My Worst Hospital Experience

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My Worst Hospital Experience

Before I have my little rant that is thankfully not read by many people, I just want to say that I have the highest respect for everyone in the NHS, It takes years to get where they are, and up until what happened this weekend has been exceptional, but this was just not needed.

I am presently in a bloody rough area, my sugar levels are about the only good thing that is going on inside me now, when checked over my time in hospital, it’s been around 4.0, which for a diabetic is pretty good, but as said I am fighting cancer, although ‘Fighting’ may be an overstatement.

The cancer itself has been just a pain really, early on I had lost my hearing due to the mucus in my nose and throat, I know it sounds disgusting but besides the pain, the only other problem at the time was a social problem of trying to clear the mucus which just sounded bad to me.
The main problem for me seems to be mainly the Chemo, I personally can honestly say that I wish what’s left of my hair would fall out, as that would not bother me at all, it’s the sickness that normally hits you about a week after the stuff has been dripped into your veins, it is totally crippling, and it’s the feeling of wanting to be sick, the world is spinning so fast, , on top of this any movement at all just kills you, even trying to breathe sends immense amounts of nausea through every inch of your body, so come Friday night after the last of the daily radiotherapy treatments that I was having, everything seemed to had hit me at the same time.
Up until Friday, I had not had any problems or felt any effects of the Radiotherapy, but on Friday night, once I was relaxing at the apartment in Liverpool, everything seemed to happen at once and within a few hours.
I started to get a very sore throat, so what! We all get them, but within an hour of this happening it had got from sore to what felt like someone had ripped the skin from my throat, at this point there was no way I could even move my head, let alone try to take any tablet, which then had to be crushed and pushed down the PEG tube.
Soon after I got the feeling like my tongue has been shredded by a Stanley knife, my nose had become so painful to touch and feel.
I personally was in a right mess, I was led to believe that the effects of Radiotherapy would kick in normally by the 3rd to 4th week, and at the end of the seven weeks I would not be able to swallow, drink or eat anything at all (unless it fitted through the PEG tube), but after the first week! It was totally unexpected and also we were not ready for it, I have had 2 meetings with the consultants cancelled to talk about medication changes, so we only had basic nausea and pain relief to hand, the anti-nausea meds that I was given after Chemo was only to last three days after the Chemo treatment itself, so these had run out, I have a mouthwash called tellodont, which for me is a whole new level of pain.
One of the effects on me due to the Chemo is the taste of anything that has water in it, a glass of water tastes like you are licking the bottom of a heavily used ash tray, yep it is that disgusting, it has taken up until now to know what I can and cannot drink, for instance, Coke Zero is my main go to drink, Coke has a strong enough flavour to just about cover up the fag ash, only just though, neat water of course is totally off, other drinks such as lemonade, Dr. Pepper, Vimto and Iron Bru are just too watery and although I can just about drink them a sip at a time, they are not at all pleasant. Soft drink wise Oasis and J2O are very passable, squash and cordial are OK, but they are made so strong that not only am I getting a high sugar hit, but I’m sure most people would think the drinks were totally disgusting, a 1.5ltr quadruple strength bottle of blackcurrant squash, which states on the label that it will do 100 servings, well no, it does about 8 for me to take the taste of the water out of it, so we kind of stay away from squash.
So, with this in mind you are given these mouthwash tablets, that not only have to be dissolved in warm water, but also have water as a base medium.
I tried it – Not a good response but, one the taste is ashtray on a whole new level, instant gag, and I never made it to the toilet bowel quick enough even though it was only about 2 feet away, I retched and pebble-dashed the entire bathroom, well at least a good portion of it, I could not stop, with every time that I am sick the pain in my throat just made the situation even worse, took about 30-40 minutes to stop being sick, from just a sip of mouthwash just touching the tongue.
Anyway, where was I, So we have the effects of the Chemo, and the Radiotherapy all kicking in, my poor partner is getting worried, I cannot move, I am basically grunting answers back because my throat is so painful, I am refusing any food or drink, because I am in so much pain and the nausea is totally decapitating.
So, she called Clatterbridge, they told her to call 111, and within an hour a doctor was trying to ask me questions that I cannot remember now at all. He then called for an Ambulance, and I was carted off to the Royal in Liverpool. This is where my Worst Hospital Experience ever started to happen.
I understand that Liverpool is a big place, and as you can imagine the daily influx of Drunks must be outstanding, but I spent all of Sunday left in a corridor and was not seen at all, basically left in a queue, waiting for treatment.
Monday Morning, I was brought through to A&E and was I presume assessed although I do not remember this this, still in pain and asking for pain and nausea meds I was eventually put on a drip and given some morphine so at least the pain was being delt with. I was starting to get very not with it, Basic nausea meds are given every 8 hours, I’m now at a day without them and really feeling the effect, I not ashamed to say I was crying my eyes out and hurting lots, and ‘NOT’ being seen, I kept pressing the buzzer and asking for some anti-nausea meds, eventually they put it out of reach so that I could not get to it, my partner was texting me as she was not allowed in and was worried, I was saying that I cannot get the meds that I needed, well she had then called the A&E department who them basically gave me the finger, and totally ignored me, every now and then someone would walk past me and mumble so that I could here, ‘Oh look, he is testing someone to tell them we are not looking after him’, eventually after many hours of crying out in pain, I was visited by someone who obviously hated being in medicine and also had zero bedside manners for anyone in acute pain, I was told to grow up, stop crying and maybe I will get some nausea meds, and he left, still not meds.
About another two hours passed and I am not alone, there was a poor girl opposite me who had also been crying out with chest pains since I was admitted, and I could see that she was not being seen at all, they just ignored her cries, and these went on all through the day and night, maybe she had got her boyfriend to call up about needing meds!
Eventually and after many hours, I was given an injection, I asked what it was but they did not even talk to me, so could have been anything.
At some point I was moved out of their so called care and placed on a ward and everything changed, The Nurses where not only the best experience that anyone could help for, but they were kind, wanted to talk to you, helpful and very considerate, sadly even though this was good, they were also extremely slow, my meds are ment to be delivered at set times, I am a diabetic, I have cancer, and I have already missed every med for the past 2 days, I eventually did get nausea meds, but instead of every eight hours they came 2 hours late and I am feeling the effects, that said I was feeling a lot better, bare in mind I had not eaten or drank anything since Friday and it was now Monday and I feel like a mess, They will not let you out of the ward to get a drink, and only brought round water, which was far from helpful, hospital food I am sure was good, but it was stuff that I cannot eat, not being fussy, but being practical, a lot of food I cannot handle at all, and I ended up basically just eating 2 small pots of ice cream and then the next day and the day I eventually had to just escape, I had another 2 small pots of ice cream. I had to ask a porter if he could go and find me a couple of cans of either Coke or Oasis, and thankfully he was great, even though it still took longer than I wished, I eventually had 2 bottles of Oasis Lite which I so desperately needed but were also the most painful drinks I have ever tasted.
With the Meds being given to me via the IV in the arm, I was certainly feeling a lot better, but they were always a couple of hours late and meaning that instead of say every 8 hours, it was more like every 10-11 hours, Because of no food or water all Diabetic meds had been stopped, my sugar level went as low as 4, good for a diabetic, but not good when your intake has been basically zero.
I was visited by a few very nice doctors, who were happy to talk and seemed happy for me to get out of the hospital, so I am now ready to leave, and it’s Tuesday morning, I had to pass a few tests and have a small meeting regarding Clatterbridge Cancer Care Centre and Diet, etc, a meeting has now been booked for Wednesday to hopefully sort out the meds and then restart my treatment, not looking forward to this but if Nausea and Pain meds are finally sorted out, I should hopefully be able to cope a lot better.
Now it’s getting late, and if I was not so hungry I would have stayed another night as that is what it seemed they wanted, but not eaten since Friday, it’s now Tuesday and I have only had 4 very small pots of ice cream and two bottles of Oasis, and I even managed to butcher a poor lady to buy me a Coke, I was told that I was waiting for the pharmacy to get some stuff from but I’m sorry, it was looking more like they would turn round and say something like ‘Sorry, but they will not be ready until tomorrow’, well with Canula still fitted and still attached to the drip, I disconnected, got dressed, and basically just walked out making my apologies along the way, I could see that they understood, but I was basically so bloody hungry that I was left with no choice. I made a dash for the exit, expecting security to stop me, but thankfully I was in a cab and making my way back to the apartment.
Canular Removed in the Kitchen.
Canular Removed in the Kitchen.
So last job before food is to remove the Canular and make sure that even if I die through this treatment, I never get taken to hospital over here, I never am going through this again, Big talk today with Clatterbridge and Meds have to be sorted out before I restart treatment, I need this to work, I also need to be able to get through treatments without being unable to attend, I have now missed 3 lots of radiotherapy, So Clatterbridge, sort this out and let me know what’s happening.

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