Monday, November 16, 2009

An NHS Tale

Ahhh Monday morning and it's almost back to normality. The better half and I just want to thank everyone that sent their well wishes. Thankfully, 'Mrs Dizzy' is on the mend, but it looks like it may take longer than it might have thanks to the wonders of the NHS. As you may recall she was rushed into hospital a week ago on Friday. This was because of with severe stomach pains on her right hand side. She was put in a surgical assessment unit where for the next two days she was prodded in the stomach every few hours, asked if it hurt, said yes, and told she'd have an ultrasound later that day.

On the Sunday night - still awaiting an ultrasound and still in much pain - she was moved into a different wards called the "Ambulatory Care Unit". At this point the NHS staff told her she should pack all her bags up and walk (carrying her bags natch!) the 500 or so yards to the new ward. She then uttered - as I would expect from my Italian bloodied darling - the inevitable 'vaffanculo' and was pushed in a wheelchair after pointing out she could hardly walk.

Late Monday afternoon the news came that the ultrasound had been canceled because more seriously ill people had come into the hospital. Tuesday morning came and the pain was by this time excruciating and barely concealed by the multiple painkillers provided. Her white blood cell count had been steadily rising throughout the weekend, a crude yet rather indicative sign of inflammatory problems and likely appendicitis.

By the time the consultant came round on Tuesday morning it was decided to cancel her ultrasound again, and instead just go straight for the laparoscopic appendectomy that afternoon. On internal examination it was discovered that the appendix had burst some time before, there was an abscess on the tip of it, and the insides were rather, shall we say, messed up, meaning her recovery time has been extended because of quite sever internal bruising caused by the clean-up.

One positive side to this story is that her private medical insurance will be paying her for every night she had to spend in the NHS.

Don't get me wrong here, the ward staff, nurses and the like were great. What wasn't was the rather obvious bureaucratic stranglehold they were working under. For example, in order to book an ultrasound they had to actually walk someone with a card to another part of the hospital and hand it to someone else to check a diary. Or take discharge, 'Mrs D' was told she could go home at 10am, but didn't leave until 4.30pm because she had to wait for the pharmacy to dispense her tablets.

Anyhow, thanks again for your well wishes.

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