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Need hope - DF in hospital after a fall, some days ago

(39 Posts)
WorriedAndTired Fri 26-Jan-18 01:49:24

I found my DF on the floor at home. Mid eighties, lives alone, very independent.

We think he had been there 3-5 days.

Aside from feeling enormous guilt that I hadn’t tried harder to contact him over last few days, I had rung his doorbell on several occasions but assumed he was out, I also thought he had died and had to be talked through touching him before ambulance arrived.

Paramedics and doctors all have been asking me about his wishes on resuscitation which I can’t answer. I don’t know.
And despite no internal bleeding or broken bones, DF has mostly been asleep since arriving in hospital. Concerns are kidneys or an infection.

I can’t close my eyes without seeing him on the floor. And need to go back to the hospital soon.

What should I be asking them?

And what should I do? Apart from sleep, which isn’t happening. What can I do for him. What do I need to arrange if he does come home. And what if he doesn’t.

SeaToSki Fri 26-Jan-18 02:06:00

I am so sorry, that must have been terrible finding him on the floor. You are going to just do you best for him over the next few days, and that is all you can do, and probably what he would ask of you.

If you dont know what his wishes are regarding resuscitation, can you think in terms of what he would want for you, if your sitations were reversed? That might give you a hint. If that doesnt provide clarity, what would you wish for him?

I think, and i am by no means an expert on this, that what you should be thinking of is a series of levels of intervention.
Being fed and hydrated via tubes and drips
Being supported to breath with machines
Being given antibiotics and othe medications to combat disease
Being given cardiac resuscitation if his heart stops.

You might be yes or no to any of these in any order and combination, and that would be fine.

You might be yes to any combination for a specific amount of time, say 30 days and then no beyond that point, and that would be fine

You can decide to not decide for another x days, and tell them that.

You can try on various scenarios in your mind. Sometimes trying to decide something by ‘trying on’ a scenario for a day can tell you a lot about your deeper feeling. You might get a sense of relief - likely the correct decision for you, you might get a sense of uncomfortableness - likely the wrong decision, so revisit it. Just do it in the privacy of your own mental space, so that you are clear in your own mind before you communicate with his care team

I am so sorry you are going through this. You will find your path for your DF and you

WorriedAndTired Fri 26-Jan-18 04:21:20

Thank your Sea, your list of possible levels is very helpful.

I have a POA somewhere, unregistered. I guess I need to find it too.

I’m just waiting for daylight then I’ll go back to the hospital.

blackdoggotmytongue Fri 26-Jan-18 04:51:36

Oh worried. It’s a hard time. Sea has gone through most of the definitive points. We lost a relative in similar circumstances, but he did regain consciousness for quite a period (was in hospital for a number of months). The most difficult thing in our days was degradation of his throat because of the length of time without food/ drink - so reintroducing oral feeding was extremely hard. Our relative was early 90s.
If FIL recovers enough to go home, there are some amazing fall alarms on the market to give you both peace of mind.
Sending healing vibes. Be kind to yourself xx

WorriedAndTired Fri 26-Jan-18 05:40:05

Gosh, thanks Blackdog, I had no idea about thw throat. Thanks for warning me.
Before I left he wasn’t offered anything to drink, just iv bags.

I have been looking at alarms. Been reading this board instead of sleeping, and seen some links. I suspect any alarm will be viewed with the same suspicion and horror as the walking stick we’ve all been gently suggesting. As for the walker I bought after the last bad fall, well I ducked and it missed. Ok, moved to the side and it didn’t run me over. He’s never been superman. Just my stubborn and independent DF.

As soon as he starts to faux whisper his dislike of the amazing staff and hospital I’ll know he’s on the mend. Hope he does it soon.

WorriedAndTired Sat 27-Jan-18 19:37:44

Just a quick update.
Thanks for your comments
He’s still alive and doing surprisingly well.
I can’t quite believe it.
He’s a stubborn bugger who also happens to keep the heating on full, so maybe that helped him.
Perhaps too the wine he had no doubt been drinking either the night before or night he fell —yes, I need to work on that too— kept him fed/hydrated enough for that long.
He’s been moved from icu to a ward and appears to be in the mend. Long long long way to go.
He’s already arguing with the staff on his ward. Between sleeping.

At some point I will discuss his wishes for a DNR with him, so all points were super useful. He’s even managing to eat, soft foods only, but usually when I help him.

I really can’t believe he survived that. Thankfully he has no memory of it, yet. I hope it stays that way. I can’t imagine what he went through.

I do need help with getting smell of urine and pressure sore liquid from his house. It stinks!

Any ideas?

It would be extremely hard to get massive antique furniture taken apart so I need to try to wash his carpet rather than simply replace. It has underlay then concert, not wood

retirednow Sun 28-Jan-18 15:14:15

You can get a rug doctor carpet cleaner on hire, Google the local area. Open all the doors and windows, buy plug in fresheners, chuck out really smelly bedding or clothes. Mattresses are cheap to replace. If you are able to afford it get a professional cleaner in. Glad to hear he's on the mend. He will now need to have a care assessment to see what help he needs in the future, if he can stay at home he would need equipment like a hospital mattress and pressure cushions if he has a pressure sore. Its time to register the poa now, especially for health and welfare.

balaclavaknickers Sun 28-Jan-18 21:37:14

rug doctor and dehumidifier while the place is still empty?
glad he is doing well - falls are so common and it's not unusual to not be found for days. a fall alarm is invaluable, even though you have to battle the stubborn to get the point across!

retirednow Sun 28-Jan-18 22:33:50

Yes a dehumidifer is a great idea, you need to air the place and if youre doing a lot of cleaning you dont want it getting musty and damp.

WorriedAndTired Sun 28-Jan-18 23:36:49

I have a carpet cleaner at home. Doh! blush
No dehumidifier

Where might a signed POA ( non registered yet) be kept??

I can’t find it!

Or any of his passwords to banks/bills/phone.

He was much worse today. Delirious and hallucinating. And no drips prescribed which he needed, but Sunday service in hospital. Hoping to see a doctor tomorrow and getting him back on IV fluids and antibiotics. Which were stopped when tranferred to the current ward. [banging my head against the wall]

WorriedAndTired Sun 28-Jan-18 23:37:36

House it atleast smelling better now I’ve washed the carpet.

Worldsworstcook Sun 28-Jan-18 23:42:04

I'd maybe look into remote cameras so you can keep an eye on him from afar. As long as he doesn't parade around naked you won't be intruding too much. Justvthe doenstairs and then if you don't see him for a while you'll know to call in and check,,

WorriedAndTired Sun 28-Jan-18 23:43:01

Opened his post and need to pay bills.

He doesn’t like DDs so always paid by cheque.

Car insurance overdue. If off the road on his driveway can I leave it uninsured? Tax & MOT both fine. He won’t be driving for a while, if at all, so not keen to pay £600 for it to sit there. Worth £0 so don’t care if it is nicked.

WorriedAndTired Sun 28-Jan-18 23:43:50

He’s always bloody naked. Was when I found him too. And lives in a bungalow, so no go on the camera idea eyes!

WorriedAndTired Sun 28-Jan-18 23:44:17

[my eyes!]

Wasn’t meant to be a link!

WorriedAndTired Sun 28-Jan-18 23:45:29

I’ve seen more than enough of his genitals this week to last me this lifetime and maybe the next.

Can see why he was popular with the ladies in his youth. grinblushshock

Worldsworstcook Sun 28-Jan-18 23:46:14

WorriedAndTired Sun 28-Jan-18 23:47:06

And the bugger seems to have told the hospital that I’m his next of kin. And live with him. So they all assume I’m his wife. Spent the day altering his admission forms from last time he was in same hospital.

WorriedAndTired Sun 28-Jan-18 23:48:12

Thanks worst. Will see if my big brother who lives far away fancies watching him via similar. I don’t. blush

Worldsworstcook Sun 28-Jan-18 23:53:07

I'm sure! Maybe you could glue underwear on him! Hmmm maybe not! Car is fine in the driveway but you're right about the tax and mot, no issue there. My g-aunt fell ill on the bathroom floor and I understand that even laying for 6 hrs does weird things to their kidneys. Not long after that kidney damage sets in. He may have issues there but hopefully he will be okay. One thing though! Make sure you've a key! I'm sure that goes without saying. Or a key master box with a spare key attached to the house.

ineedaholidaynow Sun 28-Jan-18 23:53:45

I am sorry about your DF flowers

Is it the new type of POA? Do you have one for health and separate one for financial issues? Does he have a copy of a will, could it be with that? Would you have kept the POA instead of DF?

My DF ended up in hospital after a fall but that was down to terminal cancer. With hindsight I learned too late that I needed to be his advocate. I assumed the medical team knew what they were doing, even though they didn't seem to be doing much. Instead I should have been pushing more, it wouldn't have made any difference to the outcome but it could have made my DF's last few weeks more comfortable.

Push to see a doctor tomorrow and ensure your DF is getting the right treatment.

Once he starts to get better ensure there is a care package in place before he leaves hospital.

WorriedAndTired Mon 29-Jan-18 00:07:21

Thanks Worst.

Will ring insurance co about he car tomorrow.
But am not bothered if stolen. It’s been driven so slowly by him for years it couldn’t hardly be used as a getaway car, or similar by anyone. It’s set to permanent pootle grin

WorriedAndTired Mon 29-Jan-18 00:11:30

Ineed, yes I was trying to be his advocate today in hospital but couldn’t push harder as no doctors around. I did have words with th ward sister who told me everyone was confused on the geriatric ward so I should expect him to be!

I am worried about his kidneys and creatinine levels but no one is listening to me! Will try again in the morning. His urine is extremely dark. And also they keep forgetting he is vegetarian and on warfarin.
I wrote that on his board in big letters!

POA was an old one. Done before it got expensive. Covers everything I think.
Can’t find his will either. I know he has one. I can find carefully filed correspondence dating back decades with every bloody bugger but the not the important documents I actually need

WorriedAndTired Mon 29-Jan-18 00:13:52

And I won’t allow to to leave hospital without a care package. No bloody chance.
I will not agree to be his carer either. 3 kids and a cat need me, as does DH. And my work needs doing as I’m self employed.

WorriedAndTired Mon 29-Jan-18 00:16:30

Sorry about your DF ineed.
It is very hard to stand up to medics if you aren’t one. We all assume they know best. But they are human and tired too, like the rest of us.

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