My time in hospital 2022.
It’s now been over two weeks since my operation. Had my appendix out which the consultant said was tucked underneath my bowel, so they had to dissect the appendix and remove it one at a time. This meant that the surgery was longer. I had an infection in my appendix anyway which has spread to my blood. But when I woke up I was told to breath in deeper otherwise my lungs would collapse. I told the nurses that to breath deeply hurt and the response i got was ‘pain isn’t an excuse’ (in my eyes it is a perfectly good excuse but whateverrrr).
I woke up with a drain sticking out of my stomach which was connected to a bag with my blood in it.
My first night out of surgery was terrible, I had a nurse name ‘E’ who seemed nice on the surface but seemed to do everything with a sort of grudge, i asked her name and how her night was going and whether it was exciting or boring (upon reflection exciting isn’t really the right word to use because it could mean that someone may be in serious trouble, but i was drugged up), she told me she had 3 patients which meant there was more work, which i guess helped pass the time.
I had to wee a lot through the night as they had me on a drip, I pee’d into a bottle 5 times that night and i felt awkward each time i had to press the button for the nurse to come and collect the urine (it honestly felt as if i was bothering them).
At the beginning of the night i asked them to turn the monitor that was monitoring my bloods and oxygen, it made a constant beeping sound which was the pulse of my heart. It was torture listening to how quick your heart beat was going so i asked them to turn it off, nurse E couldn’t understand why i wanted it off, she told me it was to monitor me yet for large amounts of time i would be left alone with only the sound of my monitor heart beat. Nurse E reluctantly agreed and turned the monitor off, but this meant that every hour E would come into my section, turn the lights on (with no notice) and take my stats, so any prospect of solid sleep was gone.
When i woke in the morning nurse E offered a clean, I was unsure whether to accept as i was unsure whether she would do it and that would mean more work for her, I accepted and nurse E brought a bowl of freezing water for me to clean with, she left me alone while i attempted to clean. I started to clean yet soon got so cold and began shivering so had to stop, i was shocked that nurse E gave me cold water.
Eventually Nurse E clocked off and the day began, though I had been awake since about 4/5am. Still currently in recovery as there was no space in any ward.
New nurses clocked in, my new nurse was called ‘M’, next to me there was another patient who was given Nurse ‘I’.
Details of the whole day are blurry, I remember seeing the doctor and he finally explained what had happened to me (including my drain and my breathing difficulty), after the doctor left during the morning i began to feel a lot of pain on the right hand side of my back and side. I notified the nurse which didn’t do much at first. I began to cramp up and was in agony. I began to cry with pain, every time i took and intake of breath i would receive a stabbing pain in my side, this last for around 30-40 mins before nurse I (not my nurse) took notice and decided to give me to morphine, (supposedly I wasn’t allowed anymore because i had my morning morphine at about 3am as i was in pain then). The pain was subdued but for only a short while as it was a type of morphine that was short and powerful ( the patient next to me was a total asshole, i even remembering apologising to him because i was crying out in pain which he ignored).
After the pain had passed I realised how little fresh air there was, my breathing was so short and my temperature was seriously high. I called nurse M and she damped my head with a cold cloth, it was heavenly.
Finally I was taken out of recovery, I was off to Nutfield ward. It was amazing being moved about the hospital, as I knew where I came into for surgery, but had little idea about where I was when being moved. I was pulled into nutfield ward and was met by Nurse Dean. Dean was shocked by my situation, my temperature was seriously high, my oxygen levers were very low and my infection in my blood was high.
Dean brought in another nurse who was also shocked by my situation, they immediately gave me antibiotics and a drip. However no nurse/doctor could manage to find a vein to put a canular in. At one point I had 3 nurses and 4 doctors around me, a nurse on one arm and a doctor on another trying to find veins. They had disappeared, everyone was putting needles in to try and get a vein, i must have been stabbed about 7 times at that moment. My pain was also incredibly high on my stomach where my appendix used to be. I was given many drugs to help ease the pain which did help and for a while i was left to rest, i was being regularly checked on.
The junior doctors were concerned about my pain and were considering operating again, they decided to take me for another CT scan to see what was going on inside. I was totally lost and confused about was going on, it was only the consultant that knew everything and they only popped in for a 2 minute chat in the morning (but by this point I had not seen the consultant at all!)
I was taken for a CT scan, the porter had to take me downstairs. Instantly I started getting pain in the side, every time i breathed in it would hurt. When leaving the ward the porter hit every obstacle, which instigated the pain. I was escorted with nurse jess who was totally switched off.
When we got downstairs, to be CT scanned i could literally not move, there were three nurses (including jess) and they had to get me off onto the scan bed, i was nervous as i had to put my total trust in them whilst in this much pain, they had a technique where they placed a slide board under me and got me onto the bed.
The CT scan was hard work as it required me to hold my breath for 5 seconds, which i could barely do, though this was only a short experience, i was outta there after 5 mins, but I had to wait for the porter to come back and collect me, actually i was taken into the x-ray room because supposedly i needed one (which I didn’t), and then the radiologist knew I wasn’t having one and so pushed me back into the corridor to wait for the porter, I was there with Nurse Jess who just sat and waited, by this point i was crying out with pain at every breath, there were multiple people around who could do nothing for me and were trying there best to ignore me because they couldn’t help. I asked jess if she could take me back upstairs as the pain was too much but she said I had to wait for the porter. I was very close to getting out of the bed and walking back to the ward myself, my issue was that the bars were up on the side of the bed and i could neither A) pull them down or B) jump over them. So i waited for the porter, for about 20 minutes, but in agony that seems a very long time, and nurse Jess seemed to just be on her phone the whole time. Finally the porter arrived and took me back upstairs, still in pain and making sounds nobody could help. When I arrived back to the ward i saw nurse dean and asked for pain killers, he was a little confused that i was writhing in pain and unsure whether he was busy or not, it seemed he put me on the back burner (they seemed so overstretched in this ward it was unreal). When Dean finally walked into my section of the ward i asked him desperately for drugs, all of a sudden I had a circus around me again , nurse Romama was surprised as when i left for the CT scan i was in good shape. I told her the journey and the bumps started the pain, or broke up the drug use, either or it didn’t matter.
Again a circus had started around me, loads of nurses and doctors, by this point they had got a different consultant and they were running through my situation, i attempted to tell them what i could. The consultant left but a young doctor had made some decisions, to give me a catheter to see how my urine was doing, to give me a x-ray and to wait until morning to see whether they would operate, i was given more drugs and then left alone.
By this point I had not even taken notice of the other patients around me, there were 5 patients when i first entered, two older men ready dressed and ready to leave, another old man (Terry Spiers) and a young man who seemed in good order (Luke M... forget all of his name).
I believe almost when the pain subsided, the nurses changed shift, and a nice nurse E (forgotten her full name) put my catheter in/on me, which was extremely unpleasant, I was also given constant oxygen through my nose, and at some point during the night i was given a nebuliser due to my inability to breath.
The nights were calm, though Terry would continually tap the nurse button against the bed, banging it for some reason, either in pain or attention seeking i was unsure, and once a night he would totally shit himself, which we could all smell.
The two older men left the ward but were replaced with an old Spanish man named Julian, he had a bad urine infection and was derlious, because of this he had forgotten every language he spoke apart from Spanish, i remember hearing the nurses coming up to him shouting ‘don’t reveal yourself to me Julian’ which he may or may to have been doing but surely there must have been another reason, he was trying to show them something tha was wrong with him.
I was woken up every hour to take my stats which looked worrying, and one point during the night a nurse came by to take my blood, half asleep i let her do whatever, thought she really struggled to find a vein. This nurse eventually thought that she would take blood from my groin, which was unbelievably uncomfortable, but after all of this i managed to sleep a little.
I woke up from a nurse wanting to take stats around 5am and i was up for the day.
At around 7am the rounds changed and i met Nurse Bridget a strong willed Irish woman who wasn’t taking any shit. She told everyone what to do and when you’re ill that is perfect, she was the assistant nurse and did everything by the book, she wouldn’t take anything out of my canular because she wasnt allowed. The temporary senior nurse was called Kat and she looked the same age of me, this nurse was nervous but Bridget being there was supportive of her.
I think that morning was Saturday, and i think i saw he consultant that morning, yeah I totally did as the consultant Mr Smith half had a go at Nurse Kat for being behind on the jobs. He said the catheter was a waste of time and get rid of it, and there was no prospect of more surgery, he fully explained what happened in my surgery and he said my infection was in my blood and in my lungs, because the surgery took longer my breathing wasnt as steady and it allowed for a build up of ‘fluff’, this was the reason for the nebuliser.
The day seemed to run smoother and i believed I was pass the worse pain, other pain would arrive with Terry in bed E who only wanted to play Smooth Radio all day. For this reason i never want to hear Smooth Fm ever again. I was able to speak to my family and told them they could come in, the rule was that only two people could come in for 30 min slots.
Rebecca and my mum came in at 4, Rebecca was first and i think she managed to hide her shock. However my mum could not, she almost broke down, she was crying but trying her best to keep it in. It was quite a relief keeping when they both left.
My temperature spiked all the time ad i was moved to the other side of the ward ext to a window, which was lovely being able to see the external life. I was feeling trapped with the personalities and the window allowed me to see the sky.
The nights became hard, for you build a relationship with nurses and then they change at 8 and but that point you are exhausted from the day and cannot struggle to build a good relationship with the new nurse, I remember one night the nurses complaining about shifts saying they were offered night shifts at 4pm the same day explaining that it was impossible.
The night I moved to the window spot, a new patient came and took my old spot, he was called Dave, an ex army man with a half finished tribal tattoo on his left arm, i waved at him as he was trollied in. I think because of this action he took a shining towards me.
Feb 20th 2022
Constant spiking temperature and feeling weak, every few hours i had been given a nebuliser. Still smooth FM constantly playing, terry was always taking his canular out to get more pain killers. He was just a sod, he told the nurse that he was allergic to water and could only drink orange juice, and he sipped it all fucking day. By the end i hated Terry but i tried hard not to.
Dave was in for damage on his back, he had recently had an operation on his spine and was back in because his back was giving him a lot of pain. He would constantly ask for McDonald’s and a pint and then ask to leave, he said he would pay off someone’s mortgage if they could let him go. His humour became very irritating but he was overall a sweet man.
At some point another man came into the ward, his name was Steve and at first i thought he was ok until i heard his patronise the Chaplin who came in to be nice, Steve tried to question his beliefs and asked the Chaplin whether he believed in evolution. He finished his patronising conversation by telling the Chaplin to read more of the bible. This man was patronising to everyone.
Myself and Julian were on opposite corners of the ward and he would always look over and say something to me in Spanish, i told him I couldn’t understand (when his son would come in for visitations, he would say that Julian spoke perfect English, Italian and German but couldn’t handle it due to his infection and weakness, it was quite fascinating).
I still had constant pain in my side whenever i would breath in deeply but the pain was getting better.
The next few days I would slowly get stronger and stronger, new nurses and new patients. But my mental health deteriorated so quickly. I didn’t know when i was leaving and it felt as if it was just going to continue.
Monday is a bit of a wash out and little happened apart from my strength was building.
On Tuesday i saw the consultant in the morning and he said my health was better and that i could leave that day, by that point i began to cry, uncontrollably cry. By this point there were new patients in the ward, a nice man called Tony (who had taken Dave’s spot) and Miquel (who had taken Steve’s spot). When they got in I had lost my energy to ask new questions to new people so which i felt bad about as they seemed like the nicest patients of them all. Miquel was passing his 3rd set of kidney stones, and the moment he saw me cry he ran up and gave me some tissues, Tony said to me ‘good for you’ they had not seen the ordeal that I had gone through but they were very supportive.
But my head was in such a bad way, i couldn’t eat anything and felt stuck. My mum came in to see me and we went for a walk out of the ward, the first time I had left, we went to the shop and then into the hospital garden. On our walk back up to the ward i was believing that I was staying in for another night but Nurse Dean came to me with my paper work and said I could leave, i cried again and thanked him for his care.
On Tuesday 22nd February i managed to leave hospital, i cried when getting in the car, and cried when i got home. Rebecca and dad were at home to greet me. I was in hospital from Wednesday 16th (though they let me leave in the evening to sleep) until the Tuesday after. A major amount of nurses gave me great care, some were neglectful, but i felt so much respect for them. They are under-payed and stretched so thin I have loads of respect for them. Thank you