Today, we received news that one of our ex-patient passed on last night; cause of death – sepsis.
Of course, we are used to deaths.
But we certainly did not see this one coming.
Mr. T had been with us for a fair amount of time, nearly a month. He had dementia, yes. He was this tall, rather huge old man who was still able to walk (with assistance) and was able to engage with us (even if he went off track sometimes). He was mostly pleasant & grandfatherly in some ways. He was also a very proud man. He liked his autonomy, and would be most displeased if you try to force something upon him. He was catheterised when he was warded with us, and was very protective of his urine bag. Although he did not exactly understood what it was, but he seemed to get that it was connected to him, therefore, it was his property. Try to take it away from his curious hands and you will come across a very grumpy man indeed who would tell you to mind your own business and go away. Often times, he successfully disconnected his urine bag and would simply refused to have us put it back. It also did not help that he had trouble processing information/instructions. We would be asking him questions/his permission to do certain procedures and he would most gladly nod with agreement – only to have him resist & fight you off the next second.
Despite all that, he was a quiet & gentle (when not provoked) man. His son was one of the nicest person we’ve ever met. His family were supportive and kind, and most of all, they were willing to take care of him, even when they do have other pressing problems within the family. They’re a rare gem in today’s society.
We patted ourselves on our back when we’ve finally managed to sort out care arrangements for Mr. T & family, and discharged him some time mid last week, thinking that he would be discharged well with no major issues. After all, he stayed for so long in our unit and he had been fairly well throughout. Little did we know that he would develop an infection over the weekend and then got readmitted. He deteriorated quickly and then death comes like a thief , silent and unexpected. I say unexpected although he was aged, because throughout his stay in our unit, there was never a need for a “what happens if and when Mr. T collapses/deteriorates/falls terminally ill” conversation. Which is why when we received this piece of news this evening, all of us who had taken care of him were shocked.
I still can’t quite digest the fact that Mr. T is gone, I can still picture him quite clearly in my mind, sitting on the geriatric chair, watching the TV. I can only imagine just how difficult it would be for his family now. Trying times for the family, indeed.
May you rest in peace, Mr. T. ♥