Hi I’m Pete, I’m new and need to get this off my chest (though I’m not sure if this is the right or best place) as it’s been over 3 months of things building up, so it’s going to be a bit long.
There were four of us myself, dad, mum & brother in the immediate family, plus my aunt (dad’s sister) and uncle (her husband) but my dad suffered chest pains on Boxing Day night last year. The paramedics came out, took him to a local hospital where he was diagnosed as having had a heart attack. He was in good spirits there despite his condition. However the consultants ummed and ahhed about how serious it had been and what they would do. Eventually they concluded it was more serious than initially thought, that complex surgery was needed so sent him to a hospital that could do this - I should add at this point he’d already had both hips replaced about 10 years ago, then a couple of years after he retired early in 2014 (aged 63) fell off a ladder which lead to complications resulting in bowel surgery and a colostomy bag so he wasn’t exactly new to complex procedures.
They operated on the 5th February, and while he took a bit of time to come out of the anaesthetic soon we were able to speak to him. He was in good spirits & the consultant told mum his heart was strong and he was doing well. However he became increasingly stressed over the nursing care he was receiving, though the physio seemed to be going okay and wanted to return to the local hospital but said the doctors wouldn’t tell him why he couldn’t.
On the 11th/12th February dad phoned saying he’d contracted Covid and was being moved to an isolation ward. He was initially on a ward with a couple of others, but was then moved into a room by himself. To add to the stress a couple of days after dad had told us he was positive for Covid we had a call from Test & Trace, that’s right despite dad having been in hospital since Boxing Day, Test & Trace weren’t told this and phoned us up. The T&T caller was very pleasant, and given dad’s condition spoke to his supervisor and was able to do the questions with me instead. It still took about 25 mins despite most of the answers being written off given dad’s location. However what really got me was when T&T caller asked where dad had been between 3rd to 7th February as this, he said, was roughly the estimate for when dad would have contracted Covid. This meant that he’d caught it just before, during or just after his heart op. (That really angered me, I’m still angry about it.)
As the days passed he became increasingly depressed over his situation, and told mum on a couple of times he didn’t think he would be coming out, that they wouldn’t tell him what was going on. He told us the nurses kept leaving the window wide open and hadn’t given him a blanket despite the fact he was really cold and only in one of the hospital gowns. He no longer had any clean pyjamas as we couldn’t get up to him due to Covid restrictions and the ones he had plus his dressing gown him had become dirty. He told us he was being put on oxygen as a precaution. Then came a call to say he’d contracted pneumonia. He was for a while on oxygen then ended up on ventilation but was stable. Then a few days later suffered kidney failure, he was stabilised but then the consultant phoned and said mum should come up to discuss things. She and my brother went, and were able to see him but when my brother phoned after seeing him he said it wasn’t good. My dad passed two days later on 4th March.
4 weeks. Just 4 weeks after the op when we were told he was doing so well, he’s gone.
I’ve cried, something I hadn’t done since I left primary school, many times just before he passed and after. My aunt’s been very supportive as we’ve been for her but there’s not much we can do for each other, other than be there to talk on the phone to one another.
I’m so angry, particularly at the way dad was treated, scared, feeling guilty, adrift and alone about so much. I’m scared about the future particularly for my mum and brother (who though not officially diagnosed has aspergers or similar) but also angry that mum in particular doesn’t seem to want to get my brother into a better position (as in finding help from on of the autism/aspergers charities). Given that I’m currently living at home and long-term unemployed - after dad’s bowel op I stopped looking for work for a while to help around the house and of course over time that’s becomes a comfortable situation - I can’t see that I have any prospects or a future. I feel adrift and angry that I’ve allowed myself to get in this situation. I feel guilty that should my situation improve and I’m able to move on with my life, I’ll be leaving my mum and brother in the lurch and adrift. Yet other times, particularly today after my brother and I snapped at each other and we didn’t speak at all, felt that I should make a clean break, just cut all ties, go somewhere and start-over as it’ll be better for everyone. I must come across as such an utterly pathetic, self-pitying person.