I was due to have my ankle fused and a tendon stretched, due to my Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA). I was booked in for the procedure to take place in July 2019. In preparation, I stopped taking my medication (Humira and Warfarin).
The day before I was due to go in, I wad told that the procedure had been cancelled due to an emergency. I started taking my medication again.
I was told my operation was rearranged for Friday 23 August 2019 and to get myself to Wycombe Hospital for 7:30 am. When I arrived at the hospital it was raining and there wasn’t any shelter at the Loakes Centre, nor were the doors open.
When I got in, I saw the Anaesthesist who told me I would be having a nerve block in my ankle and a General Anaesthetic. When I came round after the three-hour operation, I was crying. I was in so much pain. The nerve block had worn off. I was not given enough. I had not been fitted with a Catheter, even though the consultant had told me I should not put any weight on my foot.
The Nurse in charge was told what operation I had and what medication I had with me.
I was gasping for a drink but did not want one, as I was worried I would be offered a bedpan, which I can not use due to my weight and the RA in my wrists. I eventually needed to go, so a Health Care Assistant wheeled a commode around to use in the toilet. He did introduce himself, which was a first. However, I had to put my foot on the floor to balance myself. I had just had rods fitted to my ankle, which could have snapped. When I got back from the toilet, I had to adjust the bed myself and then bend the pillow in two so that my foot was raised. I did not have any help at any time. All of the other ladies who had been operated on had Catheters fitted. Why not me?
The toilet on the ward was dirty. The underside of the seat had not been cleaned properly. I had to ask someone to clean it. My bed was next to the toilet so I watched them cleaning it. They gave it a quick wipe (missing some) and then used their shoe to lower the seat!
It was time for me to have a Cannula. I was not asked which hand, I just offered up my right. In hindsight… When I next went to the toilet, I must have loosened it. Suddenly, it had sprayed all over the sink. It had reached the wheels of the Commode making bloody tracks through the ward. The blood had splattered on my bandages, which were not then changed. This was a hot Bank Holiday weekend and when I got home the flies were very interested.
The Night Duty Nurse was an agency nurse. She couldn’t remember her PIN for an app on the NHS mobile which was used for observation (obs).
The next day I wanted to go home. I was told the staff like to ‘clear out’ the patients on Bank Holiday weekends. The Physiotherapist came round to fit me with a shoe and gave me a walking frame. They asked me to hop ten paces to her and jump up a step. If she had read my notes properly, she would have seen that apart from RA, I have had my right knee replaced before, and also have two curvatures in my spine, stenosis and nerve pain in both thighs. However, I just wanted to be out of there so I tried my best and luckily it got me home.
Can you relate to Janes experience? Let us know in the comments.