Tag Archives: hospital

About Dad

I know it’s been a while since I last did this as I have been busy studying, but with all the developments regarding Dad over the last 6 months I felt that I must take the time and give you all an update.

In early August 2016 on a Sunday morning when we went to drop his paper off, we found him unconscious on the bedroom floor of his flat (MOTH was with me). We called an ambulance straight away and they arrived quickly. Initial assessment showed that he had a fever and a blood sugar level so high that their tester couldn’t read his levels. They took him to emergency at Bankstown Hospital, where he was admitted with pneumonia and delirium. They couldn’t determine if the high sugar triggered the pneumonia or the other way around. Either way, he was quite sick and was kept in hospital for about a week. He was discharged with antibiotics and insulin injections, which I had to give him each night as he wasn’t quite ready to learn to do it for himself at that point.

He was home for about a week and a half when we went there on the Sunday morning again with his paper. I noticed that he had all his clothes on backwards and he had a good chuckle when I pointed it out. He also said that the equal that he was using in his tea and coffee was terrible and made the cuppa’s milky. I looked in the cupboard and saw that he had been using cornflour instead of the equal, so I showed him the equal was in the sachets and he said he would be okay using them now – he just forgot they were in sachets. I had to leave and I asked if he would be alright until I got back that night around 8 to give him his insulin. He said he would be so I left and came home with all the shopping and stuff. He was on my mind all day, but I was going back that night so he wouldn’t be alone for too long.

When I got back to his place that night, the outside light wasn’t on so that was unusual, and as I got to the door, I noticed a note that his neighbour had left. She apparently found him wandering the street in the early afternoon and he was dazed and confused. She called an ambulance for him and he was taken to Bankstown emergency. We got down there and saw him, he knew who we were, but not much else and he wasn’t making much sense. As his blood test showed infection they tried to do a spinal tap to rule out meningitis and the like. They couldn’t get him into a good enough position to get the fluid. They tried again the next day but again couldn’t manipulate him into a suitable position for the procedure. They suspected sepsis, but this couldn’t be confirmed. They treated him for it anyway, better safe than sorry. He spent the next week in hospital and was having hallucinations – seeing a black snake under the bed, large flies flying around the room, etc.. He wasn’t well enough to go home on his own, so I arranged for him to go into respite at Yagoona Nursing Home until such times as we could arrange for home care services for him.

He continued to improve while in respite, and just as I was making appointments for  ACAT assessments for him, he absconded from the nursing home and was wondering around Bankstown looking for his way to our place. When I finally got hold of him on the phone, I sent him back to the nursing home, who called an ambulance for him and had him taken to the locked psych ward at Bankstown Hospital. He was there for about a week while they assessed his needs and made arrangements for home services. They had to be sure that he could take his medication properly and could complete basic tasks at home.

He went home and had the services coming around a few times a week to check on him and take him shopping. He started catching a cab to where we shopped every Sunday morning so he could “bump into” us and get us to give him a lift home. He also sent his laptop over to get “fixed” by our son, but there was absolutely nothing wrong with it, he was struggling to remember how to use it.

This went on for a couple of weeks, until a Monday late in October when I got a phone call from the Diabetes Clinic at the hospital, saying that Dad was more confused that usual and that he couldn’t remember how to use his BSL tester. She took him to emergency and he was admitted from there with confusion and high blood sugar. They did an MRI and could see the evidence from his old strokes, but other than that all was okay. They did another MRI five days later when his confusion worsened and found that he had had an “embolic shower”, showing that he had many clots throughout his brain. This showed that the clots are forming elsewhere (heart) and travelling to the brain. There was no other option but to put him into full time care once he stabilised.

He moved to Casa Mia Aged Care late November and has been in the locked dementia ward. He has been unable to communicate with us or staff, but has been co-operative. Unfortunately though, he has started to sleep all day and roam the halls at night. One night he fell asleep sitting in one of the chairs and then fell forward out of the chair. There was no apparent damage apart from a swollen nose and a small graze to the head. They changed his sleeping medication in the hopes that it would change his patterns, but he is still drowsy all day and awake all night.

He stopped eating his food last Thursday (12/01/17) and got more and more drowsy, not even responding when Allan and Julie went to visit and tried calling him and waking him. They expressed their concern to staff and staff were looking into it. On Monday 15/01 the nursing home called and said that he hadn’t eaten for 2 days and that they are concerned as he is more drowsy. They told us they had called the doctor for him and asked us if it was okay for him to be transferred to hospital. At about 11:30 Monday night, I got a call from the Registrar at Bankstown emergency letting me know that Dad was there and was being admitted and treated for pneumonia. MOTH and I went to see him Tuesday morning and he sounded quite chesty and we couldn’t rouse him at all. The staff told me he only had a pain response. When Allan and Julie saw him that afternoon, he was semi-conscious and moaning, still unresponsive to voice.

Today (Fri 20/01) we had a family conference with his treating doctor and registrar. They say they have changed his antibiotics and hope that this gets the infection under control as it has worsened slightly. He is also showing inflammation but this is probably gout as he seemed to be sore in the usual gout sites. They were putting in a Naso-gastric tube today to start giving him some nutrition as it has now been about a week since he has eaten and they feel that he might have a better chance at recovery with some nutrition. We’ll just have to see how that goes, but we did warn them about how he pulls tubes and every thing out when he has the chance so they are going to put him in special mittens in the hope that this prevents him pulling out the feeding tube.

It’s all wait and see at this stage. We just need to see if the nutrition aides in his recovery and helps him fight this infection. It’s not looking great at the moment, but we have said to them to take all necessary interventions to make him comfortable, but if things take a turn for the worse to not resuscitate him. They have said that if they did need to resuscitate him that he would be much worse off and we feel that this would be unfair to him. Fingers are crossed that things get better. I’ll keep you posted.

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A Very Busy Week

Wow, what a week! It started last Saturday when I went to visit Dad as I hadn’t been to see him that week due to the norovirus doing the rounds of the ward. I still had to mask up to see him, and I kept sanitising my hands and everything I came in contact with. I even had a contingency plan for when I came home so that I stripped off in the outside laundry and changed into a robe, throw all my clothes in the washing machine, come in the house and hot shower scrubbing head to toe. I sprayed my shoes and my coat with Glen20 to kill any germs that might have lingered on them and left them in the laundry overnight to be sure. Dad was just getting over the virus when I saw him, so he was still quite bedraggled. He got stuck into the cappuccino that I got him, and he tucked into his salad for lunch which I took as a really good sign. I could stay with him long, but he was really happy to have seen me.

On Sunday we did a roast chicken and salad lunch for our dear friend Bernie. It was her birthday this week, and we always like to do lunch for each others birthday. It was good to kick back with a few drinks and chat, because even though she was over just the week before, we still had so much to catch up on. She’s been in our lives for so long we’ve become family. I love her like a sister. I got pretty smashed so I just relaxed after she left and let the boys fend for themselves for dinner, I was still stuffed from lunch.

Monday morning I spoke with my brother and said that I’d googled a list of Nursing Homes for Dad and that I would start checking out all the ones with vacancies between Parramatta and Penrith. I spent the best part of the day on the internet and phone, but the only immediate vacancies were for women, so that was no good for us. I was hopeful with one particular organisation, however it turned out their places were not in suitable places for us… We really want to keep him in between us geographically, so when I found a place at West Ryde, I didn’t even bother, but that was the only male vacancy I found.

I took it easy on Tuesday, just did a few things around the house as Wednesday was the big travel day again. I actually don’t mind the travel, but it really knocks the stuffing out of me. It’s nice and relaxing to sit back and read a book during the journey instead of stressing out in the traffic on a 2 hour drive. I don’t have it in me to do that kind of driving, and my bus and train connections all line up so I get a good “run” both ways. Lisa came and had lunch with Dad and I in the Kiosk and we all had a really good meal and laugh. Dads memory is coming back to him, but you do need to help him fill in the blanks (if you can!). We went back to the reading room to watch the tv after lunch and just chatterbox in general. I gave his toenails and fingernails a trimming this week, they were getting really bad, and I had been meaning to do them for him anyway. Afterall, I have given him a haircut, and I was going to take my nail clippers that week, but I just forgot. Anyway, it’s done now and they’ll be fine for a while now.

While I was visiting Dad, the Social Worker (Ming) called me to tell me of a vacancy for Dad with UnitingCare Mayflower Village, Westmead. She gave me Diedre’s name and phone number and said to give her a call. I couldn’t do it there and then, and was going to do it when I got home, Diedre actually called me while I was sitting at Katoomba station waiting for the train to return home. We made arrangements for me to go and visit the premises on Friday at noon, as I knew Thursday was going to be no good for anything. It all sounded good over the phone, but I was really happy to get a call with a place for him now.

Thursday was a write-off. I got up, dealt with MOTH’s mate, and went back to bed. I was totally exhausted and really needed some good catch-up sleep. I even knocked Amanda back for coffee when she called, and she’s my sis! I felt really slack, but I just felt like shit and was just waiting for his mate to leave so I could go and relax. MOTH was the one who suggested I go back to bed, and I didn’t feel guilty as I had taken Jordy for her walk. I went to bed at about 10am and didn’t get up until 1:40pm. I was still buggered though, and was determined to try making Bolognese sauce. I quickly realised that wasn’t going to happen, so MOTH put everything away for me and he got pork steaks out for dinner and we had them with wedges and jewels. I’m really grateful that he took over, I didn’t think I was going to be able to do anything. Even after dinner he did the cleaning up and took care of everything. I’m blessed to have him.

Today, MOTH came with me to have a tour of Mayflower Village. It was only a half hour drive from our place, less than 20kms. I liked that he would get his own room that comes with a bed and bedside table, and a chair, hopefully. We would need to get the rest of the furnishings for him, but that won’t be too much of a problem. He will have to share the bathroom, but that’s being renovated at the moment, so he will have a nice, new bathroom to use. The dining facilities looked really nice, and the menu options were good. All the food is prepared on site, and will keep him healthy. There are plenty of other residents there, so he’ll never get lonely, and Dad makes friends easy enough, he just doesn’t always share well, which is why his own room is important. Now I’m just waiting on some paperwork from Centrelink, then I well be able to complete his application and have that all done and in in time to secure the room. I think he will be happy there, and I will be able to see him at least twice a week so that is something that I am really looking forward to. We really need to get him out of hospital as soon as possible and into this hostel kind of arrangement.

Anyhoo, that’s enough from me for now. I’m still buggered, and I’ve got more to do. I’m planning housework tomorrow, and a jewellery party later in the day. We’ll just have to see how it all goes. Until next time, tell your loved ones just how much you love them.

An Epic Adventure…

It was such a huge day on Wednesday, it has taken me until Friday evening to write about it! It started with leaving the house at 8:25am to catch the bus to Lidcombe, jump on a train to Parramatta and change there for Katoomba. After a nice little walk, I got to the hospital at 11:40am to see Dad. They have moved him there for rehabilitation, as it goes at a slower pace and he may be able to handle it much better.

He was asleep when I got there, but soon woke up when I put the coffee on his table. He was kicking the mat away that the nurses told me was alarmed so he couldn’t sneak around of a night. He tried going out the other side of the bed so the nurses put that rail up to slow him down. We sat and talked for a bit, and the Occupational Therapist, Tara, introduced herself and asked us a series of questions about Dad’s living arrangements and what he did with himself before the stroke happened. I say “us”, as Dad couldn’t answer all the questions by himself so I had to answer quite a few for him. Dad was also more interested in the medication trolley as it made its way around the room with the lovely nurses, he has the attention span of a gnat.

Tara finished with us, and Dad had some panadol, then it was time for lunch. He didn’t want the food the hospital was serving, so I made sure he was allowed to go and took him to the kiosk for lunch. We both had plain hamburgers, and they were quite yummy. Dad was happy to have a bite of real food – something to sink his teeth into. He’d been complaining of no bread, so I’m sure the bun helped. I know Allan and Julie have taken him some lovely food, but I don’t know if it’s been the minced food he’s been having in the hospital diet, or something he can chew on. I got him a Pepsi Max too, and encouraged him to drink up, as he needs the fluids and he’s not drinking water. They do threaten him with the drip though, so he’ll take a sip of water while they are watching. That’s no-where near enough

While we were having lunch, he wanted the newspaper so I got that for him. He’s been keeping up with current affairs and all the happenings in the world. I take that as a good sign. He’s able to discuss what is going on and give his point of view. When he discusses past events, however, he tends to get them somewhat confused. In both instances, he still struggles for words, but you can get the gist of what he is saying and help him with the blanks.

He has tape on his wound, as they told me it had become infected in a small part of the cut. I’m not surprised, the amount he has worried at it. He’s constantly picked at it, ever since they removed his restraints in intensive care. He opened it back up when I went for coffee for him during one of my visits to Nepean. I’m sure it will eventually heal, and now that he is in rehab, he may be more occupied by external factors and not pick at himself.

I didn’t want to leave him, as I felt I hadn’t been there very long, but it was nearly two hours, and I wanted to make sure I got back to Katoomba station for the train home. They only depart hourly, so I didn’t want miss it. It was a beautiful day and I enjoyed the walk back, and it’s not too far anyway, about 15 minutes. I had to change trains at Parramatta, and again at Lidcombe to get back to Bankstown for the bus back to Condell Park. MOTH came and met me at the bus stop, as he needed to get supplies for the household and thought he would pick me up whilst at the shops.

I was so relieved to finally be home though, and that was at about 4:50pm. I was totally exhaustipated…. and I had to cook dinner! It was a simple steak and chips, and everyone was happy with that – lucky for them, as there was going to be nothing else. It took me a long time and a valium to wind down, but I eventually fell asleep in my chair in front of the television. I can’t even remember what was on. All in all though, it was a really good day, as I really relaxed on the trains and read my book and I found this preferable to driving there and feeling stressed. It takes an hour each way longer, but for me, I think it’s worth it.

What a difference a week makes…

Dad was really good today. He was asleep when I got there, so I wandered back to the kiosk for a coffee and brought it back with me. He wasn’t in bed when I got back, so I was a little shocked, but then he came out of the bathroom so he was good. He was walking and getting around unaided, which was amazing, as he needed two nurses to get him up on to the frame on last Wednesday just to turn around. Now he is getting in and out of bed and to his chair by himself. Apparently, he does tend to wander off a bit so thankfully he’s in a locked ward.

He’s still confused to talk to, but you can have a conversation with him now and he can mostly follow it. He even asked me where the boy was when he first saw me so that was excellent (the boy didn’t come as he was up all night skyping!). We had a good chat today, in between watching “The Footy Show”. He’s starting to remember a lot of the recent past, which is good, but hopefully it won’t be upsetting him. He didn’t seem too cranky talking about it, and he’s prepared to take his time getting better, then sort out what needs to be sorted. Getting better is much more of a priority at the moment.

I received a text from my brother this morning, saying how much better Dad was and that he has been assessed for rehabilitation. The first person to assess him said no, he wasn’t a good candidate, but then another assessor came through and assessed, not knowing about the first person, and decided that it was worth trying rehab for him. Evidently, a place has opened at Katoomba hospital, but it is only on a trial basis. It’s a lot further away for me, but you need to take the place when it’s offered wherever you can. I’ll make arrangements to go up on the train and maybe stay with a friend overnight and return to Sydney the next day after seeing Dad again. Fingers crossed he comes good in rehab, or he won’t be able to stay there long and we’ll have to find a suitable facility for him.

Allan also said that Dad asked about Mum, as if expecting her to appear. Unfortunately, Julie had to explain to him that Mum had died a long time ago and he said she had been very ill. He was sad and disappointed at that, but the conversation just moved on. I’ve been waiting for this, and I’m kind of glad it wasn’t me in the hot seat. A big thanks again to my brother and his wife for everything they have done during this process. They have been by Dad’s side nearly daily and have kept everyone informed of what is happening as they know details. They have made this much less of an ordeal than it could have been and I am eternally grateful to them. They will let me know if/when the hospital moves Dad, then I can make plans about what I need to do to see him as often as I can.

Dad’s progress

Well, Dad had his surgery yesterday, carotid endarterectomy, and all went well. He got wheeled in to ICU at about 6pm last night, so it was a bit late for me to take off and go out to visit him. My brother was there to see him, and Dad managed to ask what was happening to him. Not sure if he understood what they told him, but at least he was able to string a question together.

They have struggled a bit with him in ICU. They are having to sedate him more than they would like as he is constantly trying to pull out his drain and drip, and he keeps taking his oxygen mask off. The nursing staff have been amazing, keeping a close eye on him and attending to his every need. I watched him today try to fight the nurses off as they had to put a line in his neck for further medication, and they are hoping he doesn’t try to pull this out (they put it in under ultrasound). He seemed to recognise me today, he said “Hi” to me and held my hand, which I found very encouraging. He wasn’t able to do that on Saturday, so I’m hoping that he hasn’t suffered much brain damage.

It was good to see my brother there today, he has been a real trooper. I know this is hitting him hard and he’s trying not to show it. He’s had to make all the decisions, sign the consent forms and be the hospitals first point of contact, and I think he has done a wonderful job. We’ve been able to sit down and have some really good talks, about all of this and life in general. We may have fought terribly while we were growing up, but we have become quite close as adults, and we really pull together when necessary.

In closing, I have to say I found Dad better than I expected today, and I am so eternally grateful for that. I hope to have my Dad back, it’s just going to take some time. I don’t know that he will make a “full” recovery, but just seeing him realise I was there today was really awesome. He’s got a hard road ahead of him, but he’s a fighter and won’t give in easily, as the nurses are finding out!

Dear Old Dad….

Well, I slept in until about 8am this morning, and it was wonderful. MOTH came for a walk with Jordy and I, and that was lovely too. MOTH was taking the boy to some motorbike parts suppliers this morning, so I thought it would be perfect to scrub the kitchen floor. Got that finished – it looks awesome – and was making a cup of tea when the boys called me. They had taken my phone with them so they could use navigator as the boys’ phone has no credit, and MOTH has no internet access on his phone. Lucky they did as they went into Liverpool, which they hadn’t planned to do.

My uncle Bruce called my mobile while they were out and the boys called me. My dad had gone completely unconscious and the nursing staff were working on him when I called him straight back. I rang my sister-in-law straight away from the home phone, as her’s was the only mobile number I could think of. I spoke to her and my brother and let them know what was happening and said that I couldn’t contact the hospital as the number Allan had given me was on my mobile, which I didn’t have. They were already on their way to Penrith, so they went straight to the hospital. Just before the boys got home, Bruce had called me back on my mobile and left a message to let me know they had Dad conscious and on a drip, so he was okay for now. Not too long after, about 11.30am, the boys got home and I checked that I had 5 missed calls and 2 text messages, but the boy had spoken to Bruce and was told everything was alright.

Poor Bruce was beside himself, I was really worried about him when I spoke to him. He was really taken aback that this happened while he was there. I had tried to explain to him over the phone that it was really bad and that this might happen, but he freaked when Dad “keeled over and didn’t move”. I did explain the blockages to him and that they may shed, causing stroke, but he wasn’t really expecting it to happen right before his eyes.

I decided, as soon as I found out about Dad when the boys called to tell me Bruce rang, that I was going out to see him today, not wait until tomorrow, as was the original plan. Bruce told me that he was going today, so I thought I would stretch the visiting out and go Sunday, but I was really concerned as to how Dad might be. When I got there, I was really shocked. He can’t communicate, he just looks at you. I was glad to see my brother there when I walked in, his wife and Bruce had gone looking for the kiosk. Dad was just sitting on the side of his bed, his feet on the floor and kind of leaning sideways against the back of the bed with the pillows on it – it had been wound up. He was just vacant. Every now and again he would try to smile at me, but it was a real struggle for him. I tried to get him to turn around and rest back on the bed, maybe get some sleep but I couldn’t seem to get through to him. I even tried to move his legs for him, but being the big bugger that he is, I had no chance.

He spent the entire two hours that I was there sitting like that on the edge of the bed. He had his clothes on over his pyjamas, which I think was going to make his life awkward later on. He is still getting frustrated with himself, apparently trying to get a hanky out of his pocket and only coming out with the lining (which must have felt just like a hanky) and getting really cranky in the process. He wasn’t able to say what he was after, which is really bad. At least his face didn’t seem to be frozen, but he was struggling to show any understanding. As I said before, sometimes he would look at me and smile, but it was hard for him.

I’m really concerned about him, but Allan is going to talk to the vascular surgeon on Monday and get this carotid endarterectomy done as soon as possible. If he’s having strokes like this while he’s in hospital, he needs to be prioritised. Hopefully early in next week, fingers crossed on that one. Dad doesn’t seem to have too much understanding of what is happening to him at the moment, so my brother is making all the decisions that need to be made. I am glad and forever grateful that he has taken charge during this crisis. Hopefully these strokes haven’t done too much permanent damage, and that he will improve once the procedure is done, the sooner the better. I felt awful leaving him there, but I can’t stay all evening, I need to look after my boys and see that they’re fed and loved.

I would love to thank my dear sis Amanda, for all the love and support she is showing through this. She has always been amazing to me, and her love and understanding at this time, while she faces her own problems, has been truly and deeply appreciated. I love you sis, and always will. I thank all of you who have expressed kind thoughts, deepest wishes and prayers for my Dad and my family. All of this is greatly appreciated, and it’s wonderful to see how many of you truly care. I love you all and thank you for being a part of my life.

I don’t plan on going back to the hospital until Tuesday, but if he manages to have surgery on Monday, I may be able to head out there before the traffic gets too bad. I am looking after little man on Monday, and I’m really looking forward to that, as he’s an awesome little dude to spend some time with, and he really enjoys hanging out here. MOTH is taking the boy to the paediatrician on Monday, so I’m really hoping that I don’t need to go to the hospital before Tuesday. Anyhoo, will be thinking as positive as I can, and I know that he is in the best place possible for the time being and is being well cared for, better than anything Allan or I could have done for him.

Thanks for showing an interest and taking the time to read this.

What’s been happening this week…

Well, Dad went into hospital on Tuesday morning… he wasn’t able to put two words together and wasn’t making any sense. He was wandering around the freezing cold kitchen without his slippers on and he was shivering. My brother and sister-in-law had the good sense to take him to Nepean Hospital Emergency, where he was seen to.

I visited him on Wednesday, and he really wasn’t making a lot of sense when I was trying to have a conversation with him. He couldn’t name things and would get frustrated trying to find the right words, so I was agreeing with him, even though I had no idea what he was talking about. His lunch arrived, so he wanted to go to the kiosk and get a sandwich for lunch. He said he knew the way, but when we walked out the doors of the hospital, I knew why the lock the ward that he is in! I went to enquiries, then took him to the kiosk, where I got him a nice chicken salad sandwich, which was huge, and took him back to his room. He went “Oh, lunch is here” and sat down to eat the food that came for lunch. I thought “poor man”.

Apparently, the Occupational Therapist did an assessment of him making a cup of tea, which he takes black with one sugar. He made added water to the cup with the bag in it, added two sugars, an artificial sweetener, and some salt. The bag fell of fthe string while he was jiggling, but he kept jiggling, he didn’t notice.

He had a carotid ultrasound, which showed a complete blockage on the right side, and an 80 – 90% blockage on the left. He’s still getting blood flow to the brain, however these blockages are dangerous plaque build up that breaks away, causing everything from micro and mini strokes called TIA’s, to full-blown stroke.

Thankfully today they were able to do the MRI on him, which showed evidence of multiple strokes on both sides of his brain, more on the right than the left. The vascular surgeon said that this was caused by the plaque build-up in his carotid artery flaking off. He is going to call my brother on Monday, as it seems they would like to perform a Carotid Endarterectomy. That’s just a fancy way of saying that they are going to remove the inner lining of the carotid artery. This will remove the plaque and improve the blood flow. Hopefully this will restore him to his happy old self and that the strokes haven’t done too much permanent damage, and it should prevent further strokes from occurring. They expect that they will operate within the next 9 days, depending on their case load and triage.

Apparently Dad was agitated this evening, ready to leave the place. My brother is going there to sort it all out and smooth him over. Thank goodness my brother has stood up and taken the lead on this. He and his wife have been amazing. They opened their doors and took him in when he had nowhere to go after breaking up with his girlfriend in January. Now this has happened. His now ex said that he had been having problems, but she never took him to be examined while he was having these problems, so maybe this could have been resolved a while ago. Anyway, he’s in hospital now and that’s what matters. We should have this fixed, and then get on with the job of getting him healthy. He is severely overweight and this is certainly not helping him at all. The only reason his sugar has been good (8.8 when I was there on Wednesday) is because he is eating hospital food, and not getting into his Tim Tams and lollies and lord knows what else!. He can’t get his treats in there, and they won’t let him have them if we do bring them.

His half-brother is visiting him tomorrow, and I believe his sister and father will be visiting him over the weekend too. I intend going on Sunday, around lunch time, so I know that he gets his lunch and get him to eat it. I’m really disappointed that this has happened to Dad. He was told 19 years ago when he had 5 bypasses on his heart that if he didn’t change his ways, this was going to happen to his carotid arteries in 20 years time. Well, here we are…. as my brother pointed out, he hasn’t given a shit since mum died (04/07/96). He’s been depressed and angry all these years, and has eaten his emotions. I’ve asked him a few times to do some counselling, but it was never going to happen. I feel helpless, but I have seen this coming with him. There is nothing I can do other than offer him my love and support, and be there as often as I can. I just hope the damage isn’t permanent.

I’ve had lots of love and support from a couple of close friends, and I am honoured to have them in my life. I thank them for their warm embraces, and their words of love and encouragement get me through some of the darker times. I love you to bits, and I thank you so much for being part of my life.

I will update this as I know more