Thursday, 11 August 2022

Acute pancreatitis

is something I would not wish on anyone. I certainly hope I never have to go through it myself.

I mentioned in an earlier post that our good friend P... is in hospital with this...and the doctors are now trying the measure of "last resort".

P...., who is one of the least demanding people I know, phoned me early yesterday morning and asked if I could possibly come in to see her later in the morning.

"They say I am deteriorating. I am supposed to have a procedure. It was supposed to happen yesterday," she told me in short breathless gasps through the oxygen she is now on, "I didn't have anything to eat or drink yesterday and now I can't have anything today."

I put two and two together and was almost certain I knew what they were planning on doing. I told P... I would, despite the pouring rain, be in there. She knows I don't drive and she would not have asked if she had not felt a real need for me to be there.

Then I phoned Middle Cat and told her that P... had rung and said, "I think they are going to try and put in a nasogastric tube if she can tolerate it."

"Mmm....not surprised," Middle Cat said, "I'll pick you up and we can both go in and I'll talk her through what will happen."

Middle Cat knows about these things. As a physiotherapist she has come across many things. Nasogastric tubes are not new to her.

I then left a message for D... the priest at the Senior Cat's church. Knowing it would mean a lot to P... I asked him if he would send out a message to a group at the church. The response was quick and positive. If he goes in to visit another patient today he might also call in to see P...   It is good to see Catholics and Anglicans getting together over something like this.

Middle Cat and I went back to the hospital. There have been all sorts of restrictions on visiting because of Covid19 but we did not have to show vaccination certificates. We were not required to be close family. The single passing staff member just said quietly, "Stay as long as you can."

It was worth the effort. P... had already seen her sister that morning, brought in by her niece. "It was lovely that they came," she told us, "But I can ask questions now."

So Middle Cat explained what they were intending to do later yesterday afternoon and how they would do it.  She went through it slowly and carefully. 

P... listened and then said, "Thank you. I thought it might be something like that. Now tell me how your eldest is getting on."

Nobody mentioned "last resort". There wasn't any need for that. It was enough for P... that she understood what was happening. After that she apparently felt free to do what she has always done - concentrate on the needs of others. 


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