At 7.30 this morning Sunday, Granny slipped and fell at home. Granny is Tricia's Mother and my extremely handsome son George's Grandmother. She is ninety two years old. She is all there mentally and as bright as a button, but she is tiny, and lately she has become more and more fragile.
She lay on the floor in her flat and unable to move, she began shouting to her neighbour for help. After an hour of calling out with no response Granny managed to drag herself to the table in the hallway where her telephone and address book are. Somehow she got the phone from the table and managed to phone her neighbour who rushed to her aid. The neighbour quickly called an ambulance and the paramedics were soon on hand to help. Granny had broken her hip and they took her to hospital. Accident and emergency department.
At the time she fell Granny as always was wearing her emergency call button around her neck. This button is given to the elderly who live alone. It is a fantastic idea, and I am sure it has saved many lives. Granny did think about pressing the button but she didn't do so because she did not want to disturb anyone because it was so early. What are you going to do? It is just the way she is. A lot of her generation hate the idea of causing a fuss. I suppose she comes from a generation of people who have endured hardships and just learned to get on with things.
At the hospital they x-rayed her and then she had to wait for a Doctor to see her. She waited. It is at least a two hour journey to the hospital, when Tricia got there she was surprised to find that The Doctor had still not seen Granny. They waited, Granny in pain and the nurses put her on a drip. They waited. And waited. Still no Doctor. Tricia went several times to find out why there was such a delay. No answer was forthcoming, except that it was Sunday and they were short staffed. Granny didn't really want Tricia to make a fuss of course, because she felt she had caused enough problems for everyone by falling over in the first place. They waited some more. Nothing to eat or drink, until she had been seen by the Doctor. They waited.
Finally after they had waited for ELEVEN hours a Doctor finally arrived and assessed Grannie's condition. Ninety two years old! Eleven hours waiting in pain. If I didn't know for a fact that it is true I would find this unbelievable! It is enough to make a person weep with despair. I very nearly am when I think of what that lovely old lady has had to endure today.
Can I make it clear that I am not casting blame on the nursing staff or the Doctor, who were according to Tricia marvellous. But there is something so wrong when due to lack of money the hospital cannot afford to employ enough staff. However they can afford to pay millions to 'managers', - a misnomer if ever I heard one - to help save the NHS money.
The latest news is that Granny will have an operation in the morning. Being somewhat cynical, I will believe this when it happens, and not before. She will be lying in the hospital bed tonight worrying. Not so much about the operation, but about the fact that she might be being a nuisance.
I hope you will forgive me for unburdening this on you. It is a worrying time.