An Introduction

Welcome To A Jackals Voice. The intention of this blog is to be an outlet for myself and others on topics that are not generally discussed...

Sunday, 3 September 2017

A Jackal on the Ward

Welcome to A Jackals Voice.
First I must apologize to my readers and subscribers in regards to my absence of late. For those of you that follow the Facebook Page or Twitter you are likely aware that I recently had a short stay in hospital. A lot happened in those few days and I have been a bit overwhelmed trying to make sense of it all. I'm sure you can appreciate my absence, but I wish to apologize none the less.
Anyway, on to today's post. I am going to give fair warning now that if you have issues in regards to hospital procedures, alarming symptoms or anything of the sort, that I will be briefly outlining what happened and why I went to hospital. It's not incredibly dramatic, but I don't want to upset anyone. Furthermore I am in good health, relatively speaking, and I am not in any danger.
With that out of the way, lets get to it.

I'll quickly run through how I ended up in hospital and why first before I go into specifics.
The short version is that I awoke with a migraine on Tuesday 22nd of August. Never having experienced one before, I took a guess that I was experiencing side effects from having taken my pills too early the night before and awakening too late that morning. I took my pills and crawled back into bed, sending my mother a message that I was feeling rather unwell.

A quick point I want to push is that I have never had this kind of head pain before, and I know I probably shouldn't have loaded up on my pills, I was in too much pain to think it through.

Back to it; not long after that message I began to feel nauseous and promptly took myself to the bathroom. During this time my 'normal' muscular spasms were still occurring which made dry heaving rather painful. Nothing happened, I went back to bed. My mother arrived and I immediately ran to the bathroom again, except this time there was blood. Rushed to doctors surgery, then to Hospital, finally got a bed and waited for a doctor.
Turns out that my muscle spasms may have caused a slight tear in my gullet, resulting in the blood. Otherwise, I was fine, excluding the migraine. I happened to have a neurology appointment at that hospital on the same day and luckily I was allowed to attend. After a quick discussion it was decided that I would stay in hospital for a few days in order to 'speed-run' some tests. I was discharged on the Friday and that's all there is to why I was there.


So there is the story of my trip to the hospital. A scary start to an otherwise very boring three days. However a few things happened during my stay that I would like to talk about. Some good, some bad. I'm going to talk about the good first, mainly because slightly overlaps with the bad.

Two main things happened whilst I was on the ward. The first that I will talk about are the people I met. For the sake of protecting identity's I will not be using names. The nursing staff were wonderful for the most part. Overworked for sure, but they did their best to make you comfortable. I was treated very well along with my fellow ward-mates, and the food was not nearly as bad as I expected. If I had questions or pain there was always someone available to help me out, even if I couldn't always get answers. My Neurologist came by everyday to discuss what tests were going to be run, and I have to say, it was nice to be kept in the loop. Mostly these were blood tests, along with an eye exam and an MRI. All of which were performed without issue by very understanding people.
Also a special mention goes to those that were on the ward with me. One who had arrived shortly before me, and the other that had been there for a lot longer. The one that had been there for longer was under the same neurologist as me, but I have to say they were in significantly worse state than me. In spite of this, the person themselves, and their family were extremely welcoming and I really felt honored to meet such strong and kind people.
To them I say thank you, a real inspiration.


Now over to the bad.
Whilst some of the following are genuine problems that I believe need to be addressed, I admit one is just a personal gripe. A personal gripe which I will cover now very quickly.

One nurse thought very highly of themselves and felt it necessary to tell me how to run my blog, along with being incredibly condescending towards everyone on the ward. This extended to other staff as well as patients. I have immense respect for hospital nursing staff, and I know that you are skilled in your fields. This is not a complaint against you. this is a complaint against anyone that would talk down to someone simply because they feel they can, or because that person has mental/neurological difficulties.
Excluding that, the real concerns I have are to do with how Mental Health is regarded by professionals, and also the kind of treatment I was given.
My issue with professionals became apparent on my first night on the ward. Now, this was after my Doctor was satisfied that the symptoms that had brought me in were of no real danger, and was now interested in my muscular spasms. This was not my Neurologist, I would not see him until later that day, but this Doctor was justifiably interested in the movements and vocal issues. I attempted to explain as best I could that this was an ongoing problem and that it tended to get worse when my anxiety flared up. However, the moment I said anxiety I was actually told to hush up and that 'everyone gets anxious and depressed it doesn't matter, what is causing this?'
I am not a confrontational person by nature and I was also in a lot of pain at the time. However, I was stunned by this total dismissal of serious mental health conditions. The conversation was pretty one sided from that point as I couldn't get a word in. Soon after I would be moved to a new ward after seeing my Neurologist, and I did not see said Doctor again. Personally, that dismissal of Mental Health infuriated me, particularly because this was supposed to be a Medical professional. Maybe it's just me? Maybe I should shut up, after all, Doc knows Best.....

(This isn't him!)

The second thing that I thought was wrong was the tests that I had done in my time there. I'm not complaining about how they were performed, and I'm very grateful that I had them done. The issue I have, is that in three days I had almost 20 vials of blood taken, and MRI and an eye exam (checking for Wilson's Disease). All that in three days! That's more than I've had in Eleven Months! I only got this treatment because I was an inpatient. An inpatient that was admitted for a totally different reasons than those I was being treated for! I was not in any danger, and yet, because I was in a Hospital, they could make time to examine me. If I'd known that I'd have hobbled onto a main road months ago.
Obviously I jest, but I think it's wrong that I made more progress by sheer good (despite the migraine) luck. If my symptoms are serious enough to get me this treatment in Hospital, why haven't they been done before? The only answer I can come up with, is that Mental Health is not an issue as long as it is not seen. Another reason these conditions are called invisible illnesses.
I don't think it's too much to ask that Medical Professionals should treat medically documented conditions, regardless of how they present.

Anyway, I've ranted enough for today. Again I'm sorry it has been so long, I will try to be more regular with my posting.
Over to you.
What are your thoughts on this?
Do you have any questions about my visit?
Perhaps you have had similar experiences?
Leave a comment below, send me and e-mail or message me on the Facebook Page.

Thank you for your support and until next time,
This has been, A Jackals Voice.

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