Day 3 – On the Move
My second night had not been good. I won’t get too graphic here but problems occurred when the tubes that were draining out of me got blocked with blood clots. This wasn’t immediately spotted when I had called for a nurse, fortunately another nurse later on realised there was a problem and by simply manipulating the tubes, freed the clots and the pain got easier. My observations the next morning showed a considerable drop in blood pressure and I was told the procedure to stop the blood flow – embolisation, would be carried out that day. For this reason I was ‘nil by mouth’ until this was done. At lunch time another doctor came to see me and said my embolisation was booked for 8.30am the following morning and then went to question staff who’d put me on nil by mouth? I managed to get out of bed that day for the first time and walk to the bathroom for a wash, not easy pushing my morphine drip and catheter with irrigation system (not to mention wearing a hospital nightie that opened at the back!) Not surprisingly though by now what I was wearing and how I looked were the furthest things from my mind. Later that evening there was a flurry of activity when we were told that the bay we were in was needed for a mens bay. There were 6 bays to a ward, some of which were all male and some all female. Although I’d only been there for a couple of days I had become accustomed to my surroundings and who I shared the bay with, others had been there days longer. Therefore when we were suddenly told we were on the move to different bays/ward it was quite upsetting. A couple of the elderly ladies were particularly upset as they had got used to speaking to each other and this sudden change frightened them. I was only moved along the same ward into another bay along with one of the elderly ladies, my new bed was next to the window so I got a view of East Birmingham! Probably due to the move the staff were quite on edge and obviously under a lot of pressure as beds had to be found for patients that had to be moved. More than likely this is the reason my painkillers were forgotten that evening and I was left for 6 hours before I received them. As I was already feeling sorry for myself this seemed like an eternity. I also had a lot of pain from the catheter which I was told was quite normal as my body was ‘probably rejecting it’. Too bloody right it was! In fact it turned out to be more clots which were freed by another nurse on duty. I knew by now that when you have to use the buzzer to call for help, if at first you don’t succeed – buzz again! At this point in my diary I need to make a very important point. I am truly and sincerely grateful for the care I received whilst in hospital and have no complaints about the NHS, it has saved my life. I do however recognise that the staff are human and as such there are good and bad, those that cope well under pressure and others that don’t. It was not the level of care that was lacking although sometimes it took longer to get than others. The bigger problem was the lack of empathy – and you can’t teach that in medical school.