Reflections on health emergencies
This post is not about any individual. All the doctors and nurses involved were professional and kind in their work.
A few weeks back, I was incoherent with a Bipolar episode. I made my way to the GP surgery and looked at the receptionist, who put me in a little room and went to get a doctor. GPs can’t admit people to psych wards, so he rang the Community Mental Health Team. My Community Psychiatric Nurse came along with a colleague. Community Psychiatric Teams also cannot admit people to psych wards, so they took me to the assessment place to meet with the aptly named Crisis Team. These 2 nurses waited several hours with me for the Crisis Team, during which time I became worse and they had to cancel their appointments, miss their lunch and cram the following week’s diary with all the stuff they’d had to put off whilst waiting with me. By the time the Crisis Team arrived, I had been getting worse for about 9 hours since first presenting myself as someone needing emergency help. I was admitted late in the evening. A few days later, I woke up and realised I wasn’t mad anymore which was a huge relief. I have, however, been in a depression ever since.
This week, a bacterial infection took advantage of a virus that had taken advantage of a low immune system. I went to casualty with obvious physical symptoms. Within 10 minutes of arriving, I was attached to an ECG machine, being given fluids and then IV penicillin and pain relief and nurses had installed a fan to bring my temperature down.
See how few words that took in comparison to the first anecdote?
It’s not news but we need to keep pointing it out until the system is improved.
As an afterthought: whilst I have been in bed immobilised with depression, I have been frustrated about my lack of ability to do things, embarrassed, ashamed, guilty and with falling self-esteem. In bed weak with infection, I have been frustrated about my lack of ability to do things.