I have been chuckling over a couple of things they have said and done since yesterday. About 2 weeks ago I wrote to Don's ex GP asking for all his notes back to Jan 2006. It was a friendly letter,
"Dear Dr S,
The family would like to request a copy of all the records for Donald William Mackay from Jan 2006 till his death 17th May 2007. We will need these notes to provide continuity with those of PMBH and RNSH. (Port Macquarie Base Hospital and royal North Shore Hospital)
Can you please arrange this and let us know the cost to you of copying and registered post and we will forward this to you.
The first doctor to see Don in the first week in Intensive Care has noted, “The cause of his illness is not clear to me. I suspect his Quadriplegia has left him with marginal respiratory reserve that has rendered him incapable of ventilating after his pleurodesis.”
Everything which could have gone wrong for Don, did. From the start there was no continuity of treatment, and only he and I know how much he suffered because of that.
Before the family can grieve properly and not remember the weeks of cruel suffering he endured, we have to ensure that the doctor who did this procedure is aware of what many doctors in ICU stated caused Don’s series of Respiratory Arrests and death.
Thank you for your time.
Yours sincerely," very polite!!!
I had no intention of really doing anything about Dr S's "care" of Don, as it was not he who did the surgery and is always the Specialist's responsibility to assess and not rely on GP or other hospital's notes.On Friday Alison rang me and asked had I got the notes...
When I said I had not heard anything she said "I'm ringing his office... I'll say you are sick"...which I was...bloody 'flu
His receptionist told her that we would receive the notes (Don's records) soon but that they were at the Solicitor's office and he was looking them over. Why?
Considering no action has begun, I would have assumed my husband's notes were still "Confidential" between Doctor and patient, or patient's representative. Alison was ropeable She rang her elder sister in another part of Australia and then I received this email from her, in the wee small hours
" Ali started to tell me about Dr S yesterday, about dad's records being reviewed by his solicitors, shouldn't we at least be able to legally have copies, maybe it's time to get a solicitor to get you a court order then they have to hand them over with no piss farting around... he's a weak bastard and he says one thing to your face - that night about getting to the bottom of this, and knowing what the problem is then backtracks and changes his story. He's the beginning of the problem and he knows it...he should be bloody worried. I get so angry with these stupid "professionals" they have no sense of decency at all, I just hope what goes around comes around one day he'll be on the other side. anyway I hope you are OK I love you mum very very much. xxxxx Melissa"
Somehow hearing my grown up daughters stepping up like this makes it all easier to bear. I felt so alone, but I was never alone. We are just by circumstance all living in different places...but not in different head spaces or heart spaces.
(Don was a little "unsure" about this setup at Christmas... a housefull of women! and no he is not wearing that McDonald's shirt because he liked them...it actually says "MacDickheads - be one to eat one")
I just love Melissa using the term "Piss farting around" when she says that I see her dad... he taught them well when to get colourful and when to be "ladylike" and they can both do this with impeccable ease.
I feel less alone. Its like there are a few people out there behind me, many of you and I am grateful but that the kids are such determined women makes my heart feel good. Don's mother's side came from Moree NSW (Australia) and the family had the gift of being able to tell stories...using a really rich "bush" language which is sadly disappearing. Their conversation was full of such clever use of language, and rolled off their tongues easy. Sometimes my jaw ached from laughing because it all went on for so long...
Sadly not many of them left. Don had a younger cousin who was a master of this. He accidentally killed himself about 10 years back after drinking too much after his relationship broke up ... he was a really decent funny guy and Don and he were best mates as kids.
Don (on the right) and his cousin Wayne in about 1959