20 July 2011

Light at the end of the tunnel ...

Thank you all for the lovely messages we've received over the last few weeks. This post is once again about Pauley's progress as I don't seem to be doing anything at the moment other than concentrating on his state of health.

However, we do actually have some progress at last. You may recall in my last post I said that Paul was on the waiting list for St Mark's Hospital in London or Torbay Hospital. Imagine my surprise when he called me at 7.45 last Wednesday morning to say he was off to London. I thought he was joking ... after 12 weeks in Yeovil it seemed as if nothing would ever happen. I leapt out of bed when he said he was going that morning and could I take in some clothes as the ambulance was booked for 11 o'clock.

So, there he is, in the Lennard-Jones IF Unit at St Mark's within Northwick Park Hospital in Harrow - a teaching hospital of mega proportions - and I went up from Saturday to Monday to visit. Within the 'campus' are bedrooms with own bathrooms which can be rented on a daily basis by visitors, so I was able to stay for a couple of nights in comfort without having to travel off the hospital site which made things less stressful. They have a shared kitchen and sitting room so I was able to make cups of tea and could have cooked a meal if I hadn't been fed well enough in the restaurant and Costa on-site. Patients are encouraged to be up, dressed and away from their beds wherever possible, as long as they return at appointed times for whatever procedures are required. We were able to go out for a drive round, sadly no walking about as the rains came down! We stopped off at Tescos for Pauley to buy lots of cream and otherwise stodgy cakes. So unfair that he has to eat these to try to build up the fat in his body again, when I dare not look at one!

The plan is that they will carry out scans, tests, assessments, mapping, measurements etc over the next few weeks to ascertain how best for Pauley to be treated for, basically, the rest of his life.The doctors have explained various options although it is too soon to know exactly what the outcome will be. However, we have already come to a joint decision on what we think will be best for us if one of two options is necessary, and he is now in their hands for them to determine what, how, why and when. They have a target time for his discharge of the end of August/beginning of September, hence the heading of this post. Obviously this is not cast in stone, but it's good to know that they have a target. Once discharged they are suggesting that we might be supported by Bournemouth Hospital which, as yet, I know nothing about.

Everyone at Dairy House has been so helpful, and the shop has been manned by a number of dealers over the last 13 weeks. None of us envisaged such a long haul when I phoned in one day to say Pauley had been rushed to hospital. I am, however, planning to be at Dairy House on Saturday morning, and then go on to see him, provided the tickly throat I have today doesn't turn into something that ought to keep away from hospitals.

Everything has its lighter side though, despite all the anxiety. Those of you who know Pauley will know that his haircuts are not particularly frequent and his style is in a 60s timewarp, cared for lovingly with Brylcream (I know, I can hardly say the word!!!!). Anyway, it grew to such a length whilst he was in Yeovil that he wouldn't have looked out of place living in a cardboard box, but wouldn't make use of the hospital hairdresser. There's a hairdresser's shop within the hospital complex at St Mark's and he had a haircut within 24 hours of his arrival. He didn't tell me and I can't believe I didn't notice immediately when I walked into the ward on Saturday. He had asked for a trim. Silly boy! He was attacked with clippers and ended up looking like a convict (with no disrespect to any convicts out there). The length varied from half to three-quarters of an inch all over, instead of the dated side parting and six inch top length of the last 40 years. It was shorter than when he joined the RAF as a Boy Entrance in 1959!!! Personally I like it, but would like it more if they'd removed the 10 weeks of grey beard as well! I've wanted him to 'start again' with his hair for years and he's always refused. But I won in the end, and didn't have to do a thing!!!!

A long post, sorry! I hope some of you have managed to stay to the end. It helps to write it down.

Thank you all once again, and hopefully I'll soon be able to tell you that Pauley's on his way home ...

Sue x