He is well ensconced at the Hospice and has been there sinc Monday . Monday morning felt a bit fraught. Both of us were anxious. For the first time, I had to use the hoist to get him from toilet to shower seat, from shower seat to standing position. I wanted him to have a decent breakfast, but we were up late and he was worried that eating too soon before leaving for the Hospice would precipitate a bowel movement on the way. He had a substantial if late breakfast at 10.30am and the plan was to call his taxi for 12.00pm but we were delayed by a number of toilet transfers - it may have been the anxiety.
That was the other thing of course - he needs his motorised chair, hence the taxi. There was some confusion about transport to get him there with his motorised chair. Too late we realised we could have requested an ambulance from the Hospice and we ordered a taxi. I followed behind with all the necessaries. The list of requirements grows steadily (high on the list is Prosecco, beer and cigars. Somewhat ironically followed by nippy machine, rollator etc..
Eventually we got there - there was even a parking space for me in the Hospice Car park, which was pure luck.
I was dismayed to find that he had been put on a ward. But what did we expect? It's not a hotel. Last time we were cushioned from the reality of the purpose of the place as he had his own room.
As we sat there on Monday, it seemed that compared to his roommates, Roch seemed hale and hearty. It did bring it home to both of us. His nearest neighbour seemed close to the business of dying and across the room the third occupant was in a lot of pain.
From behind the dividing curtain we listened as two kindly young nurses gave one gentleman a bed bath. 'Now, lets just freshen you up down there,' one cheerfully remarked as Roch sent me an agonised glance. I knew what he was thinking.
How long until he is in the same position?
He has met each challenge bravely, at every stage there are more barriers to overcome. There is no bio bidet at the hospice so I know how much he was dreading having to ask a nurse to wipe his bum. When we spoke on the phone on Monday evening, he told me that that challenge had now been faced.
The staff there are wonderful and so kind and attentive. I stayed with Roch all afternoon and into the early evening, by which time he was more settled there, we had seen the doctor and every effort had been made to add to the comfort of his stay.
There are advantages and disadvantages to a shared ward. One of the disadvantages for Roch's fellow patients, I felt, might be the stream of expletives which issue from him when he struggles to stand. I realised that we have become used to this at home (i think its his way of urging himself on and it seems to help) but in the quiet atmosphere of the Hospice it suddenly felt very 'Fr. Jack'. 'B*******! F***! S****!'
However, the good news (for Roch and his former roommates) is that he has now been moved to his own room! I'm not sure for whose benefit this arrangement was made but we're happy with it!