Thursday, September 20, 2012

Hospitals and broken bits

So you may remember me writing a few weeks ago about my boyfriend getting hit by a car and broken.  Well he's home now, relatively mobile and slowly recovering.  I've been considering writing a post ranting about the support and lack of support you get, and our experiences with the NHS.

But quite frankly I'm knackered.  I was shattered from all the hospital visits, twice a day with a 2 hour break in between, then when he came home I was finally able to sleep properly at night, but seeing as he's now using a wheelchair there's a lot of stuff I have to do for him. We have set up a bed for him downstairs as he can't do stairs just yet.  Because we live in a Victorian terrace he can't get into the kitchen in his wheelchair, because the doorframe and galley kitchen itself is too narrow.  Thankfully, he can get between his new bedroom and the dining room.  But this means I have to sort out all food and water etc.  And do all the housework because he can't walk yet.  And go to work.  I'm knackered.  Thankfully (another one) his folks are coming down and spending alternate weeks with us, to look after him during the day when I'm at work. But having other people around also tires me out.  And I'm emotionally drained because I've been so worried about him.  Thankfully (there's a lot of thanks in this post) he will recover from his injuries and he'll have no side effects.  He's just got another 8 weeks in the wheelchair and then he can start putting weight on his bad leg.

And the wheelchair. It's not modern and it's not slimline.  But it's not as heavy as you'd think and it's easier to manoeuvre than I'd expected.  The Red Cross supplied it.  The hospital supplied a zimmerframe (to support him when he stands up on his good leg to shift from bed to chair) and a commode (because our bathroom is upstairs).  No one supplies a ramp.  Social services came and had a look at the house but because the doorframe is upvc they can't easily fit one.  I forget the exact reasons.  Because he's only a short term wheelchair user they won't go to greater effort to fit something for just a couple of months.

I've gone through various emotions about this - disbelief, rage, frustration, sorrow, annoyance, and back to rage again.  It's not the hospital's fault, or social services.  The nurses and OTs at the hospital were mostly great.  They have limited resources and have to allocate them to those who need them most.  But I cannot quite comprehend that the budget holders think it is OK to force someone to be house bound for 2 months.  It's just not on.  It's not a good atmosphere for healing.

Before anyone starts giving me advice about what to do - the boyfriend isn't sure that he wants a ramp. he doesn't like a fuss being made, he doesn't want to put anyone out.  That's not the point.  The NHS should have enough resources and budget to provide ramps for people like him.  He's got a follow up x-ray next week. I've had to arrange for hospital transport (an ambulance) to come pick him up because me and his mum cannot get him out of the house.  We will not be able to physically lift him and his wheelchair over the threshold, and he cannot hop over.

We (me and the boyfriend, not his mum) are meant to be going to ThoughtBubble comic convention in Leeds in November.  This will be 5 days before he's due to be allowed to put weight on his bad leg.  We don't know if he can go or not.  ThoughtBubble's venue is accessible (thankfully).  The trains and stations to Leeds are accessible, but if he can't stand on both legs he'll need his zimmerframe to lean on to be able to shift from chair to bed or chair to seat.  We can't take the frame with us.  The hotel we are staying at isn't wheelchair accessible.  How would he get over the threshold?  If we were to stay over what would we do for dinner?  Where could we go that is accessible?  We were meant to be staying in York - that's another journey and more hassle.  I don't know if he'll be able to come or not.

So. all this has been on my mind.  I'm knackered.


SallyP said...

I'm so sorry to hear about his accident, but I'm glad to know that he's going to be ok...eventually. Which doesn't mean that you aren't going through hell right now.

Saranga said...

Thanks Sally. To be honest, we could be doing worse. The last week has been rather emotional, but now I'm feeling ok. It's up and downs, but I really just want him up and about again :(

On the plus side we discovered he can now get into the kitchen, it just takes some delicate maneuvering!