Oh hospitals ...
The staff are absolutely outstanding. Dad's nurses have that amazing mix of intelligence, care, skill, compassion and understanding, topped off with a detached efficiency when it's called for, and I am astounded at all they do and know. They should be paid squillions and work in palaces. They're always ready with a smile and a laugh, and nothing any of the patients asks of them is ever too much trouble. They run in and out of wards, from one bed to another, all day. They're so impressive.
Dad's also in the hands of physiotherapists, nutritionists, speech therapists, occupational therapists and doctors, and at last his condition has a name: polymyositis. It's an auto-immune condition that can be managed but not cured, and he's likely to be in hospital for another month. But the doctors are optimistic his health will improve, that he will regain strength and eventually return home.
He will need another month in hospital. We're hoping that some of that will be back in his hometown, Albany, so Mum at least can get back to some semblance of ordinary life. It's really tough on her. She doesn't know Perth very well at all, and much of the big teaching hospital and its daily workings confounds her. She just wants to know her husband of 58 years, whom she still calls 'darling', will eventually feel better and more comfortable, and be back in her care, back home with her and the dog, and leading as ordinary a life as possible.
It has been a long, horrible few months since he first elected to have a knee replacement in the first week of January. Not that this present condition seems a result of that surgery, but we can't help feeling that if he'd continued to manage the arthritis in his knee with acupuncture and painkillers, he'd have been so much better off! The little we know, though.
I know Dad's the one in the wars, confined and putting up with everything day after day after day, and in spite of all the fabulous staff, I have to say there are times I absolutely dread going to the hospital ... the sickly pastels, the goings-on behind drawn curtains and in wards with signs that say 'Next of kin only', the obstacle course of apparatus outside in the corridors, the beeping of hi-tech monitors, the sound of the sucking machine from the poor lady opposite Dad who's had some unspeakable procedure on her nose and throat, all the needles and clear plastic tubes, 'canulation', the 'bloods' lady, fluids in and fluids out ... aaagh! The whole experience makes me long for the scent of oranges and lemons and lungfuls of fresh air!