Home General Info & Awareness It’s Not All Rainbows : Healthcare Praise

It’s Not All Rainbows : Healthcare Praise

by InvisiblyMe

I don’t anticipate this will be a very popular post at a time when it’s all about positivity towards the healthcare sector, and I certainly mean no offence with this. However, I feel it’s important to say and I want those who are feeling this way to know that they’re not alone. That I see you, that you’re not forgotten. Because all across the world, with the praise and focus on the NHS and other health services, there will be people struggling with the positivity.

The Loudest Claps, The Brightest Rainbows

Clap for the NHS. Clap for the staff, the doctors, nurses, admins, carers, surgeons, specialists. As chalk-drawn rainbows adorn pavements and colourful cartoon rainbows are stuck in windows, you can’t go far without seeing rainbows and the letters ‘NHS’. Countless companies and services are offering deals, discounts and freebies for NHS staff. The newspapers are recounting tales of heroic staff on the frontline. I hope most of the cheering is genuine rather than jumping on a bandwagon and doing it for the sake of it just to keep up appearances.

But amidst the clapping and colourful decor, let’s not forget those that have been fobbed off, misdiagnosed, let down or harmed.

There’s likely to be a tidal wave of Coronavirus-related litigation heading towards the NHS in the UK. In this instance, however, it’s my personal opinion that much of the current failings comes down to decisions made at a government level, and I won’t go into that here because I’ve already become incredibly angry and heartbroken with it all.

There is a difference, however, between the staff on the frontline and the NHS itself. There is a difference between the staff working in the NHS and the government legislation, guidelines and decisions made at a higher level that affect each hospital and doctor’s surgery. There is a difference between staff generally, and staff as individuals.

Yes, we are lucky to have the NHS. But it is paid for by higher taxes and now, in this time of crisis, it’s amazing to see how many millions are being raised and donated to ensure staff have the PPE they need.

But before this point, we know the many failings of our NHS. We know the backwards nature of some of the initiatives, the wasted money, the head honchos taking home huge pay packets while student doctors drown in debt. We know the delays, the errors made, the misdiagnoses, the negligence, the lack of care, the restricted tests and treatments.

My Experience

There are some truly wonderful staff. But I feel so blessed for each and every kind, open-minded, effective doctor, surgeon or nurse I meet because they’re in the minority. I’ve sadly experienced, on the whole, more staff that have been detrimental in some way.

The nightmare nurses I’ve written about before in the wards that have made me feel lower than low. The mean receptionists, the missing results, the referrals never done. The doctors who have fobbed me off for years, the ones that have misdiagnosed, the ones that have resulted in my health getting to the state it’s in now. The fight to be believed, the fight to get tests, the uphill battle to get treatments that are being limited or aren’t even available despite widespread use in other countries. The many doctors disbelieving bowel issues over 8 years.

The doctor that refused to believe a chest x-ray, delaying the diagnosis and treatment for lung disease. Many, including myself, have had no option but to seek private care and pay out of pocket for tests, treatments and surgeries; some have to raise hundreds of thousands and go to another country to get lifesaving treatments that aren’t available here in the UK on the basis of cost. The surgeon that left me to die last year, if it weren’t for the registrar that spoke up and requested the support of another surgeon. The list is a long one so I’ll leave it there.

I can’t help but think of all those with similar experiences. And then the families of those that have suffered or lost their lives too soon. I’m not talking about accidents that happen as par for the course, human errors that sadly do happen. I’m talking about things that could and should have been avoidable, treatment that should have been better, care that should have been provided.

The campaigning to ‘save the NHS’ and the political decisions around testing, treatment and the lockdown have, in my opinion, been primarily based on money, not saving lives. This adds another level of bitterness to the positivity.

Great In Theory…

The issue is that our NHS is great in theory. Much like anything, you can’t stereotype and assume the same thing applies to the whole of the NHS or any healthcare provider/system. It’s neither wholly good nor wholly bad. It’s made up of individual staff that treat patients, and of individuals that make the policies. This isn’t about comparing to other countries without healthcare and access to the types of modern medicine we have. Of course we are very fortunate. But when billions are pumped in to the healthcare system, and so many fall through the gaps and are failed, we have to wonder what’s going wrong. So many meet countless rude staff, face ignorance or neglect, or sadly lose their lives.

With the coronavirus pandemic, most scheduled procedures, appointments, tests and surgeries have been cancelled or postponed. There’s talk of A&E departments being quiet, and more people suffering in silence because they’re either afraid to go to hospital with the virus risk or afraid to be seen as a nuisance and a burden. The new hospital built to care for coronavirus patients has treated less than one hundred. People can’t access COVID-19 tests. Public are told to avoid seeking help for coronavirus symptoms unless they feel their life is at risk. No advice or recommendation has been given as to the public wearing face masks when they go out, despite findings of their potential benefit from other countries.

As the numbers increase with the UK having the highest death rates in Europe, there’s talk of the lockdown being gradually lifted. There’s something very twisted about this picture.

But this isn’t even about all of that. This is about a full-on focus on positivity that serves to deepen divides, to cause offence, and to increase feelings of resentment, anger, disappointment or guilt.

I can still acknowledge the negatives while being grateful to the staff and to have the NHS. We clap and draw rainbows and give thanks because there are a lot of people involved in this effort doing wonderful things. It’s their job and they’re paid to do it, but they should have the training and equipment they need to safely and effectively do those jobs. I fully believe student doctors need more appropriate access to training without getting in debt for starters. Many healthcare workers are in need of better working conditions, adequate PPE, better hours, better pay, better everything. But we but we know the failings of the NHS and we know it could, and should, be better.

A Bitter Aftertaste

All of the praise, however, can leave a bitter taste and I’m seeing growing discord among those who have been letdown by individuals or the NHS on the whole. There are those that have been mentally and physically affected themselves. There are families who have lost loved ones due to policies, procedures, narrow-mindedness, errors or neglect.

A digital cartoon style background of a blue sky with white clouds and a rainbow at the top. Overlaid in black text are the words: "When celebrating the NHS, please don’t forget those that have been fobbed off, misdiagnosed or harmed.

Don’t forget those that have been let down & are currently being let down during the coronavirus crisis.

It’s not all rainbows for everyone."

There will be people in other countries feeling the same way, going through a similar push-pull situation of giving thanks but remembering the negatives and not-so-good times, too. The people feeling like this and hesitant to ladle on the praise end up feeling resentful and angry, then guilty for feeling that way in the first place. It’s okay to think of the negatives and not feel like clapping when you’ve been let down or harmed, or if a friend or loved one has suffered.

I’ve already had some comments on social media from those who are feeling this way.

It’s okay to feel however you’re feeling right now. You’re not alone in finding the claps too loud and the rainbows too colourful.

To me, I’m seeing rainbows and hearing claps and thinking of the positives but beyond just ‘the NHS’. I’m thinking of the solidarity, of how we will get through this, of how there will be brighter days ahead. I’m paying tribute to those struggling, to those unable to clap. I’m thinking of all those at on the front line, at work, raising money at home, volunteering. I’m thinking of all those keeping things moving, keeping us safe and keeping the world turning.

Don’t Forget

Yes, we need to come together in this time of crisis. Yes, let’s praise our NHS and other healthcare systems and show support. But the rainbows can’t paste over a lifetime of let downs and loss. Please don’t forget those and their families that have been so badly affected. And please don’t forget those that even now are being pushed aside and forgotten in the coronavirus storm.

A black scroll divider.

Caz  ♥

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John Rieber May 6, 2020 - 3:48 pm

Troubling to hear all that you went through…it seems to be a truth that a hospital can be one of the most dangerous places to get well…

InvisiblyMe May 9, 2020 - 3:18 pm

You’re right, and a lot of people seem particularly worried about going into hospital if they need to with the current situation. Sadly it sounds like many are now avoiding A&E when they are in urgent need, which doesn’t end well.

Darnell May 6, 2020 - 4:21 pm

One of the many Podcasts I listen to mentioned that it can be said: “we are all in this together, but its NOT all the same for everyone.” The spotlight is on first responders, doctors and nurses, the ones we are thankful for. But behind them are the ones that affect patients and their families in negative ways.
The only way to remember those struggling with inadequate care before Covid-19 and more so presently… is to bring it up.

InvisiblyMe May 9, 2020 - 3:20 pm

Oh wow, I’m glad a podcast has covered the issue. And it’s good to know I’m not the only one feeling this should be said. You’re spot on with needing to bring it up in order to be more mindful of the other side of the story. It’s not comfortable to say, and I was nervous just writing this let alone posting it, but I felt it needed to be said. Thank you for the comment, Darnell.x

Helen June 2, 2020 - 9:25 pm

Thank you Caz, your post was spot on, as far as I am concerned. Time cannot change what happened to me. I have, in the past, been treated so negligently by a GP that I have suffered ill health ever since. Well done Caz, I know you would never criticise a good and kind doctor or nurse, and when we do come across them, we certainly let them know we truly appreciate them.

Ashley May 6, 2020 - 4:22 pm

This is such an important message. Yes, it’s good to support staff that are going to work to take care of people with COVID-19, but fundamental flaws in the system aren’t doing staff, patients, patients’ families, or anyone else any good.

InvisiblyMe May 9, 2020 - 3:21 pm

Glad you agree, Ashley. Those fundamental flaws seem all but forgotten about in the midst of the positivity but they aren’t going away and damage can’t be undone.x

Sandee May 6, 2020 - 4:48 pm

It’s a difficult time for many. We don’t have national health care here, but there are many that want it. I’m mixed because I can get what tests I need and quickly. Not now, but when everything is open.

I’m sorry for the bad times you’ve had.

Have a fabulous day, Caz. Big hug. ♥

InvisiblyMe May 9, 2020 - 3:23 pm

It’s a tricky one with the balance between how good national health care would be in theory versus the downsides if it’s not done well and then of course the tests you get quickly now by paying/insurance aren’t going to be quick anymore. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Sandee. I hope you’re having a good weekend.xx

Lily Pierce May 6, 2020 - 5:02 pm

Great points, Caz. I can definitely understand how one could feel wary of heaping praises on a system that has failed them in the past, even if they are on the front lines now with this pandemic. I myself went through several misdiagnoses and a lot of medical professionals who I believe in retrospect should’ve been able to provide me more direction than they did! From age 11 to 16, countless medical professionals analyzed my symptoms and didn’t think to refer me to genetic testing or have any idea what was wrong with me. I know Friedreich’s Ataxia is rare, but jeez, you’d think if anyone knew about a rare disease, it’d be someone in the medical industry.

InvisiblyMe May 9, 2020 - 3:25 pm

I can’t help but think that the way the system is in the healthcare profession is part of the problem with less common cases, because the focus is on the ‘typical’ presentation and ‘typical’ conditions. I’m sorry you had such a rough time going through all of that to get an accurate picture of what was going on. I do think a bit more open-mindedness would go a long way in a lot of instances. Thank you for sharing your experience ♥

Ruth May 6, 2020 - 5:26 pm

I have a different perspective. Your NHS is much better than 1000s dying due to no healthcare without a pandemic. We have the same issues. Or worse. A 30 year old died of covid because she is black. The ambulance wouldn’t take her to hospital because they decided she was having a panic attack. She had been refused a test three times even with symptoms.

InvisiblyMe May 9, 2020 - 3:33 pm

I appreciate the other side of the opinion, Ruth. It’s hard when comparing like this because it takes it out of context. Of course it’s better than no healthcare at all, and of course we’re all lucky to have what we have with modern medicine, too. The issue comes with knowing it could and should be better than it is. It doesn’t equate well when having a higher cost of living and so many falling through the gaps or being so badly let down, not to mention how many have to turn to private care anyway. In my opinion, and only my opinion, it’s not fair to compare to wildly different countries because while I know the difference and can hugely appreciate the difference, it also says that those lives harmed here don’t matter. If someone were suicidal and they said they wanted to end it all because they’d lost their job and couldn’t afford the mortgage, you wouldn’t hopefully turn around and say ‘at least you have houses in this country and at least you had a job so you could get another, meanwhile there are people dying in Africa with no jobs and no Persimmon houses that are ten a penny in the UK”. If that makes sense. As you say though, it’s noticing the problems and trying to fix them that counts. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Ruth.

Ruth May 6, 2020 - 5:28 pm

I need to add that I was lucky to have NHS for three years. I was amazed by it compared to USA. NOTHING is perfect. We do need to fix the problems.

Kymber Hawke May 6, 2020 - 6:52 pm

You have been through a lot, and for that, I’m sorry. Thank you for this important message. I hope your week is going well. xo

InvisiblyMe May 9, 2020 - 3:34 pm

I just wanted to give a little of my experience, not make it all about me, but to highlight I ‘get it’ and know that there are a lot of people, and families of patients, who are finding this a bit too much and feel the negatives have been whitewashed out of the equation. Thank you for the comment lovely. I hope you’re having a restful weekend ????

George Rector May 6, 2020 - 6:55 pm

Well said, Caz. It is the proverbial double edged sword. Some good things, some bad things. Having been both, I’d rather be the doctor than the patient. ???? In the US we have people clamoring for socialized medicine. They think all will be inexpensive and rosy. Here the insurance company have total control over our care. Good insurance equals good care. Bad insurance equals substandard care. Both systems have diamonds; both systems have stones. In the actual patient care, most have good intentions and work hard. Those who control from outside, maybe or maybe not.

InvisiblyMe May 9, 2020 - 3:38 pm

I like how you’ve phrased that, “Both systems have diamonds; both systems have stones”. Absolutely. And of course there’s the difference between the system itself and the management/government input etc, and the individuals working in it. I’m sorry the insurance situation there is so incredibly unfair and more than a little dubious. When you take a step back, it seems pretty ‘sick’ that humans have to pay to be treated, when we’re all equal and of the same value; who gave certain people the right to make such decisions about who gets access to what and how much it’ll all cost; who gets to decide who gets care and lives, and who doesn’t and dies? A very sad situation. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, George.x

Karen May 6, 2020 - 7:45 pm

Hi Caz❤ like you, I have a bitter taste in my mouth also. I agree with you on everything you said (wrote) even the government level here in the USA to misdiagnosis.. To be honest, I’m over it! Take care ❤

InvisiblyMe May 9, 2020 - 3:39 pm

I’m sorry you’re feeling the bitter edge, Karen. This is why I wrote this, because I was getting the vibe (through direct conversations) that there’s a lot of people feeling this way, not all of them comfortable with voicing it. I wasn’t comfortable with writing it either, but I felt it needed to be said. Thank you for commenting, it’s much appreciated. Have a safe, relaxing weekend ????

Nisha May 6, 2020 - 7:48 pm

Thanks for bringing this up .It is tough going through so much and very understandable where you are coming from .I believe there are flaws in every system but a system like health care should try as much possible to minimize errors and misdiagnoses .However there are many who are really dedicated and have the best intentions too . Hoping for the best.

InvisiblyMe May 9, 2020 - 3:43 pm

Totally agree, Nisha. It’s a mix of good and not-so-good, and just as we need to remember all the amazing hard work and the efficient doctors and skilled surgeons and kind doctors, I think we need to be mindful of the ones that are the total opposite. It’s a very difficult topic and I was nervous writing it as I certainly don’t want to cause offence or seem like I’m being overly negative, I just felt it important to consider. Thanks for the comment lovely xx

Svet May 6, 2020 - 7:58 pm

I agree with you, Caz! And just by looking at the numbers of UK versus Germany, can show you the “quality” of the health system in place in that country. Sad indeed. There is so much more room for improvement.

InvisiblyMe May 9, 2020 - 3:47 pm

The issues with the current situation are thanks to our government sadly and that’s a topic I can’t write too much about because I’ve been so, so angry with the way the public have been treated and absolutely heartsick with the loss of life. I definitely agree with the “room for improvement” point too. Thank you for commenting, Svet. I hope you’re having a safe and pleasant weekend  ♥ xx

Kally May 13, 2020 - 5:06 pm

Thank you for highlight this aspect. During crisis, it is so easy to follow the lead and forget the past. I know this is difficult for you to stand up and publish this. You must have gone back and forth in your mind. I know I would. You are brave to point out what has happened to you and to many others as well that could only watch from afar while feeling injustice for the pain they went through not many months ago.

Margaret May 6, 2020 - 9:59 pm

🙂 🙂 Thank you for writing this Caz because as you said there are people out there who feel the same way and feel like they are alone, or feel guilty for feeling the way they do. I appreciate what they do but like you pointed out it is their job, and they get paid to do it. I was watching an ad last night(which is so funny to read this here today) and i said to hubby wonder why they aren’t praising the girl at the gas station to support her grandmother. Without her working people would have no way to fuel up and get to their jobs. The cashiers, the stockers, the cooks, the truck drivers, delivery people. My point being the medical field signed up for this, get paid very nicely and we are thankful for them. The minimum workers who are keeping everything going didn’t sign up to be in the middle of a pandemic, nor do they get the pay that would equal that risk. To be coughed on, touched, sneezed on, etc… all day every day. The medical field gets exposed and are put at the front of the line, testing, care, etc. Those who are working at our essential jobs are doing it because they have to pay the bills but if they get sick they will be put in a line and hopefully get care. No one is clapping for them, making them rainbows, or anything else. They are being yelled at because of wait times, lack of supplies on the shelves, because they are having to enforce rules to minimize the spread. Sorry for long comment but thank you for having the courage to speak up, and help others.

InvisiblyMe May 9, 2020 - 5:01 pm

This is a fantastic comment, and I appreciate you taking the time to write it all, Margaret. I’m glad you saw the ad and wondered about the praise because I agree; there are a lot of people out there that are imperative and working through the risk right now, and we wouldn’t have electricity, the internet, food, all deliveries and so on. There can still be rude staff in such area, like there seems to be both a rude pharmacist and a rude cashier in the chemist/shop respectively where I live that seem to dislike me for some unknown reason and are so rude, have left me in tears a few times now. But in this instance we know about the negatives and that’s often what gets talked about, not the majority of good staff or those that are super friendly/efficient/generous. As you say, it’s a shame they’re not also getting recognition. The negatives get highlighted while the positives get overlooked, while it now seems the opposite with the healthcare industry. All too often though the negatives in healthcare have significant consequences on lives, beyond casual annoyance caused.

It’s not nice knowing so many are finding the positivity emotionally upsetting in some way, or that speaking up makes you feel like you’re in the wrong; I felt guilty just thinking of writing this post and very nervous when I published it, but I felt it important to say. Thank you so much for the thought-provoking comment, Margaret. How’re you and hubby managing at the moment? I hope you’re keeping as safe and as well as possible, and I hope it’s a lower pain weekend for you (fingers crossed!)  ♥ xx

Margaret May 12, 2020 - 2:25 pm

🙂 I had to smile when I read this “I felt guilty just thinking of writing this post and very nervous when I published it,” Not smiling because you felt that way but because I would expect nothing less from you to feel that way because you are such a good person, you don’t want to unsettle anyone with your words 🙂 You always care so much about people. It was what I was thinking when I read this post, how you probably struggled with writing it. Yet the giver in you also wanted to help others who are feeling the same way and your wanting to help other 🙂

I couldn’t imagine the stress the “essential” workers feel. The few times I have to get supplies, there is someone coughing, sneezing, not social distancing, etc. I can get away from them, get what I need and leave. The essential workers can’t get away, or leave until their shift is over. I only deal with maybe one person while getting supplies. They deal with dozens of people, in some cases hundreds in a day at work. I would imagine, every person they come in contact with who is coughing, sneezing, who are sick has to set their anxiety level higher and higher. Even if the customer ISN’T showing symptoms because all the info says a large % don’t show symptoms. Yet they have to be there. So, yeah if we are spreading out accolades, giving thanks, appreciation, whatever the case maybe it needs to be for ALL those who are on the front line. 🙂 Me and hubby are good. Thankfully we like each other hahaha 🙂 I hope all is well. You know if you ever need me I am always here 🙂 XX <3

Barbara McLullich May 6, 2020 - 10:11 pm

A great post Caz written from your heart. Please take care of yourself during this difficult time x

InvisiblyMe May 9, 2020 - 5:06 pm

Thank you for taking the time to read & comment, Barbara, I’m glad you liked the post. How’re you getting on at the moment? I hope you’re having a safe, relaxing weekend lovely xx

K E Garland May 6, 2020 - 10:30 pm

Thanks for speaking out Caz. It’s similar here in the States.

InvisiblyMe May 9, 2020 - 5:09 pm

I’m sorry you know what I’m talking about and that things aren’t better than they are over there. Referring to government level, the healthcare systems themselves, and the individual level, things need to be better all around to put patients first. Thank you for the comment – Stay safe ????

Marie Clancy May 7, 2020 - 8:10 am

Stay strong Caz and continue giving a voice to the voiceless who struggle to access the health care they deserve. Universal health care for everyone paid for by everyone at a rate that reflects their ability to contribute.

InvisiblyMe May 10, 2020 - 4:19 pm

That’s such a good idea, pay the rate you can afford to contribute. If only that system could work, eh? Thank you so much for the kind comment, Marie, stay safe lovely ♥ x

Katy May 7, 2020 - 11:11 am

Good Lord, Caz. This is all so sad. It’s got to be beyond Frustrating and like the Twilight Zone to see a system that has not been very helpful at all for many be so praised at the moment….this was very well written and I think it’s important that You opened the platform for people who are feeling the same way. It’s such a bewildering time right now. I keep writing about my frustrations and then just not posting them but our government in the US is insane and I am absolutely stunned by what’s happening here on so many levels. I sure as hell wouldn’t want to be in any position of power during all this…I’d lose my mind and the decisions have to be maddening. But still. Sigh. I imagine there are TONS of people here in the states and around the world with Your issues as well….in Your shoes with Your experience who perhaps feel guilt for not being able to muster as much gung-ho-ness as everyone has in supporting the health workers. I hadn’t thought of this aspect. Maybe on some kind of primitive, animal level the health workers who are unkind, impatient, mean and rude in the day to day of chronic illness they don’t have and could never truly understand are being kind/open/more human because they and theirs could actually catch and die from Coronavirus…..so it’s more real to them, softens them and enables them to feel compassion. It’s bizarre. You’re an amazing person and You give an important voice. This was crisp, to the point, not unkind at all and actually had praise in it where praise is due….My heart goes out to You. It must be akin to seeing a grand arsonist receive a Pulitzer for fire prevention. Thank You for this. ❤️

InvisiblyMe May 10, 2020 - 4:43 pm

And thank YOU for such an amazing comment! Are you finding you can’t post your thoughts and frustrations because they’re negative, or because they’re continually changing? It’s a difficult one when the situation is so complex, and when negativity gets seen as a dirty word… if you point it out you’re made to feel ungrateful and guilty, which of course isn’t fair either. Then it all just builds up and up, and frustration or resentment start to bubble. You make a good point about the not-so-good healthcare workers; if a condition is something they don’t understand and where they feel it doesn’t and won’t affect them/their families, it’s harder to appreciate and thus to treat those patients with the due care they deserve. The coronavirus is different if you feel it could affect you and your loved ones. It’s not as intangible and more real, like you say. Really good point.

Your words about me and this post are so kind, thank you. It was nerve-wracking writing and posting it, but I felt it important to say. I really hope you’re managing as well as possible lovely. Stay safe, and thank you again ????

Laura Beth May 7, 2020 - 12:00 pm

Thanks for sharing your story. I’m sorry that you were mistreated! As someone who works for a large regional health system in Virginia, USA, I’ve watched all the appreciation for nurses, doctors, environmental services staff, support staff, and more. But, at the same time, I’m angry. The lack of testing is infuriating. I’m halfway convinced that I may have had the virus when my husband had the flu in February. But I’m nor 100 percent sure, and I’m not as worried about it now. There are pros and cons to everything.

InvisiblyMe May 10, 2020 - 5:18 pm

I’m so sorry you can’t get the testing you need either. I’m fully with you on how infuriating it is. It’s not possible to effectively move forward with the crisis without knowing who’s got or has had the virus, and selectively ‘allowing’ only certain people access to them seems mightily unfair. Who gets to decide these sorts of things, what gives them the right? Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Laura. Whether you’ve had it or not, I hope you can stay as safe as possible at home and at work ???? x

Ann Coleman May 8, 2020 - 12:03 am

You’re right, it’s hard to watch a system praised that has failed so many people. Here in the States, we also have problems with our health care system because the insurance companies dictate far too much when it comes to treatment. And so do the lawyers, because they encourage everyone to sue, so doctors must carry huge malpractice insurance fees…and that gets passed along to the patients. Many people here think that if we get our own national health care system all those problems will be solved and everyone will get top-notch treatment and little or no cost. Both systems have their good and bad, as far as I can tell. What the answer is, I don’t know. But I’m very sorry for you and for all the others who haven’t been able to get the treatment they need, no matter what country they live in! People deserve better than that.

InvisiblyMe May 11, 2020 - 4:31 pm

I’m sorry there are so many problems with the system in the States, too. The legal angle with hospitals/staff being sued is tricky; there will be times where that’s necessary because people need the money to rebuild their lives after something that should have been avoidable has happened, but there’s of course a lot that doesn’t fall into that category and only serves to deplete a system of the resources it’s already desperately lacking. You’re right, everybody deserves effective treatment, no matter the system. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Ann. xx

Despite Pain May 8, 2020 - 8:58 am

I’m glad you’ve written this, Caz.
Last year, I wrote a blog post and included stories from other people about some of the more negative stories about treatment from doctors and hospital staff. The other day, I came across it and felt almost guilty for having written it because the feeling in the air is that we should only praise them just now. But, so many people have had bad experiences and we can’t undo that. I will always praise the ones who are good. But, no, we should never forget the ones who let us down badly.
The clap for carers was started by someone and the government grabbed hold of the idea. The government should not be clapping. The government should be giving the staff the correct PPE, support and money.

InvisiblyMe May 13, 2020 - 9:20 am

Liz, I don’t imagine you’re alone in seeing negative things said and then feeling guilty about it because we ‘should’ only be doing praise right now. It just doesn’t work like that, and it’s awful to think people are feeling so conflicted by it or like their experience (to themselves or losing a loved one because of it) doesn’t matter. I’m glad you see the point I was trying to make with absolutely praising the good, but not to the expense of forgetting the bad as though it didn’t happen and isn’t currently happening. Totally agree with the part about the government, they should be ensuring these workers have what they need to do the job effectively and safely, not clapping so they can look good in front of others. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Liz, it’s much appreciated. I hope you’re keeping as well as possible  ♥

Helen May 8, 2020 - 8:09 pm

Dear Caz, I couldn’t agree more, neglect in childbirth for me, has been a lifelong journey of ill health. A hopeless uncaring GP, an on call obstetrician uncontactable on the golf course. A baby dying in the birth canal. Injuries sustained that have been worse by an incompetent surgeon, the list goes on. I know exactly where you are coming from.
What are we supposed to believe …..

InvisiblyMe May 13, 2020 - 9:23 am

I’m sorry you know the sorts of things I’m talking about all too well. And I’m truly so sorry for what you’ve had to experience ???? This is I mean – these examples shouldn’t be whitewashed over or forgotten about while positivity is being pushed. I know people want to show support and focus on the good – which is great – but in moderation and not at the expense of forgetting the way the system and many of those that work in it have let people down or caused harm. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Helen  ♥ Please take good care of yourself.xx

cheri May 8, 2020 - 10:01 pm

I agree with this post 100%. Great post. I fear for all these mistakes that are happening right now because people in some of these health crisis situations can not have family there to advocate for them. They are not allowed to be with family members because of the exposure situation.Meanwhile the people who know these patients best (their family) are not there to be by their sides when they need them the most. Here in my family, we have always joked about how if you ever have to go to the hospital for an emergency like a broken arm you very well may leave the hospital when all is said and done with a missing ear and still have a broken arm. Lots of arrogant people work in position where they are allowed some sort of power over others, lots of those types of personalities that are drawn to that type of profession. There are great ones too, really kind human beings that want to heal the sick and make them better. We just hope we get the good ones when we are at our weakest. Stay safe out there, and I am so sorry you have been hurt by the ones that were suppose to help.

InvisiblyMe May 13, 2020 - 10:03 am

I’m glad you see where I’m coming from with this, and you’re so right about how now without family or others being able to visit that there will be too many in a position where they can’t fully advocate for themselves. I’ve found this before, needing my mother dearest there to say something and fight for what I need because I haven’t been able to, or have been in such a state by being ignored that I can’t get through to anyone. An excellent point about the power imbalance too. They say arrogance is needed to be a surgeon, and there’s likely something behind that commonly held expression. But yes, there are some excellent staff out there, it’s just that there are also a heck of a lot that aren’t. Thank you for your thoughts on this, Cheri, it’s much appreciated. I hope there will be no hospital trips for you or your family! Take good care of yourself, stay safe ???? xx

Annie May 9, 2020 - 2:04 am

Caz—This is a brave, honest, and important post. So very sorry to learn about how much of your health problems have been caused by poor medical care.

As you know, we in the US are in the midst of a dreadful mess now too—one that I believe has been far worsened by criminal neglect on the part of our president and his enablers. I will say that I believe all first responders haven’t received their due in the past, and I hope that changes post-pandemic. But I have been moved to see that when the news programs ask doctors and nurses to send videos of their lives, many of them now show them applauding as the numbers of COVID survivors leave the hospital. It’s true they signed up for caring for the ill, but this disease and its toll have been a shock to both individual and societal systems.
Well-run health care systems do exist—Germany seems to be a good example that may be translatable. But to your point, compassion must be a part of training for all healthcare workers (burnout, addiction, and suicides are a growing problem, and we know from fMRIs that compassion can be taught and is an antidote to those issues). And proper supervision must ensure that human error is greatly minimized.
Thank you for another valuable post, dear Caz—and take good care.
Annie xx

InvisiblyMe May 13, 2020 - 10:36 am

It’s silly to think that developed countries, with the finances and skill that, if wielded correctly, could be so, so much more efficient than they are. Of course the individual staff are going to be hit and miss anywhere, but my experience has been more negative than positive overall sadly. That said, the current situation is so bizarre and it’s not easy for anyone to deal with, and I can only imagine how hard it’s got to be being on the front line and seeing so many ill or dying. Absolutely agree with you on the points of having happier workers (pay, working conditions, hours), compassion in training, supervision. There’s too much red tape, mismanagement, and backwards thinking in the healthcare systems. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Annie, you make some excellent points. xx

The Oceanside Animals May 10, 2020 - 12:44 am

Charlee: “Our Dada often says we pets get better health care than the humans do.”
Chaplin: “Seems like it’s not just here that it’s true.”
Lulu: “We’re sorry that you’ve had such experiences with your care and I’m sending lots of fluffy tail wags that after COVID-19 finally goes away, things get to be better than they were before it.”
Charlee: “And we send purrs!”

InvisiblyMe May 13, 2020 - 10:39 am

My mother often jokes about the same thing: “maybe it’s time you tried the vet!” ???? I’m looking forward to those post-coronavirus tail wags – take good care guys, stay safe and behave for your mama & papa! xx

Aixa May 10, 2020 - 4:13 pm

What an interesting post, Caz. These systems are human and bureaucratic. Unfortunately, politics ruins a lot. Also, with so many healthcare workers, you have to end up with good ones and bad ones, but the NHS seems to have a lot. What a sad situation. I don’t know anything about the NHS but in the U.S., nursing homes are awful places with people who don’t care. I’ve heard so many stories.

People are also very flawed. March 12, the night before I left for NYC, I called my doctor/personal friend and asked if it was safe to go. She told me yes, as long as I was careful. A few weeks later, she got sick and almost died of coronavirus.

InvisiblyMe May 13, 2020 - 10:43 am

Absolutely, ‘human and bureaucratic’ is a good way to put it. There’s the issue of the individual staff, and then the issue with the system as a whole; the mismanagement, red tape, backwards initiatives and lack of common sense, political underhandedness and so on. I’m sorry the nursing home situation is so awful over there. There’s been a lot of focus on care homes here with lack of PPE, lack of testing, and an estimated 10,000 dead in care homes alone from the virus as a result. I think the thing is – regardless of what we’re told we can or can’t do right now – to err on the side of caution, especially when it comes to restrictions lifting (which terrifies me). I’m sorry your doctor friend fell so ill, is she doing okay now..? Please take good care lovely and stay safe  ♥ xx

Aixa May 13, 2020 - 2:09 pm

Yes, she’s doing well now. Our second day in NYC, we went to her office for blood work and felt very uncomfortable in the crowded waiting room. Our doctor passed by but didn’t see us. We didn’t wait for the blood work and left. Maybe that saved us… Her office is just a few blocks from Elmhurst Hospital, which became the epicenter of the virus.

InvisiblyMe May 15, 2020 - 5:04 pm

I’m glad she’s doing much better. Sounds like you both made the right call with getting out of there. They should have been way more thoughtful for people getting blood work done, it seems ridiculous to have not considered safety measures. Stay safe xx

The Lonely Author May 15, 2020 - 12:03 pm

No system is perfect.
Health insurance/care is a mess in the United States. Then, a flawed system was destroyed by Obamacare that turned affordable health insurance into unaffordable.

I believe it.really is up to every individual to carefully evaluate their medical team and make changes when necessary.
There are good doctors and bad, it is up to us to determine how good our doctor is.

InvisiblyMe May 15, 2020 - 5:11 pm

It’s interesting to get different perspectives from those living in the US re: Obamacare, I’ve seen such a divide between those thinking it was good and those thinking it made healthcare worse (most to the latter side, I think). The problem comes when you don’t have a choice as to the care you receive and the staff that are there, especially in the case of being admitted to hospital in an emergency. But yes, if you can evaluate and change your care provider or doctor, or request changes be made, then do what’s in your control to do. Thanks for your thoughts on this, Drew. Take good care of yourself x

da-AL May 16, 2020 - 11:49 pm

ooh – it’s working now that I’m using google chrome rather than safari on desktop & ipad… as for the post, you are wonderful & brave as always. here in the states, god help anyone who can’t afford to buy their own insurance…

InvisiblyMe May 20, 2020 - 10:05 am

Aah good ol’ Chrome! I’m sorry the other browsers seemed incompatible, da-AL. Technology can be brilliant when it works, baffling when it doesn’t! Thank you so much for trying and commenting, it’s lovely to hear from you. Not being able to buy insurance, or finding premiums so hard with current health conditions, must be absolutely awful. Just as, I imagine, having insurance and finding it doesn’t even cover what you need. What a mess when you’d think health care should be accessible and affordable for all because nobody has the right to make it otherwise. x

Michele Anderson May 19, 2020 - 1:06 am

I think this is why a lot of people in the U.S. don’t want a national health care system. Great post Caz on how it’s not always rainbows in the health care field. I’ve had bad experiences even paying for private health insurance. I still haven’t found a doctor that I like or even trust. Thank you for such an honest post. 🙂

InvisiblyMe May 20, 2020 - 10:07 am

It’s a tricky one, isn’t it? I know a lot of people in the US have said to me how lucky we are to have the NHS like it’s a perfect and free thing, but that’s sadly not the case and it’s not fair, equal access either. All systems have their flaws and I can only imagine how horrendous it is with insurance in the US, but when you know it could and should be better for so many people then you can’t help but be frustrated with the unfairness of it all. I’m sorry for the bad experiences you’ve had. Those good doctors are rare, the gold dust in the medical systems. Once you find one, hold on to him/her for dear life! Thank you for comment, Michele, I really appreciate your thoughts on it.xx

USFMAN May 24, 2020 - 9:15 pm

I was misdiagnosed by multiple doctors in the past and similarly as you have a learned negativity towards the health care system. The human side of medical care is severely lacking. I have learned that if you find the right doctor(s) other matters seem to fall in place accordingly. .

InvisiblyMe May 25, 2020 - 4:24 pm

I’m sorry you know what it’s like too well yourself. I’m sorry you had to go through the multiple misdiagnoses and you’re right, the fight for a good doctor can be long and difficult but things can start to work much more smoothly if/when that happens. I do wish more was done to reiterate as part of ongoing learning the need for common sense and human compassion in this field. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this. I hope the future of your experiences are brighter..!

Ana Yong May 28, 2020 - 3:32 am

Well-written. My sentiments, exactly.

InvisiblyMe June 2, 2020 - 4:44 pm

I’m glad you found it to be well said, thank you, Ana ????

Anna Waldherr June 1, 2020 - 1:26 pm

It sounds as if you had some dreadful experiences. Years ago, I used to do medical malpractice litigation. While I have great respect for the medical profession, the practice of law taught me that we are all fallible human beings.

InvisiblyMe June 2, 2020 - 4:45 pm

That must have been quite an eye-opening experience working malpractice litigation. You’re right, we are fallible as human beings and sadly the system isn’t helping the matter. Thank you for sharing this, Anna. x


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