Thursday, 11 November 2010

11/11/10 Already forgotten

Today I am very sad. An old friend is dying in hospital, whilst his family try to get him home. He is 88, and his war was spent in India and Burma, his time as an undergraduate cut short to get him to the front. He is one of the very finest human beings I have ever met. Gentle, immaculate in his grooming, twinkly and kind. Until two months ago he was playing 18 holes of golf twice a week. Until a month ago he still had accountancy clients. Then suddenly he couldn't breath, couldn't walk, his heart started failing and a series of strokes have put him in hospital. When I visited him on Tuesday I found him in a side room, contorted in a collapsed bed, with nothing to drink, and struggling to breath. Not one to make a fuss, even if he could reach the bell to summon a nurse. To the nurses he is just another old codger waiting to meet his maker, and they will get around to fixing his bed/fetching a bed pan/water/helping him to take a drink all in due course, but not until the pressing need has passed. He shouldn't be left alone. He should be at home with his loving wife of 65 years.

You are a darling man Alan, the very finest sort, I will miss you so much, and I will miss your war stories that your family tired of hearing years ago. May the bureaucrats get their arses into gear so that you may go peacefully, with a view of your garden, with your loving family around you. Thank you for everything you did to protect your fellows and to rebuild your country. I will miss you so. The world will be a lesser place without you.

18 comments:

call me ishmael said...

Bear up. All flesh is dust. Eighty-eight, duty done and happily wed, who could grumble?

Put a candle in the window.

Ishmael.

Elby the Beserk said...

Ishmael,

It's the hospital abandonment that hurts. And the fact that Lil diagnosed a stroke the day after his GP had been in and failed to diagnose the same.

Don't be old and get sick. When my mum had the second of her major strokes, she was hospitalised on a Friday evening. My brother and I got to see her late Sunday, and she was having convulsions at regular intervals.

This was neither diagnosed or dealt with till a consultant got to see her the next day. Three days, in a bad enough state as she was, this was going on, and no-one did fuck all about it. And the buggers then resurrected her, when all she wanted to do and needed to do was die.

This was the same NHS who in 1990, told me she had 6 months to live as her liver was so severely cirrhosed.

She died in January 2005, bless her.

Electro-Kevin said...

It's down to us - the children.

If a dying parent is without water then whose fault is that ?

lilith said...

Which is why, E-K, they want him home. Away from the nurses who won't let them sit by their old pa except at visiting time, yet won't give him water themselves.

lilith said...

Yes Mr Smith, a good soul, a good life. I want him to have a good death too. I will do as you suggest.

Nomad said...

Elby: Don't get old and sick...

That is exactly what my old mum used to say as she entered her 60s. She was well enough overall, but suffered lots of persistent, and occasionally painful, niggles that old age brings. She eventually succumbed to dementia or Alzheimer's (which appear to be the same thing to me) and ended her days peacefully in a nursing home, dying as she slept, at the age of 82 and unable to recognise any of us or remember details of anything in her life we discussed with her. It was pitiful and agonising to see her suffering like that but there was nothing we could do to make it easier for her. If people could foresee their futures it may well be that many would choose to pop their clogs earlier than suffer in old age.


Lilith: I hope the family succeed in extricating your friend for his final few days/weeks.

killemallletgodsortemout said...

Lilith, this is heart-rending.

I hope your friend has dignity and care to the end. This won't be achieved if he is in hospital, so I hope you and the family can spring him out of there.

Small comfort, but I'm thinking of you, and him.

Woman on a Raft said...

Thinking of you and of him.

Scrobs... said...

They're awful days to remember Lils, and unfortunately, they have a habit of turning up more regularly as we all get older.

Isn't there a hospice for this good man?

Philipa said...

I'm so sorry this is happening, Lils. Sadly and annoyingly it is all too common. I do hope the family get him out soon and home.

xx

lilith said...

Thank you for your kind comments. Alan won't be going home.

My ex brother in law died suddenly this weekend. He was 60. First appointment with the oncologist last Monday. By Friday he would never wake again. He leaves four sons and two grand children. The shock is appalling.

Death Don't have no Mercy.

Dick the Prick said...

The budgets are being moved to personally committed allowance through GP commissioning. Nah, I don't believe it either...

And anyway, he ain't gone yet. Let's not get previous.

Dick the Prick said...

Geez Lils - hadn't seen your latest post. Phhhwwwwhhhh....think i'm gonna go for some cider. This life shit is quick

Philipa said...

My sincere condolences, Lils xx

Scrobs... said...

So sorry to read this Lils, that's two I've learned of in the last fortnight now, and the speed of this shitty disease knows no bounds.

Mermaid of Moorgate said...

I am so sorry to hear this - what a great, un-noticed man he seems to have been.

No life is wasted, no matter how it ends. His end may not be as glorious as his finer moments but believe me, his legacy lives on in hearts such as yours.

X

Bill Quango MP said...

O/T But from your last comment about PO's.

Somerset news closure of PO Frome.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/p00c47t6/BBC_Somerset_Breakfast_19_11_2010/

1:47 in. The guy seems to explain the closure quite well.

Elby the Beserk said...

Bill Q. What the programme didn't note is that the two remaining sub offices in Frome are both up for sale.