"Horrendous hospital experience"

About: William Harvey Hospital / General surgery

(as the patient),

Having already been through one bad experience in the William Harvey Hospital, I now had to go in for my gallbladder to be removed. I waited approx 4 months, vomiting and in pain. The consultant told me to expect 3 to 4 days in hospital.

On the morning of my arrival, I had my blood test and went along to the surgical unit. Was told to put a gown on in this sort of holding area with hard couches, the nurse slung the tights to me saying put them on for DVT! I had some difficulty but managed in the end. Nothing was said to me so I just sat there and an anaesthetist came to see me. I have M.E. so I asked for a low adrenalin anaesthestic, he said he had never heard of it! It seemed to me that he couldn't be bothered, more like it. Then I signed the forms and was told to go into the next room ushered around like cattle. There was a TV screen there and other women waiting for their op. Here I realised that you walked to the theatre!! I waited from 11 am to 3pm for my operation nothing to drink since 7 am. I got up on the operating couch myself and three times they tried to put the cannula in, it hurt somewhat. Next they told me they would give me oxygen, I was gassed of course.

The next thing I knew, I woke up on Kings B ward feeling rather dizzy and sore. With the oxygen mask over my mouth the auxiliary nurse came round offering me something to eat and drink at 10 pm, I said no, feeling really sick. No nurses came to see me at all to see if I was comfortable. During the night they came and took my BP and put the little monitor on my finger. I was still laid in the blood from my operation, as the cloth they pull you over on was still under me until my release.

Next morning, hardly being able to move and pulling myself up on the sides of the bed, the bed was tilted so that my head was up slightly. I was offered breakfast and a cup of tea. I thought well I may as well try it, as I don't feel well and am not going to get better without it. No sooner had they given me something to eat, as the nurse was giving me my discharge papers. The two doctors came round and said how are you feeling? I said sick and dizzy, that’s ok you can go home!! Incredible. I hadn't even urinated or walked. I was asked about washing, I asked for a bowl as I was so unstable. I washed off the blood myself from the operation. Slowly got dressed and back on the bed. A wheelchair came round. The nurse asked me to walk to the doctors, to see the nurse for a change of dressings. I live alone. I have precarious steps outside my house. I was feeling faint. I asked for the district nurse, I could see they weren't happy but there was no way I could walk.

Eventually I got in the wheelchair, the porter had to carry my bags, I kept stopping him as my head was swimming round and round and they still wheeled me out to the departure lounge. There a nurse took details of my hospital transport. I waited 5 hours in absolute pain and agony, left with only Paracetamol and was crying my heart out. The nurse eventually had to wheel me to the taxi to get home, as I couldn’t walk. What is the NHS coming to? I work I pay my stamp but am treated no better than an animal.

Twice now the WHH has let me down in Ashford, Kent. I pray every day that I never ever have to go near a hospital again.

What a palaver. Comments welcome.

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