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It is a little bit out of date as the NHS doesn't tend to have a WiFi connection in hospital and I can only post when I get home and posts take a while to write.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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Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Thinking outside the box

Thank goodness for managers and people who can think outside the box. I'll elaborate more in a second.

On Saturday I had my colonoscopy pre assessment appointment. This was basically a tick box exercise which I found very unsatisfactory. The lack of understanding about breastfeeding amongst healthcare professionals never ceases to amaze me. 

The nurse who completed my assessment was very dismissive of my need to breastfeed Hope before & after the procedure and TOLD me that anaesthetics and breastfeeding don't mix, you have to express or give formula. When I told her that wasn't really an option as Hope resists the bottle I was told that I'd probably have to wait until I'd finished breastfeeding as you CAN'T feed for 48 hours after a general anaesthetic. 

I questioned this as I know people have babies under general anaesthetic and feed pretty much straight away and was told that doesn't happen!! 

The appointment was left that she would speak with an anaesthetist and call me on Monday.

Monday came and went & no phone call. Today I was gearing myself up to call, when my phone rang. 

It was the endoscopy department. After confirming who I was she launched straight into her rant.

'We need to know whether you are having your colonoscopy on 17th as we have been told you refuse to stop breastfeeding'

Wow, talk about confrontational. I stopped her at this point. 

I am not refusing to stop breastfeeding, I was waiting for a phone call to confirm whether a suitable anaesthetic was available for me as a breastfeeding mother. 

She told me...I am not a clinician, but no anaesthetic is suitable for breastfeeding you have to express for 48 hours or give formula. 

Again I said that I thought this was not correct and would like to see what an anaesthetist said.

She reluctantly agreed and I prepared to vent my spleen on here about how breastfeeding unfriendly my local hospital was, when the phone rang.

It was the manager of the pre assessment unit, she was not interested in ticking boxes, but interested in working with me to find a solution. 

I explained what I saw happening, so that we could make this work. It's simple really.

Tony & Hope come with me, I feed before I go under, Tony & Hope wander around the hospital, I come round and pump, dump, then feed. 

Fine, she said no problem. 

In reality, I have to be at the hospital for 7:30 so, we will all go to the hospital and drop me off, Tony will bring all three children back and drop them at respective childcarers, then come back, see where I am and follow the plan.

All I can say is thank heavens for managers who have common sense and can think outside the very narrow boxes the NHS seems to use.