Thursday, 24 April 2014

Operation!

Well, what a whirlwind 24 hours.  Never let it be said that my wonderful husband is not romantic.  Mr G treated me to a night out last night (and chauffeur driven too...!)  Unfortunately it was spent in a bay in Accident and Emergency in Ysbyty Gwynedd, and my ride wasn't so much horsedrawn carriage as... well... blues and twos! 

Regular readers will know that he's been a bit poorly lately, suspected gallbladder/stones problem and is waiting for a scan.  He's in pain daily, and has had to go to Casualty, his own GP, out of hours Doctors, just trying to find pain relief that works.  Nothing has up to now.  Last night he collapsed in pain, I've never seen him so bad.  It came on so quickly.  I didn't know what to do and when he told me to phone 999 I knew it had to be really unbearable. 

We got there about 6 pm and he was hooked up to a drip, and they tried a couple of analgesics, none of which did anything.  Obs were fine, bloods were fine (which they always are...).  I had to leave him about 10.40 pm as I had to get back to the kids.  I don't drive.  After speaking to the Doctor who had been treating him, she wanted him to see a Surgical Doctor and wasn't sure what time that would be or if they would keep him in.  After assuring me I could go home and they would make sure he was sent home safely (which really reassured me!) I went home.  He called about half an hour after to say he was on a ward, and was being sent for X-Rays (which will probably come back clear...) and that he would be kept in.  They must have checked the system and his scan letter was finally in the post (for May 9th!).  So they told him they would push for it to be brought forward to today or tomorrow and he called to say he was nil by mouth and that he was being scanned at 3 pm today.

He was scanned and was told he had gallstones and an inflamed gallbladder, and he'd need to speak to the Consultant when he was at his bed.  Also - his gallbladder isn't where (dare I say it?  Dare I?) normal people's gallbladders are.  His is way up behind his ribcage.  This is nothing, he has arteries in the wrong place as well.  That's my boy...  I texted him a few minutes before leaving for visiting him tonight and he phoned me.

'I'm having it taken out tomorrow!'

Ye Gods...

Turns out it's bad enough to warrant a mammoth queue jump... gone from no scan to a scan and an operation date in under 24 hours, which by anyone's standards is pretty impressive? 

So, all in all he was quite amusing today, trying to remember what pain relief he'd had.  Three sheets to the wind, and all on this wonder drug, apparently.

Me:  So, what have they tried you on today?

Mr G:  I had that drip thing again, don't know what was in it.  Then I had two Omeprazole, Buscopan and some Calpol.

Me:  Calpol eh?  Radical...

Aaaaaaaaaaaand...

Mr G:  I need to speak to the Anaethelist.  Anaethesist.  That man that puts you to sleep.

Me:  Mmmmmmmmmmkay...

Oh and...

Mr G:  Did you get any sleep last night?

Me:  Eventually, went up about 1.  Tossed and turned.  Got woke up by text at 6.50.  Cried.  Threw phone.  Went back to sleep until 8.  You?

Mr G:  I didn't get much.  I couldn't starship in this bed.  It was too narrow.

Starshipping in bed folks.  It's the new thing.  Mark my words, you heard it here first!    

In other news, less interesting but no less medical for you!  I had my X-Ray yesterday. 

No, that's it. 

That is it.  I told you it was less interesting.  No dramas with me.  Yet ;-)

Right, I also have to say.  I have had a dig or two (or seven) about my local hospital.  So in case anyone thinks I'm a complete hypocrite (which I try so hard not to be!) - I've given birth to my four children at YG.  They looked after me after we lost our first child.  My son's life was saved there when he contracted Meningitis and Septicaemia.  They've cared for my husband when he's had operations (although latterly Wrexham Maelor) and my Father when he had a heart attack, and my Nain also spent her last days there.  I have no issue with the staff.  At all.  Ever.  Wonderful staff.  However, my hubby has repeatedly contracted infections there.  My Father also after his heart attack.  My brother before he was transported to Stoke.  It's the way the NHS is run in parts of the UK, and I can safely say parts, after seeing how my brother was cared for across the border in Stoke, my father in law in Wigan.  We're talking people in suits, in offices, that quite frankly, shouldn't be there.  Stoke?  Stoke had MATRONS.  On pretty much every ward I passed.  You went in the door?  You were met with a picture of the team, and at the top, was Hattie Jacques.  Glaring at you.  Place was bloody spotless.  Staff visibly cleaning.  Visibly.  Staff.  Not someone aimlessly pushing a mop, or brandishing a wet wipe.  The actual ward staff, cleaning.   Nurses, Health Care Assistants.  The NHS needs to be looking backwards, not forwards in this instance.  Bugger technology and degrees!  Lose the (wo)men in offices, STOP contracting cleaning out, and put the onus back on the ward itself.  Matrons!  Mark my words... when the buck stopped at the Matron, that's when wards were run.

I actually saw something akin to this last night.  This is mere rambling now, but my husband's 'room' was opposite the reception desk.  I'm a bit of a people watcher.  More so last night, when Mr G was rendered silent (I know, right?).  And ok, I eavesdropped a little too.  I saw this woman come on duty, and she was... I don't know what you'd say.  Ordinary woman.  Probably a mother.  She looked like a Mum.  I'd have been happy as a little one having her as my Mum.  Small.  Attractive.  Normal.  But she looked formidable.  She had that air about her?

She had a walkie talkie with her.  She must have had 10 seconds out of every minute where she wasn't on the phone.  And I listened.  And all she was doing was trying to get people beds on wards, to free up space in A&E, because the ambulances were backed up outside.  And although there may have been five, ten people there more qualified than her (on paper...), you know what, the whole department seemed to bow to her?  And it wasn't in mock reverence either?  It was because she knew how to organise it all.  The buck stopped at her.  And it was probably her that got my husband seen last night.  I know her name because it's signed all over and she used it so many times that night. What a bloody job to have, I really don't envy her but I am so, so grateful for her.

M x

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