Friday, 10 February 2012

What's been going on?

Well...answering that question seems to take forever lately.

My poor Dad has been in Middlemore Hospital, and will remain there for many a week yet whilst he recovers from a pretty major surgery.  My Dad is a very RARE type of person/patient.  He is the kind that NEVER moans, NEVER complains, is too laid back and compliant, to the point where it's sometimes to his detriment.  He doesn't want to be a pain....when he SHOULD be.  He is quiet so the nurses/doctors think he's okay, and he has a high pain threshold which means when he is experiencing some pain..... it's off the scale!!

So this is what's happened.

He's had a very involved "skin flap rotation graft", (the first attempt they had a couple of years back ended in failure, and leaving a pretty big nasty wound on his hip area).  Just to bring you up to speed...My Dad's a paraplegic, he's been in a wheelchair for the last 30 years...that's more than half his life.... it was the result of a motorbike accident.  He's always been a very independent para though, doing almost everything for himself... still working, still a vibrant part of the community, and his local iwi/hapu.  But 2 years ago, after some gross negligence from a doctor who ignored all of my Dads worries about a potential "area" on his hip.....(Dad had been back to said Doctor several times in the week preceding his urgent hospital admission, but this doctor basically fobbed him off saying "you look well, you aren't don't have a temperature" and declined giving him antibiotics for what Dad thought was the beginnings of a pressure area).  A week and a half later, my Dad was nigh on death... a very awful colour, had a raging septic infection and ended up with a HUGE wound on his hip.... Then it got worse... he got septicemia, ended up with an amputated leg... and most of a year in and out of hospital.  When he finally got discharged, they were still trying to close up the initial wound, so he needed dressings etc.

So... this admission, because the wound is very close to the bone..and in one place the bone was exposed...they have had to pull muscles around from his hip area/abdomen etc... and do a rotation graft... cover over the bone, close it up hoping that it's not going to "burst" because these things are very tight.  My poor dad is only able to move either on is side, or on his stomach...but that's it!! And will be this way for weeks until the wound heals up enabling them to try and sit him up again....
He's had to have a PICC line in as they can't get a line into his arms at all.... He's away from the family as he's down in Auckland.... He's missing the grandchildren....He's missing his life... and we're missing him, and it hurts when we have to leave him there in other peoples care.

My Mum works through the week, then on Fridays comes down to spend the weekend with Dad..then drives back to Kaitaia, then it happens all over again... so she's not only emotionally drained, but physically as well (and financially with all the travelling/accomodation/living expenses).  She spent the first 3 weeks there with him, but has had to go back as she's used up all her leave.  I try to go down where possible, or when she or he needs me to, and my brother also..  My brother and Mum had to make an emergency dash to Auckland yesterday afternoon as my Dad was losing blood again, needed another 2 units, and was quite disorientated/vague which is soooo not like him....................... so we're waiting for updates today.

It's really hard to "settle" or feel settled when your loved one is unwell.  You have to carry on, though your mind's not 100% on the things that you're doing.  You're always worried about how they're doing...and hoping they're alright.  It makes you realise though, how much we take our health and our every day lives for granted!  Puts things into perspective.

So.... that's what's been going on with us.... many flying trips to Auckland.... many hours in a hospital room........many tears.........many fears......... but also many chances to say "I love you" which we have been doing a LOT!


  1. Oh man - sounds awful...

    We have a spare room with a queen bed in it should you need it - live in Manukau, so not far from hospital. E-mail me for details if you want to:

  2. Oh wow Neetz. What a crazy thing for you all to be going through. All my love and prayers for you guys. xoxo

  3. what Jacksta said loads and loads xxxxx

  4. Hey, just wondering if a social worker has been assigned to your dad at all? Sometimes they'r able to help with things like cheaper travel/accomadation if the patient (or patients immediate family) are out of town. I dont know if this happens in every hospital, but could be worth a look? Has a complaint been laid against the doctor that ignored him?? Will be praying for your dad and family!!!

  5. lots and lots of prayers Neetz.

  6. Sending you love and prayers for your family. x

  7. My thoughts are with you and your family Neetz x


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