For those who didn’t know, I’ve been suffering from Crohn’s Disease for the last two years or more, and ended up back in hospital again this week, as the nasty wee bugger of an infection had spread from my anal area to my scrotum & genitals, and all points in between … hmmm!! … Isn’t that a mental image you could do without?
Painful? You betcha? And not something you can easily live with, as sitting down, using the loo and, eventually even walking, have all become exceedingly uncomfortable and unpleasant. After an increasingly bad weekend, I couldn’t take the pain anymore and went in through A&E on Tuesday, after a 5 hour wait in their less-than-luxurious waiting area.
I was poked, prodded, tested, and assessed … stuck in a bed … and well treated by the over-worked & underpaid nursing staff and, after 3 days in hospital, I’m back home, having been on an IV drip of antibiotics … and nothing else.
The doctors need an MRI scan to assess the problem, before deciding what to do, and the MRI unit’s appointments are fully booked at present, so I can’t get a scan until next Wednesday. I was given the option of lying in a hospital bed until then or coming home … a complete no-brainer!!!
The antibiotics have certainly reduced the infection considerably, and the pain level too, but I’m still far from comfortable or on-the-mend.
I was only able to reply in short notes to the many nice enquiries and letters I received while in hospital, as the TV/Internet system there is rather crap, and so slow … like swimming through honey … and what a rip-off it is too!! … so bloody expensive at £20 for 3 days access.
I was one of the very few who could actually afford to register for use of TV and Internet, and to see so many patients just lying there like zombies with no stimulus or access to communication is disgraceful. In “the-good-old-days” there was at least a wee telly in each ward for patient’s to distract themselves with whilst they lay there for many, painful days. The money-grubbing, profit-motivated bastards who run things nowadays obviously don’t give a monkey’s fukk about patient’s stimulation and motivation; allowing a depressing situation to develop.
The system can be used to get free radio usage … but there is no readily available information to let you know that. Once I’d figured it out, I let other patients know.
The complete lack of information available on every issue was a real issue
I was never informed about meal times, visiting times, doctor’s rounds, waking & sleeping schedules, who-was-who or what-was-what … everything I learned came from asking other patients who been there for a while, and as many were heavily sedated and sleeping most of the time, that wasn’t very easy.
The financial cutbacks in the Health Service were all too evident and things seemed to have deteriorated rapidly since my last period of incarceration some nine months back..There’s not enough staff … and those on duty don’t have the time to deal with minor issues like these
On our ward, one young nurse on the night shift dealt with 16 patients, with the shared assistance of one auxiliary between ours and the adjoining ward.
If two or more patients “crashed”, with their alarm bells being pushed simultaneously, how the hell could that have been efficiently and quickly dealt with?
The staff were run off their feet, literally, and I witnessed numerous minor mistakes being made, miscommunications, and requests being unfulfilled for lengthy periods, due to a lack of sufficient staffing. A situation which must surely cause potentially serious problems in such life-threatening circumstances.
The nurses and auxiliaries coped magnificently with this … but shouldn’t have too. The strain on them was quite evident.
The water-cooler on our ward was broken, and had been for some time, so the “drinking water” that we were given was tepid, metallic tasting and foul.
Solution? … Buy your own, from highly-priced, independently-owned, hospital shop.
I witnessed patients being discharged, myself included, even though they were still in pain and had received the minimum of assistance, due to what seemed to be a pressing need for beds, or where testing was not readily available in the short-term. That’s all about lack of funding, lack of staff, and lack of facilities, and is a disgrace.
I’ll go back for an MRI scan, and in the meantime I hope the antibiotics keep the worst of this shit at bay.