Well I suppose it had to happen sometime. Last night Mum got up for the bathroom in the night and had a fall. I was woken by a crash and heard her calling out for me. I think she must just have lost her balance in the bathroom and she’d hit her head on the tiles. I examined the cut on the back of her head and managed to stop the bleeding but the problem was I couldn’t get her back up on her feet.
I rang the Out-of-hours doctor and was told to call an ambulance – normal protocol for the elderly apparently. The paramedics got her up and took her to the local hospital while I followed in my car. I rang Jean who wanted to come with me but I persuaded her that it was pointless both of us going, especially as she had work the next day.
I arrived at hospital around 4 a.m. and Mum was in a cubicle waiting for the doctor. I have to say, despite it being very busy in A&E, the treatment was first-class. She had every test under the sun and regular BP and temp checks. I presumed that she would just need the wound glueing as the bleeding had stopped but the doctor gave her three stitches. He said he wanted her to stay overnight in the observation ward just to keep an eye on her for the next few hours but we had to wait until 8 a.m. before a cubicle became available.
I couldn’t believe that Mum managed to stay awake all this time, although she was really confused and made very little sense. I kept suggesting that she put her head back and had a nap but she almost seemed to be in a trance.
When we got into the Observation ward, they put her in a chair although I felt she should really try and have a sleep. It may be that the staff wanted her to stay awake. A nurse asked if she wanted breakfast and she said “Well, I only drink coffee and I like toast for breakfast,” as though she was in a hotel!
I left Mum there (which I hated) and came home to get some rest, then Jean and her daughter went to collect her later in the afternoon when all the tests had come back. Everything checked out okay which was a relief. It was interesting that the Staff Nurse told me that she shouldn’t really be on sleeping tablets as they could make her more liable to fall in the night. She asked me to consult our GP about this which is ironic as it was the GP who had prescribed the sleeping pills. Hmmm!
One good thing that’s come out of this is that we’ve been referred back to Social Services, to the Carers’ Centre, to the Fall Clinic and to the OT Dept. Perhaps there is some more help available.