Dad is home. After 3 nights in hospital (2 more than expected) he came home yesterday afternoon and we all breathed a collective sigh of relief. He has to keep a catheter in for another 2 weeks but at least he was able to be discharged, finally. I’ve been to see him today and he seems happy to be home. I think he was a bit anxious to be leaving the safety of having trained medical professionals at hand 24/7 but there’s no place like home and no bed as comfy as your own. It’s that old classic case of “firsts” again – it’s nerve-wracking to be left to your own devices but he’s had a shower and now that he’s done it once it won’t be such an issue next time; he’s managed to sleep OK with his bag, so tonight it won’t seem such an issue. It’s good to get the first time out the way so you know you can do it and you know you can cope. And of course mum is there to support him. It’s all good. From my perspective, it means that he is where he is when I picture him: at our house (their house, but it will always be our house), in his armchair, with the newspaper and his iPad close to hand, with a smile on his face. Perfect. He just needs to get through the next 2 weeks, to start to feel back to normal again and to know that it’s all done and dusted. Then we can all relax properly again.
I mentioned in The waiting game that Dad hasn’t been in hospital for about 50 years other than as a visitor or outpatient, so the whole experience was a bit alien and unsettling for him. He found it all fine, it wasn’t a bad experience in any way, but it’s not one he is keen to repeat. He struggles with his hearing and so I think he sometimes missed what the staff were saying to him or he had to get them to repeat themselves. We’re used to it, and we can tell when he hasn’t heard (not just because he ignores us – you just know from the look on his face that he is trying to piece it together) but as patient as they were, they didn’t have the knack that we do. He doesn’t like to make a big deal out of his loss of hearing (he uses hearing aids but they are not brilliant and definitely need updating) and I think he worries that people will think he is stupid or not on the ball (he is neither) and he hates having to have things repeated to him. His ears are next on his list of things to get sorted once he is back to full health again. He joked that he felt perfectly fine before his op and that it’s like taking your car in for a service thinking it’s fine and it coming out with a really annoying rattle that it didn’t have before! Luckily, with his ears, he can’t hear the rattling.