Saturday 3 February 2018

Follow on from my last post... (Third A&E admission of the year)

The problems with A&E...

Unfortunately my experience wasn't the first time I'd received poor "care" in A&E and unfortunately and ever increasingly my "care" is getting worse. Usually the paramedic crews treat my seizures and other needs well but in A&E my "care" goes downhill.

Often you are waiting hours for pain relief and other medications and once the Dr has come the nurses then take a while to then bring the prescribed medication to you.

Call bells are often either ignored completely or take an age to be responded to. I use the call bell to communicate with the staff for things such as to let them know my pain is worsening, that my symptoms are changing, or to let them know that I'm going to have a seizure or that I urgently need the toilet.

Often the staff are to busy to take the time to assist me with walking to the toilet so they just bring a bed pan or the commode. Occasionally the commode is brought in but then staff leave making the assumption that I can get on t myself so I'm left stranded on the bed.

I live with chronic pain; sometime very high levels of pain, but I've learnt that shouting/screaming/crying does nothing to ease the pain, so often when I'm in A&E in high levels of pain I just sit there breathing through it distracting myself with some music or and audiobook. Just because I don't present like I'm in pain does't mean I'm not in pain.

A big issue I've found and a nurse once agreed with me on this is that when an older person comes into the department it is expected that they will come in with a number of needs/complexities. But when a young person like myself gets admitted those needs aren't assumed. For example being a falls risk, or a pressure sore risk or needing assistance with personal care and moving and handling.

I have in the past been left hours in wet through clothes due to incontinence waiting for someone to help get me cleaned up and into dry clothes.

There is also a distinct lack of observation in A&E. Each time I'm there not once does a member of staff 'pop in' just to check on you.

Another big issue aside thank lack of understanding of complexities is meeting the needs of those complexities. For example myself coming into A&E 'seizures' is written on the board but what isn't seen is how with my hypermobility is that I will have dislocated at least one joint as a result and be in pain from that but also how my pain levels from the seizure are exerted but my neurological disorder as my brain is unable to accurately understand pain levels so it just on fun on pain mode.

I've also found a lack of understanding of my illnesses, which is fair; it's an A&E department in a non-specialising hospital (meaning that they have very few department that deal with specialised things - they don't even care for stroke patients). But its the lack of willingness from the A&E staff to listen to me when I try to explain my illnesses to the to help them get a better grasp of what I am experiencing and therefore understand better how to treat me and come up with the best plan of action. Sure they're pressed for time, but surely when they're with a patient they should be willing to give that paitent their time and with patients like myself we know our bodies better than that do - we're not demanding that you do what we say and we're not drug addicts when we suggest IV meds or particular medications, we're just trying to help you to help us.