Patience is a Virtue as a Patient

We all wear different hats for the various roles that we play in our lives; my biggest hat is being Joshua’s mum and that is normally at the forefront of my life. For the last two weeks, my role as Mum’s daughter has been more prominent and I have been happy to be directed where I am needed most. Yorkshire Grandma and Joshua’s dad have had things under control at home, as I was expecting to go back home yesterday evening after visiting Mum in hospital in the afternoon,but the day took on an unexpected turn:

I finished my work meeting around 2 pm and when I checked my phone, Mum had texted to say that she was moving to a new hospital, where we had been waiting for a bed to become available. She had no time-frame for the move, so I still headed to where I had left her the night before . She was not in bed when I arrived, but her belongings were still there, and another patient’s visitor told me that she had been taken for an ultrasound scan, so I sat and waited for her return, resisting the temptation to pack her bags for her as I know how slowly things can move in hospitals. Sadly her blood pressure was found to be too low and so the move was in jeopardy, as it was not considered safe. The doctor recommended IV fluids to try to boost her blood pressure and then a review would take place in another hour. We waited patiently for the drip to be set up but nothing happened. As time wore on I became more anxious that Mum had not received her prescribed treatment and that we would lose the desired bed on the renal ward. So I had to make a nuisance of myself and I asked every nurse who passed the bed for my Mum’s IV fluids and I was repeatedly told that they were just coming, but nothing appeared. So I became more insistent and I found the sister in charge to make my request and almost an hour after the doctor had advised us of the plan, the drip was set up and Mum dozed, while I took some air outside, in order to calm down, before returning to the ward.

The drip finished and the nurses repeated their observations, and it did seem to have helped, Mum’s blood pressure had improved. So now we needed the doctor for the review as the evening now wore on, so more patience, then more gentle nagging was required. The registrar eventually arrived and checked Mum over and was happy that she was clinically fit to move. He went to make the phone call but then came back to say that it was now too late to move her as transport would have to be arranged and so he promised that her bed was safe and that she would move ‘first thing’ in the morning. I pushed to try to find out what ‘first thing’ meant in hospital speak and I told him that I was packing up all of her possessions, so that she would have to move on in the morning. I took home everything that she did not need and left Mum at 8.30, with instructions to get in touch if anything happened while I was not there.

Mum was not feeling very strong yesterday and so she needed a defender and an interpreter too and as I have played those roles many times in hospitals over the years for Joshua, I found that it came naturally. We know the mission for today and I am now well rested and ready to push for what needs to happen this morning. Often mothers are described as being like a lioness protecting her cub, and this is even more the case for mothers of children with special needs; but in this instance, this cub is fighting for her wounded lion-mother.

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