Sunday, 14 August 2011

Sunday 14th August

What a strange week. I was discharged last Monday and by Thursday my throat was so sore and my diarrhoea so bad that I just had to contact the Haematology dept again. My specialist arranged for me to be seen at the Surgical Assessment Unit at the hospital. They said I was to go right away and that they were expecting me.

Wrong. They looked bemused when I turned up. I spoke to a nursing Sister and she sat me in a day room, effectively placing me into quarantine. I sat in the room in an uncomfortable chair from about 11 o'clock until tea-time. Someone brought me a cup of tea from time to time and I was given a sandwich to eat. It was agony to chew and swallow, but I was so hungry.
Eventually I found myself back in the side room I'd vacated a couple of days previously. Two hours previously I was asked what I'd like for dinner. At the third time of asking it finally arrived and I tucked in during visiting time.
During the evening the duty doctor called around and asked me some questions took some blood. It was quite hard as my veins had taken quite a bashing over the previous week. She tried to fit a canulla without success.

That night I lay in bed and tried not to listen to the sounds of grieving parents in the room next door. Their young child had died in their arms.

The next day came and went. I managed to provide a stool sample which confirmed the absence of any of the known causes of diarrhoea, as had all the others.

The Haematology team put in an appearance at my bedside and we discussed my symptoms and the possible causes and remedies. They requested that a viral swab be taken of my mouth and throat, as once again the previous tests had eliminated all the usual suspects. No candida, heliobacter, etc etc.

One of the team made a very useful suggestion- apply Bonjela to my tongue. So I did, and it helped. I continued to eat everything placed before me in the hope that my "output" would become more substantial and not be just a runny mess of damp farts.

I was visited the next day by two members of the surgical team who said that they could do no more for me at this time. I'd only been called in because I needed a colonoscopy, and it appears they won't do one until six weeks after my operation. I was fed up, tired, bored, missing my home comforts, and ready to leave that minute, but I still needed the approval of the Haematolgy dept.

They didn't call in to see me until mid-afternoon. I was also waiting for a prescription but the doctor decided that this could wait until after my out-patient appointment next week. So I got dressed, picked up my discharge letter and went home.

In all the time I was there I wasn't officially admitted. I never recieved a name tag with my details on it. I never received my first discharge letter either. I think there is a reason for this. NHS rules state that if a patient is readmitted for the same reason within a certain time frame, then the hospital is fined.

Perhaps by holding back my first discharge letter and not "readmitting" me after I'd been home for two days they might be trying to make it appear that I'd been there all along.

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