Monday, August 16, 2010

Change of pace

Ah where did I leave off.

So I arrived at Charing cross, feeling rather under the weather. I was seriously low on my painkillers so things were begining to ache. I spent the the first 20 mins there in the bathroom clutching my stomach and trying to regulate my breathing as it was hurting my rib to do the whole deep breathing thing.

Mum and dad had to go virtually right away as by this point it was 10pm, everyone in the bay was asleep and they still had to find their way to the tube and then home. I had plans to just curl up in bed and sleep.

The admitting nurse wanted me to take my meds, but they were not prescirbed yet, so I had to self medicate. At this point I had only done soft food and no tablets down my throat. Because I was self medicating, I had to swallow them rather than use my NG tube as I had been the last couple of days. Boy that was fun. Nearly everyone got stuck in my throat. And I gave up on a couple of the tablets as it wasnt worth the hassle.

I didnt know anything about the trach tube I had in place. I assumed as it was stitched into my neck, it was going to be a single piece one like I had when I first got my normal trach. I started struggling to breathe. Really felt like I was gasping. I told the nurse, who said, ok I will come sort you in a minute, then offered the rest of the ward a cup of tea and went and made it.

I was literally crying. I kept thinking any minute now I am going to go into respiratory arrest again. It was exhausting. Eventually he suctioned me out, which was a nasty experince too. He was down to long, it felt like I literally had no air in my body. The doctor came and admitted me. By admitting me I mean signed the drug card. They didnt bother to come speak to me or anything. But at least I was able to get on top of my pain relief.

As I lay in bed, hearng aids out, one headphone is as I sleep and music on low, I could a faint car alarm outside the window (Bear in mind this ward is on the 10th floor) This alarm over the next hour was joined many times by sirens, horns and general traffic. I literally cried myself to sleep wondering what on earth I had let myself in for.

The next few days kinda passed in a haze. Mainly trying to manage my pain medications and levels so I was comfortable enough to breathe, but not being asleep permanently. I experimented with food and was able to eat. I still missed my usual hospital and got fairly narky a few times.

I dont know if its because I am cautious with things due to my transplant, or if its my nurse training or if its just spending so much time in hospital. But I have high expectations of the medical staff looking after me. The nurses here? Nope, they came no where close. The majority of the nurses didnt bother to try and listen to what you were asking. At one point I asked if I could go the shop on the ground floor. The nurse looked at me, said no and walked off. No, sorry about that, or an explantation about why or even an offer to help me get something if I needed it. Just no and she was gone again.

The staff would be doing obs on the ward, and put on a pair of gloves to do them, but wouldnt change them all the way around they bay of 4 patients. I was bored so I read my charts. On them was marked down that I had had my bowels open everyday. How on earth they found that out I dont know as they didnt ask and as I was on morphine, I hadnt had them open. My temperture was marked down on a fair few occasions yet, they must have heat sensors built into their eyes, as no thermometer came near me.

One nurse, asked me if I could swallow my tablets ok (this was after a couple of days) I said yes, she then looked at me and said, no you cant and crushed them all into a powder for me to take. This included a long release one that was no use out of its shell. A sweet fell on the floor on the first day I was there and went under the bed. I forgot about getting, it was finally spotted 3 days later. good cleaning huh.

The nursing skills here leave a lot to be desired. A couple of times I have had dressings changed, only to have them fall off or be to wet within an hour. Glad I had my own dressing box here and so I was able to change it myself. Think they get the idea now that I am pretty much self caring. I will do my own nebs, suction, dressings etc if they just leave me to it.

Its the other patients I feel bad for. The ones who cant do it themselves. The lady opposite, was woken by a shock when a nurse suddenly stuck a needle in her arm without waking her first. About 10 minutes later the nurse informed the whole ward that the old lady had soiled the bed. About 30 minutes after that the ladys tea cam. Had she been cleaned up? nope. Her tea sat there for about 20 mins so it was cold when she got it, and still she wasnt cleaned up.

She was covered in it by this time and was sitting shivering as she was cold. In the end we couldnt watch any longer and my mum went and asked a nurse if she could at least have a clean blanket so she wouldnt be cold. About 10 minutes after that they came to clean her. So she was sitting like that for nearly 3 hours.

urgh it does my head in. If you are going to go into a career like nursing, then you need to pay attention to all the small caring details. Its not hard and it makes such a huge differnce. In fact it can save lives with the whole hygiene thing.

I miss my old team and my clean hospital.

I was at my wits end after a couple of days. This is what I wrote then.

It's hard. Harder than I was expecting
3 weeks in hospital then more surgery. 
Then what if it dosnt work. I can't live like this. 
It comes back to when is medicine too much. 
I spent time building both my plysical and mental health up. But it's not going to be enough to last the duration. 
Need to treat my body kind. Get it through this and on to better things. 

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