Thursday, 3 April 2008

Triple swans
Here's a pic of Matilda Bay on the Swan River, with Perth in the background. I even managed to persuade a couple of black swans to glide by!
I'm back in San Diego, after a long and wearying flight that included a five-hour stop in Brisbane very early in the morning. I think that was yesterday, but once again I arrived in Los Angeles before I'd left, and I'm still a bit dazed and a bit stiff after the long flight. Oh, my poor old knees!
It was very hard to leave Dad, and we had a bit of a weepy farewell on Tuesday night. He's still in hospital in Perth, but is doing really well and getting ready to move to a smaller rehabilitation hospital where he'll get the constant and intensive physiotherapy and occupational therapy he needs to build up his strength and get home.Though the circumstances were dreadful, we had some great times visiting Dad, and on several occasions he had lots of his family around him. Here's my gorgeous brother giving Dad a shave!
We were lucky the staff encouraged Dad to get outside as often as possible, and they'd hoist him into a wheelchair and wrap him up so we could get out for some air and sunshine. The duck pond on the edge of the hospital campus was a favourite spot, and Dad enjoyed a lot of icy-poles in this spot.Whenever it was too hot, we'd walk the long corridors inside the massive hospital, which has its own art gallery on the ground floor, complete with this cheerful Chagall/Picasso-style mural.We even managed to have a party for Dad's birthday, with a big cake, most of which ended up in the nurses' staffroom, much to their delight.
Dad's nurses and other medical staff have been out of this world. I got pics of only a couple of Dad's favourites. This is Cora ...... who is from Germany and a fire-fighter when she's not on duty at Charlie's (pet name for Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital). She's wonderful - caring and compassionate, and with that awe-inspiring combination of qualities that you see in the very best nurses, of knowledgeable efficiency, warmth and humour.
We also are big fans of Jeremy, Monica and of Hayley and Ben (below). Ben and Dad struck up a great friendship and Ben even visited Dad when he'd been moved to another ward on another floor.
This last pic is proof that Dad is finally and firmly on the long road to recovery...
I always maintain that physiotherapists are miracle workers, and Ben and his student, Saskia are exactly that. They kindly invited Mum and me to watch this session, when, with the aid of the complicated-looking hoist, they managed to get Dad to his feet for the first time in more than three weeks. There were lots of cheers as he stood there, pretty shakily, and viewed the world from this position, knowing he was truly on the mend.

:: And very big and heartfelt thanks to all my friends in Perth, and in blogland, who looked after me and my Mum, cheered me up, fed me, talked to me, distracted me and kept me going with phone calls, text messages, emails and blog comments. Thanks. You are absolutely the best.
More on all that later!


Anonymous said...

Glad you're back safe and sound,Les....see you in your blog.
Love Deb

M said...

Gosh, that photo tugs on the old heart strings. Even 'though I suspect I could never live full-time in Perth anymore I still get all homesick when I see photos of the river, the swans.

What is it about nurses? They must see so many patients yet so many of them make you feel like you're the only patient they have. Fabulous people.

alice said...

Thanks so much for your words of support, too, L.

Here am I, where you just left, so surreal. Your dad looks good, he seems to be on the mend and the road to recovery looks positive. So glad.

Had a nod at Charlies for you today as we took care of some final issues. Stay tuned for my Freo photos in the next few weeks.


Jennifer said...

How wonderful to see your dad on his feet, to see you and your family around him, to hear about the outstanding care and terrific people providing it. I'm glad, too, that you are home and that you can rest up a bit and carry on, secure in knowing that your dad is doing all right. Welcome back.

Laura Jane said...

Great post and lovely photos Les. What a great idea to take photos with the nurses.

I'm so glad to see your Dad looking chirpy in so many of these shots.

I'm back next week, we'll talk soon

Fairlie said...

So good to see your Dad is recovering.

Nurses truly are saintly. And they seem to be particularly good at Charlies. Whenever I've had cause to spend any time there (never as a patient myself, touch wood) I've noted their high standard of care and professionalism.

Meg said...

All the best to your father for his recovery!

Anonymous said...

I'm glad you're home safe and sound. I would say try not to worry too much about your dad, but it just isn't possible, so I won't. Get a good rest and look after yourself for a while if you can.