About this Blog

This blog started as an online diary and place for me to rant about annoyances in my family.

However since July it has become a place for me to catalogue and express my views and opinions on the treatment I have recieved following the diagnosis of a potentially cancerous tumor in my bowel.

On 3rd August 2011 I was told that it was cancerous. In April 2012 I was given the all clear.

October 15th 2013 I was diagnosed with peritoneal disease and liver metastases. The cancer was back and this time it is inoperable.

It is a little bit out of date as the NHS doesn't tend to have a WiFi connection in hospital and I can only post when I get home and posts take a while to write.

It is NOT about individuals or the nursing profession. It is about some of the inadequacies in the system and the way the NHS is failing some people.

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Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Ignorance can be Lethal

Here at Knitting Novice Headquarters we have spent almost the last 4 weeks dealing with a common childhood illness that can be fatal to some.

We had the dreaded chicken pox. 

I was lucky. Isaac had so few spots I wasn't sure it was chicken pox and got Tony to take him to the GP to confirm. He didn't complain of being itchy, he hadn't been ill beforehand, he wasn't ill with it. Exactly two weeks after Isaac came out in spots, Imogen did the same. She had (I suppose she still has) a lot more spots than Isaac, far more on her face and in her hair. This made brushing her hair which she hates at the best of times a trial (& I gave up, I will master brushing her hair, but that is a battle for another day). When asked though she wasn't itchy either, she wasn't ill beforehand and wasn't ill with it either. 

So all we did was stayed at home - for 6 days with Isaac & 5 for Imogen. I did have to take Imogen to Horsham for the day as our next door neighbours have the builders in & she couldn't hear Peppa Pig due to the Jackhammering (?)

I was shocked though by the attitudes of some people who didn't understand why we stayed in for so long. I had various comments:

'Everyone has to get chicken pox, it doesn't hurt to take them out'
'They have to touch him/her to get it'
'Chicken Pox isn't dangerous'

Well, actually all of these are false.

Here is the NHS Choices page on chicken pox.

The reason I am so cross about this misinformation is that this time last year if I had come into contact with someone with chicken pox (which I very nearly did) I could have ended up back in hospital. One of the most serious complications with chicken pox in people with suppressed immunity is meningitis. Yep, if I had been exposed to chicken pox while undergoing chemo I could have developed meningitis. I know it is probably a very low risk, but really would you want to take that risk? 

So, you can tell if someone is pregnant and you know that chicken pox is dangerous to pregnant women. But you can't tell if someone is having chemo or has a weakened immune system for any other reason.

So I urge you, if your child has chicken pox, please keep them isolated until they are all scabbed or crusted over. You can't tell if the person in front of you in the queue at Sainsburys or Costa is having chemo and has a weakened immune system. But your failure to follow the HPA guidelines on keeping your child isolated for 5 days could result in someone's mum or dad or child being admitted to hospital with something much more serious because 'chicken pox is a common childhood illness'

Thank You