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.
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.
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.
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!
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.