, small as it may be. Thank you Lynda.

A lovely visit from Sarah Brown of CRT on her way home tonight.  We had a good laugh and discussed the various options open to me in the future.

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Day 20

Spent a bit of time yesterday planning my Saturday visit to Stoke Bruerne to help celebrate the 80th birthday of Sculptor. Sculptor is CRT's museum boat.  I had to get permission from the ward I am in and then arrange a special, wheelchair friendly, taxi.  What a palaver - I need to get back on my feet as soon as possible.

Still waiting to hear if I can 'toe touch' with my right foot. I find things like this, that seem to me to be so easy to find out, are terribly long winded and hide-bound in processes that are beyond my comprehension.  There's just no sense of urgency or understanding that, although I am technically a patient, I am in reality a customer of the NHS and as such should be treated as one. I have been paying my dues for as long as I can remember because I was obliged to and in the hope and expectation I wouldn't have to make use, in any serious way, of the facilities the NHS offer.  The reality now is that I am obliged to ask for assistance and I just think I should be treated more as a customer than a commodity.

09:00 - I believe the consultant (I believe he is a geriatric consultant - preposterous!) is visiting today - probably in about 30 mins (but who knows).  I do wish I had received more advance notice (well any notice as it was just dropped casually into the conversation). Also the discharge matron (Naomi Walters) is scheduled to come and see me tomorrow (Thursday) to discuss the things that haven't happened that I believe should have.

Three visits within a very short time this morning:
  • Physio - I can now partially weight bear - it is called 'toe-touching' which means I am now permitted to 'dot' my right toes on the ground as a balance aid when using the crutches and zimmer - it makes it all so much easier
  • Chiropodist - she's cut my toenails and given me a clean bill of health feet wise. Something I had planned to do anyway and it is reassuring to find my feet are in good order
  • Consultant - nothing much to report other than my Vitamin D levels are still very low and causing a bit of concern.  They will give me a booster of Vitamin D later this week (thankfully not by injection)
  • And I have a firm date and time for the Fracture Clinic - 14:30 on 14-December
A very pleasant, but brief, visit this afternoon from Roger H.

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Day 19

Information came to hand late last night that gives a lot more clarity to the short term future of what may happen to me (I still have this over-riding feeling that it should not have required the external pressure it did to produce this information):  
  • I have a provisional appointment for the fracture clinic for 19-December (just less than 4 weeks away).
  • I will not be permitted to weight bear before that appointment
  • That appointment should give clarity around my ability to weight bear (I am expecting to be allowed to weight bear following that appointment)
  • I won't move to any long term rehabilitation until I can weight bear
So extrapolating that out a bit it means, I think, that I shall remain at Cliftonville until at least 19-December and then, if allowed to weight bear, will move on to more longer term rehabilitation in the week before Christmas - see options in the panel to the right - 'Options for Rehab' - my only option, I believe, is Turn Furlong.  That kind of drives a coach and horses through the plans my friend Sue and I had for Christmas but she has a hip problem of her own (I think it is just 'old age' - she is 6 months older than me!) which needs addressing and for me it is just bad luck that my recuperation falls the way it does. We had yesterday decided to call a halt to our plans anyway in the light of the uncertainty we saw, at the time, of the short-term future for me.  In a moment of practibility it is important to remember, that despite the issues I have faced here, the clinical care has been outstanding and my part of the deal is to follow the instructions the medics give me as we are in a partnership to get me back to full mobility as soon as we can.

All of this raises some concerns about moving back home (concerns raised at this early stage when not really knowing what my mobility will be like):

  • Negotiating the stairs (bannisters only on one side)
  • Negotiating the front steps (there's no support in the form of 'bannisters' to help)
  • Getting up the Jetway (that's the steep little path between No 4 and the Spice of Bruerne) if I use the back door and am making my way to the towpath
  • Cleaning the house (will Occupational Therapy give guidance I wonder)
  • Changing the sheets (will Occupational Therapy give guidance I wonder)
  • Doing the ironing/washing (will Occupational Therapy give guidance I wonder)
  • Showering - I like the seat in the Cliftonville shower but wonder if my shower is too small (will Occupational Therapy give guidance I wonder)
  • Shopping - Groceries - good opportunity to try out on line delivery I expect
  • Driving (I need to get back in my MX-5)
I have this morning asked for confirmation of the short-term plan outlined above but I am told Cliftonville doesn't know what the plan is yet despite asking.  It seems there is a plan but no one is sharing it with me apart from the information I received last night. Hopeless is the word that comes to mind - how can I possibly plan anything other than on information that I have been privy to - just a bit of open honesty within the hospital would go miles towards making me less anxious. No morning tea this morning - I must be on the naughty step again!

I have asked to be put on the list for the Chiropody visit tomorrow - my expectation is that it won't happen - why would it when nothing else has - call me a cynic if you wish but it is my perception!

Just had a visit from the discharge team - a little bit more clarity but not a lot - it seems they run independently to the nurses here at Cliftonville.  The 19-December date for the fracture clinic is an approximate date; they don't issue firm appointments until the week before; they'd never get a planning job with me I am afraid.  There's some debate now if I am permitted to 'touch toe' weight bear - there is a comment in my notes to this effect dated 10-November but every other comment I have had says NWB (Non Weight Bearing) and I have been ticked off for taking a tiny 'balance' weight on my right leg so the discharge team and I are confused by the comment. They are endeavouring to contact the physio this afternoon.

I have been warned that the fracture clinic may extend my non-weight bearing over Christmas which would be dispiriting or I may be sent to a specialist care home or I may be allowed home with visits three times a day to ensure I am OK or I may be allowed home and only permitted to live on one floor - I think that's unviable in reality.

I have kicked things off by asking my builder about bannisters (to match the current ones) down the inside of the stairwell (and a seat in my shower) and I have e-mailed the local blacksmith (Bob the Blacksmith) to see if he would make me a handrail, in keeping with the house, for the steps up to the front door.

Lovely visits this afternoon from Steph Furniss, Emma Hermon and Sarah Brown (all of CRT) and Helen Westlake (with some lovely washed clothes - thank you Helen) and Mike P both from Stoke Bruerne Canal Partnership. A lovely visit late this evening from Roy Sears; he came complete with a 1,000 piece jigsaw of a narrowboat for me to complete - thank you Roy it is much appreciated.

Monday, 23 November 2015

Day 18

A very good night's sleep.  If nothing else I am sleeping well although at one stage when I woke during the night I did think my leg was aching a bit - it's OK now.

Today is a day of expectation - I am hoping a lot of things will happen today as a result of questions that have been asked over the weekend.  Specifically I am expecting to have a care plan agreed with me and that may just give me a clue as to where I am going next and when my appointment with the consultant/registrar/fracture clinic may be.  I also need my toe nails cut - I just can't get to them and they are starting to 'irritate' me and are a little bit sore.  The NHS can't do anything about it because they might cut me by mistake - it's quite crazy.  I think I am going to have to wait until Wednesday when a Chiropodist visits - I expect at my age to see such a person is not a bad idea. I am also expecting to see a doctor today to find out if it is necessary to look at the wound or if the dressing is best left alone - it's not been touched since it was put in place on 7-November and also to tell me if the tightness in my right calf muscle is 'expected' (could be the case I think) or if it needs attention.

Don't look if you are squeamish!
Well what a difference this morning - they can't do enough for me!  I wonder if someone said something over the weekend? Gabriella is back on duty and kindly took the dressing off my thigh and Alison came in to take off the steri strips. They are all amazed at how well the scar has healed.

Physio has been this morning (I did say things were happening) and says all OK but I must keep practicing with the crutches (I do find them difficult).  I do have permission to go Sculptor's 80th birthday do in Stoke Bruerne on Saturday as long as I don't get out if my wheelchair, which will be good  for me I am sure. The most important thing on the critical path now is a date for assessment of the way the bones are knitting together and the strength of the repair to my hip. Next is where I will go for the longer term rehabilitation.

14:45 and no sign of a doctor and no sign of anything being done to produce a care plan or a date for seeing the consultant/registrar/fracture clinic- slightly tongue-in-cheek but it is, sadly, within my expectations. 17:00 and still no sign of the doctor or the care plan or the date for consultant/registrar/fracture clinic - another day when things that were 'promised' haven't been delivered. The information I have found on the NGH website says my care plan should be started on the day I arrive at the hospital so it is at least 18 days late now if my maths is correct.

Lovely visits this evening from Louise, Mike, James and Roy & Christine Sears - thank you all for enhancing my day.

Sunday, 22 November 2015

Day 17

I had a lovely visit last night from my friend (and SE Waterway manager) Vicky Martin. Vicky, with my blessing, has taken on a role of advocate for me in dealing with the NHS.  There is no doubt that the clinical care I have received has been outstanding but the 'what happens now' and the processes I must go through have, IMHO, not been the NHS' finest hour. So much hasn't been delivered as it should have been.  I would love to publish Vicky's e-mail to me from last night but, I think that would break confidences.  Suffice to say I feel so much better about the future.  It is not going to make my hip get better quickly, it not going to stop a difficult road ahead but, I think, it is going to cut a swathe through the NHS beauracracy which can do nothing but help and it will help hugely with me knowing where I am going.  We have a plan in place for me to attend Sculptor's 80th birthday celebrations in Stoke Bruerne next Saturday.

There are four possible specialist care centres where I may be sent from Cliftonville - Cliftonville is just a departure lounge in effect which takes you out of the hospital environment (and releases a critical bed) whilst you await a place in a specialist care centre.

The four specialist care centres in Northamptonshire are (all the names are clickable for more information):

Longlands in Daventry - 18 miles from Stoke Bruerne
Turn Furlong in Northampton - closest by 10 miles
Spinneyfields in Rushden - 22 miles from Stoke Bruerne
Thackley Green in Corby - 30 miles from Stoke Bruerne

My preference, without doubt, has to be Turn Furlong.  I fear if I am sent to any of the others visiting will reduce significantly and I am not sure how I would get any washing done. I have a view that recovery (and back to weight bearing for me) is not only about clinical recovery but holistic recovery brought about by visits from my friends (which so far has humbled me) and all the 'soft' standards of care. Also regular Physio; I have not had any Physio since I arrived here (4 days now) apart from the exercises I am doing. I feel I do have an entitlement to Physio but it is, so far, conspicuous by its absence.

At 13:15 I asked if I may see the duty nurse (just a question about the dressing on my wound as it has not been changed since it was put there on 7-November).  I will leave until 16:00 but my expectation is that I will have to ask again at that stage. It is now 16:08 and no one has been near me - I really don't think it is good enough. I have just asked again to talk with the nurse (16:35) and been told that she is extremely busy - I did point out that I believed I had a right to talk to the nurse - the care assistant just turned and walked out - at least she can - I can't. It's not getting any easier.

Not hugely impressed with this evening's offering for tea - 50% of what's been offered previously at three small sandwiches, a 'fluffy' pudding and a cup of tea.  Again not sure it is good enough. I understand the kitchen staff came and took a fair proportion of the sandwiches away before they should have.

17:45 - have asked again to see the nurse.  Now not only to ask about the dressing but also the right calf muscle feels tight and I just don't know if it should or not. She came at 18:00 to give me an injection (a daily one in my tummy to combat DVT) so I challenged her.  Very busy with two seriously ill patients and she's on by herself with 22 patients, which I quite understand, but a message to say that would have been really helpful not just an immediate answer from a Care Assistant to that effect. Any way there's nothing she can do about my questions until a doctor comes tomorrow - I am surprised there is not a duty doctor on call in the building perhaps but then my questions, which may be important to me may not, in the scheme of things, be important - I just don't know, it's not my area of expertise. I would have thought, however, following the assessment for me to come here, that anyone as seriously ill as has been intimated, should perhaps be in the main hospital and not Cliftonville but that's just me thinking out loud.

What I have huge trouble in understanding is I am constantly told that if there is anything I am concerned about or want I only have to ask; when I do nothing happens.  I can only conclude it must be me that really doesn't comprehend what's happening.

Saturday, 21 November 2015

Day 16

A good night's sleep but in the 'midnight watches' I have been mulling over yesterday's happenings and I still don't feel the least bit comfortable about the way I have been treated.  From a clinical point-of-view the treatment has been outstanding but the standards outside of that have not been good.  To that end a friend has kindly e-mailed me overnight with a link to the NHS Your Care after discharge from hospital web page which makes interesting reading and seems to me, to be at odds with my experiences so far.

I am very sorry if people reading this feel I am a bit 'down' at the moment.  I think the reality is that I am feeling a bit sorry for myself. I think I know why that is and in essence revolves around a complete lack of clarity as to what the short term future holds for me coupled with the proximity of Christmas. I receive different views from different health care professionals and I just don't know who to believe and so much revolves around the critical milestone of the ability to bear weight on my right leg and what happens immediately after that - home or a move to a different place for rehabilitation. It's the uncertainty, now I have come out the initial stages of recovery, that I find hugely difficult to deal with. As my Dad once said - 'things can only get better'.

One of the things I have found most interesting (and very odd) is that in the caring profession that nursing is when I have had the need to 'complain' I am either met with aggression or complete disinterest.  Recovery from trauma is, in my opinion, an holistic event, which includes the best possible conditions for the trauma to repair and, most importantly, feeling good about your care and yourself.  It seems the nursing profession are empowered to sit and listen and help when things go wrong but only from a theoretical standpoint; when it comes to the reality of helping someone who is agitated about their care, as I am now, it becomes a retreat into one of two camps - aggression or walking away from the issue.  It is an issue I believe the NHS need to grasp or at the very least have people available 24x7 to be able to be called in to help who are empowered to take positive action to resolve the issue.

A very therapeutic visit from my friend Helen W this afternoon and also most grateful that Roger H gave of his time to visit.  This was followed by a visit from Vicky Martin (manager SE Waterway for Canal & River Trust) who has taken on the role of advocate for me with the NHS - that's so helpful. I dearn't think what she's doing even now!

Mel, who lives next door, came with new Tee shirts and knickers - I won't be 'Nicholas Parsons' for a while now! Bless you Mel.

Saddened to learn of a nasty helicopter accident in Westland (South Island, New Zealand) on Saturday.

Friday, 20 November 2015

Day 15

It seems hardly possible but today at about 10:20 marks two weeks since I fell and broke my hip - where does the time go to?

One of the blessings of Cliftonville is that there is free WiFi which I find very helpful as I have my MacBook Air, iPad, iPhone and iPod here and everything is connected so I can continue some of the non-physical work I was doing now that I am not spending a fair proportion of my time dealing with the break. I muse about how we survived without WiFi and the Internet but the fact of the matter is that we did and a huge number of people continue to do so.

Still not seen anyone from the management team and been 'welcomed' to Cliftonville - I still find that rather odd and also there are no instructions as to what to do in the event of a fire - surely that can't be right. And dirty breakfast dishes still on my beside table at 10:45 but gone by 11:00.

Have spoken to a Physio this morning who is trying to make my chair more comfortable - it really is the most uncomfortable chair I have ever sat in.  They are looking to see what they can do to help. She confirmed definitely no walking until the week before Christmas at the earliest and only then if Mr Northover says yes. B£&&£cks.

The other dilemma I have sorted this morning is to do with money.  I have £110 in cash but if friends kindly buy me things I need, once the £110 has gone I could see no way of getting more cash - there's an ATM in NGH but nothing, that I am aware of, here and I can't get to the cash machine (or the end of the corridor here).  The standard answer seems to be get the family to help which doesn't apply for me (elderly cousins in Thannet, Monmouth, Kingston-on-Thames, Iver, Queen Camel and Buxton all of whom are 'slip sliding away' in one form or another and all considerably older than me; my sister is 12,500 miles away).  My bank (Natwest) have an 'App' which they have now activated for me which means I can 'Get Cash'; that effectively means I can pay someone say £20 - I give them a code which they can input into a Natwest, RBS or Tesco ATM and it will deliver the amount I have authorised once the code is input.  The code lasts 3 hours. Sounds workable to me.

Oh dear such a session just now with Gabriella one of the nurse managers.  Feeling very 'unloved' at the moment because I don't know what is in the plan for me - I've not been part of the process at any stage. The following should have happened on discharge from NGH but didn't:

  • An explanation that there would be no cost to me of the move to Cliftonville
  • What my care plan looks like at the moment
  • An explanation that Cliftonville is very short term and that I will be moved to a longer term care place at some time in the very near future
  • A discussion about my personal circumstances e.g. family (well lack of for me) etc etc.

I am left with the over-riding feeling that the move to Cliftonville was much more about releasing an acute bed than anything else. I have no problem at all with that as long as I understood, and was consulted about, the reason but I wasn't.

I also think that I should have an appointment now in my diary for seeing the consultant so as I know when the decision will be made as to weight bearing.  At the moment I have no idea when that appointment will be and if it will be too close to Christmas to take advantage of being home in time for Christmas.

Just had some time with Alison (a manger here) it seems I should have had a 1:1 with the Discharge Team and been told where I was going and why and what the future is but not a thing.  She was terribly defensive telling me in no uncertain terms that it was nothing to do with her.

Just as we were finishing our chat a lady called Cherry from the discharge team arrived saying none of the required paper work had been completed and of course I would not be aware of anything.  It transpires the hospital has been on 'Black Alert' this week and the idea of moving me out was to release an acute bed; I understand and accept that without question by why oh why did they not talk to me about it. Cliftonville is, in reality, an airport terminal where the reasonably fit are sent to await a move to rehabilitation to places such as Turn Furlong.  However, because I am non weight bearing I am not considered ready for rehabilitation so I may stay here but equally possible is that I may be sent anywhere in Northamptonshire - I do not like the sound of that at all but it seems I have no voice in my care at all.  That cannot be right and something I will need to take up with Andrea Leadsom. It seems Christmas will be off the menu for a second year in a row unless I can convince my friend Sue to come and stay in Northampton. Oh and no date to see Mr Northover so no idea when I will be able to get a decent idea of a weight bearing date.  I am feeling sadly disillusioned and extremely frustrated this afternoon.  Oh and no physio until Monday at the earliest.

Thursday, 19 November 2015

Day 14

A view from where I am currently sitting
Well part way through my first night at Cliftonville - finding control of body temperature a bit of a challenge at the moment.  It is very quiet here which is a blessing.  I think I am going to have to get hold of a wheel-chair to ensure I get out and about a little as I struggle to hop more than 20m with the zimmer and I really don't feel safe or confident on crutches yet.  All the effort that goes into moving goes through my left leg and hip and I am mindful that puting too much stress there won't help in the long term.

I think today will be a bit of a learning curve about how things work here - seems to be very flexible and friendly so far.

Surprisingly no one from the 'management' side of things has been to say hello - I did think that might happen.  Have been to lunch; food very good (parsnip soup, chicken breast wrapped in bacon with BBQ sauce, mash and vegetables followed by sponge pudding and custard) but before the tea/coffee Mother Nature said the time is nigh so I asked if I may go - well I was flabberghasted when I was only allowed to go under sufferance - I am not a child!  Company not of my choosing but that's life but I am not sure I can cope with six weeks of it!

A lovely visit from my friend Rob Westlake this afternoon where we put a lot of Sculptor things to bed.

Sandwiches for tea, I do like that idea, and then a very pleasant visit from Sarah Brown of Canal & River Trust. She told me all about the renovations her partner George is undertaking to their home. Much more interesting than a broken hip in my view.

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Day 13

A very good night's sleep.  No hot flushes or sweats.  Physio first thing I imagine and then who knows what excitement awaits!

I hear on the news that former All Black, Jona Lomu has died at 40.  Before his time but does it really rate interviews with John Key (NZ's Prime Minister), Jonathan Coleman (Sports Minister) and all the Twitter wringing of hands?  I think not - just take a look at the front page of New Zealand's main digital information pages I really feel we have lost the ability to acknowledge death (not passing or any other word that avoids the word death) in a dignified way.

07:25 - please may I have a shower.  Just a minute and we'll organise it
07:40 - please may I have a shower.  Just a minute and we'll organise it
08:00 - nothing - exasperated I am afraid.

Sadly just had a row with one of the Care Assistants.  She said she didn't know why I was in a hurry (her words) to have a shower because I wasn't going anywhere.  That kind of cut to the quick - I know I am hospital bound for a while but to have someone reinforce it in that way is irritating in the extreme and quite hurtful.  She then took me to the shower where I asked for some shower gel. She said she would get it.  20 mins later I have finished my shower (without the shower gel) because she claims to have forgotten.  It's just one person, I know, but at the same time it is, IMHO, nowhere near good enough.

Now been told that Physio won't be until some time this afternoon - during visiting hours - great (not). I just cannot understand why, for the past three 'Physio' mornings, I have been taken to the gym at about 09:00, which seems a good routine to me, out of the blue I should be moved to an alternative time without any consultation at all.  Emotionally I have no intention of playing the game and doing any Physio today, as I see that as my only bargaining tool (I can do most of what is required in my room anyway). I really find some of the processes beyond comprehension and yet, to balance the books, the care, on the whole, has been so good.

A good chat with 'Irish Pat' at lunchtime has cleared a few cobwebs.

Just had a visit from Paul (he was taught history by David Blagrove at Roade!) from Avery Health Care and it looks as if I may move to Cliftonville (still I think on the hospital estate) later this afternoon.  I expect it will happen, as with all things here, when it happens!

Stop Press - move is on with 2 hour stopover somewhere in the hospital.  

Well that 'somewhere' is the Discharge Lounge (rather like the gate at an airport before boarding) and I am waiting with baited breath (been here an hour now) for the magical ambulance that will transfer me to Cliftonville. It was another 'magical mystery tour' - I think we went around Northampton General Hospital about three times in the dark but I am now well settled in my new abode and very posh it is too.

A lovely visit from Vicky this evening.

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Day 12

A good night's sleep but I did wake up in a bit of a sweat about 00:30 which I don't really understand. I did start a complaint last night about my time at the Dexa scan; not for any other reasons than:
  • it doesn't help with rehabilitation
  • because I am young (a relative term you understand) enough and perhaps articulate enough to do it
  • because it will, hopefully, feed into the 'training needs analysis' (corporate speak if ever I saw it) for the person concerned
  • because I just didn't like being treated in the way I was and I felt belittled
I thought long and hard about raising a complaint, but the treatment yesterday was so at odds with the treatment I have received so far in NGH, and two of my friends suggested it was the right thing to do, that I came to the conclusion to go ahead.

I am finding it perceptibly easier and quicker to get up, have a shower and get dressed - I think I was five minutes quicker this morning than I was yesterday so despite my slight despondency yesterday, in the light of a good night's sleep progress, however small, is being made.

Today's excitement is going to be a change of dressing on my 'war' wound.  A warning for the squeamish - I will try and get a photo of the wound. Update at 15:45.  The dressing has been looked at and it was decided that it looks so good that there should be no external intervention at his stage so the squeamish amongst you are saved for the time being.

Bit of an hiatus this morning as my notes have gone missing.  It is, I understand, usually the responsibility of the Doctor (and there are plenty of them around) not putting them back in the right place. There's a search party out now scouring the ward for the elusive paperwork! Found.

A quick chat with the Occupational Therapist just now.  Looks like I will go to an interim place  of care and that will either be Cliftonville or Turn Furlong - maybe Cliftonville first and then Turn Furlong.  That puts a bit of clarity around the immediate future - timescales probably not until early next week but experience shows that may be in 10 mins time!  It's really quite exciting here.

Here endeth a much better day. I wonder what tomorrow will bring!

Monday, 16 November 2015

Day 11

Please remember the one minute silence at
11:00 GMT today in memory of those who
lost their lives, those affected by and those who
continue to work on, the fallout from Friday's atrocities
A really good night's sleep in my new single room and no noise at all.

I have received a lovely e-mail overnight from Christoph 'Bastard' who is now working in the British Virgin Islands with his family just outside Sydney.

I expect today will be one with some interesting outcomes as I am sure the matter of me moving on will be discussed at some stage.  I am ready to go to somewhere else as I think that will help with my recovery.  I must however say that, on the two occasions when I have had an emergency admission to hospital, the NHS have delivered including, of course, on this occasion. Not everything to my satisfaction and hugely bound by processes and regulations (they are not allowed to take a chocolate from my (increasing) supply when I have offered it) but on the whole they have got me to a stage in less than 10 days where I can:
  • walk around albeit aided and only hoping
  • shower and dress myself
  • turn down painkillers
So well done NHS - not perfect but in reality, in the circumstances you find yourself, a very good show.

Just been advised I am off for a DXA (bone density) scan sometime today. If they scan my head they'll get a full scale 'dense' reading - anyone of my age who falls over and breaks their hip must be a bit dense. Anyone reading this who may be coming to visit (and of course I'd welcome that) please be aware that I may be being Dexa'd as no one has any idea when I may be going. I'll update the blog when I know, if I can. Stop Press - DXA scan is at 11:00

DXA scan over and done with - I thought they were a bit rough with my leg and that I was just a commodity (I probably am) but honour has been satisfied and the scan is complete. In fact in hindsight I think the operator's understanding of customer care was 0%. Update at 20:30 - following a chat with a friend of mine I have decided to formalise a 'complaint' because I am lucky enough to have the ability to do something whereas an elderly lady, for example, who is in the normal range for broken hips (85-90) would probably still be treated the same way but not have the ability to speak out. Also it is completely at odds with the way I have, in the main, been treated since my admission so it is not fair to have one person bring down the overal standard in the way it was brought down.  My aim is get the person concerned ongoing training in being kind and pleasant to patients.

A quiet afternoon with a lovely visit from Roger Hasdell and I was so pleasantly surprised to see Trevor Morley, from whom I bought the house.

No news on what the next move is for me so I have decided that the first move needs to come from the hospital; I shall be in a position, following research, to know what questions to ask but I assume I'll get 10 mins notice of moving!

I just don't feel I have made any progress at all today probably due to my experience with the DXA scan this morning - I know progress isn't a straight line and I'll just have to accept some days of marking time; today I think is the first of one of those days, let's hope there aren't too many of them.

Sunday, 15 November 2015

Day 10

Another uneventful night.  I expect Mrs Noisyness in the next bay may have been discharged to some other type of care.

I discovered yesterday the type of place I may be sent as a 'halfway house'. The one suggested to me by a friend is one used a lot by Northamptonshire County Council and lies just to the north of the town at Turn Furlong Specialist Centre, Kingsthorpe - click here for details. If that's the kind of place then I am all for it and I'll go as soon as they think I am ready.

I expect another quiet day as it's Sunday which makes me think kneeling might not be too easy!

A lovely Sunday lunch of roast turkey and all the trimmings.

Christoph - I am pleased to see an
image of hips behind him!
I had one of those 'eureka' moments this morning when I remembered that one of the people we went round Australia with in 1996 in our little Citroen 2CVs is Christoph 'Bastard' Ahrens MD from Germany (Bastard because there is, apparently, no German equivalent for the word and they loved it)! Christoph is an Orthoepaedic surgeon (in Australia now I think) and he will be so helpful, I know, in giving me good advice for the longer term future. The image on the left is a very professional Christoph - my abiding memory of him is lying under his beloved 2CV somewhere near Lassiter's Cave after coming off the Gunbarrel Highway in the middle of the night and pouring rain with his rear suspension hanging off. Oh we did have some laughs then!

I must have done something very wrong today as I have now been banished to a side room - it is actually very nice and quiet and I can do my own thing.  I am having an interesting chat with my friend Christoph (above).

Saturday, 14 November 2015

Day 9

I hope everyone reading this little blog about one person's recovery from a small, but serious, breakage of a right hip, will take time today to reflect and consider the utter pointless tragedy (no other word for it in my view) of the events in Paris overnight.  People who had gone out for an evening's entertainment at the end of a working week, never to return, and those who will have indelible scars, either physical or phsyoclogical etched upon them for the remainder of their lives - we should stand four square with France and everything that's against terrorism for as long as it takes. And least we forget the police and defence peoples fighting this scourge of modern times.

We had a much quieter night, in fact I would say just quiet.  As it is Saturday there will be no trips to Physio or Radiology and sadly, no magical mystery tour in the offing today but I am sure there will be surprises and the unexpected just around the corner to keep me on my toes.

A lovely shower this morning and a time to wash my hair which was getting pretty awful.  Thank you Mel for bringing the shampoo and conditioner in.

It is so quiet here this morning - no buzz from the doctors, physiotherapists, radiologists and Occupational Therapists doing their 'thing'.  Health does seem to me to be a 24 hour a day, 7 day a week issue so I fully understand the Secretary of State for Health's view that we must move to a 7 day a week operation but the challenge for him is how to get there whilst at the same time keeping the costs under control and the staff on side - quite a challenge.

A really quiet day (as of 18:00) if you exclude the early morning enema for the poor lady in the next door bed!  A lovely visit from Roger Hasdell and then from my friend Rob Westlake.  Weekends really are quiet which is something that passed me by last weekend when I was, I expect, struggling to get over the operation to put screws in my hip.

I expect Sunday will be the same (I have ordered roast turkey and all the trimmings for lunch so at least that will be a highlight!) - I can hardly contain my excitement until it all starts off again on Monday. Seriously though I have been extremely well looked after by the team at my end of Abington Ward and I am truely grateful to them for their care and kindness.

Friday, 13 November 2015

Day 8

A much quieter night for all thank goodness.

I had a 'heart-to-heart' last night with the nurse in charge about what I perceive is lack of progress by Occupational Therapy - I think they need to get their act together on what the options are for me once I have outstayed my welcome in hospital.  She agreed and promised to take it up at their handover meeting this morning.

Vital signs are looking good with blood pressure (always an issue for me) at 127/77, resting heart rate at 77 and oxygen saturation at 97.7%. However I feel very stiff in the hips this morning which I suspect is because of my first proper visit to Physio yesterday.

What's in store for today - Physio at some stage and possibly a Dexa scan - I hope there are no more magical mystery tours!

10:45: Just back from Physio - I now have a 'dog lead' type of thing which means I can get my right leg back into bed without having to ask for assistance.  I have tried a small obstacle course (and not fallen over) and I have tried crutches (they will become part of me for some time I think) - they are surprisingly difficult. Oh and the most important thing of all is I am now permitted to go to the loo on my own - I wonder how many years ago that was said to me by my Mum! Time for a cup of tea I think - who knows what this afternoon will bring!

Well the geriatric doctors (what a cheek) have just been.  Everything is fine except that my Vitamin D levels are extremely low.  I'll have to look up where Vitamin D comes from but I did think the sun delivered a bit of it. I assume that Vitamin D helps the bones which may be why this one decided to part company in the 'middle'.

A quiet afternoon with lovely visits from Helen Westlake, Neil Owen and Mel Wikes (Mel, who lives next door, brought some clean clothes). This evening Mike Partridge and Louise Stockwin were kind enough to give of their time to come and see me.  I am very lucky to have such loyal friends.

Thursday, 12 November 2015

Day 7

Lots going on tonight in the wee small hours.  Everyone has to be 'turned' to stop pressure sores I understand.  Bit of a faff when you're comfortable and asleep but being in here one is likely not to have an urgent appointment first thing in the morning.

No crying out from the bay next door tonight which is a blessing; but the lady next door to me is complaining of an awful pain so the doctor is being summoned.

Oh dear I spoke too soon. The shouting and the screaming (which the staff say they can do nothing about) started at about 02:45 and continued until about 06:15.  It is very trying for everyone.

A busy morning this morning.  First it was can I wash and dress myself (well of course I can) but it is sobering to realise how limited one is after an injury.  I think it is quite clear that my Occupational Therapist doesn't understand Georgian designed houses and their stair wells - that's work in progress for me. No real news on what happens next or when I might be discharged.

Then an hour's session in the gym with the physiotherapists - I have always though that my dear Mum (who was a physio) was tough but not, it seems, as tough as the ladies I saw this morning. Lots of exercises to do which, however small they may seem, contribute to regaining my movement.

I am down for a Dexa scan either later today or tomorrow.  It is to do with bone density - there's concern about why my hip broke so easily and a Dexa scan will help determine that.

At 13:15 my charabang arrived (in reality a rather nice bed) and it was announced I was being wheeled off to Radiology for an X-Ray I assume to check the hip.  I lay outside Radiology for some time and even fell asleep.  After an interminable time I was taken in for my X-Ray and asked to confirm that I had had a recent replacement hip.  No I says a repaired hip. So I was wheeled out and back to the ward - just a magical mystery tour I think!  Sadly I had visitors but luckily didn't miss them.

A bit 'cross' this evening.  I still have to be wheeled to the loo; I asked 40 mins ago if I could go but the shift change has happened and there's no sign of the new shift.  I could press the call button but I think having asked once the 'service' should be delivered.  Likewise I am pushed to drink lots of fluid but my jug has been empty for two hours - again I could a press the call button but I think may be they should top up water as a matter of course.  May be they are just busy today. Still less water going in means less water going out!

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Day 6

Least We Forget - On the eleventh day of the eleventh month at the eleventh hour 'We shall remember them'.  Lying here through the 'midnight watches' it seems quite poignant that today is Armistice Day and the true Remembrance Day. I can lie here and have my broken hip repaired probably because someone, somewhere did give up all their tomorrow's so I could have my today - it's times like this I think of my Uncle Tom who died at the Battle of the Somme and has no known grave. The Stoke Bruerne Adoption Group will raise the Union flag today in my absence.

Also through the midnight watches I have listened to a 'mad woman' demanding her human right to some more Paracetemol - seems a bit odd to me especially on Remembrance Day.

A much better night so far - no hot sweats and just a bit more movement in the hips - progress at last seems to be kicking off but it will be a long road I fear. I am finally understanding the routine of this ward and getting used to the little idiosynccrasies of things - I am indebted to the commitment, kindness and 'nothing is too much trouble' attitude of the staff here - there have been no exceptions.

Thank you to everyone who has commented on here and on Canal World Discussion Forum - your thoughts are much appreciated.  I have most of my IT stuff here so can keep in touch with most things.

I am still 'agonising' over what to do in the gap period between being mobile and strong enough to leave NHG and not being mobile and strong enough to return safely to Stoke Bruerne.  I think the answer, for me, is a nice secure Care Home where I can be independent (have all facilities on the same level) but have the ability to fall back on professional care should that be required.  My concern is that my steep/tight stairs and the inability to weight bear on the right leg are quite incompatible - if anyone has any thoughts or perhaps (perish the thought) experience I would value it.

The Physios were here at 09:00 and I managed twice the distance I did yesterday - not far at all - I won't be entering the London marathon for a wee time yet! I have to hop no - and they mean no - weight bearing means having to hold my right leg above the floor left and hop at the same time - Ministry of Silly Walks comes to mind!

Marisa - the nurse in charge on our bit of the ward - has taken my catheter out this morning and therefore the challenge set for me today is to drink a lot and, I assume, wee at lot!  It sounds rather like an exciting chapter of  'Herge's Adventures of Tin Tin'.

Just been for a wee (good) and returned to find a sign on my bed to say 'Washing and Dressing assessment Thursday' - wonder if I should set up a live feed for good entertainment?

The woman visiting the next door bed this afternoon refused twice to move for me whilst I was hobbling from my chair to a commode to go to the loo (another wee).  Eventually she did, I am afraid, get the rough side of my tongue, but that was a watse of time - what a wholly ignorant person she is.

I have, on the other hand, been overwhelmed by the kindness and thoughtfulness of so many people and groups I have been part of over the years.  It would be wrong of me to single any one of them out but you know who are and how much your kindness is appreciated.

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Day 5

Woke up just after midnight in an awful sweat. Not sure why but things were soon sorted out. 

The issue that has arisen is how I deal with living from the time I am well (mobile and stable) and can leave Northampton General until I can use my house normally.

I may not be able to weight bear on my right leg or drive for three months so need to consider:
  • Staying in a posh care home
  • Staying with friends
  • Going home and having friends stay with me
The one thing I am sure of is that the NHS will not cast me adrift so it is a question of working with to find a suitable location to bridge the time between being discharged and when I can weight bear - there's plenty of opportunity it is just a case of what is the most appropriate choice for me. I need to consider the narrowness and turning circle on my stairs.

An amazing afternoon with the following kind people who took time out of their day to come and see me - Rod and Val from Byfleet in Surrey, Mike Gardner, from the Sculptor team John Highmore and Miriam Linforth from Canal & River Trust and Sam Samuells and Lynda Payton from Stoke Bruerne.  After they had gone I was wheeled down to pay a short visit to David Blagrove (from Stoke Bruerne) who is also in hospital. This evening Vicky Martin (CRT Waterway Manager SE) came to see me.

Monday, 9 November 2015

Day 4

Not a very pleasant night but some progress made today - first attempt to get out of bed was an abject failure with me almost failing to do anything at all apart from faint. Anyway further progress was made with the Occuptional Therapists, the Geriatric doctors (me geriatric - I ask you - what a cheek), the pharmacist,  the physios - it is quite amazing who you need to talk to and of course you just must keep in with your nurse, ward sister and care assistant (and not forget their names). I have been moved again to a quieter part of Abington Ward. No weight bearing on my right leg for some six weeks - I'll need to find out why that is.

Laughed until I cried last night.  We had been talking about an incident the waterway and what a lot of unnecessary fuss and bother about it there had been. At much the same time I had been checking my catheter bag (I had 500ml in it) and someone had suggested making a lemon drizzle cake.  As I am fairly useless all round at the moment I offered what was in my catheter bag as pre-warmed Lemon juice.  It has now been agreed that anything that is 'Warm Lemon Juice' is a rather poor idea!

Days 1,2,3

I'll try and keep this up-to-date as I make some progress following my fractured hip on 6-November-2015.

Well what a plonker - I slipped over coming out of the learning centre at the Canal & River Trust museum in Stoke Bruerne in Northants.  I thought I'd just regain my composure and walk off the bruising and everything would be fine.  Sadly not so - the head of my femur was snapped so a halt to normal operations was called (as was a first responder and an ambulance) and I was whisked off to Northampton General for a X-Ray (l'll attach it when I can) and was admitted.  Saturday and Sunday were a bit of a blurr with the femur being put back together by José on Saturday morning using an epidural (wonderful) in just under 2 hours.

I was moved from Cedar ward to Abington ward on Sunday afternoon as that's where the expertise in femur fractures is. Not a very pleasant evening - I was put in a ward of 6 with the remaining five suffering some form of dementure.

The image on the left was taken by my friend Sarah Brown from Canal & River Trust - the smaller of the images (on the right) shows a closeup of the fracture.
A closeup of the fracture