Updated: Mar 24, 2020
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It’s story time again Ninjas, but this one is not from the archives, it’s a big ‘ol fresh wound. Six days ago I was taken into hospital by ambulance and 24 hours later I was in surgery. But lets start at the start, because I always find that helpful, and looking back… it is kind of funny.
I woke up mega early, like 5am I think. I had the worst stomach pain I had ever felt in my life. I thought I’ll try the bathroom that might help. I felt like my whole body was screaming “EVACUATE!” but nothing was happening. I self diagnosed, food poisoning. I had things to do that day, suck it up and run my errands. A good friend had stayed the weekend and I had to drive my step-daughter to her mothers. Effort! By the time I had plucked up the energy to complete these tasks my diagnosis had changed. Nothing is happening and I still feel this poorly, conclusion: constipation. What else could it be? My two besties rallied around me in my time of need supplying me with laxatives and muscle relaxants. What more could a girl want? Afraid of shitting myself during my errands I decided to hold out until I returned home. More than just a hat rack, I thought!
Laxatives and relaxants taken I lay on my sofa and waited for the action to happen. Hours past with nothing but pain. Literally nothing, it got to the point I was unable to open my eyes because the sickness had spread to my head. My sister from another mister took it upon herself to call for emergency services. The ambulance came, examined me and said they were concern. Now I’m concerned. My diagnostic abilities called into question! It took two doses of IV morphine to make the pain even tolerable and I was carted off to hospital. Luckily (or not so luckily just because he’s amazing) Neil was by my side the whole time. He never left me in my wheelchair alone for one minute. 7 hours later and a text from the friend I had taken home reading “you had a shit yet?” and I was admitted into hospital. My appendix was looking ropey, to say the least.
Now I don’t really have many memories of Monday. I was high has a kite on pain medication. Which to be honest was just as well, considering Tuesday. But we’ll get there. I cried when Neil had to leave me. I was alone and in pain. Feeling at my weakest with none of my medication for my mental health or the ability to ask for it myself. I’m glad I was high and in and out of consciousness because the moments I was awake and alone were horrible. I only got to see Neil and my mam for 10 minutes that day, it was luck that they caught me being wheeled to theatre as they came to visit. My feminism gave me comfort when I found out I had an all female medical team during my operation and recovery. I don’t know why, it just did. The next thing I knew I had woke up being transferred from the trolley back to my bed on the ward. I spent that night (still un-medicated) being randomly woken to nurses sticking me with needles and taking tests. No one described to me what was happening, why they were doing anything, or if I was even okay.
I woke up first on the ward and rang my mam at 7am. Crying, I was so paranoid at what was happening. I didn’t trust anyone there, no one would give me my medication because they couldn’t find a psychiatrist to “okay” it. I wanted my mam. I wanted to be safe, and it was the last thing I felt. The nurses heard this conversation, they must have. It was silent in the ward, apart from my cracking voice and snotty tears. No one came.
I took a risk on an auxiliary nurse at breakfast and broke my heart to her. She was my only comfort. But was also only on the ward to help with breakfast, then she disappeared as quickly as she had arrived. She told me to ring my mam again and just tell her to come, so I did. They let me go home in the afternoon. Back to my safety and my medication.
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Looking back, still sore and easily achey, the beginning of this story was funny. God I would have died if they had told me I just needed a good fart! But the way I was treat in hospital, when they knew my diagnosis, was upsetting. I never once felt safe, and surely being “in the best place” should feel safe. I know the NHS are strapped, I see those pressures every day. There just isn’t enough people or money to do what is being asked of them. But does that mean I should let my experiences lie? Does that mean I should wilt back into the shadows of understanding and not get upset? I suppose that is what I’m doing by just voicing my experience in my little blog to few. But I hope one day, we can master this and can have time for patients who need it.