letting it out

So I guess I wanted to get down what has happened over the last 3 weeks, for my own record more than anything.  I’m still not sure if I want to think about it or not, so this post may take some time. Or may not happen at all.

I feel like the whole thing has been mismanaged for the whole year. I am pissed off that it took so long for my surgical team to make decisions regarding my health and I am also annoyed that they were so conservative for so long.  From what I’ve been told from other medical professionals within the hospital, the whole thing was one big avoidable cock up, that could have been prevented nearly 2 years ago if only someone had bothered to make the decision then.  But that’s not going to change anything now is it?

I’m not even sure where to start, it’s really been done to death hasn’t it?

In the end, after all the faffing about, I had a bloody big abscess in my liver. It wasn’t a “collection of fluid” though it may once have been. Somewhere along the way the surgeons introduced THREE infections into my liver, either via the placement of the tube or the stent. I have a golden staph infection, an e coli infection and something else I forget, but which is the worst one.  I was regularly visited by a lady who I called the Infection Lady, but whose title was much nicer, something like Head of Infectious Diseases. She was visibly shocked at how long this had been going on for, calling my surgical team “morons” and disagreeing with most things they had done. With hindsight I’m inclined to agree with her.  It was her job, after growing cultures from what they pulled out of my liver, to recommend treatment in the form of antibiotics. My unit regularly went against her wishes, took me off antibiotics without telling her and so on. All I can do now is roll my eyes.

There never seemed to be a definitive plan, even the day my tubes were removed they changed their minds 2 or 3 times about what they were doing, confusing me and the nurses. Let’s take them all out, let’s take one out, let’s take two out. How about you go bash your heads against a wall and get back to me when you’ve made a decision no?

Now I’m home I’m too wary to say that it’s over. I’m still spiking temperatures at night, but during the day I’m okay. I’m feeling average, tired, sore, full of drugs, unable to do much, pretty bored. I’m scared things will stop getting better and that I’ll end up in hospital again, I’m all for positive thinking but one has to be realistic. It is my main aim not to end up back in there as that would break my already battered heart. So I’m feeling a bit on edge and can be a bit snappy to those closest to me. I don’t like feeling this way, I don’t feel like I have any control at the moment. I’d dearly love for that to change.

Then there’s Centrelink.  My registrar PROMISED me over and over that she’d help me put in all the necessary paperwork to claim some sickness benefit. So why then have I had to do it all myself, after I got home?  The forms are sat here on the end of my couch, ready to go, though I’m pretty sure they’re inadequate. I cannot drive, I can’t walk long distances, so not sure how they’re going to GET to Centrelink. Yeh, thanks for your assistance registrar, oh and to you the ever so busy hospital social worker whose job it is to ASSIST me, the patient with doing such things. You don’t just give me a card with Centrelink’s number on it and tell me to ring them myself.  Douchbag. So I haven’t had an income in over a month, and will not for another month or so, but that’s okay apparently.

See, I’m angry, no wonder I’m snippy.

Maybe I have a case for medical malpractice, is that what it’s called?  But then who the fuck can be bothered with all that?  I don’t have the energy.

Don’t get me wrong, the nurses and staff on my ward were amazing. They cared for me and made me feel like I was important. When I struggled they were there and when I wanted a joke we mucked about. It wasn’t all doom and gloom. Nurses should get double what they do, honestly they’re the important ones.  In fact, all those big wig specialists should take a pay cut to fund the nurses pay rise, coz they sure as shit don’t have any bedside manner, let alone empathy. Oh boy. My specialist appeared to have made grunting like an ape his art form.  He could suck the personality out of a whole hospital wing just by appearing.

Through this experience I certainly learned who my true (real life) friends were. They were the ones that bothered to visit, or ring. They were the ones that made sure I was okay in person, not via facebook or twitter.  It’s amazing when you’re down and out and vulnerable how much shit talking is done and how little action is taken. Don’t worry, I don’t hold grudges, I just move on with my life.

It is good to be home, it’s wonderful to have my cats back and to be able to sleep in my own bed and all that. I am getting bored already, but that’s okay. This year has been an absolute shit fight for me and I need the time to recuperate both physically and mentally, and somehow I think the physical scars will fade a lot quicker this time round.

~ by Fen on May 12, 2012.

11 Responses to “letting it out”

  1. Man, I had no idea all that went on.
    I can see why you’ve been so down. That’s just bullshit incompetent and a lack of human skills.

    I would say you do have a case for malpractice, but again, do you want to spend all your energy and time(stressing out) following it through?
    Could be years in the making… and these fuckers always have big wig lawyers on hand, don’t they.

    I’m real sorry you were let down by friends… I know it doesn’t mean much when I say that I’m heaps far away, and would visit if I were closer, but it’s true. I would have.
    Facebook and Twitter and all those social media things are killing real face time now days. It’s sad, but true.
    We hardly ever see our friends or family anymore. We always seem to chase people. But late last year I decided to give up chasing everyone, and let them do it for a change… heh, yeah, that hasn’t worked. No one ever rings or comes over.
    Oh well, their loss!

    Sure hope that you’re temperature starts to come down and you start to feel better soon.

    Good luck with Centrelink- fuckers.

    What’s happening with your work? Do you still have a job?

  2. holy freaking jeebus Fenstar..

  3. Specialists make big decisions and occasionally check what is happening. Nurses see the day to day. An experienced nurse has seen many day to day things, and they are the smart ones. If you ever hear contradiction between a nurse and a specialist, say nothing, but take on board what the nurse says. I sincerely hope you are not in this situation again for a very long time. Hospital social workers were pretty good for our heart transplant friend.

  4. Ok…I think you should go after them for malpractice. I am so weary of hearing other doctors bitch about how hard their job is. You train for it. Do it. And I get pissy with doctors who refuse to return phone calls from uneasy patients. Pick up the phone. That’s what you get paid the big bucks for. But…yes…I learned more from nurses when I worked in an ER than I did from anyone else. And they shared freely. They also seemed to not lose the knack for seeing the whole person, not just a diseased liver, a faulty heart valve, an infected leg.

    What happened to you was unnecessary and borderline cruel. And it sounds as if you may have the infectious disease specialist on board, so step 1…let yourself heal, step 2…sue for malpractice.

    I think you have a good case and you will need the money.

  5. I feel like an utter bag of shit now for not being a better friend.

    I hope this is the final chapter and you’re on the right treatment program now.

  6. I totally understand your anger and exhaustion – THIS SHOULD NEVER HAVE HAPPENED, and the only one picking up the tab for it is YOU. Bloody right you should sue – but now now, of course – you have to work your way back to health, and that’s gonna’ require all your focus for now.

    So glad you’re home (hugs).

  7. they ignored Infection Lady’s instructions? I would assume she is tearing them a new one on your behalf. I have always said that a hospital is a dangerous place after I got the golden staph at RWH having my first child.
    Wishing you a calm week and the pleasure and love of the kitties will restore you X X X

  8. Hi there Fenstar, I wandered over here after you left a comment on my blog and …. well ….. I’ve had a very long read and cannot believe the hell you have been through!

    I’m with the rest of your friends here – get better and then seek legal advice. Two years of wasted time, pain, inconvenience and stuff ups with upcoming Centrelink battles and recuperation MUST BE ACCOUNTED for.

  9. Don’t worry about being snappy, it’s just part of recovery and probably tears will follow. My sister has been nursing for 35 years and I can’t count the times she’s wanted to rip a doctor apart especially when it’s an elderly patient who hasn’t much time and doctor’s want all sorts of invasive tests that won’t prolong life. She also knows the worst spreaders of infection are the same doctors.
    Get one of those law firms that only get paid with a result because doctors pay insurance for their stuff-ups.
    Enjoy the kitties and let your mind and body recover, it will take time.

  10. […] For those interested, here are some links to the initial posts. Surgery 2010 / Surgery 2012 / Thoughts on everything […]

  11. […] had complications followed by 3 infections whereby I almost didn’t make it, followed by more major surgery. Pain and I were definitely on first name terms. Especially when I started developing allergies to […]

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