Friday, 19 May 2017

Goodbye Dear Rosemary. (Final)


      It was around 3 pm Wednesday March 8 That Rosemary returned from 'Day Care', she looked fine and healthy and bubbly and gave our son  Christopher a hug and a kiss which was Rosemary all over, but in the excitement she fell and hit the carpeted floor hard and complained of a pain in her right leg .and failed to rise up.
      An ambulance was called, then after pain reducing injections paramedics took Rosemary to John Hunter Hospital near Newcastle NSW. Chris our eldest son followed and later returned with news that Rosemary was to have replacement surgery the following day.
      Rosemary at that point in time was a physically healthy 59 kilos ,165 cm tall and a Aus size 12. with an astounding fresh complexion for her 82 years - together with a happy and cheerful loving disposition  despite the slight dementia problem which was her worst worry.
      At 7 pm the following day Chris and I visited Rosemary at J H Hospital She was awake and vaguely responding to our questions but; the thing noticed first was that her upper denture was missing (This was never found) enquiries fell on deaf ears).At this point in time she had not eaten for at least 30 hours. It was also noticed that Rosemary had not eaten other than a few spoonful's of food we were told but never witnessed. however it was good to see her out of bed and sitting in a wheel chair.
      After a week at J H Hospital; Rosemary was moved to Wyong Hospital and a day or two later into the geriatric ward, .A doctor described her to my son as very weak and may possibly pass away which would be stating the obvious knowing they were not getting any form of sustenance into her tummy, Suzanne a former D/in law visited several times from far away followed by other relatives who also tried to feed Rosemary and during the weeks to follow Chris and I visited during meal times when we discovered little attempt if any by the staff to feed Rosemary due to her meals remaining untouched. To be perfectly frank 'I don't believe the staff responsible were up to the task- unqualified, which beggars belief that a person in a Coma and a far worse situation can be kept alive by hospital staff on other occasions.
      Eventually a revised menu arrived at meal times, I watch a nurse offer Rosemary food who gives up at the first attempt to go back and talk to other staff probably discussing it as matter for the "Too hard basket" . This saga continued while Rosemary Wasted away from Malnutrition and lack of care in the form of cleaning her bottom denture which Chris discovered covered in filth with  a  crawling creature within her mouth . Also during her stay in Wyong hospital it would seem she was never out of her bed and simply allowed to waste away,
      A few days before Rosemary left Wyong Hospital  Chris and I arranged to have Rosemary taken in care at the local nursing home which was quite a revelation and we were very pleased with the prospect of Rosemary being there simply because of the better care and more humane approach to the welfare of the persons in care. On Monday May 1- 17 an emaciated Rosemary arrived at the Opal Nursing Home  weighing less than thirty Kilos more likened to a victim of a WW2 Nazi concentration camp - nothing but skin and bone with sunken eyes.. the staff at Opal persevered with the feeding of Rosemary and it was pleasing to see her eating  although it was too little and too late; her last words to me on Tuesday May 2 about 6-30 p m was her reply
 " I Love You Too".

 Rosemary passed away about 7 pm Wed  May 3 , 17

4 comments:

Andrew said...

I love the photos of your Rosemary in your previous post. She looks like a great fun person. Bad stories from hospitals are aplenty but perhaps there is some consolation for you in that a seeming lack of care in hospital may have hastened the inevitable by a day or week or two at most. That does not make any lack of care right, but the most important thing is comfort of the terminally ill. At the end stage of life, people do not have a hunger for food.

Elephant's Child said...

I am so very sorry. Which is inadequate but true.
Her last words are a tribute to her - and to you.

Jane Stokes-Honour. said...

Very,very sad xxxxxx

Elsie Hanlin. said...

This was very hard to read. After all the government cuts to hospitals and nursing, it's no wonder staff don't have enough time to help people eat, but a revised menu should have come along sooner, although even then staff probably wouldn't have enough time to ensure Rosemary ate more than a mouthful or two. I remember working in a hospital kitchen and meals for the geriatric ward were often liquidised and placed in a plastic tumbler with a cap that had a sipping spout and I took my turn with delivering the trays as well. All I had to do was place the trays on the table and then collect them later. Sadly, too often, I collected untouched meals, mostly I think because the patients simply couldn't lift a spoon or a tumbler or even sit forward enough to reach the plate. Most of them seemed to be permanently asleep, without any energy from food it's no wonder. This was in the 70s, when hospitals had more staff, but even then I don't know if any of them had time allotted to helping the old ones eat. Those that were able, fed themselves, some had family members come in and spoon feed them, but not many. I could lay the blame for these things squarely at the feet of the governments, who just don't seem to care. I realise everything costs money, but whatever happened to hospital volunteers? Why can't some of them be trained to sit with the elderly and coax a little soup or pureed vegetables into them.

Goodbye Dear Rosemary. (Final)

      It was around 3 pm Wednesday March 8 That Rosemary returned from 'Day Care', she looked fine and healthy and bubbly and gave ...