Wednesday, December 12, 2007

2.88kg George's weight today

2.88kg George's weight today
He's up again. This is promising - and our first day in the new ward at Kings.

Everybody here is friendly and helpful, but bemused by the fact we've been transferred here at all. Nobody can work out why St Thomas' have sent us for two nights in a completely different hospital and not just sent us home from St Thomas'. The dietitian and head nurse sound like they're going to complain.

At lunchtime we decided to try to push to find out when exactly we were being discharged - I'm going to be in Manchester on Friday so we really need to get them back tomorrow. After a lot of to-ing and fro-ing it turns out that what's stopping us from being discharged is the tube in his nose.

Because he's had this tube fitted for feeding we need to be trained to feed him through it and the doctors need to see us doing it confidently enough to feel we can do it at home. Reasonable enough, except that the tube was fitted at the beginning of his hospital stay in case he wouldn't feed in the normal way.

Fortunately, however, he's always been perfectly happy to take everything he's been given from bottle or breast and the only time the tube has ever been used has been when he's been asleep and we haven't wanted to wake him - we could do without the tube very easily.

There's now a whole care package being set up around making sure somebody's available to change the tube, that we know how to use it and that it's monitored - when the tube is really just an uncomfortable, unnecessary and disturbing piece of jewelry.

So anyway - we now know how to suck out George's stomach acid and test its acidity (something I for one never thought I'd need to know) and how to administer his milk slowly through a pipe directly into his stomach.

George, luckily is oblivious to most of this and what's bothering him most is a case of thrush for which he's being treated with oral medicine and cream.

No news yet about when the operation is going to be. The surgery meeting was supposed to have taken place this afternoon, but nobody's phoned through with a decision, so we'll have to wait until tomorrow to find out our plans for Christmas.

Grace and Igor's house clearance
Grace and Igor's house was cleared today and the keys handed back to the landlord. They're safely - if not happily - in the home now and they knew it was going to happen and are resigned to it.

The clearance firm turned up with too small a lorry and Mum and Dad (with Carol and Roy) had to spend the day packing and sorting. The clearance firm had underestimated the job - and with Grace and Igor's huge collection of possessions, who can blame them. Thousands upon thousands of videotapes, piles of stuff bought from catalogues and never used. Far more furniture than the house could reasonably have expected to fit.

That must have been a hard job mentally and physically for Mum and Dad - although they didn't say so because they don't want to burden us right now.

There's something brutal about having to simply throw out a lifetime of someone's possessions - 93 years of accumulated junk. especially when the person is still there to know you're doing it. And especially when it's being thrown because nobody has the time to sort through it. Still, it had to happen and none of the house contents will be needed.

The clearance company will now be sorting through deciding what they can sell and what they can throw away. Doubtless they'll be having a good laugh at some of the tat they find.

Of course, Grace and Igor's life is far more than what they own, and I can only hope that cutting the ties with their old house and their old possessions will free them to get back the zest for life I remember them both having. In some ways you could say they've been restricted by the sheer weight of clutter in their lives over the last few years.

I do feel it's been the isolation of their house in Stapleford along with the clutter within it that's restricted them just as much if not more than their age, and if they chose to now they're in a home - accessible and full of opportunities as it is - they could re-engage with the life they've withdrawn from.

The've seemed so tired and unwilling recently, and I think it's because of the things they know they have to let go of, but have devoted so much to. but now with the clearance, those things are gone. They are free of thinking about them. There was definitely a spark when we showed them their new Great Grandchild. It's George they see as the future now and perhaps he can give them a positive view of that future again.

Mum isn't telling them about George's operation. I'm not sure if that's a good or bad decision, but I am sure she's a better person to make it than me.

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