It was an arduous and long trip home from Singapore yesterday and we are very happy to be back in our own home again.
Jill was discharged from the Ng Teng Fong Hospital in Singapore on Saturday, after we started planning a week ago for her to be ready to come home. She had her accident on September 1 and spent six days in the medical wards after her surgery which was necessary to pin and nail her left hip after its fracture in her fall.
For the following two weeks, she occupied a bed in the Ng Teng Fong Community Hospital (adjoining tower) where she received excellent medical treatment, physio and occupational therapy. The hospital is very modern and consistent with Singapore’s love of gardens, it had trees, ponds and even a waterfall on its fourth level.
I left my hotel on Saturday after checking out at 2.00 pm and said my goodbyes to two of the staff that I got to know very well – Pauline (Front Office Manager) and Fifi, (Guest Services Officer). I really appreciated their friendship and company in the three weeks that I lived at the Holiday Inn. I had the usual 30 minute taxi ride to the hospital.
Jill was quite nervous about our trip home, but I had rehearsed everything in my mind.many times and I wss quite confident that we could get along without too many problems. By the time that we left, Jill’s treatment had equipped her to stand with some support and she was able to transfer, for example, from her wheelchair to the toilet.
Jill was discharged from the hospital straight to the airport late in the afternoon.. We had booked a wheelchair taxi to the airport and left the hospital at 5.30 pm for our flight at 9.00 pm. We had plenty of time so we didn’t need to feel stressed or pressured by time issues. My biggest worry was how we would get through the airport with me pushing a trolley full of bags while still needing to push Jill in her wheelchair to the check in counter. After checkin we could relax. Fortunately, the taxi driver was kind enough to push Jill inside the airport to checkin and I only had to worry about our baggage. Our baggage of course, included Jill’s mobility scoter which she crashed causing her injury, but which is no longer stable enough for her to use at present.
While we flew to Singapore on Singapore Airlines, I had to buy a return ticket on Qantas as there were no seats available for some weeks. Lately, I have been critical of Qantas’ service levels and attitude to customer’s since Covid. But, I have to say that it was very enjoyable to be back amongst an air crew with whom we could develop a bit of repartee instead of the very formal relationship with cabin staff that we experienced on Singapore Airlines, or the bland and impersonal customer attitudes on airlines in the USA. The eight hour flight was too long not to go to sleep, but too short tio have a good one. I think Jill actually slept a little more than I did.
In Sydney, we cleared immigration and I collected our bags from the luggage carousel and then found Jill’s scooter in the ‘Oversized Baggage area. Again, I faced the problem of how to get both her and the baggage to the domestic checkin (about 400 metres away) and also transfer across to the domestic terminal. Fortunately, we found a baggage handler who helped us and then we were on the ‘Whiskey Bus’ for a personal trip across the airp\ort.
The weather on our flight to Melbourne.was clear and we had a beautiful view of the Mount Kosciusko Range. It was still covered in snow. I have done many bushwalking trips over this high country and I am very find of this area.
As for our International flight, we were able to push Jill in her wheelchair to the door of the plane where it was taken down to the hold. Jill was transferred into a narrower ‘Aisle Chair’ and taken to her seat. We transferred Jill back into her own wheelchair at the plane door in Melbourne. We were very happy to see our daughter Cathy who had come to the airport to help us get home. We are so grateful for her medical help and organisation of referrals while we were away..
Today, we had an appointment with our doctor who has given us another referral to a rehabilitation centre, prescribed some ongoing pain medication and organised a number of follow up medical activities.
Both Cathy and our doctor are quite surprised at how well Jill is managing. She can transfer from her wheelchair to bed and the toilet and can even getrt into and out of a car. That opens up a number of possibilities for us.
I am finding that being a care-giver is a demanding job.