BUGGER THE BUS. Train. Change at a junction in the middle of nowhere and wait for ten minutes and… POW! Town, in just over an hour instead of the 100 or so minutes by bus. No mother with me; travelling light. A bit of shopping and other things I need to do. Now, travelling not so light. Then off to the hospital at this unusually early (for me) time of day to do A Thing. We need to assess his needs.
Psychological needs. Physical needs. I get there and loaf about for a bit, have a quick coffee then up to the ward. I don’t enter, merely make my presence known at reception. Do I want to go in? Hell, no! I’d get emotional and this needs to be done cold; not like revenge – but like just dessert.
We go into a room. I state I’m representing the family with everyone’s consent (do they want to see the emails?) and why I didn’t press for mother and brother to be here? That’s a different story – one which we’ll be starting on when father is safe.
The list seems well thought out and the carer and the nurse both appear well clued-up. I demonstrate a couple of quirks and behaviours my father was showing before he became bed-ridden. The social worker hadn’t seen these, and I describe the overall effect of them in the home and they ask if it’s relevant. Yes, I tell them, highly relevant as I’m telling them that the confusion is not just a result of the fevers he’s had. They try to placate me but I force the point – yes, I know this is about now, but part of ‘now’ is how we bloody got here! They look at each other and nod; the point is made and although not actually pertinent, it will hover under the radar and inform the session. However, we all pull together and I scrutinise and argue my case and they counterpoint – not defensively but with logic and knowledge of the system.
Several times I stand and pace while discussing things – maybe we could have taken a shorter time, but I felt were getting it right. A few times, they even rated my father’s needs higher than I could have done, in all conscience. This gave me confidence we were all heading with one accord to one conclusion – whatever that conclusion may be.
The one shock was that while I was carrying no particular sentimentality about it being my father (‘Daddy’s BROKEN!’), in conversation I discovered that much of what I’d felt was… ‘special(?)’ about the case was actually fairly normal. The living in his own world. The thing with talking to others and the delusional hallucinations. I suppose if I was faced with a whole load of oldies gibber-jabbering away, then I might have thought differently.
So General Nursing it is. Now I need to get my finger out and get him placed. The weight of responsibility begins to settle on my shoulders, and I realise I need to deliver fast. Also, there’s the question of how the hell we’re going to pay for this… oh no. I haven’t a clue about that. Not a thing.
Now will be the time to play the weakness card with the officials.