Tag Archives: Hospital

hospitalbed
Nov. 05.

Waffle Wednesday: A Frustrating Hospital Update

ww-bedthAnyone who has been following me on Facebook or Twitter, or who has been reading Robyn Rants and Raves for a while knows about my adventures in healthcare, and mid to late October saw another chapter written in the ongoing saga. Unfortunately it has not been a good chapter.

If you didn’t already know, I spent 5 weeks in hospital late last year, after discovering a problem with my kidneys and bladder (we’re rapidly approaching the 1 year anniversary). The bladder has been sorted, and in March we discovered the cause of the kidney problem – a polyp causing an obstruction. It was minor, and they were willing to wait and take a look at it again in July.

July turned in to October after 4 cancellations, but in mid October they finally got me back in to look at things again, and it had gotten worse. It is now a more serious problem, as it is completely obstructing the kidney.

The doctors suddenly decided that things must be done. Within an hour of getting home from the hospital that day I had a phone call giving me a date just on the opposite side of the weekend to bring me back in. That didn’t happen, but it did happen that week, on the Friday, for urgent intervention with the aim of protecting the kidney. Even that didn’t go perfectly. They were able to complete one part, but not the other. Cue a weekend of sitting in a room doing nothing. A LONG long weekend of doing nothing over the bank holiday. On the Tuesday they decided that yes they wanted to try again, and did try the next day. And again it didn’t work out. So they sent me home, with the aim of trying again next week.

So, the current plan is to being me back in on Tuesday, with the aim of trying yet again on Wednesday. After that, I have no idea what will happen.

This is where things get frustrating. It is rapidly approaching a year since this all began. A year where I have had to put things on hold. A year of not being able to plan ahead, not knowing when the hospital would want me again.

Then there is the lack of communication. I have been taking quite an interest in my treatment. I find it helps to have some idea of what has been done, and what still needs to be done. The medical team this time around seem a little unwilling to actually discuss things, and in the most recent stay, I didn’t speak to my consultant, even to have him say hello.

And of course there is the feeling of going backwards. These interventions have been done before, deemed to no longer be needed, and taken out. Now we are putting them back in. This doesn’t seem any closer to a resolution.

To know we are getting closer to the job finally being done, to being able to get my life back on track is all I want. Physically I am better than I was this time last year. I can put up with the poking and prodding and sticking things in me to try and do something. Mentally, however, I am suffering. It is not easy being unwell. If you haven’t experienced it, I hope you never do. If you have, this probably makes too much sense.

My GP today said something to help, a little bit of good news to remember. At least the polyp is benign.

That’s it. Stay optimistic. Keep the chin up. I’ll get through it eventually.

Robyn

P.S. This is also the reason for my sporadic posting in the past couple of weeks. Trying to juggle getting things ready for the hospital, being in there and blogging is difficult. I’ll try to do what I can though.

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macaroni-cheese
Nov. 01.

Something Else Saturday: Revenge of The Hospital Food

ses-hospitalfood-thPlease excuse my absence for the past while. I do have a good excuse though. It involves me and hospital stays, and that leads me on to the horror that is this Something Else Saturday post. Those of you with weak stomachs are advised to stop here. If you think you can manage it though, please do continue.

One of the hassles with staying in the hospital is that they have to feed you. You are given a choice of a couple of different things, but in all honesty, there is very little difference between them. From experience (I’ve written about this kind of thing before) I have a good idea of what can actually be eaten, but it is often a case of eating something because I am hungry, but very rarely is there any form of enjoyment in it. In case you don’t believe me, do have a look at the following:

Cheese Salad

Picture 1 of 10

Cheese Salad, with half a boiled egg, a quarter of a tomato, some raisin celery & apple, and a bit of raw potato salad

There is very little to be happy with in those images. Nothing seems to be balanced, nothing tastes in any way brilliant, and after sharing these images on Facebook and Twitter, it left many people scared for my health and the health of all those in the system. Unfortunately I still have more hospital stays to go, so I am using these couple of weeks to stock up on meals that are actually tasty, before having to brave this again.

Robyn

Note: No members of catering staff were harmed in the making of this post, but I did often think of beating them with pieces of dry overcooked chicken.

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hospitalbed
Sep. 24.

Waffle Wednesday: Yet Another Hospital Rant

ww-hospitalthWell, it’s time for another one of those posts where I talk about hospitals (I’m making a habit of it). As you may know I was in hospital for 5 weeks before Christmas, than again for a couple of days at the end of March, and since then I have been waiting. Well I am going to rant a little about still waiting.

I was told at the start of April that I have an issue affecting one of my kidneys. It’s minor, and they wanted to look at it again before deciding what to do about it. So they gave me an appointment to repeat some tests in July. July came and went. All I got was a letter to say it had been rescheduled until the start of September. I later found out that it was because my consultant had been called away for a time. It happens. I wasn’t entirely happy but I persevered.

The start of September came. I got a phone call going through the standard 101 questions that would be asked time and time again, was told that it was going ahead and all was good. Then I got another phone call saying that the theatre wasn’t available for when I was scheduled and it was postponed again. I couldn’t really give out to the admissions secretary, as it was not her fault, but I was quite annoyed. I think that is understandable for me to be unhappy. Having it cancelled once is unfortunate. Having it cancelled twice is a pain.

Well, let’s figure out what is about to be said. It’s the 24th, and I’m writing this about an appointment for the 22nd. You can guess that it was cancelled yet again. This is just getting ridiculous. Again after being told it was all good and it was going ahead, I got a phone call. About 12 hours before I was due in the hospital I got a call from the on call registrar calling it off. He told me that he would have called me sooner but there was difficulty finding my contact details, and that because of a number of cases arriving in over the weekend mine was cancelled.

The trouble I have isn’t solely with it being cancelled again. It’s with what it is doing to my head. I am sick of waiting for this. I am sick of getting myself ready, being told that it is going ahead, only to have it called off. I am sick of what feels like being fobbed off with excuses.

Is it too much to ask for to actually get things done? To know that there is further work required or that it is something that can be left as is? I want to be able to get myself sorted out, back doing something, and not just waiting around waiting to do something.

All I know at the moment is that the appointment has been rescheduled for early October, yet still another 2 weeks away. Again I have been told that it is not going to be cancelled, but bitter experience has taught me that until I’m actually there, that being told it’s not going to be cancelled means nothing.

Robyn

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hospital-blog
Aug. 06.

Waffle Wednesday: A Little Hospital Update

ww-hospitalthIt’s been a while since I’ve talked about the hospital, and really there hasn’t been anything to say. But, for those of you who have been following my hospital journey, let’s bring you up to date with how things are.

So, last time I was in hospital was at the end of March for a couple of days for tests, and they found a polyp in between one of my kidneys and my bladder. A CT scan confirmed that it is causing some kind of obstruction, but to not worry about it, and they would schedule a repeat of the tests. That appointment date came through very quickly (within a week, so fair play to the hospital for doing that) and the appointment was for the end of July. Alas that couldn’t be helped, and so I waited.

Unfortunately, as you can guess from my writing this, that appointment never happened. I received word that my appointment was postponed, and that they would be in touch to reschedule. Shit happens, we just have to get over it and keep going. It was pushed back to the start of September though, which will be about 10 months from it all starting, and again it is only tests to decide what way to proceed.

I know I can’t complain too much. The hospital, when I have been in their care, have for the most part been superb. There was the little issue last time with the pyjama run, but that is a minor thing. As you know though, I really REALLY hate waiting. Yet wait is what I must do. All I can do between now and the start of September is hope that it doesn’t get postponed again, and that it, as a day case, is routine, as, to be very honest, I don’t want to see a plate of food like this, ever, ever again…

Rice

Robyn

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hospital-blog
Apr. 02.

Waffle Wednesday: The Pyjama Run

ww-hospitalthGreetings from the friendly and cosy surroundings of St. Vincent’s Hospital, where I am currently incarcerated for the crime of having a rare polyp. My sentence is indefinite. I could be sitting here until Friday. I could be sent home to sit there for weeks. Or, I could be doing the pyjama run.

What, I hear you screeching at the screen, is the pyjama run. In simple terms, as it was put by my registrar, it involves me going home for a couple of days, coming back in on the day of my scan, in my pyjamas, and acting like I never left. (Side note: I perfected that look of abject boredom that’s needed during my last stay. 10 days straight of nothing. No tests, just seeing nurses twice a day to make sure I was still here).

Yes, they might send me home for a couple of days, and bring me back when needed, for a CT scan. A posh X-Ray. I’m sat in one of the (supposedly) best hospitals in the country, with 70+ consultants, numerous lower doctors and countless nursing and support staff (who do a spectacular job, which I love them for) yet we can’t get a CT scan within a day, or even 2 days, for an inpatient. It’s taking most of a week, if not longer (Friday is provisional).

Why is it that we have 70+ consultants here, on €100,000+ a year, each, yet we are so crippled that we have to play scheduling roulette and swap the paperwork just to get routine scans done? Why is it that if I get discharged, an outpatient appointment for the same scan is possibly 3 months away? I came to hospital to get better, yet by the time they have this sorted (and this itself may require a further wait, referral, wait and treatment at another hospital) I’ll be needing treatment for a whole raft of stress related problems. I just want to be able to get treated and get on with my life. Is that too much to ask of our healthcare system?

Now, I can’t fault the medical staff here. They are doing what they can to get things done. The trouble is the whole system needs fixing. The HSE need to realise that there are 2 ways to save money, one of which, by cutting staff, they have exhausted. It’s time to look at making the whole process more efficient. If another scanner will allow them to see more patients, more efficiently, reducing wait times and cutting down on illness benefit payments, surely they can balance it over the life of the scanner.

Until our health service overseers wake up and smell the shit that has to be dealt with on the frontlines, I, and many others, willl be stuck on the pyjama run.

Robyn

Note: I am not an expert. I am writing feelings in this post.

Note 2: If I am making the pyjama run on Friday, I’ll be sure to wear my good pyjamas. And a dressing gown. It’s cold in the mornings.

Update: Between last night and this morning it has been decided that I am on the pyjama run. Which means a bit of fun and games, but I’m not sitting about for a couple of days.

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hospitalbed
Mar. 26.

Waffle Wednesday: Waiting for a Bed

ww-bedthI HATE waiting. Despise it. Yet it is something we all do so often. We wait for buses, trains, for the kettle to boil, or for that phone call, to say a bed is available for you. I do think that is one of the hardest things to wait for though.

A little background first. Last November I was admitted to hospital with an infection, which we found out to be caused by blockages in my kidneys and bladder. 5 weeks, and several procedures later, I was released in time for Christmas, with the thoughts of going back in after 6 weeks to have a stent taken out of one of my kidneys and a couple of tests to check that the blockage had been cleared. Fair enough. I got a few weeks out of Hospital over Christmas, and could relax before going back in to finish the job.

A few weeks later, I got the phone call to say it’ll be a couple of days, but we will call and confirm. They did call, but it was to cancel. Then we tried again. Another phone call, this time to say we’ll call Friday about admission on a Monday. The call on Friday was to ask me to call and check on Monday morning, for an admission that day. Monday came and went, with no bed. And so, I waited, and waited, and… Waited some more. Eventually, I called them, just to remind them that I was here. Finally, this week, I got another phone call. Again, we’ll confirm on Friday for admission on Monday. Again, there’s a weekend in there too, where who knows what will happen. It all sounds a bit Groundhog Day. Just without the Groundhog, really.

It’s not even that I’m impatient. I can be very patient when I need to be. What is getting to me is not being able to plan anything. Not being able to look for work. Missing an event or a night out with friends happens, ans I’m lucky to have such understanding friends. It’s impossible to go to a potential employer though, and say “Hire me! But by the way, I’ll be going into hospital at some point. I don’t know when and I don’t know for how long. But hire me anyway!” I’d just love to be able to get this all sorted, and get on with life, but until I finally get that phone call, I’ll be here, waiting for a bed…

Have you got any good or bad experiences like this? Are you not a big fan of waiting either? Let me know in a comment!

Robyn

Note: This is not a rant about the health service. I am very grateful to the excellent healthcare professionals who took care of me, and who work in the health service. It is not an easy job, and we should all be thankful to those who can do it. It’s simply a way for me to vent.

 

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hospital_room_th
Jan. 02.

Food, (Not So) Glorious Food

hospital_room_thHello all! I ended up watching The Terminal last night and had flashbacks to being stuck in hospital for 5 weeks in the run up to Christmas (I only went to the GP for a little while, and ended up stuck in Vincent’s. I could go anywhere in the building, but the outside world was closed)

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