Yeah, I know I am a bit late, but hey, better late than never!!!
Today I have finally got some 'closure' on the fiasco that was my pain relief after my surgery in July.
I can't believe it has taken this long to sort out, but appears that despite me having been to East Surrey Hospital to have Imogen (she'll be 2 next month), twice for the abdominal pains in the summer & twice in November for the 'blockage' and telling them my phone number on each occassion they still had it incorrect. They finally thought to use my mobile number so I managed to give them the correct number & arrange an appointment with the head anaethitist and the senior pain nurse.
To summarise what happened after surgery, and to save you having to trawl the pages of this blog to find it.
- My epidural was turned off and then not turned back on for about 6 hours despite repeated requests for it to be turned on
- When my PCA (patient controlled analgesia) ran out during the night. I was told that I couldn't have anymore and I would need to have paracetamol.
- Why was the epidural turned off? It turns out that epidurals move up the body and if they get too high, they can cause problems with breathing. My epidural had moved too high and so it had to be turned off. However this was not explained at the time and once it was turned off and the nurse walked away the call button was not left in my reach so I was unable to attract the nurses attention.
- Why did it take so long for my epidural to be turned back on? The combination of pain relief that I had, eg PCA and epidural, is not common and so there is a high probability that the staff did not realise how much pain I was in. Also 'out of hours' there are only three anaethetists on duty - 1 for emergencies, 1 on the labour ward & 1 for theatre. If the theatrical anaethetist was busy then it would have taken time for them to come to me. I can accept this. But once they had started to contact them why did no one communicate to me that they were trying to contact them, rather than leaving me waiting and wondering.
- Why was I not given more morphine when I needed it? I was 'written up' for more morphine so the only explanation given was that the junior doctor who was on duty was worried about giving me too many 'opiates'
One of the things I have learnt over the last 6 months is that there are stars in the health service but there are also things that can be improved. A one size fits all approach does not always fit. I always feel like an anomally. I always feel too young when I am on any ward and sometimes feel rushed or ignored by the doctors or nurses.