Warning…. This is a long post, i have a lot to say!!!
So, it’s been a while before I have posted anything, I have been in hospital having a mastectomy with immediate reconstruction.
I will talk about this in more detail later I think but for know I want to mention yet again the NHS.
The reason I talk so much about the NHS is because this is the first big operation i have had, the first time in my life iv had a health problem and after paying my taxes all my life I expected a little more from them!
So I go into the operation, 6 hours later wake up in immense pain which the morphine soon sorted out!
So 2 days in I haven’t left my bed, am still in immense pain but controlling it with morphine which although makes me feel drunk helps a lot.
2 nurses come into my room and tell me I need to be up and walking now. I explain that not only is the pain awful but the morphine makes me feel very sick and dizzy. They told me that they have to have patients up and about by now and sat me up in bed telling me to sit up!
I asked what the rush is and they said its routine! Well I didn’t want to be part of this just because it’s policy and routine when my body was telling me I wasn’t ready.
At this point I felt like a number not a person. I stood up in awful pain and was so dizzy I asked to sit down but they wouldn’t let me, they got that cross at me I ended up in tears so they let me lie down again. As a patient having just had an awful operation this is not what I expected at all.
The next day the surgeon visited me to check everything and I asked him if I need to be walking around, he said no, only when I feel I can as i have had a big operation so no need to rush anything! So why did the nurses feel the need to push this? Is it to tick a box saying they have had me out of bed walking!
3 days in I felt I could get out of bed into a chair which I did to enable the nurses to help me have a wash, I can’t say how good it felt to be clean again! Unless I pressed the buzzer I was just left on my own for hours do just slept.
Another 2 days went by and I asked for a wash again, the nurses said ok and then never came back, I fell asleep and didn’t get woken for a wash and before I knew it was the next day. I asked again that afternoon and the nurse said no problem and we would have a wash before bed time as such. It got to about 9.pm and I called the nurse for my wash who said she couldn’t do it but she could get me a bowl of water! Given I had 4 drains attached and wires and my movement was limited I really needed help!
I said I would wait until the next day and suprise suprise nobody came to help me wash!
I was due to be discharged the day after so when that day arrived if given up asking for a wash so just waited till I got home, I’d gone 4 days without a wash so was pretty annoyed!
On my day of discharge it got to dinner time, I was sleeping when they came in and said that someone needed my bed so could I pack my stuff and go wait in the waiting room! I wasn’t due to leave the hospital till tea time so I had to clarify, did they actually expect me to sit in the waiting room for hours after major surgery and yes they did!
Yes I had a mastectomy but I also had a reconstruction which involved taking muscle from my back so as you can imagine not only my front but my back was very painful, not only that but having not washed me they expected me to go sit in a tiny room with random people/visitors/outpatients when I was in my pyjamas not smelling so fresh!
I was so upset that eventually they found me a bed in the corner of a ward but I still got chucked out my room!
While sat on the ward a little old lady realised she had cut her finger and asked for a plaster, 20 min later she still hadn’t got a plaster! The nurses were running about like there was a crisis but in actual fact that was just normal and they were really understaffed!
I heard an alarm going off indicating someone needed something, it may have just been a drink and not urgent but then may have been that someone was stuck in the bathroom or had fallen for example. Either way it went on for 15 min before it was responded to!
Anyway I think my whole experience sums up the state of our health service. Understaffed wards,overworked nurses, patients not getting what they need. I’m not sure what the answer is really other than someone else in charge of the government!!
All in all I was glad to be home!