In January 2012 my mother had a stroke which was undetected by 3 GP’s.  So it was a week later I threw all my toys out of my pram and demanded that she should be admitted to hospital.

Monday         My mother had a little fall whilst our friend Jane was in the house.  Jane later    said that my mother seemed to lose her balance and had fallen against the fridge.   Her GP of over 20 years was called out and he diagnosed that she was mentally and physically exhausted.

Wednesday    Jane calls me to say my mother had called the doctor out on Monday, but hadn’t wanted to worry me.  Jane said the GP had found nothing seriously wrong but she was concerned as my mother was not wanting to get out of bed, was very sleepy and wasn’t eating.  So she had called the surgery and another partner came out to see my mother and made the same diagnosis.  Jane, however, was not happy.  She said she would see my mother on Thursday and Friday morning but she thought it might be an idea if I came over for the weekend.

Friday               I live and work in Jersey, so I flew over after work.  Jane picked me up at Bristol Airport and drove me to my mother’s house near Tetbury in Gloucestershire arriving in the early evening. My mother could barely say hello to me and refused to eat any supper.  She was delirious during the night and had become alarmingly incontinent.

Saturday          I called the duty doctor first thing who made the trek from Painswick to make the same diagnosis.  My mother was 82, had arthritis, which slowed her down a bit but physically and mentally exhausted?  I didn’t buy it, but who was I to challenge the diagnosis of 3 seasoned GP’s?

Sunday            By that time I had taken on the role of an ITU nurse.  A friend came round at some point to visit my mother and on her way out she said “Do you think your mum has had a little stroke?” To which I blithely responded “Oh no, the doctor says she is just physically and mentally exhausted.”

Monday           Another night in the role of ITU nurse had taken its toll as I threw all my toys out of my pram and bawled at the GP to get my mother admitted to hospital with a Urinary Tract Infection.

Next … Getting it Wrong

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