Greg's health has been deteriorating even further over the last month. His legs and feet are a dreadful purple colour and covered in scabs (how he gets them I just don't know but they don't heal quickly when he gets sores or scratches). It is largely caused by the diabetes. Since I returned from my mother his mobility has taken a turn for the worst. Again the diabetes/smoking is the problem as well as poor circulation. Instead of being unable to walk just a few yards unaided, he is now unable to walk a few steps unaided and finds climbing all our stairs almost impossible. He has spent the last few weeks sleeping solely on the sofa as he cannot get up to the bedroom. He has barely eaten and has not taken his medication regularly. The only thing he has continued with gusto is the drinking. He is 60 going on 120 by the look of him. Even my 86-year-old mother is in better condition (and that is saying something).
This last week in particular has seen a big change: he needed my help both to sit upright from lying down and to stand up from sitting. He seemed incapable of doing it himself. He walked holding on to furniture. He felt so ill and so fed up with the state he was in that he agreed something drastic needed to be done. .. he agreed to make an appointment with our GP for Wednesday and with some local alcoholic counsellors today to get the ball rolling for a detox.
We saw the GP on Wednesday and Greg pleaded with her to allow him a detox at home. He does not like being holed up with strangers and institutionalised regimes. She refused a home detox as it would require high levels of drugs to wean him off the alcohol and 24-hour medical supervision which he could only get in a proper detox centre. He begged, she continued to refuse, saying she would get into trouble if she even entertained the idea. She encouraged him to keep the appointment with the counsellors today to get their help for a proper detox, as they were the best people to approach. There is usually a long-waiting list for this kind of help, so our hearts sank.
Yesterday, Greg seemed a lot worse and was barely moving at all. He had had no sleep the night before as he could not get comfortable on the sofa, so tried to sleep during the morning while I crept quietly around the house, keepng out of his way. He woke at lunchtime and slowly went from sofa to kitchen chair to toilet to sofa, having to negotiate stairs at every move. I was upstairs in the late afternoon when I heard him call for the umpteenth time, probably to help him sit up or stand. What I found was him collapsed on the kitchen floor and unable to stand. I tried to heave him up but he was a dead weight. After several attempts to get him up, his next remark completely floored me: "Call for an ambulance. I feel so wretched". Long-term readers of this blog know that he hates hospitals, ambulances, any fuss, so you can imagine how surprised I was. To cut a very long story short, the paramedics arrived and took him to hospital, where he is now. I followed on behind by car.
The bottom line is that they are very concerned about his extremely low blood pressure (71 over 56 and at one stage 70 over 35) and have detected internal bleeding. Now they need to find where the bleed is coming from, but high contenders are the intestine, stomach or liver. I am not allowed to visit him as the hospital wards are closed to visitors because of an outbreak of winter vomiting virus. At least he'll get the detox he so badly needs. Sometimes God moves in mysterious ways. The hamster wheel still turns but now on a different axle.