Restrictions II

Outside the hospital there are even more restrictions – no entry, emergency vehicles only, ambulances only, and one of several sets of warning lights stopping traffic when the emergency helicopter lands on the helipad situated immediately behind 🙂

Restrictions

I had 10 minutes to wait for my bus up to the hospital this morning, so whiled away the time taking random images of signs close by – no stopping, no loading, no cycles, and definitely no feeding seagulls! 🙂

Stuff I Share…

My blog is a place I share stuff… personal stuff, everyday stuff, overall life stuff… thoughts and feelings. I like that level of sharing, photographs I take and poems I write and experiences and opinions and the occasional rant and just… I don’t know… a general commentary on my very ordinary existence, day by day. I don’t share everything, of course, that would be creepy. But what I do choose to share is real.

My favourite blogs to follow tend to share the same kind of everyday things as I do. Some blogs are more image based, some are poetry based, and some just share the same kind of ongoing everyday life stuff as I do. There’s just something human that connects us when we know someone’s name, and what they look like, and where on the planet they live. And the longer we stay connected through our blogs, the better we get to know each other.

My blog content inevitably changes along with my reality – when I first began blogging I lived in a one-bed flat in London with no outside space at all, and now I live in a three-bed bungalow in Inverness in the North of Scotland with a garden front and back, so of course I now have a completely different lifestyle. And over the last 20-odd months we’ve all had to adapt to the global Covid pandemic, too. Lives change, circumstances change, and so our blogs change, too.

As a result what I share on my blog depends mostly on what’s going on in my life, how busy (or not) I am, and how I’m feeling about things going on around me. Sometimes I share quite a lot, but at other times, not so much. Some days I’m just more chatty than others, and on some days I just want to hide away from the world and shut everyone and everything out.

So I may as well take this opportunity to say thank you to everyone for sharing my blog with me, and for giving me the opportunity to share yours with you, too… Here’s to all of us keeping on blogging! 🙂

Weekly Prompt: Sharing

Hot Lips Salvia

Earlier this year I bought a small, well-past-its-best ‘Hot Lips’ Salvia plant from the clearance section of a local bargain store – I planted it in the back garden and figured it would either grow or not, but I was happy to give it a try. To my surprise and delight it has survived and thrived. And here are some of its tiny little red and white flowers still bringing a lovely splash of colour to my autumn garden 🙂 ❤

Flower of the Day

A Lost Cause

Where have you been?‘ asked dad when I saw him yesterday…

My 85-year-old dad has been in hospital for the last two weeks, after a fall at home and a bang on the head. Dad has poor mobility due to four strokes over the space of several years, and has vascular dementia. I’ve gone up to the hospital to see him most days, but sadly he doesn’t always remember things. Like where he is or how long he’s been there, or what time it is, or what day, or what year, or what decade for that matter. Or in particular when anyone last visited him.

There are still restrictions and limitations on hospital visiting due to Covid, so there’s nothing straightforward about booking a fixed appointment slot in the ward to ensure that only one visitor per room is in attendance at any one time – and as dad is in a six-bedded room, that means sharing all available individual slots with a potential five other visitors on a first come, first served basis. Additionally, each patient is only allowed two designated visitors for the entirety of their stay – so for my dad, that’s my mum and me.

But of course dad doesn’t really comprehend the intricacies of any of this – not long-term Covid restrictions, not his being in hospital, not his dementia, not why things have to be the way they are for him right now. Dad doesn’t always remember when I visit – I mean, he knows at the time I’m there, but generally he doesn’t retain that information even to the next day. It’s the same when mum is there with him, he doesn’t always remember when she visits, either. Inevitably that hurts, makes it all so much harder to cope with.

I try to remain positive but to be perfectly honest I’m growing weary of constantly juggling work and buses and visiting slots, and I feel guilty that I’m finding it all so stressful. I mean, he’s my dad, and I do want to see him as regularly as I can to make sure he’s OK, but yet… Some days I go up and dad gives me a big smile when he sees me, and that makes it all worthwhile. He is usually happy in the moment, and for dad, the moment is often all he has. But on days like yesterday it feels like a lost cause…

For whatever reason, dad was not in a good place yesterday. Quiet, uncommunicative, not partaking in anything much when it comes to social interaction but easily distracted by watching the comings and goings of staff in the ward. ‘Where have you been?‘ is pretty much all I got from him yesterday, accusatory, as if I was failing him somehow. And perhaps I am. So I just sat patiently with him for my allotted hour, simply keeping him company, trying to engage him in conversation but mostly passing the time in silence, and then I got ready to leave.

Where are you going?‘ asked dad as I stood up, and I told him I had to go home now, because my visiting time was up but I’d be back again tomorrow… I gave him a hug as usual and as I turned back to wave at him I saw the confusion in his eyes, the puzzlement, the struggle for him to make sense of it all… So I sat on the bus going home with tears in my eyes, knowing there is no easy answer to any of this, there is no quick fix, no positive prognosis to look forward to… No real hope of salvation.

Dad has vascular dementia, and the harsh reality is he will have good days and bad days but there can be no getting better, only a slow downwards progression towards… what? Who knows… ❤ 😦

My Weekly Smile: Raigmore Hospital

It’s been a while since I’ve participated in the Weekly Smile, and yeah I know, a boring, un-beautiful hospital building doesn’t seem much to smile about, but I have some very fond memories of this place.

Although this particular building isn’t actually that old – it was built in the late 1980s – there had been another Raigmore Hospital on a different part of the site long before this one. The original Raigmore Hospital was a wartime construction made up of several individual one-storey brick-built ward blocks that were still actually in use when I gave birth to my three children in the early 1980s, all born there in the original maternity block not too far away.

Looking around now I’m not quite sure exactly where the original ward blocks were sited – under the present staff accommodation perhaps, or underneath the new ambulance base, or under the extension to the car park, all behind where I’m standing to take this shot (at the bus stop, waiting for my bus home)? To be honest the surrounding landscape has all changed so much (and been built on) since then I can’t really get my bearings any more…

Anyway, suffice to say I’ve visited this particular hospital building many times over the last 30 years – visiting at various times my maternal grandmother, my mum, and of course my dad – and I’ve been both an inpatient and an outpatient here myself, including most recently having my hip X-Ray in the radiology department last Friday.

I also worked here too, as a physiotherapy assistant a good 20 years ago – I loved that job, there was a real family atmosphere in the workplace. Being back in the familiar wards visiting dad over this past week or so has brought back a lot of memories of the wonderful camaraderie between the staff and has definitely made me smile – plus I know dad is being well looked after.

And best of all, all six of my grandchildren were born here in this hospital – although actually the new maternity unit is just out of shot to the left. Twice this week I’ve seen beaming new parents carefully leaving the hospital with their precious newborns, and it’s reminded me how all of life passes through the doors of our hospitals, our National Health Service taking good care of us free at the point of need, cradle to grave…

My last smile for today’s post comes in the shape of a stained glass window and access door combination sited in the main hospital corridor – it’s called The Four Seasons and sits at the top of the T-junction between the Outpatient Departments and the Inpatient Wards… so bright and cheerfully lit up by the daylight coming in from the courtyard behind it 🙂

Share Your World: 8th November 2021

How many pillows do you sleep with? If over one or two is it because you sleep better ‘propped up’ a little?

I sleep with one reasonably fat pillow under my head, and one specially shaped little knee pillow between my knees to keep my dodgy hip in alignment – being a side-sleeper, before I bought my pillow every time I turned over the pain in my hip would wake me up, but with my knee pillow I’m finding it all so much more comfortable 🙂

What would be the worst thing you could out in a pinata?

Ice cream? Pepper? Spiders?

What noise annoys you most?

Conflicting noises, like the cacophony created when someone has the TV and the radio on in the same room at the same time…

If cartoon physics suddenly replaced real physics, what are some things you would want to try?

I’m a huge fan of the Roadrunner cartoons, so I’d probably spend the day being Wile E Coyote, both dishing out and finding myself on the receiving end of all the fantastical plots and pieces of equipment (courtesy of myriad Acme Co parcels) he makes use of when trying to eliminate Roadrunner… But being a cartoon, I’d always survive to fight another day, of course… Beep, beep! 🙂

Please share something good that has happened to you over the last month?

Being allowed to visit my dad in hospital over the last 10 days… there are still the inevitable restrictions due to Covid and limitations on total visitor numbers but at least I’ve been able to see him regularly. Last year dad was in hospital for five weeks at the height of the first Covid lock-down, when no visitors were allowed at all and our only contact was the telephone – that was horrible for all of us.

Share Your World