Thursday, 22 October 2009


Yesterday morning OG called me at 0530 begging me to go and fetch him. He had had a horrendous night for various reasons that I won’t go into now and was in a great deal of pain. This left me heartbroken. I wanted to mount a rescue mission because that is what I do, but knew that now that he was “in the system” he needed to stay there until they gave us some answers.

I made myself a cup of coffee and tried to calm down. At 0630 I rang him back. He was still in a state of great distress.

I had a slow shower and another cup of coffee to give myself thinking time then I rang the hospital. The Ward Sister said that she was unaware of his agitation but had known he was awake most of the night. She said that she had taken blood for analysis because they didn’t have access to the tests that had been done by the GP. I said I had a copy and she said I could spend the day with OG to help calm him down and asked me to bring the test results with me.

I arrived just in time to catch the on duty consultant and his team making their first assessment. “Luckily” it happened to be the gastroenterologist and I thought, “Whew, at last he gets to see him”. “Unluckily” we found out later that he thought OG had been admitted because he had back pain!

When they got the results of the latest blood test OG’s liver stats had deteriorated yet again. The bilirubin was now 59. It might have been at this point that they finally put two and two together and realised that he had been admitted for something a bit more serious than a “back pain”.

During the morning OG’s nurse said

“Have you seen the doctor”
“Well you can go now”
“No, I have the permission from the Ward Sister to stay because my husband is agitated”
“We will deal with his agitation”
“But he would be happier if I stayed”
“And I would be happier if you left”
“Are you telling me to go”
“No, I think I’ll stay thank you”

Unfortunately, that set the tone for the day. But, in my defence, I did observe that she was completely impartial in her belligerent behaviour. It wasn’t just aimed at me; she was like it with everyone.

Because of the situation OG is having difficulty levelling off his blood sugar and it was agreed that he would self-administer insulin as necessary. He is a “grown up” and manages himself quite well. She then locked away his insulin preventing him from doing this. It created all sorts of difficulties. The doctor had put OG on a steroid drip warning that his blood sugar would tend to go up. It did – to 23.5. Well this old bat wouldn’t let him take any insulin, so he told the doctor and we heard her arguing with him too! It simply was not hospital policy to allow ad hoc unregistered and unauthorised insulin injections, so there! The doctor won, but this made her madder than hell. A very precarious position for a vulnerable patient to be in.

Today he is going to another hospital for tests and he has arranged for me to travel with him. Because of his immobility they wonder if there is pressure on the spine and are going to scan it, but maybe the sleepy system has finally woken up and the long awaited liver tests will be done too. Who knows.

Strangely enough I DO have faith in the NHS and there are some amazingly talented people working in it. It's such a pity that the mis-administration of everything causes problems.


DogLover said...

Well done, R & C ! Keep up the good fight. Best wishes to both of you.

Anonymous said...

in my prayers today,keep the faith girl

momcat said...

So sorry you and your hubby are going through this, not only the ill health but also the attitude problems of the 'care' givers. Thank goodness you are there with him. I always say I learned to stand up for myself by fighting for the rights of my loved ones!

Maggie May said...

So sorry to hear of this worrying situation.
Seems like the left hand doesn't know what the right is doing.
Keep being strong for OG and Thank God that he has you to put things right because many haven't got anyone.

Thinking of you and wishing the best for the two of you.Look after yourself too.

Nuts in May

rosiero said...

Blimmin heck. So sorry to hear you are going through this bad patch. Do hope they get to the root of OG's problem soon. Some of it sounds very familiar to Greg's problem - ie diabetes, weak legs, high liver values etc, but for different reasons. For a start, can they not give him morphine for the pain? You must be tearing your hair out too. Hugs for the meantime and that raindrop poem was just brilliant.

Grumpy Old Ken said...

The joys of getting old. Love your spirit. When we give up fighting, we've had it. Good luck.

marymaryquitecontrary said...

I am sorry to read that your dear husband is still suffering so much. I do hope that the reason for his pain will soon be evident and that something can be done to make his feel better.
Your mention of Irena Sendler reminded me how I had searched for the book of her life story in the past; without success. I have written to Amazon asking if they could do anything to have it published again. I know many people would read it.

RNSANE said...

As an RN ( now retired, due to loss of my forensic nursing position of 21 years in San Francisco in $80 million in cuts to the Dept of Public Health ), I read your post with great interest. Not sure how I chanced on your blog - probably the title which appealed to me! It is good that you are there to champion OG through the health care system!

Retiredandcrazy said...

Thanks DogLover, one of the things that keeps me going is the thought that some many people are concerned.

Retiredandcrazy said...

It's so good to know you are there thinking of us VM.

Retiredandcrazy said...

Here, here momcat. I am so bad at standing up for myself, but let one of my family need help and I suddenly become a tiger.

Retiredandcrazy said...

Maggie you have always been a tower of strength to me. Thank you so much.

Retiredandcrazy said...

Yes they did give him morphine for the pain when he was in hospital Rosiero. He loved it!

Retiredandcrazy said...

Yes, the years are beginning to take their tole on my boyd Ken, but I try to keep my mind young.

Retiredandcrazy said...

In these cynical times it's helps to remember that the world is full of "Irena Sendle's". If you ever track down the book MaryMary I would be interested to purchase a copy too.

Retiredandcrazy said...

Thanks for the visit RNSANE. The trouble with our healthcare system is that our medics are so "precious" and us mere mortals have to be careful not to offend them.