Today Frank's move to Kalorama was like a scene in a bad movie based on Murphy's law. The preparation in Margriet was correct, the ambulance ride was gentle (they skipped all the traffic barriers / dutch: verkeersrempels), but then, upon arrival in Kalorama all of a sudden we heard that they hadn't expected Frank yet, so there was a room, but not the proper bed for Frank (with a mattress that prevents decubitus). They had not read the transfer report, so when Frank said he was thirsty they wanted to give him something to drink; in the report was advised to approach Frank from his right side so they put him in a bed with his right side to the wall etc. etc. etc. so you can imagine I became rather upset and told the people on the ward that I had a really bad feeling how things were going. And although I do understand that things don't always go the way you want in care (and believe me I know for sure!), the only thing you want when you come with someone loved who you're deeply concerned about, the only thing you want is someone who says welcome and who act's accordingly, getting things done. So eventually after two and a half hours, and a lot of pressure from my side, things had landed a little, Frank was in the correct bed, as comfortable as possible. The staff on the ward really got the message and so the physiotherapist, occupational therapists dropped by, a wheelchair was arranged, even the technician came to install the TV and the radio. But all in all it was a though day for Frank and when he once was placed properly, he (what else) fell asleep.
Later that day the nursing home physician came in, a nice lady from Russia who addressed Frank as the historian he is, that obviously pleased him. I told that Frank spoke a little Russian and before I knew they were exchanging Russian formalities. (How are you, see you tomorrow etc). Frank pointed out that he always had wanted to learn Russian upon which the physician replied that she would be happy to help him with that. One moment later the physician had to leave the room and Frank commented: "very interesting, this is very interesting". So perhaps another goal for him to hang on to.
And al last, but not least there's internet in Kalorama, and the guy form technics (who really understood I couldn't take any more "I don't know's"), made the application right away so we hope that within 2-3 days he will have internetaccess. We don't know what he will be able to do with it, but we hope it will be another stimulant to rehabilitate.
Frank only stayed for about a week in the nursing home Margriet but it strikes me how fast you get used to people, atmosphere, rhythms etc. etc. and that change always is difficult. You just want something to hang on to. Let's hope this was just one of those days, and that it will turn for the better.
Now mainly for my own rest I just made a phone call (23.45) to check whether everything was OK, and the nurse coincidently was just in Frank's room giving him tube feeding. So she handed the phone to him. He told me that he was OK, that he had a aching feet ("Esther if you come tomorrow will you scratch my feet?" "Frank you can ask the nurse" "yeah but they don't scratch hard enough"), and he was gonna try to sleep. So he sounded landed ;-)
Here at last some logistics:
Frank is on ward Kastanjedal (first floor dept 3) room no 33.03, the telephone number of the ward is 024-6847753, visiting times are all day long but they prefer not during eating times (lunch, diner).
Well that's it for today, sleep well, I certainly will.
Thousend times thanks!
To all the followers of the blog, to anyone who has been supportive of Frank or us in the last months and especially after his untimely death we want to say thanks from the bottom of our hearts. In the week after his passing we received so much warmth, stories, care and love, hardly describable. To us it was a very precious and valuable week and it was so good to have Frank at home where so many of his friends could visit him. And all the help, stories and info shared in that week led to a beautiful goodbye ceremony on a beautiful sunny autumn day. For those of you who could not attend, or those of you who wish to reread the funeral speeches, we publice them here (in dutch and english) with some pictures in grateful memory of, and tributed to Frank.We will miss him dearly, thanks for being with him and with us, one way or another,
On behalf of my family and his closest friends, Esther