Chesterfield Royal Hospital – The Accident – Part 4

psm pleased to say that I haven’t had many encounters with the medical profession due to my general good health, but when I have I’ve noticed they tend not to call a spade a spade…

Wed/Thurs/Fri/Sat/Sun 22-26th October

Wednesday morning I woke up and my T-Shirt was soaked. I was feeling a lot worse:

  • High temperature
  • Light-headed
  • Very breathless
  • Feeling very cold
  • Disorientated

Also, I noticed the lower arm had swollen up so much that the bump on my wrist (don’t know what you call it) and my knuckles couldn’t be seen. I have very thin arms, but now it was the size of a small marrow. And I couldn’t clench my fist, because the skin on the back of my hand was pulled too taut.

I had some breakfast and went back to bed. At lunchtime I got up, had something to eat, then went next door to see if my neighbour could run me up to the surgery later that afternoon. She took one look at me and wanted to call an ambulance or dial 111. I persuaded her I was OK enough to wait for the doctor’s appointment later that afternoon, and so it was she ran me up there.

My appointment was on time. On stripping off my jacket and turning up the shirt sleeve the nurse turned on her heels, said she was going to fetch the doctor and left the room.

The doctor took a look and immediately said I needed intravenous antibiotics and she would write me a note for the hospital, and could I get a taxi there? I assured her I could and reception gave me the number of a local cab firm. A few minutes later I asked the driver to take me home and explained I would call another cab when I’d got a few things together.

I arrived at Chesterfield Hospital A&E just after 7pm, handed over the doctor’s note and waited. It wasn’t long before I was taken through to a cubicle. Unfortunately, I had to listen to guy effing and blinding about how he was being mistreated. The nursing staff went way beyond most ordinary people’s level of tolerance in trying to help him, but in the end even they conceded and called the police.

Next, I hear him telling the police what bullies they are. Never mind the intimidating behaviour he’d adopted toward the nursing staff. I cannot understand people who bite the helping hand.

A couple of doctors came to see me on separate occasions, asked questions, checked the elbow and disappeared. Later, a nurse came in to explain the doctors were having a difference of opinion. One was for sending me home with antibiotics, and the other wanted me admitted. And I thought the GP’s note was a free pass into hospital. Obviously not.

Fortunately, as far as I was concerned, the doctor who wanted me admitted won the day.

Once the decision had been made, I was moved to the Emergency Management Unit (EMU). This place was like a Comedy of Errors. You simply couldn’t have written the script.

I was shown my bed and left to it. Next thing I notice a guy is trying to take a dump in my bedside cabinet and in doing so manages to rip off one of the doors. I attract the attention of a nurse who assists him back to his bed.

While this is going on a patient diagonally opposite me is trying to extract a balloon shaped object from his bladder by pulling it out of the end of his winkle by the attached tube. The nurses keep trying to stop him, but no amount of verbal persuasion is making an impression. And when he’s not trying do himself a serious injury that way he’s trying to remove the Canula in his arm. He partially succeeds but falls over and out of my sight. The trail of blood indicating his direction of travel.

Finally, I’m in bed and trying to get off to sleep amid the moaning, shouting and what seems like general mayhem when I feel someone sit on the end of my bed. I turn my head and catch this guy undressing – I turn back and ignore him. And a few minutes later a nurse collects the naked gent and apologises to me – not her fault, of course.

I’m guessing none of these guys is a day under 80, with the exception of one who appears to be sleeping through it all, goodness knows how.

Later on in the night I’m collected and taken to the Clinical Decisions Unit (CDU) next door. This unit is a lot quieter although there seems to be someone further down the corridor intent on keeping everyone awake with constant demands to be allowed to go home – can’t believe how selfish some people can be.

At some point a doctor visits and instructs the nurse to put me on intravenous antibiotics. In goes the Canula and then two large cartridges of clear fluid are literally pumped into me, followed by Paracetamol and Ibuprofen tablets for pain relief. After this I’m left to try to get some sleep.

Thursday – 23rd October

Woke feeling washed out. Breakfast. More antibiotics pumped into me. Mid-morning a doctor turns up, consults with a nurse and agrees/confirms with the nurse, “Yes, don’t mess about, keep him on the maximum dose.” (1000mg Amoxicillin 3 times a day, 1000mg Flucloxicillin 4 times a day).

Stay in bed the rest of the day. Had brought magazines in to read, but no energy so attempted to sleep, but the ward is quite noisy.

Friday – 24th October

Woke to find the arm was back to it’s normal size. Relieved. Still tired and trying to sleep most of the day.

Saturday – 25th October

Getting bored. Talk by the doctors of me going home either that day or the next. Also discussed a “washout”, again. Euphemism for going in with the knife and ‘scrubbing’ out the wound to get rid of any foreign bodies. A process involving surgery under general anesthetic. Decided against it.

Interesting night. Guy opposite moaning all night and obviously extremely agitated.

Sunday – 26th October

His explanation next morning – day shift staff gave him his medicine just before the shift finished. Night staff gave him another dose shortly after. Result: Seeing dragons coming out of the walls and such like. When telling the staff about it the response was, “Oh, that’ll be the opiates.” Yes, I heard that myself.

But still, I have to say the staff were amazing, so patient and kind. And a special mention for Coral, a 71 year old nurse, whose activities made the others look like they were standing still – and everyone was busy.

Left hospital 4pm and pleased to be back home.

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