Thursday, August 20, 2015

Internet and ill Brother Friend

Internet restored at 4.00pm 19/08. Much better than the forecast 6.00pm 20/08. So now I feel really grateful to Telstra. Tell 'em the worst and they will be so happy when better happens. Telstra is waiving any excess phone data charges and our monthly internet bill. Just money. I want to know what happened? Who stuck a screwdriver into a circuit to see what would happen? The cynic in me thinks it was planned maintenance that was put up as an outage. We've been Telstra cable internet users since the late 1990s and I can never remember such a long outage.

Here is what I wrote off line last night, or is that two night ago and have pasted here. I may not have had internet, but I could still write.

Once we returned from our overseas trip, a high priority was to see our Brother Friend in a large and brand new pubic hospital in Melbourne's eastern suburbs. From what I can understand, he was given intensive chemo and radio therapy which made he feel like he wanted to die, and then some stem cell treatment. His brother was not coping well mentally with the situation and with being his carer, so he flew off to Thailand for a month. The brother with cancer was supposed to make a recovery and then be admitted to a public rehabilitation place. Instead he came good on his own.

We caught the train out to see him a few times and his progress was extraordinarily good and a credit to modern medicine and health care.

In fact, he seemed quite well enough to go home. Except his brother had left him with no keys, no money, no cards, no phone and totally at the mercy of the hospital. Undoubtedly this was deliberate. I try to take a charitable view of the brother going off overseas, but no one else is and all are very critical of him leaving his brother at the mercy of the hospital. There was a back up plan that he could go to another brother's but that brother's wife is in the midst of a cancer scare and has refused to have him, and after much prevarication, the hospital has now kicked our Brother Friend out after a bit of too and from between nurses and doctors.

R travelled by train to see our Brother friend in hospital today and was ambushed by hospital staff, who kicked our Brother Friend out in front of R. I am not blaming the hospital. Brother friend is quite well again, in spite of the terrible experience he has been through and was taking up a public hospital bed needlessly.

So what could R do? He could do no more that offer our spare room. He had to get the train and tram back home, meet me to car swap just before I went back to work after lunch, go back in the car to pick up Brother Friend, whose medication was not ready. R left home to catch the tram and then train at 10.00am and arrived back home in the car with Brother Friend at 6.00pm. And you have to remember that R had a big falling out with both brothers. But that is what R is like. He is such a caring person.

Lest you think I am such a selfish person, tomorrow in my lunch time I have to go to the chemist for a medication that was missing and another friend is visiting when I am come home for lunch, and we will need some lunch so I will have to buy something for lunch for us all, as R is off on volunteer work duties.

While our Brother Friend overseas has called , full of concern and nice, kind, and grateful words there has been no mention of him returning early from his 'mental stress break'.

So after just after a visit by Sister, Bone Doctor and Little Jo for an overnight stay, we now have a house guest for a week. Just as well he is quiet and unobtrusive but it is so unnecessary as he could easily be in his own home with some support, which we and neighbours and friends could have offered. No doubt our expenses will be compensated such our heating being turned way up, medication cost etc but hopefully it will be something generous of spirit and not cash. But cash would do.

28 comments:

  1. Sigh.
    I have been tempted to leave my partner in hospital with no clothes, money or keys - but only when the hospital was making 'kicking him out too early' noises.
    I hope that Brother Friend comes home soon. And yes, a thank you gift (or six) would be nice.

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    1. EC, I understand they need the beds, but in your case, he needs to be well enough. In my case, he was.

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  2. Both R and yourself are uncommonly decent; I'm glad to know you, even at long distance.

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    1. Thanks Jac. At time we are commonly indecent too, lest we sound too boring.

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  3. Bad luck, but you two did the right thing and if nothing else you know that .
    The brother of the sick guy is not facing up to his family commitment but stress affects us all differently, all you can do is be kind and not think to badly of him.
    Merle........

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    1. Wise words Merle. We will get our reward at some point, if not in heaven.

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  4. A huge thumbs up to you and a massive thumbs down to the person in Thailand. :(

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    1. Snoskred, he could have at least come home a bit earlier.

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  5. I'm pleased your Brother friend has you and R to help out, but I'm quite pi**ed off at the Thailand brother, who could at least send back the keys and cards so your Brother friend could stay in his own home. He sounds a bit selfish. Like Merle said, stress affects us all differently, but he is still being inconsiderate.

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    1. Yes River, even that would be ok. Things can be sent quickly if needed.

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  6. andrew definitely it was the right decision.

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    1. Gosia, really the only decision we could take.

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  7. You and R are very kind. I find it hard to understand carer brother leaving him without access to his own place. I wonder who will care for him when the time comes.

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    1. Diane, it was such a silly think to do. He could manage quite well on his own with a little support. I suppose our friend who is unwell would have gone into some kind of community care had we not taken him in.

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  8. Generous souls indeed.

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    1. What else could we do Carol.

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  9. Very compassionate of you both. What a complete moron that brother is!
    Outrageous really.

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    1. Craig, they both planned to go and live in Thailand until this cancer. I think his brother may have felt like he would never be able to visit again, but I see no reason why not now.

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  10. How kind of you both. R did a very lovely thing. Hospital staff do that kind of thing, as soon as someone comes that they know the patient knows, out goes the patient. Not good to run off on 'stress leave' no matter where to. Maybe he is heartless.

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    1. Margaret, it would have been cheaper for the hospital to put him in a motel with meals than him take up a bed.

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  11. R is very kind, and what could he do. You too I suspect are kind hearted.

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    1. Strayer, the difference between us is mine is considered where as it comes very naturally to R.

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  12. A few months ago I went to hospital in an emergency. D went there with me. They assumed he is my partner (which is something neither of us said) and could look after me if I was discharged.

    I think if I have to go to hospital again I shall try to go alone so as not to make it so easy for them to push me out the door. I totally understand why they want/need to do it but as we know when dealing with hospitals you have to be a squeaky wheel and sometimes a strategic approach is necessary in your own interests. They have their own big picture and can be pretty bloody minded too. They have to be which means that so do you.

    I wonder whether your Brother Friend now in Thailand was trying something of the same by leaving the hospitalized one without the means of getting into his own place. As I'm sure you know, being a carer can be stressful and carers do sometimes get to the end of their tether and can take slightly desperate decisions. They do need some respite from the burden. Although he is away now, there is still a long path ahead for BFinT of being his brother's keeper.

    Incidentally, I am surprised that there was no other means of getting into their place. No spare key somewhere or with someone? Was that really the only obstacle to BF's return there, or would BF still need care which the hospital may or may not have been in a position to organize?

    What do you think would have happened if R hadn't turned up so conveniently for the hospital to shove your BF onto? Could he have been sent to a nursing home?

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    1. Marcellous, you do have to think when using the public, or even the private system and as you say, the squeaky wheel and I must say the ill brother is not a squeaky type at all.

      I think the BFinT panicked a bit when his brother was so ill and perhaps thought he might never get there again. However, he should have come home early.

      They rent their flat and of course the agent would have a key. A key could have been flown from Thailand in less than a day. For perhaps $100, a locksmith could have opened it. The real point, which I have only just learnt, was the ill brother did not want to be alone at night.

      I doubt the hospital would have put him out on the street. As you suggest, a nursing home or something similar.

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    2. Story grows more complicated, A. I'd still be slow to say that BFinT should have come back early. His fear that it will be a while before he can go away again sounds quite justified.

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    3. Marcellous, as I have aged I see a lot of grey about things and very little black and white. It is hard going for us having the Brother Friend here but I am not very judgemental. Would they do the same for one of us? I doubt it. Give with good grace or don't give at all.

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  13. Oh you two are lovely Andrew.. I just hope your kindness doesn't get taken advantage of!

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    1. Maybe Grace, maybe not. We are thinking of downsizing to a two bedroom place.......but even that won't work as a subsequent post will indicate.

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