Archive | June 2022

DO NOT RESUSCITATE

This, I must warn you, is going to be a disturbing blog. The trouble is I don’t know how to pass on facts like these without disturbing people – even though I’ve thought about it a lot because I don’t want to upset my readers. But I feel that these are facts that should be widely known because of how dangerous they are.

To begin at the beginning. The red edged form pictured here is an official document. It contains written permission for medical staff at St Richard’s Hospital NOT to treat a dying patient. Some of us might call it a death warrant as the key words on it are ‘DO NOT RESUSCITATE.’

I wish I could say it’s some sort of warped joke but I can’t because this particular one was written for me on the 8th of March this year. I found it among a muddle of papers in my packing case when I finally got home and by then I knew exactly what it meant.

March the 8th was a Tuesday and one of the days my daughter Mary comes to my house to see me. We usually start the day doing the Guardian crossword together but that morning there were no crosswords. I was much too ill, running a high temperature and delirious. Mary rang for an ambulance, which arrived not long afterwards in the usual way. The ambulance crew and the paramedics diagnosed suspected sepsis along with a chest infection and at that point an undiagnosed urine infection which was causing the delirium.

And off I went to hospital. But by the time I reached a ward, I was totally demented, convinced that I was going to be murdered by one of the nurses and scared stiff. So scared that I was planning to escape into the grounds where I would be picked up by a policemen and taken home. Mary on the other hand was practical. Thank God. She highlighted to the nurses that there was a possibility that I had a urine infection. The problem was that the days went by and I was not being treated for the UTI. Why not? Battle was joined and eventually I was wheeled off to another ward and the necessary treatment began.

It was a slow process but at least I knew where I was and began to recognise my visitors – especially my lovely determined Mary. But then I began to realise something else as well. In all the hospitals I’d visited for various reasons, the staff had always been warm and comforting and friendly. In the initial ward I went to they didn’t speak to me at all. They put me on a drip to give me antibiotics for the chest infection and inserted a catheter, took all manner of soundings, blood pressure, blood sugar and so on, but they didn’t speak to me or even smile at me.

The doctor on the second ward did speak to me on two occasions but otherwise most of my communication was with the nursing team who seemed to be always on the move. The first time he/she (I couldn’t tell which) spoke to me it was to tell me I’d been constipated since I came on the ward and that they were going to give me senna to deal with it. The second time he/she spoke to me it was to tell me I’d been signed off.

It wasn’t until I got home and saw the DNR form that I began to make sense of things. And to realise what a lot of questions this form begged.

  1. For a start we need to know how long it’s been in use and where it originated from, our beleaguered NHS or the government.
  2. We also need to hear from people who defended their relatives and kept them alive. There was quite a mail about it on Twitter recently. If you were one of the writers could you repeat your story here please.
  3. We need to hear from some of the doctors who have signed the form. On my copy there were two signatures, a young woman with clear handwriting called Natalie Chong and a consultant whose signature was, Squiggle dash. I would like to see both of them being interviewed on a reputable TV channel – like Channel Four – and given a chance to tell us what they know about it.
  4. Above all we need to help and respect our elderly citizens just as we should help and respect all our citizens.

Keep in touch. We need to help one another.

This entry was posted on June 29, 2022. 6 Comments

Just for a change, a one handed blog!

I like to ring the changes now and then, although I have to admit this one is a bit much. A week ago, I took a rather spectacular fall, instead of getting into bed where I should have been, I suddenly fell sideways and whacked my head and my left shoulder against the floor and the edge of the bed.

Out cold. Naturally. And later to hospital. So now I’m slung and one handed. That’ll teach me to have vertigo.

Nevertheless, I have some news for my various blog readers.

The first is for those who are concerned about the possible destruction of and/or the possibility of a squatter in Blake’s Cottage. I heard from Tim Heath’s brother that Tim had left the house he had been squatting in, of his own accord, just before the bailiffs arrived. He is now living in a flat in Temple Fortune, according to his brother, with a woman called Parul. She has my sympathy poor girl.

But at least it means that neither the Felpham residents nor the BCT trustees have the job of removing him from the Cottage. One problem solved but another and much greater, still waiting solution. The cottage has not been repaired, since it was taken over ‘on behalf of the nation’ by the BCT nor will it be, for there is NO money available. So now what? You may well ask. But the only people who could tell you the answer to that are the four members of the Blake Cottage Trust or the interested members of the FVCS. I will do whatever I can but I am rather limited with just one hand at the moment.

However, the second piece of news is happier. Dixie wishes me to tell you that I now have a new book coming out which is structured for Christmas presents. It is a story about a cat – not a patch on Dixie naturally – but pretty good. It is called ‘Not that I Brag’. I hope cat fanatics will find him and enjoy him. I’ll put a cover up to show you and more details when I have them!

Onward and upward, no matter how many hands I have!

This entry was posted on June 8, 2022. 8 Comments

Watch this space.

Yesterday was D-Day for Tim Heath, the ‘Chairman’ of the Blake Cottage Trust and also the ‘Chairman’ of the Blake Society. The two titles make him sound like a trustworthy man, so let me enlighten you quickly.

For a start he is NOT a worker, his brothers, both hardworking doctors with families, told me that he hadn’t done a days work in his life. He hasn’t needed to because he’s lived in his parents’ house. Now if everything has gone to plan, his long years of squatting in that house have finally come to an ignominious end. His older brother told me some weeks ago that on May 31st he would finally be evicted from the house, if necessarily by bailiffs. I don’t know yet whether or not that happened, but I have sent a message to his brother asking for news.

For people in Felpham and elsewhere, who worked hard to raised as much money as they could to buy Blake’s Cottage in the first place, the news of his eviction from his family home brings a problem with it. He hasn’t any money, he’s never done any work, he hasn’t any savings, he doesn’t own any property and certainly NOT Blake’s Cottage, which is officially ‘held in trust for the nation’, by the five man team of the Blake Cottage Trust.

But I have a horrible sneaky feeling that, that is where he will head now that he is homeless. He may not own the place, but he has a key to it. Somebody in the Felpham Village Conservation Society might try to discover from the Charities Commission who oversee societies like the Blake Cottage Trust, whether he has any right at all to live in the cottage. He has a key to the front door but he doesn’t own the place and if he starts to live in it illegally, someone in the conservation society might set the wheels in motion to remove him.

I will be very interested to know what happens and if I hear anything germane to this situation, I will report it on this blog.

Watch this space.

Photo credit – Richard Gittins / Champion News