Saturday, October 29, 2011

From the top of the Winnebago

I'm only writing this now, as I'm hoping we're out of the woods, I don't want to temp fate.

About six weeks ago, while my parents were on holiday in Santander, my father decided he'd go up on the roof of the winnebago to do something, he'd mentioned to my mum that he'd appreciate her help in holding the ladder, she said she'd be there in a second. By the time my mum walked outside to assist my dad, she finds him laying on the ground unconscious. An ambulance is called and off they go to A&E.

My dad finally wakes up, he's dislocated his shoulder, bruised his knee, hurt his lower back, etc. The doctors check him over and say he's fine and needs some rest. Back to the winnebago they go, two days later my dad is talking about humans being made of cornflakes (my dad is a little off the radar at times, but not crazy), my mum packs him back off to the hospital, where they discover bleeding on the brain?! They sort him out, do a proper check over and admit him to intensive care.

Every day they tell my mum that he'll be moved to a general ward very soon, spends about a week in intensive care, still talking shit and being horrid to my mum, who apparently has kidnapped him and as soon as they get back to the UK, he's taking her to court.

After about a week and a half, he was moved to a twin room with a Spanish guy, where he spent time being charming and lovely to the nurses and doctors, and caused my mother nothing but a headache. One day he decided that the King of Spain wanted to visit him, and he couldn't believe my mum wouldn't let him, as she thought he'd be a bad influence on the King, etc.

After about two weeks, they decide that he's safe and just needs to recover, so tell my mum he's good to go. Enter fear and worry for my mum. My brother, Adie, flies over to accompany her on the plane, and is large enough to control my dad, if he decides to kick off, which it appeared was standard at that time.
Every thing seems to go ok. My dad is well behaved in the taxi and on the plane. He has a little freak out back in the UK and swings for my brother (say what?!). Halfway home, my brother decides he's driving straight to A&E at the local hospital, to save my mum having to drive him in alone in the morning.

Lots of tests are done, my dad's brain is still swollen (why was he allowed to fly home?), which explains the continued confusion and unusual behaviour. Neurologist finally exams the scans, etc. Says he doesn't believe there will be any long term damage, which is great news. There might be a slight personality difference = slightly more patient or impatient, more irritable or less irritable, etc.
My mum asks what's next. Praying they don't say he just needs rest at home. Thankfully, the doctor wouldn't dream of releasing him to my mum, and they admit him to a ward.
My mum finally thinks of what to say to my grandma, as if she knows he's hit his head, it'll give her ample ammunition for visits to the bank and solicitors. So I advise my mum to say he fell over, hurt his knee and has been experiencing headaches and dizziness, due to twisting his back, therefore damaging my spine...seemed like the best option.

The first week in hospital in Oxford, my dad is fine. A little techy and short but at least he's being so with everyone, not just my mum. He constantly appears to complain that he's not getting any sleep and the tv is rubbish, you know the important things.
Second week, he's getting a bit better but is still irritable. My mum starts to mention to friends that dad is in hospital and that he's a little confused, so don't take him at face value. A husband and wife pop by to see him. He seems fine, until the husband asks him how it happen, cue the KGB snipers and the 8 bullets still inside

Soon enough, the hospital say they need the bed, as the swelling seems to have gone down considerably.   The fear of hearing those words starts to bubble inside my mum, luckily there is a back up plan, with a rehabilitation centre nearby. Off he goes, and it seems to be ok. He seems happy, he starting to seem a lot more with it and there is a tuck shop there, what more could 67 year old male with swelling on the brain want?! A walk apparently?

A few days after being there, he just decides to take a walk, my mum arrives at the centre to discover my father missing. The police are called, they pop to my parents house to check he's not gotten a taxi there, nothing. Off they set to my grandmas.

Apparently, my dad turned up at my grandma's in his tracksuit, helped himself to some food and sat down to enjoy some TV with my grandma. Has a little chat, is perfectly content. Uh-oh, he spots the police walking on the front lawn, through the sitting room window. At which point he hides upstairs telling my grandma not to tell them he'd there.
"Excuse me madam, is your son here?", "yes, he's upstairs". Cue my dad flying down the stairs, through the kitchen, out the back door, around the lean-to, across the road and launching himself over the walk opposite my grandma's back garden, cue the policeman following him over the wall. Accosted him, getting him back across the wall and in to the back of the police car.
Enter extra confusion for my grandma. As the police are taking my dad away, my mum arrives to try and explain everything?! My mother dodges the answers thrown at her left, right and centre, and also does a good job of not falling in to my grandma's traps. Although, the sharp old arrow doesn't believe 100% of what my mum says, understandably.

The rehabilitation centre decides my dad is too much of a handful to have there, which leaves two options, semi-secure units in either Banbury or Bicester (about as far away as you can get within the county, from where my mum lives), he's there for less than a week and my mum decides it might be easier to have him at home. Which is where he is now.

My brother Jules, says that he seems pretty with it, surprisingly. So, everything is looking up, apart from my mum's stress levels, which are probably off the chart! She's a force to reckon with and a mighty woman! Here's to both of them...maybe my dad will treat her to another holiday, to recover.

Did I mention the best bit? It was there 40th wedding anniversary last weekend, and my mum spent it travelling too and from Banbury, to see her semi-batty husband. Now that is love.

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