This week I spent 36 hours in hospital, I had 3 X-rays, an ultrasound and a finger up my bum! 3 bags of IV fluid, more oramorph then I can remember, 3 different surgical trolleys, 3 doctors and countless nurses, special shout out to Paula, Mark and Nick! I was nil by mouth for all bar about 8 hours most of which was sleep time. I have only guess work to go on for what was wrong with me and I was discharged without seeing the doctor, in the end I walked out alone after being told I can buy paracetamol in the shops.
For about 2 months now I have had bad bloating and a sore abdomen, on Tuesday night coupled with a coughing fit the pain level went through the roof! I presumed I had another ovarian cyst and that it had burst from coughing so hard, I went to bed to try sleep through it, I didn’t really sleep and by Wed morning I was in agony. I rang my GP surgery and they got the doctor to call me back, when the phone rang I couldn’t get up off the floor where I had fallen in pain, Conan my husband answered and he had to explain because I was past able to. The GP said to get to the closest A&E immediately, so we went to the Heath hospital in Cardiff.
I was through triage pretty quickly and the first person I saw gave me some cocodamol which was much appreciated, we got there about 11 and by 1 I had been given X Rays and blood tests and I felt like I was being listened to, my pain was getting worse so they started me on oramorph but I was still in agony. I got passed on to surgery, Dr number 2, this doctor was great, she wanted to do a CT, but her boss wouldn’t let her, she knew I should go to gynea and I heard her on the phone referring me at least 3 times, gynea never showed up! I spent the night on a surgical trolley in an assessment area near a sign that said area is not suitable to house patients longer then 4 hours, I was there about 16. Others were there for days. I was on hourly oramorph, it was dulling the pain but only for a while, exhausted I would practically pass out for an hour and a half the wake up in pain needing more meds and then pass out for another hour and a half.
By Thursday morning surgery decided to be proactive since gynea still hadn’t shown up to take me, I was given a time for an ultrasound and moved to another assessment area and another trolley, I was told depending on the ultrasound that I would be discharged, given surgery or brought to gynea so they couldn’t ignore me! After a brief respite overnight I was put nil by mouth again, but at least I was allowed water this time for the sake of the ultrasound! I was also told by my doctor (doctor number 3) that a third of abdominal pain they never figure out what caused it and just send patients home. The pain wasn’t too bad at this stage but this doctor wanted to up the amount of oramorph I was on, they more then doubled it, and it kicked in just as I got wheeled to ultrasound and left in a hall alone to wait to be called. I couldn’t keep my eyes open the world was hazy, it didn’t last long but it was a little scary. My ultrasound was all clear, and I had a laugh with the technicians since I was essentially stoned off my head at that stage and they were very nice to me, I was with it enough to ask questions though and there was no sign of any cysts or that there had ever been any, although I don’t think that can be ruled out. I was brought back to surgical assessment, and remained nil by mouth since my Doctor was in surgery and apparently no one else can make any decisions about his patients! I waited 6 hours before I decided to eat ignoring the nurses, it was the best crisp sandwich I’ve ever had!
At this stage my head was splitting, I hadn’t seen daylight in 2 days or fresh air, it had been windowless rooms the whole time, I had only had one meal that Conan had brought me in on the Wed night. My tummy pain was mostly gone, I was taking the oramorph in the hopes it would get rid of my headache! …I had told the nurse as much, and I was pretty sure that since my ultrasound was clear I was just waiting for the doctor to come, give me a prescription for pain killers and send me home.
About 8 o’clock I asked a nurse if there was any sign of the doctor, and she told me it would be rounds tomorrow morning that I saw them now. I just replied with no! I started doing that kind of manic laughing crying this is not happening thing, I told her I know I’m just going to be sent home and I want my bed and why am I here and where is there some fresh air. She was more then a little taken aback but directed me to the way out and told me she’d try to find out something. As soon as I got outside and my head stopped banging, I was now crying from both relief and frustration. I took about 10 minutes to pull myself together and headed back in, decided that I was going to speak to any doctor at all and get out of here tonight unless they had a good reason to keep me, I wasn’t staying just because no one had gotten around to discharging me!
Nick, the nurse that had been in charge of our ward came up to me as soon as I got back, he’d been trying to find me, the doctor had of course shown up, hadn’t waited around and I was discharged, within 5 minutes I had my canula taken out, I got dressed and went to ask a nurse if I had to sign anything, or do anything and if I had any painkillers to take home with me, I was told “you can buy paracetamol in the shops” my jaw nearly hit the ground. Just a few hours before they had been making me take more oramorph then I wanted, and now I can buy some paracetamol, get out the door. They needed my trolley so I was left on a chair in the hall waiting for my husband; who had only left an hour before, to come back and collect me, I got up and walked myself out, no one noticed, no one cared, I still had my hospital tag on, I was carrying my bags of clothes and crying and I just walked out and met Conan outside.
Conan got me home, we got the chips and mushrooms I’d been dreaming on the way and we watched a few episodes of Kims convenience on Netflix …watch it! I went to bed and slept for 12 hours. Today I’m slow and fragile, my tummy is a little sore, I’ve got very little energy. I’ve had a nap, a cry and a think. I’ve had a friend or two tell me I need to get to the bottom of what happened, I need to get referrals etc but how? To where? I didn’t go in as soon as I should have, because I thought as a woman with endometriosis I would be fobbed off, I was pleasantly surprised at first that they treated me seriously and I was thankful for the painkillers, but in the end I was sent home with no answers, without speaking to a doctor and with the option to go and buy some paracetamol for the pain. I wasn’t allowed to eat for 2 days, I didn’t see daylight, I was offered blood thinners and special socks because I was put in an environment that even when I could get up and walk, I couldn’t really. The individual nurses were nearly all amazing! I saw three doctors, one was fantastic the other two were competent but obviously too busy. I wasn’t dying so of course I wasn’t top priority, but I spent 8 hours waiting for someone to talk to me after my ultrasound, 8 hours taking up a bed and wasting nurses time, 6 hours not eating, which should have been 8 but I took matters into my own hands! All the while getting no rest and having the lights etc bring on a migraine. It could have been my appendix so I was right to go in, but I don’t know that if it happened again I would, and I didn’t think I could be more disillusioned with the medical industry but apparently I was wrong! So much of what I saw not just what happened to me, just wasn’t helping anyone.
So I know this is a website about jewellery and this is very much not a blog post about jewellery, but what happens to me effects Fragment Designs. It was only a couple of days and I was on top of orders so only a few have been delayed and I have been in contact with anyone effected, I should be caught up by Monday. I think I just needed to write this, to get out what happened as I’m trying to process it, I don’t personally know where I go going forward, hopefully this was a once off, I’ve never felt pain like it and I’d like to keep it that way! On the larger scale, I don’t know what the answer is, but I know the system is very very broken and it needs fixing.