22 Mar 2006, Comments Off on Beware the Ides of March

Beware the Ides of March

Author: Helen

S O’s sister, our darling, our Queen Bee, our Patsy Stone (but with a heart), our fashion queen, our social glue,

has had an aneurysm and is in the Alfred intensive care ward. That’s where our thoughts are now.

Lots to do, people to see and boys to look after. Light blogging. Back soon.

Update, 30/3: She’s out of ICU, has a tracheotomy but is using her right hand to write legible notes… rude jokes included!

Comments (0)

  • Guy says:

    Hope things work out for the best.

  • TimT says:

    I second that.

  • tigtog says:

    Oh yes, all best wishes for you and for her. In a past life I did neuro rehab work – don’t be too discouraged by how she may flop about the first few days and weeks – the brain’s plasticity is quite astonishing, and with time functions can be retrained. She might lose some ease of doing, but she’ll most likely still be able to do, if Lady Luck is on her side.

  • Helen says:

    Thanks for the thoughts, everyone, Things are starting to look up a little bit. She’s responding, looking and squeezing hands, but can’t talk yet due to too many tubes and crap down throat. Gah!

    Suggestions for things to do after SIL is moved to the “normal” ward? Reading aloud? A friend has announced the intention of playing his guitar to her, but she’s always complained bitterly about it (doesn’t like country music, you see.) Perhaps that’ll speed her recovery as she leaps from her sickbed to grab the thing and toss it out of the window.

  • L. says:

    I`d say I`d pray for her, but I think God is Catholic after all and out to get me, so I`ll just send her good thoughts.

    Glad she`s responding — that`s hopeful.

  • tigtog says:

    I would imagine that she has already had some interaction with and assessment by the physiotherapy and speech pathology teams, and once she’s on a normal ward the occupational therapists may be involved as well. The best rehab results are always achieved by those patients whose relatives liaised proactively with the rehab team.

    Can she point a finger yet? If she’s going to have tubes etc for a while but seems keen to communicate, the speechies might get you (or you might manufacture) a board with the alphabet on it and some common “want” words she can point to, like “sleep”, “hot”, “nurse”. There’s an example here, but it concentrates on needing things fixed and seems somewhat negative in tone – necessarily perhaps, but still! – the hospital might have their own version of this.

    It might be nice to make up a communication board with photos of family members, or maybe just their names, so she feels she can ask after people who aren’t there, particularly if someone’s got a significant event coming up like exams or a wedding. If there is an upcoming event in the family, put “birthday” or “new job” or “holiday” or “new baby” on the personal board as well. If the hospital’s patient communication board is as negative as that example, put words like “happy” “contented” “calm”, as well as who/what/where/why/how/when. She’ll feel less isolated from you if she feels she can ask you questions about everybody!

  • tigtog says:

    Oh, and don’t forget to put any pets on the family board!

  • Helen says:

    Hi its Helens partner, thanks for the encouragement and practical advice for my big sister. I will talk to my brother-in-law and with my graphics skills we will both be thinking about your recommendation. Thankyou, doctors tend to work on worst case scenarios but she has shown really positive signs, It will be a long difficult road for her and she has great strength of character and support.

  • david tiley says:

    Our thoughts to you, too, Helens partner.. this stuff is tough for all sorts of internal reasons.

  • Sedge says:

    That hoary old elusive and tricky chestnut, mortality.

    So much promised, so many weasel clauses.

    That said, and despite everything we do cling to it right down to the quick of the chewed nails at the end of our white knuckles.

    And rightly so.

  • kate says:

    my sister found, during a long stay in hospital for a totally different reason, that lots of photos, drawings, postcards and the like made the hospital room feel less crap. it was also a great conversation starter for friends and rellies who felt uncomfortable in the hospital environment.

    because my sister had no problems ordering us all around (in a good way) she commanded that everyone bring something for decoration. so long as someone starts the ball rolling with a big packet of blu-tack, you should be fine.

    good luck and take care of yourselves, I’ve worked in rehab too, and while it takes a long time, it really is amazing how well people recover.

  • tigtog says:

    Helen, I’m so glad to hear that. Hooray!

    (show her the dingo cartoon to give her a bawdy laugh)

  • Zoe says:


    glad to hear things sound on the up

  • Helen says:

    She’s as mad as all hell, though…!
    I’d be the same!
    We are driving her crazy with our unseemly joy at her being in extreme discomfort.. you know, as opposed to dead, or Schiavoed. You can understand her point of view.

  • tigtog says:

    How’s she going now, Helen? Does she still have the tube in place?

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