The last few days Gran hasn’t been very well, I spent an hour with her and Grandad yesterday evening and she was perky, but not herself. Grandad spent the whole time just looking at her, wistfully, worrying but like he was drinking her in with his eyes. They’ve been together since they were children and celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary last summer, I’m really not sure how one will exist without the other, they’re a complete and utter team.
Early this morning my Auntie and Mum decided that Gran needed to go to hospital, the ambulance was called and a rapid response unit was dispatched. They live down the bottom of a very steep hill (too steep for the ambulance to get down) so Gran was wheeled out of the house, up the hill and into the waiting ambulance on a trolley, and whisked away to A&E. Mum was blown away by the care that Gran (and she) got – Polly and Tom who took her in, the nurses who settled her into a room and cleaned her up, the consultant and doctor who examined her. She had a full MOT, a couple of ECGs, blood tests, x-rays, examinations and was put on a drip. I’ve just been up to see her tonight, she has been admitted onto a ward now, in a side room (the same one that Dad was in a couple years ago), and she looks exhausted but restful. With a bit of luck she’ll be sent home in the next day or two, she hates hospitals and hasn’t been into one except as a visitor since giving birth over sixty years ago! I hope that she makes it home, Mum was telling me that Grandad was distraught when they took her away this morning, sat in his chair crying (I’ve never seen him cry, he’s not of a generation that seems that comfortable with expressing emotion) and I hope for his sake, and her’s, that she get’s home. They’re realistic about their age, they know they won’t last forever, but I really hope she gets home to Grandad just once more.
The point of this post was to say thanks though. I’ve had one bad experience in our local A&E and it’s always at the front of my mind when I hear someone has gone in there. If nothing else the treatment Gran has received today has gone some way to making up for that experience. The staff were really kind to my Gran, looked after her and treated her with respect and dignity. I’m conscious that lots of people complain about the NHS (myself included when needs be) but my family have received more than our fair share of treatment in the last few years and it never ceases to amaze me how awesome a machine the NHS is, when it’s well oiled.
I suspect I couldn’t work in a hospital environment, I couldn’t handle the smells, the stress, the confusion, the desperation, especially in care for older people. I also know I wouldn’t be able to work on an ambulance, never knowing what you’ll turn up for, wishing away the final call of the night shift because you know it’ll eat into your sleep or day off. I am so grateful to each and every NHS worker who chooses to look out for other people, you really do make a massive difference to people’s lives. Thank you.