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It is a little bit out of date as the NHS doesn't tend to have a WiFi connection in hospital and I can only post when I get home and posts take a while to write.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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Friday, 27 December 2013

Hospital patients

I've been spending a lot of time in hospital lately, and have been using my keen powers of observation to notice that the same patterns occur amongst patients!! Whether in Somerset or Sussex, surgical admissions or a proper ward, there are some characters that get everywhere. 

I thought I would share this with you. It is intended to be lighthearted and tounge in cheek and not designed to offend at all.

1. The queen bee (remember there are no mixed sex wards so I can only comment on women's things!!)
She has normally been on the ward for a few days and has an opinion on everything. I mean everything; the nursing staff, the clinical staff, the food, the support staff. Given half a chance she'll even have an opinion on your medical condition and care. She spends a large amount of time talking about her numerous and varied medical history dating back to her giving birth in 1901 when you stayed in hospital for a month etc! You really need to tune her out.

2. The rule breaker (May very well be the above, but not always)
Visiting hours are 2 - 8, but her visitors rock up at 11am, always with some sob story. Throughout the course of the day more and more are added until you wonder whether you have crashed a family party. The most I have seen is a total of 15 people coming and going. They are generally loud and will spend a large amount of time talking to other family members on mobile phones. Yes, visitors are lovely, but spare a thought for us who do not have that many people to tag team, or who simply want to spend the morning sleeping and processing what the consultant has told you.

3. The long termer
This patient has been admitted several times to the same ward, or is generally elderly and is awaiting additional support from the community to enable them to go home. They have a lovely relationship with the staff and are always treated with absolute respect & dignity. I always feel a little bit sorry for them as I am sure they would recover better at home, but resources are so limited they have to remain in hospital.

4. The emergency admission.
Again this is normally an elderly patient who has maybe had a fall or been taken ill at home or in their care home and been brought in by ambulance. They spend a lot of time moaning as they have nothing. They don't have their glasses and home comforts. Even a pair of slippers or nightie that is familiar. Their possessions that they came in with are normally bagged up in a patient bag and staff spend time phoning friends or relatives to try and get them some home comforts. 

5. The mystery admission
A person who has a range of symptoms that mean they could have anything and are under a completely different team to the rest of the ward. So when rounds are done, their consultant is either really early or really late. This is normally me - I have been on gynaecology wards, urology wards and sometimes the correct surgical ward!!

6. The Phoenix
When you arrive on the ward this person looks like they are at deaths door. They have probably had major surgery and are recovering well. 2/3 days later the transformation is incredible. They really are a testament to the amazing power of the NHS and it's caring staff.

Then there is the postnatal ward. There are generally three types of mums on these wards. Again this is lighthearted and no offence is intended!!

1. The first time mums.
Nervously gazing at their new additions in awe. Terrified of doing the wrong thing. Sleep deprived as they don't dare sleep in case their precious bundle of joy wakes up. I am so jealous I will never experience that again.

2. The second time mums
Slightly jaded, having been through it all once before. But terrified of having forgotten it all and very nervous about introducing their elder child to their new sibling, especially if the eldest is still a baby themselves (under school age)

3. Third time plus mums
Taking advantage of being able to get a rest from the running of the household and delegating to Dad for a change. When Dad does make it in the children are wearing last years summer clothes despite the fact it is October, there is evidence of a healthy diet of sweets, fruit shoots and fast food and the only thing you asked him too bring for you was clearly forgotten!!

Obviously there are the mums who don't have their babies with them as they are in NICU or SCBU. My heart goes out to these mums, it must be awful for you to have to sit there without your baby, I hope that in the future the NHS can have a private space for you where you are not faced with the heartache.

There you go, a lighthearted guide to the patients in the NHS. If you are ever in hospital, have a listen and a look. I bet you'll see them all. If there are any you think I have missed please leave me a comment and let me know.