Tuesday 19 April 2022

I'm back! - Plus my recent hospital admission

Apologies for not posting for a few weeks, I had rather a lot going on with a combination of not being too well and preparing for my hospital admission.

Last week I had surgery at UCLH in London (my specialists are all down there). Compared to my local hospital the care I got on hospital was amazing. I'd been in contact with Sarah the special needs co-ordinator to ensure that my needs where met whilst I was in hospital such as ensuring I had a side room but also just to ease my anxiety. I was also given a bed the day before my surgery as I lived so far away from the hospital to save me travelling in the night and going more-or-less straight to theatre.

My hospital admission didn't get off to a good start. The night before my admission I called patient transport to get a pick up time for the following morning and was told that my assigned crew had tested positive for covid. Both myself and Dad kept calling for updates but eventually we where just told that I would't be getting transport. This was so hard to hear as long distance travelling takes a huge toll on my body and I require someone sat with me in the back of the ambulance in case I become unwell and I also need to travel on a stretcher. Thankfully Dad's a teacher and was off for the holidays and he didn't want me to miss my surgery or waste NHS money especially as my surgery was a special arrangement. So Dad drove me down and we got to UCLH. 

Dad couldn't see me to the ward as there where no disabled parking spaces so he could only drop me off in the atrium. The receptionists couldn't find me and I was getting in a panic. So I called Sarah and she came and met me and helped the receptionist's find me and them Sarah saw me up to the ward and my room.

I was very well prepared with my hospital passport and having my own room was so helpful as I could make it a better environment for me with the blinds down and it was quieter and I didn't have to worry as much about picking bugs up from other patients.

The staff where lovely; introducing themselves to me as my assigned nurse, ensuring I had all female care. Call bells where answered quickly as was medication when I asked if I could have pain relief or anti sickness. I felt listened to like when I said that due to my PoTS when I'm nil-by-mouth I'd need supplemental IV fluids. I also felt like the staff had time for me such as to help me get comfortable and changing positions to relieve my pressure areas and regularly checking my pressure areas as well as helping me with other care tasks and also getting a wash and a fresh change of clothes or just to talk about the audiobooks I'd been listening too or even just making me a coffee. So often in the past especially in my local hospital my care experiences where so different; waiting and waiting for my call bell to be answered, for pain relief to be given to me or wet clothes and bedding to be changed, bing told I have to wait for catering to have a drink etc. Also at UCLH though I didn't eat much due to my nausea the meal I did manage was really nice - chickpea and spinach curry.

My surgery went well and they knew before that I was at high risk of seizures post-op so I was given lots of medication to reduce my seizures and I was ITU for a few days after my surgery. I was put on a PCA, Patient Controlled Analgesic, so I had a button that I pressed whenever I needed some pain relief without having to ask the nurses. 

During my admission I got through plenty of audiobooks!

The journey home was difficult as I found the ambulance too bright and the transport crew where blasting music plus the motion of the vehicle so I just put my noice cancelling earbuds in and listened to my book and managed to sleep for a while.

When I'm in hospital I do like having the nurses take over my care giving me a bit of a break but I am glad to be home in my own bed and I'm just resting. I will admit I have felt quite low emotionally. Plus coming home of the Easter Bank Holiday I haven't been able to reach the community nurses or my GP practice. My nurse is coming on tomorrow (19th) and Diane, my PA, is back Wednesday so I'm just muddling though as best I can.

I want to give a shout out to my friend Elise who has been so supportive helping me out with advice, tips and support. It was also lovely to come home to mail from friends and pen pals.

Currently I'm just taking each day moment by moment both practically and emotionally. I've got at lot to deal with and I'm hoping I'll fall into a rhythm soon and that I'll have the energy to do some crafting soon as I have a few birthday's coming up and letters to reply to.