Friday, 15 January 2010

What a start to the New Year

I'm sure I've said this before, but I only ever intended this blog to be about life as a pub landlady, but events over the past 18 months have overtaken it - and the blog has become an extension of me in many ways. I regularly get 20 - 30 hits a day and great responses to my ramblings, so this blog the first of the year is quite serious and reflective I'm afraid.......

4th January saw me admitted to Derriford hospital with a really crap asthma chest and what I was sure was a chest infection............. I say that I was sure, but I couldn't get any other bugger to listen to me!! Oh, by the way, the language in this blog might be a bit ripe - so if you're offended don't read it!! Admitted at 1.15 in the afternoon - there was no bed available until nearly 1 the next morning. Me and several other fairly poorly people sat round in a huddle exchanging light banter whilst trying to breath......I was fortunate, I couldn't see black things crawling on the floor like the man opposite me!!

I was told they had found me a bed, but it was on a male Cancer ward - I had to be made aware of this fact especially as Government guidelines would be being broken by this act of humanity!!! I think my response was along the lines of 'I didn't give a shit - just let me sleep'.......

Of course, I didn't sleep - I coughed, I heaved, I cried - I vied for attention with seriously ill patients with Cancer! The blokes were fab - in the morning, as the light dawned they were quite interested to see a female sitting up in their room...... hardly, Marilyn Munroe - more like Herman Munster. There started the obligatory succession of tests - but still no agreeing with me that I had a chest infection. My chaps - the mobile ones, looked after me, made me smile and in return I offered what empathy I could to their terminal illness's.

The hospital chaplain Michael came to visit - and visited me most days after that - he was so lovely, and bought me great comfort. I gave him some questions, he gave me some answers and he made me think about things in a slightly different way... other than poor me, what have I done to deserve this!! I'll never forget one thing he said to me - and that was, 'how big did I need MY cross to be'...???

Thursday saw a bit of an Epiphany in many ways - I had been moved to a small side room - as much for the other patients to get a bit of a rest as for me. My coughing and breathing became far worse and I was frankly terrified at this point. My 'named' nurse was Steve, and I could never forget his kindness and care. He came to my rescue and arranged for a Dr to see me again - which they did, TWO hours later!! A short discussion ensued as to whether I needed to go to ICU - luckily, that didn't happen and I was transferred to the respiratory ward at last!! I'm going to skip over the next few days events - as its pretty much of the same followed by more of the same, followed by a bit more of the bleeding same.

The one very sad aspect to my 'journey' was that three people died next to me (as my best mate Tanya said - 'Bugger me, don't let me sleep to close to you for a while!) the last being literally less than 6 foot from my bed....... she was all alone, and all I could do was sit the other side (my side) of the curtain with my oxygen mask on praying for her soul. Have you ever contemplated eating a fish and chip supper (that's what they called it) whilst a dead person is within touching distance???????

The other fact, is that I met some incredibly brave people who are dying - fact, period!! They were brave beyond belief, stoical in the face of their destiny and cheerful in their support of people less brave like myself.

The NHS has mattress managers, bed managers, cleaning managers - in fact if there's a title I'm sure there's a manager for it......... it also has all the things you read every day in the papers - overworked staff struggling to cope with too many patients and too much paperwork. Patients being left unattended and unfed, patients distressed and anxious but staff with no ability or the time to show tlc. Young Drs undertrained in both medicine and life skills - who between them make up our future NHS.

I'm home now, and I have to go through the long slog of recovery over the next few weeks - but I'm back in the safe hands of my great GP and also my Consultant in Southampton - who has already changed all my medication back and has assured me that progress will now come.

Am I angry with the system? A m I angry that for nearly 18 hours I had no medication?? Am I angry that no regard was given to documentation from my s/ton consultant?? Am I angry that no one seemed to listen to me and am I angry that there's nothing I can do to stop it happening to me or anyone else ever again - too f*cking right I am.................

So there you go - thats off my chest (pardon the pun!!) its got to be onwards and upwards I've a wedding to get ready for in 63 days, and the St Austell Estate awards night on the 21st which I'm going to by hook or by crook!! So, it's back to my bed with a stack of DVD's, my boxes of pills and potions and the loving care of SOH!!

No comments: