16 Dec 2010


I'm not given to moaning and especially not when it comes to matters of my health. Generally speaking, no matter what, when asked how I am, I'll smile and say "Fine thanks, and you?" After all no one really likes the individual who will stand for what seems like hours discussing their every ache and pain and especially not when that individual has several long-term health problems and you are just as likely (nay, more likely) to catch them on a bad day as a good.  That said (apologies, I'm now going to moan) you sometimes just need to get these things off your chest ......

Some of you may be aware that I haven't been too well over the last week or two or three and things came to a head on Friday when I saw our nurse for a routine injection. Not liking the sound of my breathing, she sent me in to see one of our GP's - a lovely German woman who is no-nonsense and very, very thorough. Having listened to my chest and done all my observations, she declared I had a(nother) chest infection and would need another course of steroids (my third) and another (not one) but two lots of antibiotics (my third lot) AND should really be going to hospital ..... and would be admitted if I wasn't able to skip into the surgery come Monday morning (on two crutches? Impossible anyway.)

Needless to say, Monday came and I was no better despite trying to convince Husband dearest otherwise. The upshot, after being given a nebuliser (basically inhaled steroids) and oxygen, our GP sent for an ambulance which is where the 'fun and games' nightmare began.

You know as well as not complaining about my health, I'm equally as loath to complain about our National Health Service and especially not when I hear about my US blogger buddies, some of whom have experienced their relatives lying in pain and untreated until insurance details are given etc. No, we are extremely fortunate to get 'free' health care, a service that takes care of us 'FROM THE CRADLE TO THE GRAVE' (click on the previous link for an on-line copy of Geoffrey Rivett's book which chronicles the history of our NHS) BUT .........

Despite having been told an ambulance would be with us in less than twenty minutes, I waited an hour. No real problem, the ambulance service was busy answering emergency calls and I was in no real danger, receiving medical care from people I knew and trusted - our sincere thanks to all of them, doctors, nurse and receptionists for their care.

I skip forward to arrival in hospital where I was left in a corridor, they called it a waiting room - it wasn't - until I was taken through to triage to have my first examination which included having my blood pressure (BP) taken. Yeah right, never have I known anyone take a BP reading through a thick jumper and a thick winter coat, I'm amazed they got any reading at all.

Anyway, taken back to the corridor waiting room, we were once again left sitting until a nurse (lovely but so rushed off her feet she kept getting my name wrong) came to take some blood (I was lucky, I got taken into an actual real room, others had their blood taken whilst sitting in the corridor) and do a heart trace.

More waiting until I get to see this arrogant little doctor who has yet to even fully qualify - he may well introduce himself and shake the hands of both Hd and myself but his tone and condescending look says it all - not another overweight patient.

"Do you work" he demands to know. "No" "Why not?" "Because I have a list of ongoing health problems and no one would employ me with that list no matter what my rights to work as a disabled person." I want to shout but can't because I'm too busy trying to breath and not doing a very good job of it.

"Any swelling of the ankles?" he then asks, grabbing hold of a leg which has obviously seen several surgeries. I scream, suffering from CRPS I cannot stand the slightest touch and his grabbing hold does not help. I feel an apology or, better still, some sign of understanding is warranted, he obviously doesn't.

Examination torture over, his final question "So, do you think you are poorly enough to be in hospital or would you prefer to be at home?"

Of course I'd rather be at home, who wouldn't? And as for being poorly enough to be in hospital? No matter what I thought at least one nurse and two GP's thought so.

Rant over, I did get home that day. Obviously not too sick to be admitted to hospital but too poorly I felt to be left sitting in a corridor for almost five hours.

The hospital's diagnosis? A viral infection.

I've tried to keep this as short as possible, I'm just so upset and annoyed right now and, if I'm honest, feeling as if I have wasted a lot of time and resources. My question being are some hospital doctors 'lucky' enough to get to go to charm school? In my experience, they would be far better off being prescribed a big dose of humanity.


chitra said...

I totally agree with you Tracy,Doctors and I would say nurses too need to be more humane . Here also we are made to wait even when we have appointments. Ask a doubt or a clarification, their egos are affected. They are forgetting why they are there. There are many exceptions also.

Hope and pray you would recover fast from your present condition. Hope my hugs will keep you warm.

Christina Lee said...

Ughhh ---boarding on nightmarish! My sister is a nurse and thinks most docs have really big egos (that need to be stroked).

Hope you're better soon!

GMR said...

Oh my word...what a horrid experience! No wonder you're upset...and rightfully so. Sad to say that (as you put it) being from the US side of things, I've seen that and worse happen to folks...sad but true. You can tell when a doctor is new over here BECAUSE they are nice and actually take the time to listen. Once they get a handle on things so to speak, they lose that bedside manner/courtesy right away (okay most not all) in persuit of more patients=more money. Will send healing thoughts your way....nebulisers aren't so bad, I had one when I was younger as my asthma was pretty bad. Take care!

Dorte H said...

A big, virtual hug for you (in that way I am sure I won´t squash you).

Get well soon - and hopefully in your own home!

budh.aaah said...

Ya sure you werent talking about India Tracy. Its routine here almost everytime unless one is paying through the nose.
I do hope you are feeling better. Get well sooooon buddy.

Carrie at In the Hammock Blog said...

i'm sorry you had such a bad experience :( I hope you are feeling much better soon.

susan s. said...

What a lousy thing to have to put up with. Feel better soon. We are all praying for you at MadPriest's place!

Dizzy C said...

I knew you had not been feeling well but not that poorly. :(

Unfortunately, it seems that you are like me, in that you know what constitutes good and unacceptable bedside manner due to experience. It is a shame when you are not well to come across a bad experience.

I have 2 boys with asthma so know when we are getting good service or not. A very frightening admission taking 7 hrs in A&E with the youngest on oxygen back in March still makes me feel sick...and worried about our next encounter with an overworked A&E dept.

Here's hoping you get some respite with your chest very soon.


Suko said...

His bedside manner was sickening! He is supposed to be a healer which should include being compassionate and sensitive, not the complete opposite. Sorry you had to endure this treatment.

Grandmère Mimi said...

Tracy, I am so sorry that you're ill and more sorry about your experience at the hospital. Perhaps some of what you went through could not be avoided because space was limited and the staff were overworked, but simple, common, human courtesy and respect from from the caregivers is always in order.

Prayers and best wishes for you to feel better soon.

Love and blessings.

Melissa (Books and Things) said...

I would seriously tell your GP the experience you had. They really need to know that kind of stuff.

I hope you are feeling lots better very soon!

Su said...

Sigh... No health system is perfect, it seems. Hope you get better ever so quickly!

(BTW, what business it is of his why you don't work? I can see how your type of job would be pertinent to your health care, but not the reasoning.)

The Golden Eagle said...

I hope you feel better soon!

Kelly said...

I'm sorry for your unpleasant experience. I had a feeling you were still feeling quite poorly.

Unfortunately many doctors have no bedside manner. My brother is a pathologist, one of those specialties that has very little, if any, patient contact. I remember he originally thought of going into pediatrics, but said he knew he wouldn't be able to put up with the parents, despite loving kids.

I sure hope you are feeling back to normal VERY soon!!

Kristina Barnes♥ said...

Wow, that's horrible. I'm sorry you had to go through that.

Most of the doctors I've gone to were very nice, courteous, and personable. If they weren't, I'd just switch to a new doctor. And I have to admit, I'm one of those US people angered by our current system of health care, and have though Canada's and UK's system of universal health care was better. But waiting 5 hours for the unpleasant way you were treated? Mmm. Not so much.

In any case, I really hope you feel better soon. :(

Jenners said...

Oh boy ... that doctor sounds like he needs to take some extra courses in bedside manner.

What an awful experience. The thing is that any health care system is only as good as the people who work in it ... and you got the short end of that stick this time.

Hope you're feeling better soon.

Jennifer McLean said...

Awwww, my friend, no one deserves to treated so badly, especially you! If he only knew how sweet and caring you are he'd have begged your forgiveness for his terrible bedside manner and treated you like the valuable human being you are.
Keep well, tuck yourself in under a good blanket, find a terrific book, get your loyal and wonderful husband to make two cups of tea (one for each of you) and take a long Christmas break.
I wish for you new health and a Peaceful Christmas, my dear friend. Hugs to you and yours, Tracy.
Merry Christmas,

Short Poems said...

I am so sorry that you're ill and had to go through that. But I hope you are feeling better!
All the best and Merry Christmas
Marinela x

....Petty Witter said...

Thank you all so much for your kind words, they mean such a lot to me.

dr.antony said...

Hope you are already better.
Just now I was reading another blog on Anils experience at the hospital.He was too critical of the doctor and his treatment.

It seems the problem is universal.I had written 'bring some nobility back" on my blog to address such an issue.The west has contributed too much to this deterioration.They converted this noble profession in to an industry and patients in to clients.When health care has become an industry a patient has been transformed to a client.The doctor patient relationship has changed.
So long as doctors don't see this career as a totally noble profession, nothing will change.

naida said...

oh no :( Im sorry you had to go through that. The doctor sounds just awful!
I hope youre feeling better. **hugs**

Alexia561 said...

What a horrible experience! So sorry you had to go through that, and hope you are feeling better. Sending virtual hugs your way!

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry you had to go through that. Prayers to you for a speedy recovery of your health and dignity.
Bless you.