Saturday, 13 September 2014

Home Sweet Home


Harry has been longing to come home for most of the days of the month that he's been in hospital. The first week that he was there, he really couldn't remember a thing about how he got there or why he was in hospital in the first place. In fact he can't remember any of it.
Maybe that was for the best as he gave all the family a really bad scare, being practically unconscious for the first week.
The following three weeks, he steadily improved for the better, though at the beginning I was very doubtful that I could look after him when he was discharged. Well, he has been home for two days now and we fixed him up in a bed downstairs as he isn't safe to walk up and down the stairs any more.
When he first saw the new arrangement, he was very pleased with his new *bedsit* with everything in it for his needs that would make him happy.

Although I was very nervous about having him home, as I wondered if I had it in me to provide for all his needs, the first two days have gone well. We make a good team. I didn't think that I would sleep at all for worrying about him being downstairs and wondered if I'd hear him if he needed me. He finds it peaceful after all the hustle and bustle, lights and noise, buzzers wailing and people calling out for help in the hospital ward.
I have managed to sleep for five to six hours per night, so I can manage on that.
In the end, I didn't have the offer of six weeks free help so I decided to look after Harry myself. 

For those who don't know about our *free* National Health Service (that seems to attract so many overseas people), I find the treatment is good, though you might have to wait to get it and queue for hours. We are used to it over here. I have a lot to thank them for.
To us, it isn't really free, as all our working lives, we've had money from wages stopped towards it and at one time that would have meant free treatment from the cradle to the grave. Not any more though.
I feel the thing that is really bad, is the aftercare of the elderly who need ongoing care from hospital.
If you have no money then the basics are free. If you've saved, then you have to pay, even if you aren't wealthy and have little income coming in.

I soon sussed out that it was a better deal for me to provide the personal care that Harry needs and to pay for a cleaner to come in to do the basics that I now haven't time for. I'm seriously thinking of having a monthly gardener too. That should free me up no end to give Harry the care he needs.

It is still lovely late summer weather and that makes everything seem better, somehow and of course, I don't have to visit the hospital every day and climb that huge hill!
Bristol is a lovely city in many ways, but it's impossible to go far without climbing a hill.

16 comments:

Rose said...

I'm so glad to hear that Harry is back home and you are able to take care of him after all, Maggie. There is no place like home, and I know Harry must be so happy to be back again.

Our healthcare system is different, but it's the same here for the elderly. It's the worst for the majority of the middle class who have to pay for their care, even though most can't afford the high fees.

The cleaning service sounds like a great idea; take care, Maggie.

Eddie Bluelights said...

God bless you both . . .and hope Harry stabilizes and you manage to cope ~ love Eddie x

dianefaith said...

You shine, Maggie. You really do. I love the way you see the good things and appreciate them. I was up early this morning, sitting on my new back porch, reflecting. I had one of my moments of wisdom (which are all too few), and told myself to be grateful, be kind, and be useful today. You don't have to tell yourself -- you just ARE. I'm glad that Harry is back in his home territory; that's bound to make him feel better.

Gosia k said...

Maggie, for Harry who is seriously ill home is the most important and the safest place. I am glad you are able to take care of him. And it seems you are well-organized. Take care. Hugs from Poland Gosia

Celia said...

So glad Harry is home, may good things happen for both of you. The cleaning service sounds great, leaves you with time to spend with Harry. I'm keeping you in my prayers. Being in the hospital may be necessary but it isn't home.

rosaria williams said...

Glad to hear Harry is back home, and that you are coping. We're all in the same situation at this time in our lives, and hopefully, we have enough strength to carry on. Best wishes to you both.

Jackie said...

Sending loving hugs to you and your sweet husband. I'm glad that he is home and that you are feeling comfortable as you tend to his needs.
May God continue to bless both of you. I love the love that family has one for another....
Love you both,
Jackie

Irene said...

You are finding good solutions once you put your thinking cap on, Maggie. I hope you can keep managing to take care of Harry and let all the other work be taking care of by other people. I do hope you take a nap every once in a while because 5 to 6 hours of sleep every night doesn't seem like enough. But you know best what you need. I am rooting for you and Harry both. xox

Hilary said...

I'm so glad that Harry is home and especially pleased that you find you are able to cope with caring for him. I think all those hills helped give you more physical stamina. There really is no place like home to feel better rested and more calm.

I know what you mean about free health care.. it sounds pretty much the same as to what we have here. It's surely not perfect but neither do we have to go bankrupt when we're in need of basic care and beyond.

Hugs to you and your Harry.

Ayak said...

It's not really fair on people like yourselves who save for the future to be penalised when it comes to essential care, having paid into the system all your lives.

I'm glad to hear Harry is home and that you seem to be coping for now. Don't overdo it...take care of yourself too xxx

Wisewebwoman said...

An hour at a time Maggie, I am so glad things are working out for you and that Harry is home where he belongs. I, too, am disturbed by lack of after-care in Canada and even providing transport for elderly living far away from hospitals and clinics.

A hole in the fabric of healthcare that we all contribute to in our working lives.

Bless you both.

XO
WWW

Secret Agent Woman said...

Even with private insurance here, people are mostly left on their own for aftercare. It's really tough.

I'm glad Harry is home with you and hope you take care of yourself as well.

Expat mum said...

Have you thought about getting a baby monitor so that you could hear Harry at night? That might put your mind at rest.

Wendy said...

You have such a great attitude Maggie, looking for silver linings and finding them everywhere. I admire your wisdom and strength and am so happy you are able to care for Harry at home.

I think a cleaning service would be excellent! And a gardener to do the outside - even if you just get someone, a young student, it will be a huge load off your mind.
God bless.

Wendy said...


Forgot to say that when David was sleeping downstairs, I borrowed a Baby Monitor from my daughter, so if he needed me in the night, I'd hear him on the monitor.

Worked a couple of times, then I just forgot the whole idea of sleeping in our bedroom and snuggled up with him on the pull-out couch. Not as comfortable as my own bed, but at least we were together and I was not as worried.

cheshire wife said...

So pleased to read that Harry is home and that you are managing, but please remember to look after yourself.

CWx