Angels In Uniform #NHS #70Years

This last week I had the opportunity to see the great work of the NHS at close quarters for more or less four days.

Sitting by Pops’ bedside meant that I saw just how hard the staff work.

By the time I got there, the Doctors and Consultants had done their rounds, so I didn’t see them, but I was fortunate enough to meet the many amazing support staff, nurses, ward sisters, cleaning staff and catering staff without whom the doctors wouldn’t be able to do their jobs. The ones who are really paid a pittance for all the good they do.

I watched as difficult patients were handled in sensitive ways, the elderly were given the care and respect they deserved, patients both young and old were welcomed into the ward with a smile.

And all that I encountered, from the bay nurses to the student nurse, the ward sisters, to the pain relief managers, were all so wonderful with my Pops.

And he, in turn, made sure that he had a smile, a please and a thank you, ready for them all.

It’s a simple thing, to smile, but that smile can make the job of a tired nurse so much easier.

We had running jokes with our jovial student nurse, Abigail, a young lady from Zimbabwe.

Rishi, Pops fave bay nurse was so great at explaining things to us, and he spoke Punjabi too, so Pops was glad. Even though he speaks fluent English, his mother tongue is his mother tongue!

Loved old Rob the tea man! When Pops was nil by mouth, he’d sneak up to me and whisper in my ear to ask if I’d rather have his tea, instead of letting it go to waste… He wasn’t allowed, but as we had built a rapport over the days, we were mates!

Liz the original Ward sister was lovely, helping me over the phone the first day, and making sure I knew exactly how Pops was.

There were so many others there too.

And they helped make Pops feel so comfortable, and me.

So well, in fact, that he should be discharged tomorrow!

And just look at this face now.

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He’s almost sorry that he has to get ready to say bye to them all!

Despite the not sleeping well at night, with the myriad beeps of monitors, the countless wake ups to take obs, and the groans of other unfortunates, he still appreciates all they, and the NHS did for him.

(And he always will, he was an NHS dentist himself, and he gave himself fully to his own job, deciding not to go private so he could give affordable care to those around him).

So here is a little verse, thought up as I drove to work this morning. (Yes, I am back home now, and will be driving back to Pops on Saturday!)

Machines bleeping
Patients not sleeping
They can’t
Constant requests
Are patients pests?
They aren’t
Nurses are waning
Are they complaining?
They don’t
Angels in uniform
Will they ever change form?
They won’t

Ritu 2018

 

An Update On Pops and Ronovan’s Weekly Haiku Challenge #209 Old & Days #Haiku #Micropoetry

Thank you all for your kind wishes regarding Pops and his ill health. As regular readers, you all know how much he, and my mum, means to me.

Well, I went with my gut instinct.

I received a message in the early hours of Sunday morning to say a CT scan was required and possible surgery.

My mind was made.

We deposited the children with their other grandparents, and Hubby Dearest and I rushed (as fast as you can rush in the heat, and on a three-hour motorway journey where the M1 will inevitably have roadworks and traffic) up to Birmingham.

And I am so glad I am here with him now.

He looked so tiny when I got here. This wasn’t the vibrant Pops I knew.

The anaesthetic and morphine had him in a muggy daze and for the first couple of hours, he kept on waking up, and saying hello, not registering that we had been there a while.

He was very pale, but a welcome pale from the almost jaundiced yellow he had been the day before.

It appears (though this is not conclusive) that there may have been an ulcer caused by regular long-term medication that burst, causing a perforation, or tear in the bowel. The possibility of gastroenteritis from a few days before may have aggravated the issue, causing the tear, and then subsequent seepage into his body from the bowel, that created the extreme pain he had been suffering.

Long story short – he needed major surgery to remove the torn section of bowel, and then rejoin it all, and drain the unneccesary ‘stuff’ (yes, technical medical term there!) from around it.

The surgeon said the bowel was so red and inflamed it was angry, or ‘vexed’ in his words.

He was wired up to all sorts, tube in his nose, oxygen mask on, catherer in, various IV drips with saline and antibiotics…

But the surgery went well, straightforward, they said.

He regained a little colour before we left, but he was still really groggy.

I made the decision then that I need to be with him for a few days at least.

So, here I am, tapping into my Surface whilst he dozes by my side.

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He looks wonderful (well, as wonderful as you can with tubes everywhere) a smile on his face when I arrived. It warmed my heart ❤

He’s taken a few steps and is on fluids only still at the moment, but he has definitely turned a corner… a huge one!

My heartfelt thanks to the NHS team too, who have been so amazing since he was admitted. They are always around with a smile on their faces, nothing is ever too much of a big job for them, and if you can spare a smile and politeness for these angels, they will always go that extra mile, without question.

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And so, I found Ronovan’s prompt words, Old & Days, a good prompt for a little Pops based Haiku, to celebrate this time we have together, chatting in between his dozes…

Nothing better than
Spending days with our elders
Old wisdom passed on

Ritu 2018

It wasn’t all bad though, yesterday. There is something else I want to share… but I’ll save that for another post!

Til then, peace out Peeps! I love you all! 

Nobody Is Immortal #ThursdayThoughts

Last night we were all busy, watching the England game.

What a cracker!

Now, I’m no footy fan, but when it comes to international tournaments like this, the patriotism kicks in and I have to sneak a peak at the results mid game, or secretly actually watch the whole thing!

Pops is alone at the moment, as Mum is eagerly awaiting the arrival of grandchild number four at my brother’s place.

He told me he’d be going to watch the match at my cousin’s house.

No worries. At least he wouldn’t be on his own.

As I mentioned before, that match was just amazing! Tension beyond belief! And it ended up in extra time, followed by penalties, and at the very last kick and save, we WON!

The country went crazy. The first time England had gone through on penalties in the World Cup. Ever!

And by the time all the coverage was winding down, it was past 10 pm.

Whenever my mum is away, Pops calls me, or messages me to let me know he is on his way home from the yoga classes he teaches, or that he has arrived home safely.

I waited a while, left him a message, and drifted off to sleep.

Morning came, and as I checked my phone, it struck me that Pops hadn’t called, messaged or anything.

Strange.

Not to worry. He may have just been tired so went straight to bed.

Then I checked his WhatsApp status. It showed he hadn’t looked at his messages since before 8pm the night before.

That was a bit concerning. He will always check that before retiring for the night.

I called the home land line. No answer.

Okay, still things could be okay. He might be in the shower or maybe doing his prayers.

After a few moments of holding myself back, I called his mobile.

It rang for a while but then he answered. Thank God.

But with a very weak voice.

That’s not my Pops…

“Hello Beta, sorry, I didn’t call you last night, I was in hospital…”

Wait – WHAT???

Apparenty he’d been en route to my cousin’s house, and experienced extreme dizziness and sickness. He’d stopped the car, vomited, then continued the journey, where his stomach began to cramp continuously.

Now, my Pops doesn’t complain about his own discomfort at all, heck, when he was suffering a heart attack, he didn’t allow the doctor to call an ambulance from his local GP surgery, instead, saying, “Don’t worry, I’ll just walk back home and do it myself”… whilst having a heart attack!

But this time it was bad, so my cousin called the ambulance and they admitted him for a few hours.  There were ECG’s and heart check ups, blood tests and all mapper of investigations.

Thankfully it all came back clear, though his pain hadn’t subsided in his abdomen. He was diagnosed with acute gastroenteritis. So a horrible tummy bug, that may be from a germ in his gut, or eating contaminated food somewhere.

But I was devastated this morning.

  1. Why hadn’t I been called?
  2. I was nowhere near him
  3. What if something had happened to him?

Then I was equally thankful.

  1. He didn’t want me to be contacted late at night – what would I have done, other than rush over, causing more worry, on a long distance drive?
  2. We are lucky to have such an amazing extended family – even though I am not there, Pops doesn’t want me rushing over, he is with my cousin, who is like another daughter to him, and her own sons and daughter-in-law are with him 24/7
  3. Nothing serious did happen to him. I know he is groggy from the morphine shots for the pain, but aside from that and not being able to eat properly yet, he is fine. The test results showed a healthy heart and all other organs, so something to be hugely thankful for.

It’s equally tough for my mum, brother and sister-in-law. They are even further than me. We all worry, constantly, but thank heavens for those angels we have to rely upon.

I’ve spoken to Pops several times over the day, banned him from taking the Yoga classes for a few days – the students can manage without him for a while – and he is staying with my cousin for a good few days yet. I’ll go and see him on the weekend, as he told me not to rush over. In fact, if I go now, he’ll tell me off!

Mum has been in touch a few times too. We are mutually reassuring each other that he is fine – a little weak, but fine.

My cousin, her daughter-in-law and my other cousin have all called me to convince me he is okay too.

I know, deep down, that he is okay, but it really hit home today.

Our oldies, they aren’t immortal, as much as we’d like them to be… Pops and Mum, they are my inspirations. They are the reason I am here, and responsible for making me the person I am. I love them so much. I can’t bear the thought of life without them.

And so, I leave you with this thought:

Love your elders now. Respect them now. Talk to them now.

Don’t wait until it’s too late, when the only love you can show is flowers on a gravestone, the only respect you can show is remembrance services, and the only talk you can have consists of their memories…

Peace out Peeps. Go, hug your loved ones NOW!

 

Pops Busts Some Moves! #FridayFeeling

You will have read about me many times over, writing about my darling of a dad, my Pops.

He is a true inspiration to me and just never stops!

This past weekend, he was helping the Sikh Union Club where he teaches Yoga, at a Vaisakhi fair.

He heard a Dhol (Punjabi drum) from afar, and couldn’t resist!  I edited the video he sent because the end was a little advertorial about the stall he ended up at, and in Punjabi, so not understandable for most of you!

What you do see, is my nearly 72-year-old Pops busting some moves!

He did say in a little interview after his ‘performance’ that the sound of the drums got his shoulders moving, and then he just had to follow the beat and ended up improvising a little routine!

It tends to run in our family, hearing music and then dancing and/or singing!

I love my dear Pops, and his energy for life!

He says that the music makes him feel full of life, and he has to dance, and he dances from the heart. Then he watches videos and cringes at the old man who is on the screen.

Can I hear it for my super-cool Pops, who not only rocked the moves, but the sunglasses too!

Finland – The Finndian Way!

I apologise in advance, there will be lots of pics, but then again there are gaps in the photos, as they include my kids and nephew, and we don’t generally put them on the blog!

 

As you all know, we had our surprise trip to Finland planned for the half term holidays. The main aim of the visit was to surprise my Pops for his 70th birthday!

Things are never smooth sailing, as I mentioned in a previous post to you all, but it started with traffic before we had even arrived!

Then once we checked in, the security check was another obstacle! I had all my liquids in a little bag, and was confidently striding over to take my bag off the conveyor belt when I realised that it was on the other side of the perspex screen… erm… what have I done now?

It ended up not being me, but Hubby Dearest slipping a roll on deodorant in my hand luggage! As the security guy checked everything, he asked me whether I had ever been told I resembled anyone… Nope, not really, apart from my mum!

Apparently I am the spitting image of Shappi Khorsandi, the Iranian Comedienne!

 

Shappi

You Decide!

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Me!

 

We managed to release ourselves from there relatively quickly after the guy told me that was a great compliment, and Hubby Dearest muttered “Hitting on my wife… in from of me!” under his breath as we walked away!

The flight was as uneventful as it could be, with two kids who can’t be near each other for too long!

 

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The sea of cloud we flew across

 

Arrival and taxi to the hotel was fine, and we were greeted by the sight of several older folk literally staggering around the front of our hotel, drunk! There had a vow renewal service there, and obviously, it was a very good party afterwards!

My brother was sat inside cringing… What a first impression of Helsinki! But we loved it! Looked like a great place to be!

The room was compact but able to accommodate all 4 of us, but there was no air conditioning, and considering the weather we had there, ranging from 23-25 degree Celsius the whole time, it was pretty hot!

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I had my one and only drink there, a traditional Finnish brew called Original, made from grapefruit, that my brother introduced me too. It’s a shame I ended up too tired most evenings, as that would have been a nice end to each of the days!

 

The next day we were picked up by my brother ready for the main event, the photo shoot. Pops was speechless when we walked in, not expecting to see his whole little family in one room at the same time! I think we truly made his year!  Many photos were taken, of the family and various combinations of this person and that!

 

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This is what love is!

 

 

I snuck in and took some candid shots of the shoot taking place, and this is one of my wonderful parents!

 

It was so amazing to all be together, seeing my brother, sister-in-law, and my gorgeous nephew! Seeing our children bonding was priceless. They don’t get that chance much, but I was so happy to see it all!

After the photo shoot, we were whisked back to their flat for lunch. We experienced the Metro and walked through parts of the city too.

20160529_115043 This was when we saw Pii Poo… Sorry, I had to giggle at that name… toilet humour… runs in the family! It was a toy and Lego shop that Lil Man was desperate to go to, but it was always closed when we went there!

 

After lunch, my brother took the boys to Team Helsinki’s cricket ground, which was like a dream come true for Lil Man, who got to play in their nets! He surprised a few there too with his skills!

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We spent at least an hour a day, if not more, at various parks during our stay there, as there are these amazing parks for children all around the city. Children are given the opportunity to learn through play so much, and learn independence, and social skills through learning to share!

The next day we walked LOTS! From the hotel, we went down the Boulevardii.

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One of the main  roads in Helsinki city, it has a mix of amazing buildings and eclectic shops down it, cafes and restaurants spring up all over the place!

 

There are so many wonderful buildings to see, like the Cathedral, and various theatres, and the main station with its iconic 4 figures at the front.

We walked up the steps to the Cathedral, and my brother took an arty shot from the bottom, but I haven’t got that yet! It’s kind of ‘spot the Indians’! But I do have Pops and me helping each other down the stairs!

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We went to a park named The Plague… beautiful park, gruesome history! Basically, when the Bubonic plague hit Helsinki it lost two-thirds of its population, and this was where many were buried.

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A memorial to those that died of the Plague

We saw the Wooden Church, (surprisingly all made of wood), that was in the middle of the City.

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We crossed numerous bridges too, over the canal…

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There is also this great installation near my brother’s flat, on the dockside. Basically, a charity drive was set up called Horizons, to raise funds to clean the waterways around the city. Those that donated had their names on little metal plaques. They are all attached onto this wall, and when the wind blows they look like the waves in the sea!

I can’t forget to mention the Pissing  Man! What a funny installation!!

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The next day was a trip to the Zoo which is on an island! We walked in through the city to the docks to catch a ferry. Boy, was it hot!

I don’t entirely agree with zoos, and animals in captivity, but it was pretty amazing to be so up close to so many magnificent creatures, like lions, tigers, bears, to name a few!

Can’t forget the beautiful Peacocks and Peahens!

Oh, and I got attacked by a Canadian Goose! I unknowingly went to close to its nest, and it flew at me and pecked at my head! I still have a sore spot there!

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This is not the crazy duck, but one with two gorgeous ducklings!

 

 

I also caught Pops and Mum strolling romantically through the enclosures!

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And we can’t forget the giant mosquito!

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That was also the night Lil Princess suffered heatstroke (told her to drink plenty and keep her hat on, but would she listen?!) so we dealt with vomit and all sorts, thanks to a great hotel staff!

The next day meant that I had to stay in with her, as she wasn’t right, but the rest of the Finndian contingency went on a boat ride courtesy  of my Sis in Law’s brother. Lil Man got to steer the boat too, he was so excited! And they went to one of the numerous islands on the coast to paddle in the sea!

 

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Lil Man sailing!

 

 

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My Family

 

 

Popped for a coffee with my Pops, Mum and Brother, while Hubby Dearest had the kids at a play centre, and sis in law took my nephew for his nap!

 

It was a wonderful trip, all in all!

Here are a few other random shots from the trip…

 

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Dog parking anyone?

 

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Breakfast fit for a Queen!

 

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Egg Box Lego! How cool!!

 

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Good indicators!

 

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A boat Lil Man insisted I take a picture of!

 

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Row upon row of Nakki – or Sausage to you and me!

 

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Luggage packed, it was time for home…

 

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Helsinki cried as we left…

 

And to top it off on the plane, Lil Man had a pocketful of change so wanted to buy something from the Dutyfree… he found Jellybeans for five Euros. Then he promptly spilt half of them on the floor. As he was eating some of the surviving ones, this happened!

 

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Yup, that’s his tooth! Luckily it was already wobbly!

So now we are home, my piles of laundry are done, and it is back to the real world… one more day before school starts back…

I only wish I could share the video of Pops being surprised… I was just sent it today, but it has the children in it… Still this whole holiday has been a time to create priceless memories, and to cement relationships for the kids with their other family.

It was wonderful! I hope you enjoyed a little stroll through Helsinki with me!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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