The days at the hospital passed by. My body was bruised and all my muscles were hurting after the great strain my body got in the crash. It caused me to be in intense pain and I was on high doses of morphine and other strong painkillers.
Because of the bruises and pain I struggled to move and therefore I was completely dependent on help from the nurses – especially at nights. I was only able to lay on my back. To get some variation in my sleeping position I had to call the nurses several times at night to get help to higher or lower the bed. Most of the time this all went ok – the nurses were nice and polite and did all they could to help me.
One day I got a tip from my physiotherapist to ask for an extra duvet to keep under my feet so I would get some variation in my sleeping position. The following night when the nurse were there to help me with my bed I asked if she could help me to get an extra duvet. At first she sighed and groaned because she had to help me again that night with the bed….. Her answer and subsequent behaviour shocked me. I got a brusque answer that this was no hotel so she could not go off anywhere and find a duvet…. I thought “Is this possible!?” We’re in a hospital with beds everywhere! I was too shy and too afraid to talk back to her. In the end she managed to find a duvet, but she just threw it at my bed. I thought what’s wrong with her!? This is her job! If she doesn’t like it she should quit because as patients we are dependent on her help.
I was not the only one getting treated badly by her. Others in the room had the same experience. Therefore we brought it up with the Head Nurse at the ward and the nurse was told to stay away from our room. I (we) never saw her again…
Not a lot of days passed by before the complications started and when they did they came continuously…bleedings from the uterus, problems with my bladder and urinary tract, severe pneumonia, severe infection in my body, infection inside my tummy around the surgery wound/coils etc. Every day I had to talk with to new nurses and doctors. I was continually sent for new x-rays, CT-Scans, and examinations by gynaecologist, urologists and etc at the policlinics. I asked and asked to get some answers about what was wrong with me, but no one answered.
The only thing I was told was that they were struggling to get control over the high CPR I had (it was at around 330 – normal is around zero) – an infection in my body – which they thought was caused by the pneumonia
Every day porters who brought me to the different policlinics, x-rays and CT-scans, picked me up. Several times the nurses forgot to order a porter to pick me up or they forgot the time for appointments at the policlinics or x-rays. The consequence was me arriving late to appointments and the nurses got a hard time from the staff at the policlinic/ X-ray. Which again caused the nurses to take it out on me. They blamed me who was sick for their own mistakes about forgetting time and coming too late to appointments or for forgetting to book a porter. I suddenly started to feel like a burden to most of the staff at the ward. They were not used to having to relate to a “long term patient”. Most of the patients at the ward were out after a day or two. Suddenly they had a “long term patient” with lots of complications and just caused them a lot of extra work….
It ended with them sending me over again to a urologist – something I thought had to do with the problems I had with my bladder and urination. When I got to see him he started fiddling with an ultrasound device up by my spleen. Which I just couldn’t see and understand could have any connection with my problems with bladder and urination. It turned out I had an infection and fluid retention around my surgery wound around my spleen and that this was highly the cause of the high CPR they didn’t manage to get under control. He then told me he was going to extract away this fluid. Which meant a small but very painful surgery. I became completely put out and hysterical cause this was completely unknown for me. I just thought he was going to check my bladder – not do a painfully medical intervention! He was also surprised that I had no idea and was not prepared to this. Since I was not prepared for it he decided to postpone the medical intervention till the next day so both him and me could have a talk to my doctor – cause according to him I was supposed to be prepared for this!
The incident with the urologist made it all completely peak for me. I had had enough of being ignored and treated as a punching ball between different doctors and nurses who couldn’t communicate together and not at least with me. I became angry, pissed off, sad, frustrated….because even if I was a “long term patient” with more complications then other patients at the ward I was entitled to be seen and treated with respect. In addition they were supposed to give me trust in them.
I remember thinking – do we as patients’ just disappear in diagnosis, equipments, and investigations the continuous amount of new doctors and nurses we need to relate to. Equipments and factual knowledge is redundant. A patient is far more than 60 kilos of symptoms and illness….they are human beings with fears, pain and anxiety of the unknown…who needs to be seen, heard and respected….who needs compassion. It’s the doctors and nurses jobs to make sure of this. One is supposed to feel safe, have trust to the ones who take care of us and to know that we are taken care of and seen. They are supposed to there for us the patients and not vice versa….. My doctors and nurses forgot to see me and listen to my questions and me. I was ignored and had lost all trust in them.
When I was back at the ward I said ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!!! Listen to me! Tell me what´s wrong and why I´m being send all over from one policlinic to the other, continuously new x-rays and CT-scans without any explanation to why, why I don´t get prepared for painfully medical intervention and etc. I demanded that the doctor sat down with me to explain and tell me what was wrong with me and explain why they as doctors couldn´t communicate together.
Finally the doctor heard me, sat down with me, spend time with me, made drawings and explained all that was wrong with me, why I was send all over the place, what had to be done etc. About the medical intervention it was to get control over my high CPR and the infection, which the antibiotics wouldn’t cure.
Finally when I put the foot down the doctor both SAW and HEARD me.
So doctors can when they want to….have to…it only took him about 10-15 minutes…. It’s unbelievable that you have to get pissed off and angry to be seen….to get some respect…to make trust between me, the doctors and the others who were treating me.
If I hadn’t been as as I was to say stop I would have ended up with no explanation and with a painful medical intervention which it turned unnecessary. The next day my CPR finally went down and I didn´t have to do the painful intervention.
I´m not saying it´s easy to be either a doctor or a nurse in today’s society with all the demands there is to effectiveness and overflowing wards. They often have an insane work pressure and with the efficiency demands that are put on them it might sometimes…or often…be hard to find the right time and compassion by seeing and listening to the patient – but it´s still their job.
As I said they’re supposed to be there for the patients and not vice versa. To see and listen is a part of their job.
I know there are lots of good doctors and nurses out there with both a big heart and compassion and who manage to find the time to both see and listen to their patients, but unfortunately that was not the case and my experience in my first meeting with the healthcare system…and in the subsequent meetings my experiences with the healthcare system have not been the best….
They say you have to be healthy to be sick….the expression must come from somewhere….