74 year old in hospital with subdural haematoma

I don't know if anyone can help but my husband was sent to Queens Medical Centre Nottingham after going to A and E in Leicester Monday night. They operated on Wednesday and it seems to have gone well. The OP says he does need some help/supervision re cooking. However, I am very worried about having him home too soon - there are only the two of us, and I do realise another fall could be fatal.

I don't know if the consultant was giving worst case scenario but he was saying that he may get some but not all of his mental capacity back and that he would need physio and occupational health at Leicester Infirmary.

Can anyone tell me approx. what sort of follow up appointments the patient has after a craniotomy? I live in north west Leicestershire so haven't been able to get to see him- basically I seem to be getting told different things. I was told he would have to spend a few days back in Leicester Infimary and that would be have been great since I could visit him and get an idea of how he is. He has told the OP that he feels he could cope with a bath but he has told me that he would need his bath mat - which he puts in the bath after it drains. I do feel he would like to discharge himself, but given his age, I really don't want him to do this until I have had a meeting with his assigned consultant or nurse, and gone through his medications. He has been very difficult with taking his pills last few months and very muddled but he assures me that this was due to the bleed on the brain building up.

I don't want upset him by insisting he goes to Leicester Infirmary but don't what else I can do. He seems to think he is coming home tomorrow but nurse said definitely not since they have to take the drain out.

Do they have to go back to the specialist centre to see a consultant? If so, how long and do stitches have to come out?

My husband seems to be blaming everything on the bleed. I do feel very concerned that I am being forced into a carers position and if I do end up a carer, then I really need some support and information. On the other hand, I don't want ot upset by husband by making him think I don't want him home! It really doesn't help that I can't get in easily to see him and his local hospital is different and in a different county to the specialist one!

I really would like to share experiences with other people just to get an idea of what to expect and what kind of care he needs....he has said that they have had him walking up and downstairs but it is only 48 hours after the operation. He has apparently been for a walk and said the OP lady couldn't keep up with him! He does seem to have made a wonderful recover. I do feel rather upset because I have been phoning daily and haven't been ab le to talk to him - his mobile has lost charge, and he has said I haven't phoned. On Tuesday I phoned but they didn't know when he go to Nottingham so I couldn't visit, On Wednesday they said I couldn't speak to him because he was being prepped for op and I did get him on Thursday and today!

Sorry to go on but I do feel very alone - we don't have any family close by.

2 Replies

  • Dear King Arthur

    I am sorry that things are so bad for you and your husband at the moment.

    My first thought would be to contact the PALS (Patient advice and liaison service) who will be based at the hospital either via telephone or e mail. I have found them to be very helpful in the past and they might be able to help you find out what is happening as you are so far away.

    My second thought is when things are more settled and your husband is home is to contact your local Carers agency

    who will be able to advise you on what services are available to you both.

    My best wishes to you and your husband - it is very early days


  • Dear KingArthur,

    From what you have written your husband's experiences are in the norm. As one who suffered a TBI when 17 [I'm now 63] I can recognise from the patient's view what you describe. I led my Mum a merry dance whilst in recovery and I remember the immediate effect on her. But she was a very strong woman and had none of it and steered me along a very straight path. Speak to the professionals for advice [Headway itself is a good option to start] but be wary that they will take the NHS line everytime. If you feel your husband should remain in hospital don't be too scared to tell them that you will not be able to cope - even with a [five minute] specialist nurse visiting during the day.

    As an example of NHS practice: My father died last year; he was 93; his kidneys had failed and they tried to foist him onto my brother as he would be more 'comfortable' in his home. They delivered all sorts of stuff to support him and if my brother had any second thoughts I made sure he acted on them; our father died in hospital - thankfully - and they were a lot slower picking the equipment up than they were dishing it out.

    The point I'm trying to make is that the NHS will only do things one way - their way - so make sure you don't accept anything that you are not 200% sure about.

    Good Luck to you and your Husband.

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