Yesterday morning OG called me at 0530 begging me to go and fetch him. He had had a horrendous night for various reasons that I won’t go into now and was in a great deal of pain. This left me heartbroken. I wanted to mount a rescue mission because that is what I do, but knew that now that he was “in the system” he needed to stay there until they gave us some answers.
I made myself a cup of coffee and tried to calm down. At 0630 I rang him back. He was still in a state of great distress.
I had a slow shower and another cup of coffee to give myself thinking time then I rang the hospital. The Ward Sister said that she was unaware of his agitation but had known he was awake most of the night. She said that she had taken blood for analysis because they didn’t have access to the tests that had been done by the GP. I said I had a copy and she said I could spend the day with OG to help calm him down and asked me to bring the test results with me.
I arrived just in time to catch the on duty consultant and his team making their first assessment. “Luckily” it happened to be the gastroenterologist and I thought, “Whew, at last he gets to see him”. “Unluckily” we found out later that he thought OG had been admitted because he had back pain!
When they got the results of the latest blood test OG’s liver stats had deteriorated yet again. The bilirubin was now 59. It might have been at this point that they finally put two and two together and realised that he had been admitted for something a bit more serious than a “back pain”.
During the morning OG’s nurse said
“Have you seen the doctor”
“Well you can go now”
“No, I have the permission from the Ward Sister to stay because my husband is agitated”
“We will deal with his agitation”
“But he would be happier if I stayed”
“And I would be happier if you left”
“Are you telling me to go”
“No, I think I’ll stay thank you”
Unfortunately, that set the tone for the day. But, in my defence, I did observe that she was completely impartial in her belligerent behaviour. It wasn’t just aimed at me; she was like it with everyone.
Because of the situation OG is having difficulty levelling off his blood sugar and it was agreed that he would self-administer insulin as necessary. He is a “grown up” and manages himself quite well. She then locked away his insulin preventing him from doing this. It created all sorts of difficulties. The doctor had put OG on a steroid drip warning that his blood sugar would tend to go up. It did – to 23.5. Well this old bat wouldn’t let him take any insulin, so he told the doctor and we heard her arguing with him too! It simply was not hospital policy to allow ad hoc unregistered and unauthorised insulin injections, so there! The doctor won, but this made her madder than hell. A very precarious position for a vulnerable patient to be in.
Today he is going to another hospital for tests and he has arranged for me to travel with him. Because of his immobility they wonder if there is pressure on the spine and are going to scan it, but maybe the sleepy system has finally woken up and the long awaited liver tests will be done too. Who knows.
Strangely enough I DO have faith in the NHS and there are some amazingly talented people working in it. It's such a pity that the mis-administration of everything causes problems.
Bob Hope - "A bank is a place that will lend you money if you can prove that you don't need it."
9 hours ago