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Help re my very ill father in hospital - AIBU

28 replies

Nonky · 05/11/2018 16:34

I’m not sure if this should be AIBU or not. My father is in Hospital awaiting a triple bypass after heart attacks and pneumonia last week. He is very scared and a very proud man. He has had pretty much constant care from me or my sister over the last week as my mum is disabled but we just cannot keep up it up. He refuses to let the nurses help him as he is embarrassed as he wets and soils himself every half an hour. My sister and I have been nursing him and doing things for him that I never thought I would have to do and I am fine with that but (and I know this makes me sound selfish) we have our own children and jobs and we just can’t carry on. My dad has begged us not to leave him. He could be here for another two weeks as he’s not on the urgent bypass list tho cannot go home. My friend who is a nurse said i had to show tough love and leave him to realise that the nurses will help and that it actually doesn’t matter if he soils himself. What would you do? I just want to do the right thing by my family

OP posts:
ChoudeBruxelles · 05/11/2018 16:36

It’s really tough but you need to stand back and let professionals look after him. Otherwise very quickly the assumption will be that you can manage and getting care in place will be harder.

Annandale · 05/11/2018 16:37

Of course i would have to let the nurses do their jobs, but i see why he's so desperate to avoid it. Could you sit with a senior nurse on the ward and ask about a regular check for him so that he doesn't have to ask? Do they actually know how often it's happening - is it a new pattern they should be aware of?

Hubblebubbletripletrouble · 05/11/2018 16:38

I agree I think you need to stand back. It doesn’t make you a bad daughter, you’ve tried so hard for so long.

Whitescarf · 05/11/2018 16:40

Two weeks wait for a bypass and at least one week recovery in hospital, but probably a lot longer by the sounds of things.
Definitely need to step back.
Surely you're not staying with him 24/7 now though? So what does he do when you're not there?

UrsulaPandress · 05/11/2018 16:44

Agree it needs to be tough love.

And honestly I am surprised as most people, in my experience, would rather a nurse dealt with personal care stuff than a family member.

Hope your Dad gets his operation soon.

Birdsgottafly · 05/11/2018 16:44

Well they won't let you in post OP and there's going to be a level of consciousness whilst personal care is being done by the Nurses, so eventually he's going have to accept professional care.

I agree with the tough love stance.

I've been disabled for two years and through counselling have learnt how important acceptance is.

I know you love your Dad but he's been really selfish. Typical for his generation, of course, that the closest Women pick up the care, but we now have lives outside our Families.

I don't see how you could practically continue with the level of care that he needs without their being a level of Neglect for your children, over the Christmas period tbh.

Birdsgottafly · 05/11/2018 16:45

"And honestly I am surprised as most people, in my experience, would rather a nurse dealt with personal care"

That's always been my experience when I worked in Health/Elderly care.

reallybadidea · 05/11/2018 16:49

Why is he wetting and soiling himself? Is this a new thing? Have you spoken with the nurses about it? What does he do when you're not there as presumably you're not there overnight?

If he's an inpatient awaiting CABG (bypass) then he's likely to be on the urgent list, just not the emergency list. If it was my father I would be trying to speak with the surgeon about how this wait is affecting his, and your, quality of life. Does he have any chest pain? If he does then make sure this is being reported to medical staff as it indicates that it needs to be done sooner and may move him up the list.

AnotherOriginalUsername · 05/11/2018 16:50

I'd be questioning why he's getting into such a state so often. Is he on a high dose of diuretics? Does he need a catheter fitted?

Toddlerteaplease · 05/11/2018 17:01

I was also wondering about why it's happening so often. If the nurses aren't dealing with it because you are, then they may not me aware it's such a big problem. That could potentially be dealt with. I'm a nurse and yes you need to show touch love. And step back.

cptartapp · 05/11/2018 17:09

Don't set a precedent for how things will be in the future. How will he manage at home, and as he gets older and more frail? Will he expect you to be running around after him for evermore? You need to take a big step back and get him used to others being involved in his care, or you could face years of running yourself ragged meeting his expectations.
Wetting and soiling himself every half hour too? Is this usual for him? That would be worrying.

Nonky · 05/11/2018 17:10

Hi thanks so much for your help. He’s now in a private room because he has diahorreah so we have been doing the care for 24/7. He has a urine infection which has caused the problems. I have literally been cleaning the poo up as it comes out every time he has a wee every ten minutes. I’ve finally convinced them to put a catheter in which is what they are now doing as I speak which I hope is going to Make the difference. I’m struggling as I’ve got quite cross with him today cos he’s been so angry and I know he’s terrified. I’m just hoping this catheter is going to help!

OP posts:
SquatBetty · 05/11/2018 17:12

Please read what ChoudeBruxelles posted - if there is any inkling that you and sister are providing care for him, it will be assumed that you are happy to do this once he's discharged from hospital and you'll be on your own.

Step back, let the nurses get on with things and ensure there is a proper care plan put in place for your Dad before he leaves hospital. I have experienced something fairly similar recently so you have my sympathies.

Nonky · 05/11/2018 17:19

Thank you. I am going to go home this evening. You have all given me the advice I was hoping you would give. As hard as it is it will be for the best in the end I am sure

OP posts:
AnotherOriginalUsername · 05/11/2018 17:21

Well done for being able to say enough is enough. I'm sure your sister will appreciate it too, and in time, your dad. Here's hoping things improve quickly for all of you

Nonky · 05/11/2018 17:28

Thank you. People slag off mumsnet but this is not the first time I’ve had invaluable advice. THANK YOU xxx

OP posts:
User1736271537 · 05/11/2018 17:31

Echoing the good advice of everyone else here - this level of care should be provided by skilled professionals as if there were any infection related complications (I.e. stool indicating internal bleeding, just as a for instance) you or your sister aren't trained to recognise and take action on that.

I do understand your dad's preference but it is ultimately just that - a preference. It's sounds harsh but I mean it with love - never give essential care that you cannot give indefinitely unless it is absolutely vital or else you'll be seen as coping. If the ward staff now have this expectation of you, raise it with PALS and find your local carers advocacy service

MrsMoastyToasty · 05/11/2018 17:33

As previously mentioned step down. You'll burn out otherwise and then you'll be no use to anyone. Tell your dad that it's what nurses expect when they enter the profession.

Haworthia · 05/11/2018 17:40

Oh my goodness, I can’t believe he’s surrounded by nurses and insisting that you nurse him. Most people would prefer to let professionals deal with toileting rather than their daughters.

Start saying no, for your own sake. You have other responsibilities and - as other people have said - this might create the unreasonable expectation that you’ll be available to nurse him at home too.

reallybadidea · 05/11/2018 17:44

I hope his surgery goes well and his recovery is quick!

Lifeisabeach09 · 05/11/2018 17:46

Tell your dad that it's what nurses expect when they enter the profession.

Really? To clean up shit 24/7?
I think that attitude is why nurses are leaving the profession in droves. I, personally, feel that families should help with personal care but not to the point where they (the family) are breaking their backs, so to speak. I feel if nurses or HCAs are busy with other patients, families should step in.

OP, yes, you do need to take a step back. 24/7 care of your dad is unfeasible (and a bit far-fetched, tbh) whilst he is hospital. I suggest you don't go as much but nothing wrong with helping out when you are there.

HoleyCoMoley · 05/11/2018 17:55

Unless you're trained in infection control procedures I wouldn't clean up diarrhoea, it could be anything especially if he is in a sideroom. The catheter may help but he needs to be told that this is not your respinsibility, is he able to get up and onto a commode or walk to the toilet. I hope he recovers quickly.


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Nonky · 05/11/2018 19:28

Thank you. I can absolutely assure you it is not far fetched at all. It is real. Why would I make it up? Anyway thank you everyone else for all your support. Of course I will help when I’m there but as confirmed by everyone (apart from one) here is it not actually helpful for anyone to carry on the way we are.

OP posts:
Angrybird345 · 05/11/2018 19:46

Tough love is the way to go i think.

foggetyfog · 05/11/2018 20:57

I would not dream of doing this for someone in hospital and contrary to what Lifeisabeach09 says, it is part of the nurses/HCAs job.
Go home and look after your own family without feeling guilty.

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