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Showing posts from April, 2012

Monday morning

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I did phone ITV but sadly they wanted me to appear on the Day Break program which is one step too far.  I am not happy having my photo taken let alone in front of a TV camera.  However, they are going to keep my name in the diary and possibly interview James with Basso once he is discharged from hospital.  I did however contact the reporter who did the original story and take her up on her offer to expose the terrible care at the Medway.  James is making good progress with the crutches and now that we have replaced the battery in the TENS machine it is working well.  It is interesting that the machine idea had to come from me and that having provided it they didn't seem to think it might need a replacement battery.

Yesterday, was a day of heavy rain and I got absolutely soaked while sorting out the hens.  I thought I had dashed out in a quiet patch but the rain must have seen me and came down in stair rods.  Once indoors it was back to the kitchen and the warmth of the oven to dry…

Sunday Morning

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Well as Marjorie said this might spark interest we actually made page 5 of the Daily Telegraph and I had a phone call from ITV now all I have to do is to ring them back once I have made the decision as to whether to put the boot in for the Hospital.  They have been warned that the press are interested so they have no excuse and shouldn't be surprised.

It seems to me that we are really in some kind of nightmare.  Yesterday we were taken out to lunch by some friends and went to a local pub where the food was so poor that we ended up not paying for the two portions of fish pie which was very substandard and served with purple sprouting broccoli which was yellow with age and only fit for the compost.  The owner offered us vouchers to return which seemed a nice gesture but then went ahead and charged us.  We returned the vouchers and asked to have the bill amended instead.

At 4pm I got a call from a care assistant wanting to know which of the drugs it was that didn't agree with Ja…

Saturday morning and wet

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Here is the cutting from yesterdays paper which really cheered James up.  He is now up on crutches and doing very well after his firstphysiotherapy session.  He also had a visit from the pain management team and has been given a TENS machine to help with the pelvic pain.  I have a had a call from the head of social services liaison.  Isn't it amazing what happens when you ring the health ombudsman, CEO of the Trust and the CEO of social services  and inform them that the only people who are showing an interest in James are the press!!!!!!!!!

Continuing with the Basso saga, Sandy has a new iPad and contacted me with Face time.  Poor Basso was very confused he kept looking at her on the screen and listening to her voice.  He understood that it was her but why was she inside the glass box?  Anyway, she is coming over today so he will be mighty relieved that she has been released.  We are going out to lunch with her and her other half so that will be a nice break for us.


One pair of…

Friday Morning

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My new clematis is in bloom and looking good.  We had a really busy day yesterday, I made what felt like a hundred phone calls sorting out various bits and pieces before finally going up to the hospital to visit James.  He had rung earlier and I mentioned that we had found some crutches for him.  At that moment a physiotherapist came to see him and suggested that we bring in the crutches and see if they were OK.  This was the first physiotherapy visit in the 5 weeks of his stay.  Miraculously, when we got there, with said crutches, they had already provided him with a pair.  However, we went up to the ward in a lift with an elderly gentleman who had just pushed a wheel chair from his home several miles away so that his relative could have it in the hospital because apparently they haven't got any!!!!!!  So you see it is not just James who is receiving five star treatment.  Anyway we gave him a nice bowl of our wonderful soup and a cheese and tomato sandwich.

Shiona went into Tes…

Thursday monring

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Finally, last night saw me sleep for a whole solid 5 hours I think I was bordering on exhaustion.  Between the sleeping tablets,  pain killers and hot chocolate something did the trick.

We managed to find a number and spoke to the head of Kent Social Services secretary.  Everyone is very sympathetic but that doesn't get anything done.  I hope we have rattled enough cages to get things moving or at least alert everyone that there is a "vocal minority", on the war path.  My concern is for the other 500 patients in that hospital who don't have someone with the tenacity to keep pushing on their behalf.   I don't for one minute think that my son has been singled out for especially bad treatment.

The weather was so nasty that we decided to give up on the shooting idea and instead we made a really lovely gammon recipe which Shiona had found in Constance Spry's book.  Essentially the gammon, after soaking overnight, is cooked on a bed of assorted vegetables with s…

Wednesday morning

What a day I had yesterday, enormous pressure was brought to bear on me to take James home despite the fact that he still cannot weight bear on either of his legs and both the hospital and red cross were unable to provide him with a wheel chair. .  Medway don't want anything to do with him and want to send him to Peckham to an empty flat with three flights of stairs with no lifts and no furniture.  despite the fact that his GP is in Medway.  We were told that we needed to come up a plan!!!  James needless to say was so depressed that his plan was one of total finality which would solve all the problems in one fell swoop.  So far there is no plan in place for physiotherapy, not treatment for his injuries other that copious doses of Oramorph.  The hospital have a pain management team but we have seen not a single sign of them or the smoking cessation team so we are still left with parking him in the multistory car park in an an effort to keep him dry when I can push him in the very …

Tuesday morning

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Bright and early again this morning thank heavens I can get an hour or so in the afternoon or I would be falling apart by now.  Yesterday, was a really miserable day with constant rain.   I let the chickens out into their main run early but by 3pm I put them back as there was little point in them sitting in the rain.   I had put an order into Sainsbury to be delivered late in the afternoon and what a joy that was, a really nice cheery man delivered all the shopping into the house and all I had to do was put it away.  It was all the heavy stuff so that made life a lot easier and was certainly worth the delivery charge.

The James saga continues: when I visited yesterday the ward sister explained that they were anxious to have their acute bed back and now that he was more mobile he needed to move on but social services were dragging their feet.  I offered to ring them and chivy them up a bit only to find that they were completely unaware of the problem as they had not received a referr…

Monday morning

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Here we go again the beginning of another week.  The weekend seems to have whistled by as usual and though we have had lovely sunshine early in the morning the afternoons have turned blustery and cold and wet.  Yesterday we even had a hail storm before it turned to rain.  My latest pair of socks are finished and though the colour has not come out well on the photo they are very comfortable and warm.  The rather odd striped pattern is from the random dyed yarn.  I had knitted one sock which came out rather large and so sent it to Mikes brother David to try as he has size 13 feet to hold up his 6'6" frame and sadly it fits well so now I have to knit its brother.  I was hoping it would be useless and make a good duster!!!!

Yesterday was not such a good day for James he was just settling down to watch the grand prix when his TV packed up yet again and then just to make his life complete he broke a tooth - is there no end to the misery that can be heaped on this poor boy?

I manag…

Sunday morning

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columnar cherry tree in full bloom


Its 2 in the morning and my back is kicking up so while I wait for the ibuprofen to work I though I might as well get on and write a bit.  I think the problem stems from pushing the very heavy wheel chairs at the hospital.  The are very difficult to steer and are best pulled but that makes you walk completely lop sided.  Given that my back is a bit delicate this seems to be the final straw and is causing me some grief.

The weather was a bit more like spring yesterday and I took the dogs out for a walk before heading to the hospital for my usual visit.  James now has a functioning TV in his room and we have purchased a card for him so he can watch a few programs.  At £3.60 per day it is quite and expensive option that is £25.20 per week and for the month he has been an in patient it would have been over £100 so I am quite pleased it has been out of action for the most part.   We largely avoid the parking fees as Mike drops me off at the hospital and…

Saturday morning

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Not a very good photo but Basso is bringing the phone.  I loved Marjory's comment that James might be better being looked after by the dog and sadly she may well be right.  Shiona and I had a long chat on the phone yesterday and as we were both nurse teachers we agreed that what we have witnessed makes us both feel ashamed.  
I managed to get all the ironing done yesterday so that is one big job out of the way.  I paid my usual visit to the hospital and took with me a couple of slices of tortilla that I had made for lunch.  We are somewhat inundated with eggs so 8 got used up with some bacon and potatoes.  


My potted wisteria is covered in buds so I am hoping for quite a display when they eventually burst forth and as you can see we had some nice patches of sunshine between the showers.  This is exactly the weather that the garden loves, lots of rain and intermittent patches of bright sunshine now all we need is for the temperature to rise a bit and it will be perfect.  I would r…

Friday morning

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Why a picture of Basso this morning? well all will become clear.  Yesterday, I got stuck into the washing and the machine ran all day load after load went through then on to the tumble dryer and now it is piled high waiting for me and the ironing board.  Not only was there the caravan washing but also the house hold linen and then a big bag of clothes that I picked up from the hospital.  While the machines did their stuff I went to the hospital as usual to visit.  James was trying to clarify in his own mind exactly what had happened and get some sort of chronological order with regard to his stay in hospital.  A large part of the initial stay was clouded in morphine and pain.  We then got round to talking about the actual accident.  After he had fallen and landed on the concrete he tried to attract attention by shouting with no success as both sets of neighbours were out.  He then dragged himself bodily over the step into the dining room where he discovered that the phone was in its …

Thursday morning

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Where to start, the week away means I have dropped all the balls I was juggling so now it is a case of picking them up if I can find them.  First things first I rang the double glazing company to get the patio door lock sorted.  They were very helpful and said for a call out fee of £65 they could come in the next two to three weeks!!!! Mean while the house would be insecure and presumably the insurance invalidated.  I thanked them in my own special way and decided to call out an emergency lock smith.  They were there within the hour very helpful replaced the broken parts total cost £150 but job done house secure.

Next it was time to start the laundry which is monumental - all the stuff from the caravan needs to go through so that is bedding, sleeping bags, clothing and tea towels etc.  Next it is a big bag of clothes from James at the hospital and finally today I may get round to doing all the bed linen as I stripped the beds at home before I left.  I work on a system of getting all t…

Wednesday morning home a day early

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Here as promised is the bumper edition of the the blog covering the few days holiday.  Firstly this is the farm house in whose garden our caravan is parked.  I had been up since 2am but we didn't leave home until 10am to allow the rush hour traffic to subsided.  As we did the final check of the house we discovered that the patio doors would no longer lock.  The key refused to turn and despite out best efforts there was nothing to do but abandon it and hope we were not burgled in our absence.  Not such a good start!!!  The journey up was fine and we had no holdups so arrived at around 12 midday having stopped for a bacon roll at a road side cafe.  The lady who runs the cafe has  a soft spot for Basso who always gets a sausage.  Once we had unloaded the car and set up the van with electricity and water to our joy everything was working well.  There was a fair amount of sand and dog hair in the carpets from the last visit so that was immediately put on the to do list.  We then spent…

Thursday morning

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2.30 and the moon is very bright as am I.  Nip and Tuc are away with Len and Margaret so Basso is at last king of the castle.

While I appreciate that the holiday is a necessary break for Mike and I we are both very worried about abandoning James to the care of the Medway hospital.  The word care is just a little incongruous given that absolutely none has been forthcoming.  On every single visit I have had to take his drug chart and find a nurse and ask that he be given his pain medication which although it is witten up for regular administration is given sporadically.  I really don't want to take my eye off the ball for fear of what will happen when I am not around to keep and eye on him.  If his condition was life threatening I would not be going, such is the trust I have in them.

I think the Tassimo machine is going to be a real boon I have dry run it and tried the coffee and chocolate.  The coffee is not bad, the chocolate is a bit soapy but it is made by Cadbury and I know …

Wednesday morning and bin day

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Things are really beginning to rev up for the holiday.  The Tassimo machine arrived bang on schedule if only the rest to the world worked as efficiently as Amazon.  It is relatively light and will sit comfortably where the kettle normally sits.  I bought some of the pods from Tesco so we now have coffee and hot chocolate but sadly they didn't have any tea pods.  It is very quick and  easy to operate leaving no real mess just the empty pod to throw away.

I had an other run in with the bank/building society yesterday morning they have proved the most intransigent and difficult to work with.  I took a pile of forms to them which need to be filled in by the mortgage lender which again they refused to do.  So now I am going to post them to their head office and let them sort it out.  The bank staff said that they are just trying to protect the client but as I explained they are in fact causing severe problems to their client who will be forced to default on the mortgage despite all o…

Tuesday morning but only just

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My sleeping habits have gone completely mad,  my body clock needs to go for repair.  Hopefully the week away will go some way to mending that.  Yesterday was a really miserable day weather wise but I set to and made a batch of shepherds pies one of which we had for lunch.  Then the left over mash was made into lovely croquettes with the addition of cheese, saute onions and an egg.  These made a nice supper with some tomato ketchup. A bag of sous vide fruit and cream for dessert completed the days menu.  I was itching to make a casateillo [neapolitan easter bread] which is described in the blog http://memoriediangelina.blogspot.co.uk/2012/04/casatiello-neapolitan-easter-bread.html given my current circumstances I thought it best not to embark on such a project however it is on my list of things to do at some time!!!! do have a look it looks really smashing
The rain was persistant but never heavy but at least the watering of the garden is not a problem.  I have put a trug bucket in the k…

Bank Holiday Monday morning

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2am and I am awake and restless. Yesterday was  a pretty miserable day weather wise it was drizzly and cold.  There was no real rain for the garden but just enough to make it unpleasant.  I paid my usual visit to the hospital in the morning and came home with a big bag of washing which has been processed through the washing machine and tumble dryer ready for return today.  I am trying to keep it all up to date so that we dont find too much when we return from our holiday.  The little house officer showed me James latest set of X-rays but sadly I had to show her the sacral fractures which she had mistaken for a joint.  Another confidence booster!!!! James friend brought the last few bits from his flat so I hope that is now completely clear and ready for sale.


The roast leg of lamb was really nice and with roast potatoes and sprouting broccoli made a good meal which did us for the day.  Today I will process the left overs into shepherds pies and the hens can have the bones.  I have rat…

Easter Sunday morning

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It is 3 am which is marginally better than 2 am.  With my very early start yesterday I did manage to accomplish a few chores.  The laundry at least is now up to date and I prepared some kidneys for lunch when Shiona and Keith were due.  I got the dogs out bright and early then went to visit James, he seemed much better in himself and I managed to get him out in a wheel chair and outside for a breath of fresh air.  He was pretty unimpressed at having to wear my jacket but given that there were plenty of patients outside in pyjamas I don't think he looked any more stupid than they did.  They have at last moved him into a bed rather than the matteres on the floor so he felt he was making some progress.  Margaret who is working in the hospital coffee shop on Saturdays also came to visit and she as an ex midwife was pretty disgusted with the conditions.  Out of the three lifts to the fourth floor there is only one that is working and the frames around the lift doors are held up by RSJ&…

Saturday 2 am

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Well who is a fool then and didn't realise it was a bank holiday which means everything is open except the banks.  I wondered why it I was in darkness and the door was locked.  However the journey was not totally wasted as I found a really good wool shop that I didn't know existed.  They even sell proper sock wool so I bought a ball of red and as soon as the blue socks are done I will move on to red.


I was going to make the socks in a lacy pattern but I just don't have the concentration required at the moment.

Yesterday, we bought James a portable DVD player so that at least he can watch something while he lies in bed.  I also had to tell the staff that he would not be coming here when discharged which means that social services will have to be involved and find him some accommodation.  In the long run this might get him a start elsewhere with a bit of a leg up from the all the taxes we have paid.  All the time I am around they will do nothing and leave me to deal with ev…

Friday morning

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Well here we go again "another day another dollar".  Yesterday we finally managed to accomplish something after two weeks of trying we now have a working phone with a working sim card linked to the contract that James in tied into.  I wont bore you with the details but it took considerable tenacity and many phone calls and much trawling from shop to shop to finally get this done.  In the great scheme of things this is a minor victory but at least it is something we can fix.  A couple of James friends came down from london to visit him so I gave myself the day off and concentrated on some of the paperwork.    This morning I have to go to the building society with a big pile of forms for them to deal with.  I think I am becoming paranoid as it seems to me that when any organisation needs information or money they are happy to ask for it and I give it readily but when I need help or information I hit the data protection act brick wall.

We set off bright and early yesterday mor…

Thursday morning

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Yesterday was a better day, Shiona is here with us and that makes the atmosphere much calmer.  She came with me to see James and confirmed that it was not just me over-reacting: the nursing care is desperately poor.  James was seen by a couple of doctors who spent some time listening to what he had to say which has made him feel much better that at last someone is taking him seriously.  I bullied the little house officer who had reduced his pain relief by half and enquired what his rational was and what exactly had changed to warrant the reduction.  The prescription is now back up to what it should be.  I banged a few heads, yet again, and explained that when you are lying flat on your back it is not possible to manage a cup and that a beaker and even a straw may be necessary.   With one broken arm you cannot pour water from a jug to a beaker unaided especially when the jug is in the bottom draw of your locker.  However we were aghast last night when we enquired about the physiothera…

Wednesday 3am

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No matter what is happening the flowers bloom regardless.  We actually had a couple of splashes of rain during the day; not enough to really wet the ground or do any real good.

I spent the majority of the day at the hospital.  After 15 days of inaction they finally managed to get the psychiatric team to come and see James last night and they were pretty shocked that things had been allowed to get so far out of hand. It had taken the ward sister 6 phone calls that day to finally get help for James.   They were not impressed with the conditions in which he was being kept but were very keen to rule out any organic cause for his current mental state.  The fact that he is being kept in a room with no form of stimulation on a mattress on the floor and nothing to distract him coupled with the extremely poor pain control and total immobility are certainly contributing factors.   When he wakes from one of his nightmares he is terror struck and convinced that he is in Abu Ghraib prison.He tak…

Tuesday morning 3am

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On a frustration scale of 1-10 yesterday was an 11[see last nights blog for details].  I do know that I am getting pretty tired and after 14 days of battling to get things done with very little success I am beginning to run out of steam.  It is quite hard to keep a handle on all the information.  I have read and filled in so many forms that my mind is turning to minestrone.  Today, I am going to see what help is available from the citizens advise bureau. That is assuming that I can actually get through. I have spent  countless hours listening to endless lists of which button to press to try and get help on various matters not to mention the assortment of music when on hold.  Are there any real people out there or only machines?

One very interesting thing is how the dogs are reacting to the stress levels in the house.  Basso is hardly eating at all and is very clingy watching my every move and wanting to sleep by my bed. He is very aware that there is a management crisis with the pack …

Monday frustration levels at maximum

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Monday morning up a 2am sorting out all the documentation for the day making photocopies etc.  9am at the hospital to make appointment regarding complaint.  Quick visit to James to sign all the documents.  10.30 appointment with bank manager who refused to accept the power of attorney document and wanted one with an embossed logo "you can feel with your fingers".  Therefore nothing resolved.  Back to the hospital to keep appointment with Patient liaison person.  First question, "do you want to make a formal complaint?   Answer "yes that is what I asked to do" well in that case here is a leaflet explaining what you need to do I'm sorry I can't help you.  Visit to ward to discuss James progress with house officer who felt he was ready for discharge.  Usual argument forwarded that it is not possible for me to look after him in his current condition.  No treatment yet organised or forthcoming for the PTSD still in lots of pain and unable to take weight on …

Monday morning and day 14 of the disaster

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Good morning all, again it is stupid o'clock and I find myself awake.  So having a chat with you will while away some of the time until the sun rises.  Actually I have a couple of piles of forms that need filling in with regard to the flat sale so that too will keep me out of mischief.  Today is going to be a busy one starting with the Bank manager at 10.30 then it will be off up to the hospital to try to make a complaint then up to Peckham to meet the energy certificate guy and do the fixture and fittings list.  then time permitting we will stop at Bluewater on the way back and go to the Fone House and see if we can finally get the right IMEI number for the lost phone hand set.   If I am still vertical I will then see if I can pop in and see James on the way back.

I went in to see him yesterday only to find his room in complete disarray, as he was dozing I took some evidentiary photos.  There was stuff scattered far and wide and his bed table as usual on his right [broken arm] …