A Surprise A&E Adventure

A head and shoulders photo of me in hospital wearing a face mask. The blog post title "surprise A&E trip: The tale of the twisted bowel" is overlaid.

Hello! Just popping in with a quick post today to update on my brief and unexpected absence. As far as trips go, it’s definitely not one I’d recommend on TripAdvisor!

I may have been behind on things last week, and now it’s just laughable. I’ve lost more time as I was admitted to A&E last week and spent a few days in hospital with two bowel twists that were blocking the stoma. That’s right, my insides like to do the Twist, tango or jive if the mood takes them.

Bowel twists are insanely painful and can be a medical emergency; last year I needed an emergency operation otherwise I would have died. This year, it seems I’ve narrowly avoided surgery through some miracle. Things still aren’t quite right with my stoma but I discharged myself early to go home after what I can only describe as a nightmarish stay.

I did have one lovely nurse and one great female doctor after triage. But that’s sadly where the positivity ends. I wish I had something good to say, but I don’t. From being snapped at and ignored, to being rudely spoken to and inadequately medically treated, there are far too many instances to list here.

A photo of my arm against my side with the IV cannula in (I'm wearing black trousers and a red top).
A fight for the IV morphine that was previously requested in a letter I took from my surgeon for such instances & was also okayed by the doctor in A&E. The nurses just didn’t feel like giving it to me.

Local A&E Closure

My local A&E has also been closed under the guise of Coronavirus, putting thousands of lives at risk. It hasn’t been advertised so nobody knows unless they’ve seen the news and it wasn’t supposed to have even happened until next week, yet you’ll find no surgeons in the hospital so it’s merely for show, treating only those with minor conditions through GP or 111 referral. We (people of my town, the local MP) had campaigned last year against its closure, and the worry is that this won’t be a temporary thing. For that I am beyond livid. The nurses that I spoke to following triage were likewise outraged at the money and politics of it all, with lives not really factoring into it.

As such, this meant I went to A&E in my town but was then taken by ambulance to another hospital in another city, with no way to get back to my town when I left and no public transport running because of coronavirus. I enquired about patient transport and was just told ‘that’s for the elderly and vulnerable only, not you. You could try walking into town to see if there’s an odd bus running’. I could barely walk to the end of the car park let alone the distance into town.

A Hellish Trip

It was a hellish time for too many reasons to explain here. ‘Nightmare nurses’ doesn’t even come close. I always say ‘please, please fight for your health and get the help you need. Advocate for yourself’. But when you’re so unwell, and you can’t have visitors to help you advocate on your behalf due to the virus-related restrictions, it can get very difficult.

I feel I should do more, but I don’t know what. This has happened on many occasions now with various hospital stays. When you’re out of your mind with pain and then off your face with medication, it’s hard keeping track of which wards you are ferried to, much less the names of the staff you come into contact with. Maybe I should have tried harder so I could make complaints and ask for changes to be made, especially when it comes to misanthropic nurses. Maybe I should be dreaming up some great system for patient advocacy. But I’m out of ideas on how to fix such a broken system or how to help countless people that need it.

My own experiences, and the way in which I saw others treated while I was in there… it’s so angering and heartbreaking and I feel sick with it all. I don’t want to be a total downer, but I’ve also always said that I want to be honest in my blog, even if that means saying something unpopular.

A head and shoulders photo of me in hospital wearing a face mask.

Covid-19 Swabbering

I also had two COVID-19 swabs in hospital (the first was mysteriously lost). These are, I hadn’t realised before, quite quick but also quite uncomfortable, bordering on painful depending on who does it. Sadly, some nurses hadn’t had a test themselves. In addition, sanitiser seemed to be nowhere in sight, and some patients after triage were openly coughing without a mask on and without covering their mouths. But there was also a predominance of nurses with PPE and some social distancing in place with bed arrangements on the wards themselves.

Sorry!

Now for the apologies. I’ve not replied to the all comments on my recent posts but I’ve read through all of them; thank you all for the wonderful, kind, thoughtful responses. I’m just too far behind to keep up. Likewise, having been out of action recently means I’ve not been able to read or comment on other blogs and I’ve not been as active on social media.

I always want to support other bloggers in their work but it’s not been physically possible for the last week or so. I am hoping to start catching up again, but I’m also realising that the rate at which I’ve got to do things and the piling up of work and everything else at home, it’s just not sustainable considering how my health is dragging me back. I’m just not too sure what to do about it. I feel guilty and awful when I can’t get to each post, but when we’re talking thousands of them it’s just too much.

As such, I’m not going to be able to go through everything I’ve missed during this time but I will start gradually getting back into the swing of things.

I’m not writing this for pity points or to make a political stand (just a vent at the sickening state of things). It’s more following on from my prior update and to apologise for the unscheduled vacation of sorts!

Sending Love

I know a lot of you are doing it tough at the moment for one reason or another, or perhaps for several. I’ve been thinking of many of you, from those struggling with your own health problems and going through surgeries, to those finding the coronavirus situation incredibly difficult.

I wish I had some wonderful words of wisdom, but I don’t. All I’ll say is that I care. I know many of you likely feel overwhelmed but that you’re made of tougher stuff than you realise and that there will be brighter days, no matter how dark the skies may look. Sending lots of love to you all.

Hang tight & stay safe.

Caz  ♥

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48 Comments

  1. Julie
    May 26, 2020 / 4:25 pm

    It just sounds horrendous, Caz, I’m sorry for all you’ve been through. Don’t worry about catching up with comments and other posts – clearly this is a time for you look after yourself. I’m sure we’re all thinking of you and wishing you well.

  2. May 26, 2020 / 4:27 pm

    Ohhhh Cazzz You are in my thoughts and hoping you are better soon. Hugeee hugsss

  3. Carolyn E
    May 26, 2020 / 4:39 pm

    Concentrate on yourself. We, your readers will wait I am sure. I am sure I am not alone with that thought nor with heartfelt wishes of good health and good health treatment for you. Thanks for staying honest.

  4. Charlie
    May 26, 2020 / 4:44 pm

    Always love your honesty, Caz, hope you can recover at home. Stay safe 😀x

  5. May 26, 2020 / 4:59 pm

    Hi Caz, I’m so sorry that you had such an awful hospital experience! Focus on yourself and we will be here for when you recover. I hope it gets better for you soon and sending lots of love and hugs:)

  6. Ashley
    May 26, 2020 / 5:11 pm

    What a horrendous experience! Sending hugs and love. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

  7. May 26, 2020 / 5:32 pm

    Vent as much as you want. Our ears and hearts are open for you. Take all the time you need to get back up to speed. We will be here Caz.

  8. May 26, 2020 / 5:33 pm

    What a horrible experience, but at least no surgery this go around. I would have been happy to come pick you up and take you back home if I lived nearby. I’m glad you’re home though.

    Big healing hugs, my friend. ♥

  9. May 26, 2020 / 5:38 pm

    It sounds horrendous. I can’t understand how there was nothing in place to make sure you got home in one piece. We all understand if you can’t face reading other blogs. You are the one that matters.

  10. May 26, 2020 / 5:46 pm

    My goodness, I’m so sorry. That sounds absolutely awful! I’m not going anywhere. Get well soon!

  11. May 26, 2020 / 7:02 pm

    Jesus, Caz. Hang in there. You’re a brave little toaster.

    We said, no apologies.

    • May 29, 2020 / 3:50 pm

      Thanks, B. “Brave little toaster”, I love that! 😂
      Hope you and the family are hanging in there, too. xx

  12. May 26, 2020 / 7:02 pm

    Caz this is so heartbreaking. You really don’t have to apologise to anyone. You show so much support to us all but you really need to focus on you x

  13. May 26, 2020 / 7:10 pm

    Take care and I hope things improve again. How lucky you did not have to face another op again. But thumbs down to the awful frustrating experience.
    May you be comfortable in your own bed. There’s nothing like your own bed, when you have been in hospital.

  14. May 26, 2020 / 7:47 pm

    Just worried about you lovely, you really have had it tough just recently especially, just look after you the rest will look after itself xxx

  15. May 26, 2020 / 7:49 pm

    I am sorry you had to go through this. Don’t worry about us, we will be here, concentrate on getting well xo ❤️

  16. May 26, 2020 / 8:36 pm

    Let go the guilt, Caz you are doing your best and if that’s not enough for someone, it’s their problem not yours! Put yourself first, rest and soon you’ll be back to yourself and carching up again! Xx

  17. May 26, 2020 / 8:56 pm

    I’m sorry you had such a horrible experience. Look after yourself lovely, wishing you a steady recovery ❤️

  18. May 26, 2020 / 9:35 pm

    Caz! I am so sorry for what you have had to go through. And I am so sorry to hear about your hospital. Our long time well known hospital has been going down fast since they sold it for profit. Nurses have had to go on strike just to be protected, to make their money, and because they were more concerned with not having what they need to be able to help patients as they always had. I pray for your city and that hospital.
    I love your twisted humor. You make me smile even in your hardship. You are still a strong and vocal advocate, but you are human too. Pain is a serious factor. Sometimes we can push through, but sometimes pain is exactly it’s own definition… an indication that something is wrong with the body. You need the rest! You need to take care of you. That’s being a good advocate too! I am praying for you! God loves you, Caz!
    https://gaillovesgod.blog/2020/05/26/day-4-of-47-for-lent-plan/

  19. May 26, 2020 / 10:13 pm

    Hey Caz, it’s good to hear from you and know you are doing well-ish, though being in pain and dealing with so many frustrations sounds awful. Best wishes for a speedy recovery ♥♥

  20. May 27, 2020 / 1:39 am

    Wow that is absolutely horrible that you were treated like that and had to go through that. It might be an unpopular opinion but not all nurses and doctors are nice. I have had some mean ones or uncaring ones and often ones that don’t mean to be like that but are just run off their feet and are impatient and irritable and tired as heck but it’s still not okay. I have heard of people running into issues here in Canada as well with being sent to a different ER (A&E) in a different city or town due to closures (either COVID-19 related or completely unrelated) as well who have been left stranded with no way to get home due to COVID-19 and lack of transportation or not being able to call on family like normal due to social distancing. It’s horrible to leave someone stranded like that and I am so sorry you had to go through that! I hope you are doing better now.

  21. May 27, 2020 / 8:35 am

    Oh Caz, I I’m so incredibly sorry. I’m livid about the treatment you have gotten. I can’t even. It terrifies me. I couldn’t do it alone like you do. You amaze me. I know you will say it’s because you have to, but I think I’d shut down. I honestly do not think I could. I want to help so much. Words cannot begin.
    PLEASE TAKE CARE OF YOU!
    Be gentle with yourself. Stop the guilt.We care so much about you, all we want is for you to get better. I cannot imagine keeping up with so much. No one will think less of you for taking a break.
    If there is anything I can do, just say the word.
    Much love. Wendy

  22. Svet
    May 27, 2020 / 6:14 pm

    Oh Caz, I like your honesty and sadden to hear about the treat and rudeness you encountered. Thinking of you, kisses, Svet

  23. May 27, 2020 / 6:35 pm

    I am so so sorry to hear this. I understand things are beyond tough at hospitals, but the nurses are there to help, not to make lives worse. Right now there are people all over the world falling over themselves to thank those “on the front lines”, and in many cases, rightly so. I do however know what you’re saying. Along with some hospital stay experience myself, for a time I worked alongside nurses in the ICU of my local hospital. I had bern trained as a tele tech operator monitoring the hearts of patients. When I began work, the nurses greatly resented us, and let us know every chance that they could. I had been instructed that we were to only do our job as Telemetry Technicians, and nothing else as we were not trained CNAs or otherwise. The nurses abused us on a regular bases, sometimes demanding that we help lift or clean patients. Again due to regulations we were forbiden to do so, and were warned about it. It became so bad, that although I had loved and aced the training and my job, dealing with the constant, nasty abuse became too much and I quit. I might also mention that these nurses were making 5x’s the pay, mostly sat around and gossiped, and took two week vacations every three months or so. As hard as it is to be a nurse, it’s not as bad as they portray. Where I live, the kind of money they make goes a long way, and they were all spoiled and nasty tempered. This is not to say that what is happening now is easy, it isn’t. But there is a reality that most people don’t see. Unless like you, they are subjected to this kind of miserable behavior.

  24. May 27, 2020 / 7:01 pm

    Just to add my thoughts to so many others. We totally understand you can’t do everything you want to do, and we’re surely unanimous that the most important thing for you to do is take care of yourself. NO APOLOGIES NEEDED!

    Maybe you’ll feel better if you try to write something for public consumption about all the things that have gone wrong in terms of care. Just a thought.

    Annie xx

  25. May 27, 2020 / 8:20 pm

    Wishing you a speedy recovery dear Caz. It has been really tough time and am sure all your readers will understand.Take care !

  26. Ruth
    May 27, 2020 / 8:45 pm

    OMG 😱

  27. May 27, 2020 / 9:57 pm

    you are a rockstar when it comes to boldness & honesty — keep strong, dear Caz!

  28. May 28, 2020 / 1:26 am

    Oh Caz what a complete nightmare. Im just saddened by your whole ordeal. No wonder the COVD19 is just rampant in the UK. How on earth did you manage to get home? Or did I miss how. And how are you not vunerable?When sick its just too hard to do anything. Then you get reasonably well and well its too hard. big hugs xx

  29. May 28, 2020 / 12:04 pm

    Caz, so sorry you had to endure all of this. Pleased you are home, and are recovering well. Continue to advocate when you are strong enough, you do so much and have made so many aware, including myself, of what you and many others go through. We suffer similar symptoms and I have so much empathy. Keep strong my friend, rest. xx

  30. May 28, 2020 / 2:36 pm

    Oh Caz, thank you so much for your honest blog. First things first do NOT feel guilty about comments etc, I certainly don’t write to expect comments back and a don’t write my blog posts expecting comments!! Quite often, I will read blogs and want to comment, but if my symptoms are crap, I can hardly even lift my arms to type.

    Secondly, I am so, so sorry that you had such a horrendous time in the hospital with awful nurses and so much pain. I agree we need some kind of advocacy service, I am just not sure how to about it 🙁 You keep going with your fantastic blog when you feel able and know that you are advocating for all of us out there by doing just that. Keep strong Caz, you’re fab xxxx

  31. Quirky Girl
    May 28, 2020 / 6:37 pm

    Oh, Caz. I’m sorry you’ve been dealing with so much lately. Wishing you better, healthier days ahead. Like you’ve so eloquently stated, “there will be brighter days, no matter how dark the skies may look”. <3

  32. May 29, 2020 / 5:50 am

    Don’t play catch up, hun. When you start feeling up to it, start from scratch. You haven’t ‘fallen behind’, you were left behind, and we’ll all just be grateful to have you back at all. xo

  33. May 29, 2020 / 11:32 am

    Hi Caz, I am so sorry for all that you have endured recently and for your horrendous and challenging hospital visit, I hope things improve for you soon. Sending love and hugs. And please do not worry about not responding to comments, or even commenting on others’ blog posts, it is something that I often worry about and am trying my best to write a comment on blog posts when I can, but unfortunately, life and especially symptoms get in the way.

    Just concentrate on your recovery, and getting better.

    Take care

  34. May 29, 2020 / 3:18 pm

    Oh Caz, this is absolutely horrendous! I’m so sorry you’ve had to endure not only all this pain, but the indignity of being mistreated by the very people who were supposed to be helping you. I hope you’re starting to feel better now that you’re back at home. As far as your apology goes, please don’t ever apologize for taking the time you need to take care of yourself. I feel pretty sure that everyone completely understands. Sending lots of love and hugs your way sweet friend.

  35. May 30, 2020 / 1:31 pm

    I’m so sorry you had to go through that Caz. I honestly can’t believe they didn’t care how you got home and expected you to walk and try to catch a bus! That’s appalling. Hopefully you’re starting to feel a bit better now you’re at home. Don’t ever feel like you have to apologise for taking care of yourself. 💗

  36. May 30, 2020 / 1:44 pm

    Caz, I’m so sorry for what you’ve been enduring. My prayers are with you, hoping you are back to baseline soon. Sending you lots of love and virtual hugs. xo

  37. May 30, 2020 / 3:07 pm

    Caz, I hope you’re starting to feel a bit better. Please, look after yourself. Stop worrying about other blogs and getting caught up. Take care of you. x

  38. May 31, 2020 / 2:26 pm

    Charlee: “That’s not the kind of adventure anyone wants to have!”
    Chaplin: “No, not even Dennis!”
    Lulu: “We’re very sorry this happened to you and that the human veterinarians were so subpar. I’m sending lots of fluffy tail wags for no more of that.”
    Charlee: “And we Hipsters send purrs!”

  39. June 1, 2020 / 10:44 pm

    Snap. I understand the “too much pain” to think, and then the “medicated” can’t keep it straight. I would think that patients would be allowed to have someone be on a call or Facetime type of thing so that someone who is not in pain and/or on drugs can do the listening and the thinking and the talking. If someone doesn’t have a friend or family member it is too bad there is not a service. May there should be an app for that. 🙂

    I know that medical staff is sometimes rushed and they are just spewing information out and it takes time to absorb it all so having someone there to repeat things and help go over what the professionals said is very helpful.

    Or maybe just recording it . . . because again, sometimes they dispense so much information in the time that they are at your bedside, and sometimes the brain might get stuck on one thing – the first they mentioned – so the next 10 don’t even register. But with a recorder you could at least go back and list and make sure you understood.

  40. June 2, 2020 / 8:29 pm

    Caz, I’m completely outraged by the treatment you received! I’m glad you’re honest and open on your blog. I think everyone should be. False platitudes do none of us any good. Sorry I’m late checking in and catching up. Been thinking of you. I hope you manage some rest and hope you can put all this horror behind you.

  41. June 4, 2020 / 2:41 pm

    😡😡😡😡😡😡😡😡😡😡😡😡😡😡😡😡😡😡😡😡😡😡😡😡😡😡😡😡😡😡😡😡😡😡😡😡😡😡😡😡

    Every time you write about your experiences in the hospital I get angry on your behalf. I don’t know how they can keep getting away with such negligence and rude behavior.

    Sidebar: That COVID test is seriously unpleasant. I was swabbed yesterday because I’m having a colonoscopy tomorrow.

    • June 4, 2020 / 3:16 pm

      I saw a row of angry emojis and I straight away panicked thinking ‘oh no, what have I said to offend someone?’ Thank you for the comment, it’s much appreciated. I know I’m not the only one with negative experiences but I do have to wonder how some people have only positive ones; do they get lucky, do they not have much experience with needing hospitals, what is it? I’m sorry you had to have the unpleasant swab, too. I’ve heard the nasal part referred to as a ‘brain picker’, I think that about sums it up. With any luck, the results will come back clear and all will go smoothly tomorrow – good luck with the colonoscopy! xx

  42. June 7, 2020 / 11:36 am

    Take care of yourself first. We will still be here. Be well soon.

  43. June 9, 2020 / 10:44 pm

    Insanely painful is a vivid expression, and your manner of explaining matters is so very staitforward. Just wishing you well.

  44. June 18, 2020 / 6:29 pm

    Thanks for taking time away from your writing to visit my blog!

  45. July 19, 2020 / 11:30 am

    I got a bit behind on blog reading and I’ve only just seen this. I don’t really know what to say, but I’m so sorry this happened to you.The worries of how you would get home sound particularly horrendous. I understand the whole system is under strain right now, but we need to do better.

  46. July 21, 2020 / 1:00 am

    Oh Sweet Caz…..I am SOOOOO very sorry!!! It sounds nightmarish indeed. I am glad You got at least one nice nurse and doctor….but my Lord! It’s heartbreaking to hear the things You go through. I’m sending You so much Love and You are in my prayers. And please know You never need to apologize about not commenting, getting around blogland and such! Everyone gets busy and life overwhelmed now and again….and everyone knows You have much on Your plate! You are well loved, gift SOOO much, and have nothing at all to worry about in that way!!! You’re amazing….rock on!!! ❤️❤️❤️

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