An unexpected emergency

On Thursday morning while I was lying in bed I heard a commotion with Mum and Nan, then with Dad as well. The next thing I get a knock on the door and Dad asked if I knew the number for the NHS Helpline. I asked what was wrong and he told me Nan Couldn’t get up, had chest pain and trouble breathing. I said he should phone out of hours doctor which he did and was told they were closing and the surgery would be open in quarter of an hour. Dad had a doctor’s appointment at 08:30 so spoke to her and she told him Nan would have to be registered before they could come out. He had to come back home to get the details to register her and book a visit from the Doctor. In the meantime I am up dressed and helped Nan with one of her inhalers, she was weak, had difficulty speaking and there was nothing we could do to help. In the end I made the executive decision and called for an ambulance as I felt we couldn’t wait for the doctor (who couldn’t get here before 12:00). It was the first time I had ever phoned for an ambulance and the woman was brilliant. She asked loads of questions and stayed with me on the phone till the First Responder arrived. He only lived up the road and was with us within about 3 or 4 minutes. I thought it would be quite a while before the ambulance turned up, considering where we live, but amazingly they were with us in about 10mins. To cut a long story short they thought Nan had had a stroke and took her to the nearest Hospital with the best stroke facilities. I know the symptoms of a stroke but I hadn’t spotted it, knowing Nan had a weak heart I was more focused on that, especially as she had chest pain. Here is the problem with me spotting a stroke:-

Face – Nan wasn’t wearing her false teeth so bless her all her mouth had dropped, I only saw her from one side and not face on (I had to climb on the bed to help her with the inhaler as I couldn’t get the wheelchair in the room)

Arms – She has chronic arthritis and can’t lift her arms at the best of times, she couldn’t really move either arm at all.

Speech – With asthma and the chest pain I thought that was why she was struggling to talk. The fact was she could only manage about two words meant there was no outstanding clue there.

Time – Time to call for help, well I managed to get that right but anyone else would have done the same thing.

They think the stroke happened in the early hours of the morning and I am just so pleased that the paramedic spotted it. I know that’s what they are trained for but with Nan being so frail and the other issues it wasn’t easy. You always question yourself though after something like this, was there something I could have done? Should I have spotted something? I don’t think there was I’m just glad we got her to hospital when we did and she has made progress over the last couple of days. I would like to thank the First Responder, Ambulance crew and the Doctors and Nursing Staff at the Hospital who were all amazing and treated her so well.

Ambulance 1

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