Home My Journey Another Hospital Holiday : Zero Star Rating

Another Hospital Holiday : Zero Star Rating

by InvisiblyMe
A stock image of a hospital with a sign up saying 'emergency'. Below is the title: Another Hospital Holiday. Zero stars, not recommended.

I just wanted to drop a very quick message here. I might delete it in future as it’s not a “proper” post. I’m sorry for going MIA for a little while – I ended up having to get a taxi back to A&E last week and spend a few days in hospital with a twisted small bowel and non-working stoma again. Seriously, my insides just love to dance so much they won’t listen to me when I tell them to stop!

I had a pretty awful experience in there, which is the same hospital I went to back in December, when I swore I’d never return. But my local A&E is still shut and I was very desperate as I’d put up with excruciating pain for 10 hours before I knew I had to go in. It’s like being knifed rapidly from the inside out over and over again, or at least what I imagine that would feel like if you had a tiny Borrower inside you hacking away with a kitchen knife.

The experience in hospital seemed to break me. The more upset I got, the more I couldn’t advocate for myself. I felt I wasn’t getting the promised proper pain relief or any adequate help for the twisting. But it was the treatment from staff that just seemed to tip me over. Misanthropic nurses who seem to dislike people. Nurses that never come back. Nurses that do things even though you ask them not to, like when they’re shoving an NG tube down your nose and you can’t breathe.

When the NG tube was removed, a gush of blood came out of my nose, then I started coughing up blood. I soaked three tissues in blood, then spotted a fourth with the remainder. The nurse had gone out to get a doctor, but never returned. That happened a lot. Thankfully the bleeding stopped. Another told me that “it wasn’t a prison so I should probably just leave” because I “certainly wasn’t an emergency or a priority”, though I never suggested I was. I’m pretty sure I didn’t say anything to that nurse because I was so busy being sick and crying in between.

I’d just hit breaking point after a few days and couldn’t take it anymore. I requested to self-discharge and then a doctor came to see me (perhaps the same one I was promised would see me 10 hours prior to that). He spoke to me like a child, having me repeat all the awful things he told me could happen if I leave; bowel rupture requiring a huge operation, three months in hospital, very poorly, kidney failure, death. I get the picture. But I would rather have died than stayed any longer in that hospital, and that’s not an over-exaggeration, that’s how I genuinely felt. I of course wouldn’t recommend self-discharge against medical advice. I just couldn’t take any more.

I did learn something interesting, however. Patients were being swabbed twice; once for covid, once for Covid antibodies. Upon getting the results, a nurse moved me out of one place and into the middle of another ward. Apparently I had antibodies (hurrah!) after the two vaccinations, so those with antibodies go to the parts of the wards deemed more high risk, like the middle between other patients.

A photo of the "face mask and sanitising point" in the hospital, minus any sanitation or face masks.
Good luck if you need sanitising or a fresh face mask.

Patient Care : It’s Not All Rainbows

We hear so much about ‘angel nurses’ and it feels almost traitorous to dare say anything to the contrary. There must be some incredible NHS staff, as well as staff in other hospitals and other countries. I’ve certainly had some lovely technicians for scans and such, but honestly? I’ve found a vast majority of hospital staff have been rather less than angelic. I’d already spent years being fobbed off by doctors and specialists so now all I’d want as a patient is the minimum in a nurse or doctor; an efficient job, somewhat polite, no more. That would be absolutely fine. But what I seem to experience a lot of the time, and what I’ve seen others experience in beds around me, has been pretty awful.

The problem is, even the simplest or smallest of slights can be significant to a patient; patients are very poorly, they’re alone, they’re vulnerable and they just need to be looked after or feel like someone cares. That’s all. Just a touch of compassion.

Rainbows and banners have been going up in praise of NHS nurses as the pandemic heroes, alongside increased pressure for a higher increase for nurse wages on top of what they’ve been offered. Some agree with this, some disagree. But it’s really not all rainbows; I sometimes feel I’m experiencing another world to what I see in the media.

These issues, for instance where you get some (or many) nightmare nurses, have far preceded the pandemic. Most patients understand stress, having a bad day, being busy, how challenging the job must be. This goes far beyond any of that.

When I was in the hospital bed, I remember looking at the window and thinking about how high up the building was; I was too scared to consider jumping out in case the fall didn’t kill me and they brought me back in. I’ve felt unnaturally desperate in hospital before because of how I’d been treated, like in 2019 when I eventually needed emergency surgery. Again, no over-exaggeration, just honesty in those raw moments. It all builds up, you’re too exhausted, and something breaks.

I’m not prone to hysterics, I don’t get upset super easily, I don’t expect or want red carpet treatment. Of course this could be compared to other countries where there’s no adequate healthcare at all, but to compare would be to invalidate the experiences of those in similar situations, because I know I won’t be the only one to have had poor experiences. This is just what happens when you are poorly and feel like you’re not being supported even in the bare basics.

I feel I could be hung up and quartered for saying these things and that’s not a slight on the profession by any means nor on any one person. I am, and always will be, grateful for the amazing staff there are when you find them, and for the healthcare generally that we’re fortunate to have here and in this day and age.

It’s just my honest experience, and it’s worrying.

Hospital Holiday : The Return Leg

I got a taxi home and while grateful to be back, I couldn’t be too happy about it because I knew things weren’t right, I wanted help, and I was wondering whether I’d have to die quietly at home or get back into another taxi to a different A&E further away. If so, there was definitely no way I would get around to shaving my legs in the state I was in. Damn. Fortunately, I think my small bowel is starting to straighten out a little so I’m keeping my fingers crossed that’s it for now.

I’ve still got a urinary catheter in for a few more days yet because of my dodgy nerve damage so at least I can drink as much tea as I want without having to get up to pee. Silver linings, eh?

I realise I’ll have to consider surgery now, but it’s not something I can bring myself to seriously think about. I was waiting for major surgery in April of last year for something else until the pandemic came along, and I don’t know what’s happening with that now. To add another one now for this twisting – a big surgery to pull everything out and remove adhesions and push it all back in again before reforming the stoma – makes me feel sick just contemplating it.

We Can All Break

There are many, many people who have things far worse than I do. I know on here some people think I’m strong, but I’m being honest here to show that actually I can crack pretty easily when in so much pain and so unwell, when staff treat you like you’re a piece of crap or like they can’t be bothered to deal with you. I always talk about advocating for yourself, but I know how incredibly difficult that can be at the best of times, and harder still when times are so challenging. Without anyone with you in hospital it can feel all that much more isolating and harder without any back-up to get your opinion across or stand up for yourself.

I’m fortunate to know lots of wonderful people online, in the blogging realm and through a connection of other incredible ladies with some things in common in our medical journeys. I cherish every single one. I absolutely think that online friendships and support count for a lot, so if ever you feel you’re struggling, please do reach out to someone, somewhere.

Home Sweet Home

I’m now so, so glad to be home. Already the small niggles and stresses, along with the bigger ones, are creeping back in. I was ridiculously overwhelmed and stressed before I wet into hospital and when I was in there, much like every time it’s happened, I vow something has to give. But it’s a short-lived feeling before I get caught up again again in the guilt-busy-stress cycle that so many experience, with or without chronic illness and pain.

Of course, everything that can go wrong then does seem to go wrong. Replacement phone doesn’t work and has to go back; my car’s on it’s last legs and I’m finding it hard to find a replacement and I’m not well enough to drive far; problems with my blog with messages saying I’m offline or that it the server’s not responding and it’s driving me up the wall; I need to do grocery shopping for my folks but I’m struggling to walk and at risk of all these plastic bags on me getting stuck together in this warmer weather or of strangling myself with the cord of the catheter bag.

Unsurprisingly, my cat hasn’t noticed my absence. I haven’t been able to pick Virgil up yet because of my tummy but I’m looking forward to giving him a cuddle, even just so he can squirm away from me (a sure of love, no?). For now, him brushing across my legs and covering my trousers in enough hair to make a Dolly Parton wig will be his way of saying he loves me. Or that he wants more food, which I suppose is exactly the same thing.

There’s no need for comments so please don’t feel obliged in the slightest. I’m absolutely not looking for sympathy and I don’t want to bring anyone else down, either. I just wanted to update and let people know why I’ve not been around much as I always feel so bad not supporting other bloggers or replying to emails in a timely fashion. I have a review post to publish this week and I’ll aim to do more in the blogging world and on emails, but it may not be as much for a little while.

It was actually a little cathartic to get some of this out, albeit just in a rush. There’s a degree of frustration that builds knowing all of this is happening just because of the first surgery in 2015, which is hard not to think about sometimes. I’ve not checked thoroughly through this post so please excuse any errors. Again, I’m very sorry for delays or not commenting/sharing other posts the past few days.

Right, I’m off to find the cat for an awkward cuddle he clearly doesn’t want but it going to get regardless.

Sending lots of love to you all. Take good care of yourselves.

A black scroll divider.

Caz  ♥

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41 comments

Sandee June 8, 2021 - 6:40 pm

What a horrible experience. I’m so sorry you had such a horrible stay. I’m glad you’re home.

Have a fabulous day, my friend. Big hug. ♥

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ashleyleia June 8, 2021 - 6:45 pm

What a bunch of poopyheads. I feel like every year, health professionals should have to spend a day as patients and be treated like crap so they can know what it feels like.

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Eliza W June 8, 2021 - 7:00 pm

I’m really glad you have this space to write…. thinking of you….

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annieasksyou June 8, 2021 - 7:27 pm

Just supportive hugs from across the pond, Caz. Please try to be kind to your dear self.

Annie xxx

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tidalscribe.com June 8, 2021 - 7:32 pm

Reports on various hospitals with appalling care have been forgotten in the pandemic Rainbow Fest. I wish a documentary would follow the awful medics. In my limited hospital experience from tonsils out to babies there has been a horrid nurse each time. There was dreadful night nurse when my late husband was in hospital for a few days a while back and last year in another hospital he was moved from a bay with lovely nurses to another nearby where the staff on duty were totally uncaring. It is happening to lots of patients.I wonder if your blogs could reach the medical profession? I hope you get to sort out whether or when to have your surgery Caz..

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InvisiblyMe June 9, 2021 - 4:10 pm

Thank you so much for sharing this, I’m really glad you did. I didn’t intend on writing about my treatment in there or my thoughts on this hyper positivity, but it just started coming out. I was so unsure of publishing then because it’s not a popular line to take, to share the truth of negative experiences against this wonderful NHS institution and these angel nurses. But so many must have similar awful experiences and it’s detrimental mentally while being very dangerous physically, especially where people’s physical needs are neglected. I’m so sorry for what your husband had to go through after he’d been moved to another bay. He could have really done without that. I don’t know how things would ever be changed.

It’s not something, I don’t think, that can be blamed purely on the nature of the job, of being busy or stressed, and it’s certainly not the pandemic. There’s a deeper issue with personalities in many cases, so it’s odd how some who don’t seem to like people in the first place go into such a profession. If my blog reached the medical profession I think they’d want to strangle me for being less than colourfully positive! Thank you very much lovely – I hope you’re keeping as well as possible xx

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Carolyn June 8, 2021 - 7:35 pm

So glad you are back home. I think it’s great you can use your writing to get it off your chest and feel a little better for it. You write really well.

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Despite Pain June 8, 2021 - 8:16 pm

Oh Caz, this is just crazy. You .need proper medical care, from good staff. Have you ever contacted PALS? I don’t know if it would get you anywhere, but might be worth trying. Document everything regarding how you’ve been treated. You deserve better. Everyone does. There are amazing nurses out there, but there are also too many crap ones. Please try to relax if you can. Could someone else get the shopping, or could you get it delivered? And stop worrying about blogging. Everyone will still be here once you feel better.

You’re right. Everyone can break and this is hitting you hard. You know where I am if you want to talk. Please take care.

Sending hugs,
Liz x

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Anne Fraser @theplatinumline.blog June 8, 2021 - 8:24 pm

I am sorry you had an awful time yet again. I have known good and bad nurses and doctors but there is no excuse for getting the basics wrong. I hope you can find a different hospital next time.

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Stacey Chapman June 8, 2021 - 9:03 pm

❤️

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B June 8, 2021 - 9:21 pm

I’m so sorry you had to go thru all this, hon. Now make sure you rest well.
In my life, I met a couple angel nurses. Most of them were bitches. My mom just got out of the hospital herself, said it was a dreadful experience. It’s like it’s in their job description, or DNA.

And plz don’t delete this post. It is more than proper.

Sending u tons of kisses

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Cassie Creley June 8, 2021 - 10:12 pm

Oh my goodness Caz, I’m so sorry you are feeling so ill and received such poor care. You have every right to speak out about being treated so inhumanely. It’s true—self advocacy is so challenging when we just feel awful and want some help. Praying you’re recovering and able to connect with better healthcare in the future. Please rest and take care of yourself.

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Ogden Fahey June 8, 2021 - 10:20 pm

For thing – I’m sure your cat loves and misses you Caz, take care and al the best from me XX

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wendi June 8, 2021 - 10:33 pm

this TOTALLY SUCKS!!!!!! and there is NO excuse! I have worked in hospitals and it breaks my heart to know that you have been treated so poorly.

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Sam June 8, 2021 - 10:38 pm

Oh Caz, you are such a beautiful lady inside and out, it breaks my heart you are not given the care and basic respect you deserve. I love your honesty and I completely understand your concerns re surgery. Your hospital stay reminds me of one of my, thankfully very rare, hospital hotel horror stay. I’ve linked my blog post about this stay in the hope it makes you feel less alone:
https://mymedmusings.com/2020/10/04/a-hospital-stay-to-remember-or-perhaps-forget/

Sending lots of love
Sam xx

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Topsy June 8, 2021 - 11:15 pm

I’m so sorry Caz, you suffer so much .also had some horrific hospitsl experiences which I couldn’t say in here but I’m really sorry . Please complain ???? x

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Michelle June 9, 2021 - 1:19 am

Wow! What a crappy hospital! That sucks! You made m laugh talking about your cat leaving enough hair on your pants to make a Dolly Parton wig. ???? I know the feeling. Usually my cat wants nothing to do with me unless I’m wearing white and in a rush to head out the door.

I hope you feel better! Hugs!! ????

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Linda Lee/Lady Quixote June 9, 2021 - 6:33 am

I am so, so sorry. I have experienced similar things in hospitals, so I know you are not exaggerating.

I have known a number of truly good and caring nurses and doctors, but I have also known many in the medical profession who care only about themselves. Narcissistic personalities seems to be attracted to the medical professions, probably because of the power and prestige it gives them.

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Animalcouriers June 9, 2021 - 9:03 am

Can’t like this post. God speed to your preferred A&E opening again.

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Popping Wheelies June 9, 2021 - 12:31 pm

As your friend, I care very much. Most of our ER experiences (Florida, US) have been good, but two have been awful. The difference is that we had each other to advocate. To go down the hall and demand care. To hold hands when the pain hits.
As a health care professional, those people work with a limited staff regulated by monetary considerations and not by need. And as patients we find ourselves exactly where you were, in the middle.
Please keep us posted as you can. Good luck with the phone and car, and tell Virgil that George said to be more appreciative.

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Rachel Duerden June 9, 2021 - 1:06 pm

I’m so sorry to read about your experiences. I’m deeply shocked at the attitude of the nurses. Nobody wants to be treated like that when they’re in pain. I’m glad you’re home and send you all the best wishes.

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Kymber June 9, 2021 - 1:55 pm

Dearest Caz, I’m an RN and I’m mortified by the lack of care you received. What a bunch of jerks. I think of you every day. Sending you gentle hugs. xoxo ♥♥

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Terri, Reclaiming Hope June 9, 2021 - 2:51 pm

Oh Caz, it just breaks my heart to know how you were treated. It just sounds absolutely inhumane. I’m so glad you’re back home now, and hope you can get some rest. Give yourself a break — don’t feel you have to be commenting on everyone’s posts right now; I’m sure everybody will understand. You just need to take care of yourself. We’ll all be here when you’re feeling more up to doing things. In the meantime, tell Virgil he needs to give you some extra cuddles. Sending lots of love and gentle hugs.

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Julia Tannenbaum June 9, 2021 - 6:29 pm

Oh my god, what a complete nightmare! I’m so happy for you that you’re home and out of that hellhole <3

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Ann Coleman June 9, 2021 - 10:53 pm

I’m so sorry! Is there an hospital administrative board you can complain to? There is no excuse for such bad care!

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Wendy June 10, 2021 - 7:13 am

I actually prefer these types of posts from you.
The raw expression of what goes on.
Unfortunately, you are not alone in the care you receive.
I find it impossible to advocate for myself in the hospital.
Being deaf is a scary thing when you’re surrounded by people who dont try to communicate, they just do things to you.
I haven’t experienced the horrors you have, but I haven’t been in for anything so threatening.

You are strong.
Yes, we break sometimes, that doesn’t make us less strong, or worthy. Being treated substandard is unacceptable.
You have been traumatized.
Do you compare your pain or care to others as if you have nothing to voice. It invalidates what happened/happens, and what you say is very valid! And needs to be expressed!

I don’t pity you, but I am very sorry for your lack of proper treatment. I wish it wasn’t so.

Remember, people care.
I care.
Much love my friend.
Wendy

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Susan B June 10, 2021 - 10:37 am

OMG, what an appalling experience. It is courageous of you to blog about it.
Sending you a big hug through the universe x

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Blanca June 10, 2021 - 11:21 am

So sorry to hear you had such an awful hospital experience. I hope you are feeling much better now you are back home. I think you did great telling all about it on this post. In my opinion, all patients deserve to be treated kindly to make the pain and the situation more bearable. What happend to you is unacceptable.

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Gemma - Wheelescapades June 10, 2021 - 6:39 pm

Oh Caz I’m sorry you had to go through this. It just shouldn’t happen. I’ve been on the end of both the amazing NHS and it’s staff that have saved my life multiple times, and the polar opposite of being forgotten about, felt a burden and nurses signing that they’d given me drugs I know they hadn’t. Most of the time I find the wards don’t quite know what to do with me, untrained and unable to cope with my complex needs.
Please try to take it easy. We really should train our cats to get the shopping! Don’t stress about blogging and emails, everyone is still here when you’re ready. Take care and kick ass.

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Gemma June 11, 2021 - 12:02 pm

Aww I thought you’d been a little quiet on here and was wondering if you were okay. So sorry to hear about your tough time and horrendous hospital experience! Even though you may not think so, you are so strong Caz and the most important thing now is that you take the time you need to get better. Take care of yourself. Gemma xx

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The Oceanside Animals June 11, 2021 - 4:49 pm

Lulu: “We’re very sorry to hear what you went through! We’re glad you’re back home, though! And I’m sure that Virgil is happy you’re back and will be more than thrilled to give you a nice cuddle once you catch h—”
Chaplin: “RUN, VIRGIL, RUN! SHE’S LOOKING FOR YOU AND SHE’S GOING TO PICK YOU UP!!!”

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SpookyMrsGreen June 11, 2021 - 4:56 pm

I completely understand your experience, Caz. While I haven’t needed a short hospital stay for my condition, I have had lots of day surgeries on my eyes over the years and always felt like I was kind of in the way or making a fuss about nothing. Since then the doctors have done their best to dismiss me, ignore me, push me to the bottom of the waiting list, and I have had to fight continuously for the past ten years. I reached breaking point recently, cried on the phone to my GP, and got referred to an online CBT program. I don’t think it will help but what else can they do? I will keep explaining myself to different NHS administrators and I might eventually get to see the doctors that can help.

My children, on the other hand, received amazing hospital care. My elder daughter ended up at Alder Hey hospital with a rare and serious ear/cheek infection 3 years ago. Her care was fantastic, and together with the staff at Leighton Hospital in Crewe, they saved her life.

The fight continues. I hope you feel better soon, or at least as well as you can feel for now xxx

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Nick June 11, 2021 - 5:04 pm

Wow, that’s awful. So glad you’re home again now. My own experiences with hospitals have generally been good, but I absolutely agree that not all staff are angels.

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Smelly Socks and Garden Peas June 12, 2021 - 8:30 pm

So much love Caz, I can’t offer anything else or anything practical, but a heartfelt virtual hug will have to do. Xx

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Mrs. Ram’s Jams June 13, 2021 - 1:32 am

Caz, the heck? How awful.

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James Viscosi June 14, 2021 - 12:28 am

That sounds terrible, and a totally unacceptable way to treat a patient in such pain! 🙁 I was fortunate when I was hospitalized to only have one nurse who seemed to have an attitude problem ― basically chastising me for not filling out paperwork myself (one of my cousins had done it for me) the next day or two after nearly being killed by a ruptured cerebral aneurysm.

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ruthsoaper June 17, 2021 - 1:11 am

It breaks my heart to read this Caz although I can’t say that I am shocked to learn how poorly you were treated. Medical care here in the U.S. is hit or miss. It sure does make you appreciate the good ones. Sending you hugs my friend.

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Ami June 19, 2021 - 9:49 pm

Lots of love to you Caz, from me and Daisy ????

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Louise Brady, Author June 30, 2021 - 1:01 pm

Sorry you had such a terrible experience 🙁
Bedside manner is something I’ve found pretty non existent at our local hospital too, with the exception of the blood test department. I remember when my tinnitus MRI revealed a cyst in my brain I was terrified, but the doctor giving me the news couldn’t answer any of my questions about exactly what it was or how bad, and rushed me out of his office with nothing more than a ‘you’ll have to wait for a referral to Cambridge.’ Just a bit of compassion would’ve been wonderful, but it was as if it was just another day at the office for him and he didn’t seem to care. Glad you’re home from hospital, and hope your cat’s been giving you lots of cuddles 🙂

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Cheryl, Gulf Coast Poet July 5, 2021 - 10:58 pm

Hope you are doing well now, Caz. Sorry you had such a horrendous experience! <3

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AJ November 9, 2021 - 2:31 pm

How horrible to get such cruel treatment from medical staff! After they’ve been lionized as frontliners in this pandemic, it’s hard to swallow that there are bad apples among them…or perhaps some just buckle under the workload. Good you survived regardless. Be well!

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