I was said bad admin would bring this country down. And I’m right, it is. The moment some idiot said, ” it doesn’t matter”.
Well it does bloody matter. Major organisations have a responsibility to get fixed and get themselves in order.
I have heart and lung disease. On Friday morning my GP requested I be taken in as emergency to Watford General Hospital. I was unable to eat anything for days and had been surviving on sips of bottled water and milk when the stomach wasn’t in spasm.
I had chest pains and with my heart and lung condition it was felt I would be looked after in hospital, maybe I’d picked up a bug or suffering from the effects of the MRI dye a month previously. I had been the GP the previous week and fainted whilst trying to gain blood pressure reading in their stand-up machine.
The GP called the ambulance. She waited for ages but eventually she had to leave me. The ambulance staff took my heartbeat and my blood sugar levels. The ambulance staff were unable to bring my wheelchair or my slippers shoes phone medication and I found myself in Watford General hours later, shivering in a side room late Friday afternoon.
My chest pain is severe and I am finding it difficult to understand their questions. Finding it very difficult to talk. I tell them I’m under Thoracic surgeons for the last ten years. I have mitral valve prolapse and am having strong pain across the front of my chest. I tell them I have Ehlers Danlos and was born with cystic lungs.
I’m in pain. My usual pain relief patches have come unstuck and slide off – my daughter finding them in the bed a few days later when she was cleaning up the flat for me to recover in. I tell the nurses that I really would like to see a doctor as I am in a lot of pain. I am given two paracetamols.
At 10pm I realise I still haven’t seen a doctor, I still don’t have a name badge on with my allergens on and am feeling unsafe. I realise I have no alarm and I am still opposite the waiting area although all the people have changed. I realise that I am being ignored. I stay very calm because my chest is really hurting and I cannot lift my right arm.
I slide off the bed and wrap a blanket around my shoulders. I know I can walk slowly for a while before I have to sit down so that is what I am planning to do. I figure if I can get back home again I can get some paperwork to prove who I am and then come back. I try to leave the A&E dept.
I figure I should get out whilst I can before they come and inject me with penicillin or something by mistake. I don’t make it too far. I fall in corridor but remain conscious throughout. I am told to return to the bed and I will be seen shortly. I am returned to side cupboard room off main waiting area.
A nurse visits me and puts name badge on me. He tells me a doctor will see me soon, i should try and be more patient as there are others before me. Someone comes in and takes my blood but he doesn’t know my doctor or any of my details yet. They have my name and then I hear another Samantha Harris called but it isn’t me, just someone with the same name.
Several students then try to take some bloods. One tries to take blood from the middle of my forearm. I explain I have Eds and help them get the canular in. I have been vomiting with loose bowels for four weeks. Sharp chest pain esp.under arms. Unable to lift arms when pain is present. Heart beats so loudly in my head I think my hair is about to whirl off.
After this brutal needling, blood was taken and I am handed two cotton buds for MRSA infection. No rectum or groin swab was taken at this time as I was too weak to hold it myself and kept dropping the swab stick. Even though I dropped it and didn’t swab my groin or rectum the swab was returned for testing.
I was then taken to AAU purple ward level 3 I think. The nurse made sure that she came and spoke in very patronising voice when i arrived on the ward. Nurse told me there was nothing wrong and that I should just go back home, they were ready to discharge me. I asked that I at least see my thoracic surgeon and she told me I didn’t have one and that it was “all in my mind”.
Saturday morning, I wept on the ward, I waited for consultant to come and see me, I felt so poorly. One doc came and said I was fine to stay in hospital to gather some strength as I still felt so poorly. I relaxed then, my daughter had come to visit me and had spent an hour or so with me. Everyone was lovely whilst she was there. Then after she left, another seeming normal doctor turns up telling me I had no right to be there.
Basically a African British doctor came to visit me on the ward. He started to tell me I had Fibromyalgia and I disagreed telling him I had Ehlers Danlos with lung disease. He got very annoyed with me and stormed away, he told the nurses to undo the fluids they had only put on very slowly a few hours previously and to discharge me.
Then mental health team came down to see me on AAU. They spoke to me for some time as they had been called by the nursing staff that I was causing problem about being discharged. I’ve been under mental health services for some time, I don’t take antidepressants as I am not depressed. I am awaiting psychology treatment for assaults which took place in my childhood.
My mental health team stated clearly to nursing staff that my physical illness make me poorly and that my mental health was actually fine. The mental health team clearly told them they were to treat me medically. Someone then came and placed a Fentanyl patch on me. Then the HRT patch was also put on me and within a while I was feeling normal, as that is my normal medication. I still had chest pain. I was given paracetamol.
Other than the original EEG they took before bringing me in the ambulance not one person talked to me about the chest pain. I did not see a stethoscope or real doctor regarding the chest pain at any time. I was under a junior doctor was classed my illness as ‘psychological vomitting’. I’ll leave it how my junior doc spelt it.
Early Sunday morning, I was discharged, the nursing staff put me back in a ambulance and brought me back home. I didn’t want to come home. My flat was filled with full sick bowls and used incontinence pads. The sink in every room was puked stained and the toilet was brown, completely pebble-dashed. There was no food in the house and I am thankful for a fantastic daughter and son-in-law who came up and helped me.
My daughter came up yesterday when she called WGH to find I had been discharged back home already with no one here. She had made it clear not to discharge me without telling me as I would need someone to help me at home. The hospital chose to ignore her and occupational advice about my safety and well being. I’m thankful for my girl’s strong stomach. I held my new grandson whilst she cleared up the flat, kitchen, bed and bathroom for me.
I felt such a burden – my grandson, Devon, just one month old and been on antibiotics since birth because of infection at Watford General. At the moment they say he can’t hear but as I sang to him I swear he smiled and looked at me. I’m his grandma and I’m determined be around for him and his sister. So my girl spent the day scrubbing her mum’s flat and I know she doesn’t resent me for it but I feel this isn’t the point.
We are getting there. I am still feeling very poorly. I feel maybe some steroids or antibiotics may help. But, as they never swab or take samples from me, how will i get over this? I have not been given anything other than pain relief and considering that is not good to be on full time I have to wonder when, or if they will treat me.
The chest pain comes in waves so I have times of movement. It was something to be told in 2009 to make arrangement for my children. I’m still here ten years later but I am poorly, the pain makes it ‘in my mind’. The treatment I received at Watford General hospital is something I’m learning to deal with but what has been happening to our beloved NHS England?
I am generally a very calm, happy person. Today I’m not so. You see whilst I was on AAU one of the other patients and her feller felt it was necessary to tell me to leave too. This patient seemed to be making a point of how she had just had twelve weeks “rehab ” and how everyone was so lovely to her. Seems she is on the friends and family scheme. I didn’t enquire rehab for what…
The woman was vile. Her partner, visiting, called me ‘pyscho’ too. Apparently her leg was bad. She sat there judging the really frail around her with venomous righteousness. I don’t often tell people when they are mean but in her case I really hope that her leg to drops off. I said to them I can hear every word you are saying to me – he responded, well you said your ears were sensitive we were just checking that out. No privacy and verbal attacks and when I complained I got told to just go home.
So it will all turn out okay I hear the masses say. well, hey ho, I don’t think it will until I can even complain which I can’t. You cannot complain about Watford General Hospital as it doesn’t have a complaints dept.
There isn’t even a feedback system in place. How are they allocated funding without these proper facilities being in place. The lib dems in Hertfordshire along with the rest of the council know the hospital is failing but still give the funding regardless.
The healthcare is one of the many organisations which seem to do whatever they like nowadays. Perhaps they think this will continue as we leave Europe, no, this will not continue. You can not just break our health service. The Government need to gain control again and quickly. For all the people like me who want treatment, who need to get back to work, the NHS is necessary to keep us healthy and we need it working properly.