Sunday, December 10, 2006

Pat Crowl's health

Just an overview of what's been happening with Pat since last Wednesday.

I found her on the floor of her bathroom (she lives upstairs in our house), about 7.30 am. She said she'd been vomiting for some time, and she was very weak, and still feeling like she wanted to be sick every few minutes. We got her into her lounge, and called the ambulance, after a short debate (she didn't 'want to trouble anyone.')

The ambulance came and the two guys did the usual routine of asking all sorts of questions, when all you wanted them to do was get her down to the hospital pronto! They took her down the stairs in a special chair, somewhat concerned about their backs (although she's a featherweight these days) and Celia went down with her.

I had to wait for someone to come for an appointment, but after that I went down and stayed with her until they took her up to the ward in the afternoon. It was learnt, eventually, that she'd had bleeding from a burst vein in the brain - a brain aneurism, to be more precise. This accounted for the vomiting, and the very sore neck she had - both symptoms of this problem, because the brain's ordinary fluid gets mixed with the blood from the vein, and the two irritate each other somewhat.

Her right eyelid was closed too, perhaps as a result of a shock to the nerve. This isn't good as it's the eye she sees best out of. Her other one has a macular degeneration, and she only has peripheral vision in it.

For the first couple of days she was often confused about where she was, and who was visiting her. Celia stayed with her a good deal of the time, getting her settled at night and going in first thing to make sure she was okay in the morning. On the Thursday morning she was so concerned she rang my only out-of-town daughter, Libby, to come down, and she did, in the afternoon, even though by that time Pat had settled down a lot and was much more lucid and behaving normally.

Her limbs are fine, (her grip is definitely fine), and her speech, hearing and sight (what she has of it) are all fine. The specialist indicated that there would be some swelling as a result of the injury after a couple of days, and this proved correct: yesterday she was very uncomfortable with a severe ache over the right eye (where the vein had broken) and a return of the neck ache. This has eased off somewhat today, although she's also had a lot of codeine.

At first we thought she'd had a fall in the bathroom while being sick, but it seems more likely now that she passed out at some point. She had a graze on her nose, which she said had actually been there for some time, though it looked fresh, and another over her left temple. However, it now seems likely most of the damage was from the burst blood vessel rather than a fall.

She's now stable, and lucid all the time, but very tired (not helped by the endless pills she's having to take). There's concern over her blood pressure, which the hospital staff are trying to keep down. Today it hasn't been very good.
The photo is of Pat (or Mumma, as she's better known) and Israel, one of her great-grandsons.