Tuesday, December 11, 2007

2.84 Kg George’s weight today

2.84 Kg George’s weight today
Going up! The dietician has now appeared, but since we’re moving hospitals today, we’ll now be under a different dietician with different advice, so our current’ one’s advice will only be current for the next 3 hours.

George’s madness of Kings
Didn’t go into hospital this morning as we’d been told that Lisa and George were moving, but we didn’t know when or whether it would happen. Throughout the day things continued to change. First they were moving, then there was no bed for them. Then they were being sent home until the operation.

Finally, a bed was found but only for a couple of days until the community care package could be set up (whatever that is). In the meantime, Lisa has a room of our own and a much better bed.

A good result apart from the fact that the unit at Kings (the “Toni and Guy” – and I’m not joking- ward) is a generalist ward whereas the Camel ward (and I’m not joking about that either) at St Thomas’s is a specialist cardiac unit (where, they of course play Heart FM all day!).

The result is that when we arrived we got asked questions like:

Nurse: “is his sight and hearing ok?”
Lisa: “yes, it’s fine”
Nurse: “and he’s got no heart problems”
Lisa: “yes – he’s got a hole in his heart – that’s why he’s here – look it says it in big bold letters on his report”
Nurse: “and how about his feeding?”
Lisa: “he has 52 ml of food every three hours and in between I’m breast feeding him”

Nurse: “so which of you is staying overnight?”
Lisa: “me – I’m better at breast feeding”

One great thing about having George in Kings is that we can pop out to the “sun and doves” pub on the corner and we know George will be looked after.

For the first time in ages, we went out and had propper dinner together in a proper pub and we shared a proper bottle of proper wine. It felt like being on a date – even though it was just an hour.

The other great thing is that we’re within an easy bus journey from home – although that’s not why we’ve been transferred there. On my journey in, I sat next to a boy on his way home from school. I think they must work them very hard because he was so fast asleep for the whole journey I had to check that he was still breathing.

Getting rid of salesmen

I’ve discovered a useful tip:

Any unwanted conversation (e.g. with a cold calling salesman) can be ended almost instantly by using the phrase “my baby is in hospital having open heart surgery”.

Note: Don’t try this with jehova’s witnesses. It tends to have the opposite effect – lengthening rather than shortening the conversation.

Not having to go in this morning meant I could catch up with work and all the tasks that had been piling up. I managed to finish off my overdue deadlines, do some emails, make some phone calls and generally sort out the crap that accrues when you suddenly have to put life on hold.

I now feel so much better – I even managed to email people about various Christmas stuff – so Christmas this year might actually happen.

So where does that leave us? – well, Lisa is going to be in Kings until Thursday after which she’s coming home (I’ll believe it when I see it). Apparently one reason they didn’t send her home before was because if she’s in hospital, she’s blocking a bed so they’re less likely to cancel the surgery!

However, we’ve been told that sending her home won’t make it any more likely that the surgery is cancelled now. Unless he puts on weight in which case they’ll wait until after Christmas when he’s heavier and that makes the surgery safer. Nobody’s ever mentioned things that make the surgery safer, less safe or what “safety” even means.

Funny how words like “routine surgery” and “safer surgery” suddenly become very important without anyone ever quantifying what “safe” or “routine” actually mean. I’m always worried when someone describes something as having become “safer” when they’d always told you it was “safe” in the first place. it makes you wonder what criterior they’re using:

Safe like a properly prepared walk in the park or safe like a properly prepared bomb disposal operation? Nobody tells you.

While I’m on the subject of hospital confusion: what makes it essential to keep a patient in hospital when there’s a bed for them, but OK to release the same patient into the community when there’s no bed available?

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