Wednesday 9 April 2008


Since the operation OG’s blood pressure has been dropping through the floor. Being a fairly simple (and I guess I should probably also add ignorant) person, I wondered out loud if he should stop taking his tablets to reduce blood pressure (not rocket science?) OG immediately defended the doctors and said the tablet was duel purpose and also protected his kidneys.

However, being the gobby person that I am I did ask the GP the same thing during his house call on Monday. He recoiled and repeated the kidney protection mantra, took his blood pressure, did the “umm” thing, finally admitting that it was “a bit on the low side” and advised OG to halve the dose from 20mg to10mg. I tried hard not to smirk (as you do).

That night he ‘phoned to say that there was a dangerously high level of potassium in his blood which could be caused by this tablet. “Stop taking it altogether and we will repeat the test tomorrow”. All the other renal indicators were OK, so it didn’t seem to point towards a kidney problem. Last night he ‘phoned to say it was still high and he would like to admit him to our local hospital for a rectal enema to “mop up the potassium”. Bearing in mind that he has had extensive surgery in that area I was very alarmed. We had a bit of a shouting match on the ‘phone because I said he should go back to Addenbrookes. Our local hospital is not the best in the World. As our Senior Registrar nephew said “no doctor worth his salt would want that hospital on his CV”. Nuff said.

By the time the GP came with the admission documents he had changed his mind. He said in retrospect maybe Addenbrookes would be the best option, but it was a long way for us to go, and anyway he didn’t know how to get him admitted. I said, “I don’t mind the distance (75 miles). Give me that ‘phone, I’ll get him admitted”.

A couple of hours later we arrived at the Ward to be told that we had to be admitted through A&E. So a delightful transsexual 6’3” tall nurse wheel chaired him down to A&E where within minutes of arriving they gave him an ECG and bleeped for the very same urologist that we had just spoken to on the Ward. Mad, but that’s procedure.

The urologist diplomatically said that he probably “wouldn’t recommend an enema”. Thank goodness we took the trouble to get him to the right place. They have taken several blood tests through the night and the level is still high so this morning they are calling the kidney man in to see him, although he is hopeful that he will be allowed home later today.

I have a couple of observations to make. I was surprised that GP’s still did “home visits” and we count ourselves lucky that we are able to have “frank and full” discussions with our GP’s who admit they don’t know everything but really do care. My second observation is that the A&E Department at Addenbrookes is as immaculately clean as the Wards and everyone we have dealt with has been courteous, friendly and very, very professional. Over the years we have had dealings with several hospitals and this hospital is head and shoulders above the rest.

They are also militantly against private medicine because they believe that everyone should be treated equally. BUT, they are willing to take the BUPA money to "help the hospital funds" whilst stressing that the level of care "will be no different". We are, after all, in champagne socialist country here! But, hey, this is socialism at it's best. It only proves that, with the will, it can be done.


menopausaloldbag (MOB) said...

Just popped back and my God you guys are having a tough time of it but I love how your writing about it is without self indulgence or self pity. Fond wishes for a speedy recovery.

Anonymous said...

It can't be easy for you and like MOB has stated you write about it without asking for sympathy. Prayers are of course being said from my end as I don't want your lovely man to go through anymore and he needs to get better now. But it sounds as though the hospital is second to none and definitely giving excellent care. Only what they should be doing.

Best wishes, Crystal xx

aims said...

Your man is lucky he has you. Tell him I said so!

How many women- or anyone for that matter - stand up to a doctor?

You have balls my friend! Good on you!!

Penny Pincher said...

I remember - back in the days when I used to work (paid work, that is!) - that patients should be recognised as acquiring specialist knowledge into their individual or unusual health problems. They would become 'Expert Patients'. That this shouldn't make the medics or the social workers feel undermined in any way. That professionals should recognise that some of the patients who had taken time and trouble to learn about their condition should be allowed to be involved in the treatment decisions.
So , well done you for standing up for what you thought would be best for your man. let's have less of the 'gobby' expression. said...

Thank you so much for your kind wishes mob, but believe me I am not the hero that you seem to think I am. If anyone looks at me the wrong way at the moment I am likely to either bit their heads off or dissolve into floods of tears. Writing is very cathartic. said...

Yes, crystal, we have many, many blessings and the prayers of our friends are the most valuable blessings of all. said...

Hi aims, I think OG would have a different take of that! And as for balls, that comes with old age and being jerked around by too many people!! There, now I have let my guard down and you now know for being the cynical old hag that I really am! said...

Thank you ladythinker. I surely have become an "expert patient's spouse" pain in the butt. He is very precious to me and I want to keep him a bit longer so that he can look after ME in MY old age.