I trained to Wauchope last Sunday afternoon, and returned to Sydney last Tuesday night. My younger brother, Ross, and his wife, Robyn, drove there from Newcastle this afternoon and return tomorrow afternoon. I go up there again this coming Thursday and Friday. Each trip costs me about$150. I want to continue to go up there each fortnight for a while longer yet.
When we were shown the results of the CT Scan on Baz in at Port Macquarie Base Hospital, the geriatrician said that many/most people who have a stroke of this severity will usually have another stroke within three months, unless the underlying problem can be treated. Barry's underlying problem is that he has an atrial flutter which is flinging clots around his body. This needs to be treated with Warfarin or, at the very least, aspirin. However, there are complications. Not only did Baz have a subacute infarct in his left temporal and occipital lobe, and a smaller subacute infarct in the cortex of his posterior right occiptal lobe, but he also had an acute haemorrhage in the inferior posterior left temporal lobe. The infact measures 11cm from back to front, and the haemorrhage is 5x4x3 cms. There has now been a followup scan, and the haemorrhage has receded minutely. Unless this haemorrhage goes, there can be no treatment with warfarin. Therefore, he is likely to have another stroke.
I have not told Barry this. However, he complained to me that the back of his head hurt and his brow. There was a sizeable indentation in his head - above the haemorrhage. And across his brow appeared to have 'bubbled'. I asked the attending physician at WDH who said this was all the swelling due to the haemorrhage and it was something Barry simply had to cope with. It is when the pain becomes suddenly sharp that they know Barry is in real strife. This cannot be masked.
Barry cannot read, and he cannot do Sodoku. He cannot watch television. However, he was playing Bingo when Ross arrived this afternoon. He calls Ross 'his brother' and he calls me 'his sister'. He can tell the time because he was anxious when I arrived on Tuesday at 10:03am. The rehab unit said that some of these smaller skills may flow in and out. I tried to browbeat him into getting into his pyjamas to go to bed each evening, and to put on casual clothing for the daylight hours. I will ask the nursing staff how this is going. I am sure they have to remind him. He is now going to the toilet approrpriately, rather than using drawers or waste paper bins.
I am very pleased with the nursing home up there. Bundaleer. It appears to be very well staffed, with an adequate number of RNs to aides and cleaners. They were very kind to me, like family in many respects. I need to check just who the visiting GP is - Dr G or Dr K. I have also spoken with the private speech pathologist who will include Baz in her weekly rounds. Now to get on with the application ot the Guardianship Tribunal for the powers to oversee the financial and medical decisions that I am making. I asked Barry for permission to do this. Not sure whether I got it or not. But at least I tried to tell him, which is my legal obligation.
Ross and Robyn are doing massive amounts of work on Barry's stock of leather belts which were all around his house. Probably with a market value of close to $10,000. They have three markets lined up to try to sell them all in the lead-up to Christmas.
I have paid a young lad, who also lives on the cooperative farm, to slash the jungle around Barry's house, and to bash down the bamboo. However, with all the rain this week, the paddocks are sodden and the creeks are flooded. I need to get out there to see the condition of the house and immediate paddock. With noone living there, the situation will deteriorate rapidly. I hope his dog, Free, has stayed with his 'new owner' and not done a homing-pigeon. I have not mentioned the farm, or the dog, or the truck to Barry. And, tellingly, he has not asked. It was only this afternoon that he asked Ross where he was and how long he was going to be there.