Wee side eye...
Saying I am watching you mum!
Well as you can see from my blip, it's not been the best of days.
Alan's temp shot up at 1.30am and he became even more agitated that he had been during the day. His legs were so jumpy I actually thought he'd end up with skint heels from rubbing them on the bed sheet. More paracetamol given but temp stayed high rapid heartbeat and oxygen stats not great.
D phoned NHS24 (111 or whatever they're called now) and got a very helpful nurse on the other end. She said she would send paramedics rather than a doctor as then would have more equipment to treat him and could take him to hospital if it was deemed necessary.
Paramedics arrived within the hour and as good luck would have it, one of them was A who was one of Alan's support workers for a wee while, just before the start of the pandemic, so she'd been able to fill her colleague in on Alan so we hit the ground running when they arrived.
All checks done (confirming our findings) and a call to a Consultant at Ninewells Hospital in Dundee, and it was agreed they would take him to Perth Royal Infirmary A&E to be fully checked. Also gave him oxygen and he kept the prongs in his nose, so it must have been helping.
David went with him. No room for my wheels so I stayed behind to sort Lola out.
Got a text from D an hour later to say Alan was settled in A&E (not busy thank goodness so seen straight away) was still on oxygen and was awaiting a chest x-ray, which they couldn't do till they'd given him some diazepam to sedate him an keep him still enough for the x-ray. He has to take liquid diazepam, which of course they were having trouble locating, but eventually got some from one of the wards. D said after he'd been x-rayed he was being admitted to HDU so I should try and get some sleep as nothing much else would happen till morning.
Penny tidied Alan's room while I got Lola settled then it was upstairs to try and get some sleep.
Set my alarm for 6.30am, by this point it was 4.30am and I wasn't sure I would sleep, but I did. Woke with David texting just after 6am to say they suspected pneumonia. Alan was now on a cocktail of three antibiotics via IV and a saline drip for fluids. He got in touch a little while later to say Alan had now been admitted to the HDU and one of the doctors had spoken to him briefly and that the consultant would be round later and would speak to him them. In the meantime they were being well looked after by Alan's named nurse K.
I got showered and dressed. Ashleigh and Vickie arrived and Penny headed home. D had contacted Jordan (Alan's team leader) to update him with what was happening. Jordan, who despite being on a day off, immediately sprang into action messaging all the team, setting up a WhatsApp group so everyone could be kept in the loop at the same time. He then arrived here (he lives 5 mins away) and took control over arranging cover from the team for Alan in hospital. Messages started coming in from the team full of concern for Alan. It was so touching to see how concerned they were, and all offering to do extra shifts and saying they'd do whatever they could to help. Alan really does have a very special group of Support Workers. Amazing!
It was decided Ashleigh would go to the hospital and Vickie would go home for the time being (she's on a phased return after being off with a broken wrist). I let D know that Ashleigh was on her way and he said he'd head home once she arrived, to get something to eat and catch some sleep as he'd been awake all night and had only had a cup of tea. Consultant was due to speak to him so said he'd fill me in with that conversation when he got home.
He finally made it home at 1.30pm. His conversation with the consultant had been quite worrying. Chest x-ray has confirmed pneumonia. The oxygen Alan is now on in HDU is more powerful so should be more effective in raising his oxygen levels, cocktail of antibiotics should start to tackle the infection, however he said there may come a point when a decision had to be made over whether or not to fully ventilate him. This of course comes with its own risks and a 55% survival rate. Poor D having to face that conversation with the Consultant alone.
Even though Ashleigh messaged to say Alan was now sleeping peacefully, we were keen to get back to the hospital ASAP. Made D a bite to eat and after a couple of hours sleep and a shower, we were on our way back to PRI. I was so desperate to see Alan.
He was still asleep when we got there. It was such a relief to see him lying still and not all agitated and jumpy like he has been. K, his named nurse introduced himself to me. He is so lovely. Alan's team are still doing his personal care and K was so impressed with Ashleigh (who's actually in her second year of nursing training) The ward staff are happy for Alan's team to be fully involved in his care and of course once Alan's more alert, they will be his voice too. K went off duty while we were there and Alan's new named nurse introduced herself. She is so lovely too. They really couldn't do enough for us. D had gone in search of a coffee vending machine at one point and when he returned she scolded him and said she would make him tea or coffee and as much toast as he liked!
Alan opened his eyes a few times and I held his hand and sang his favourite songs. I even got a smile at one stage. Before going off duty, K reduced his oxygen to 50% and we were relieved to see his stats stayed at 96, a very good sign. Hoping that continues and any form of mechanical ventilation won't be needed.
David ran me back home at 9.30pm and returned to the hospital to get Ashleigh go at 10pm. Y, the nurse said she would have a reclining chair and tea and toast for him when he got back. Alan is in a side room so there's a bit of privacy so hoping they will both get a sleep.
The plan for tomorrow is Christine will go to the hospital at 7am. David will wait for the consultant to do his round (assuming he does on the weekend, although since it's HDU I suspect he will) then head home for a shower and some lunch. We will then head back to the hospital together and see what the day brings.
Part of me is so relieved Alan is getting the treatment he desperately needs and part of me is terrified. The early signs are good though and that's what I keep telling myself. He is tough as old boots and has come through worse than this in the past.
I just want to end this blip by saying every single person in the NHS who Alan and David have had contact with in the last 24 hours have been worth their weight in gold and gone above and beyond. We are SO lucky to have our NHS and it's heartbreaking that it's on its knees.