Monday, 27 February 2017
It's just flu..... - part II
The acute stage was over with the discharge from ITU after about 3 weeks. The staff on ITU where just fantastic, truly. Not so on the general wards..... The first night Tracey's plea for being made comfortable was greeted with "You're not on ITU now you know", putting a buzzer on the side of the bed and walking off......... I was horrified when I came in the next day. I made my mind to do all of Tracey's personal care myself. The ward sister didn't like, but I asked her to take responsibility to wash her and feed her at an appropriate time and with respect, dignity and patience, 100% of the time. She couldn't, I did.
Tracey was suffering from critical care paralysis, from prolonged muscle relaxant use, it took months to recover. She wasn't able to feed herself, wash herself. Total paralysis from the neck down.
I remember at one point, on the ward, watching her this the physio, so small and vulnerable, that the fight had gone out of her. I needed to encourage her. Tracey remembers this moment, she recognised it at the same time. She realised that it was going to be really hard and she didn't know if she was capable. The care, or lack of care, she recieved was, in part, the reason that spurred her on. Doing the the stairs with the physio reached an almost mythical status, retrieving the golden fleece or cleaning the Augean stables. She came home with a zimmer frame and a couple of alterations to our house.
She was, and 5 years on, no ill effects, morbidity or disablity what so ever.
I met some awesome practitioners, the compassion and empathy to really make a difference to people's live and their recovery. And some others that need to reflect on their career choice. I was never aggressive or rude, but always honest and articulate, Tracey's advocate. Tracey's fierce advocate.
This was my training ground for want was to come......