My hospital experience

Riverside shelduck which I hope to see soon again

On 6th November 2020 I woke up feeling generally very unwell and with a protruding lump in my abdomen. I telephoned my GP surgery and subsequently spoke to a doctor. She arranged for me to attend Southend Hospital that afternoon.

I duly went to the hospital. The consultant there said they would have to operate on what was a strangulated hernia that night. I telephoned Gloria, my wife to tell her as due to Covid she had not been able to come into the hospital.

I remember nothing after that, not even being prepared for surgery. The operation itself was apparently a success as Gloria was informed at 5 o’clock the following morning, but subsequently I had a brain bleed, was in ICU for five days and was in an induced coma for a while. I remember nothing at all of November or of the first couple of weeks of December, and most of the rest of December is pretty hazy. I do remember having roast turkey in hospital on Christmas Day.

I think I was in Southend Hospital for about four weeks before being transferred to Broomfield Chelmsford.

Having been “critical” to start with, I was probably fortunate to survive, and it must have been dreadfully worrying for Gloria when I was so ill.

I was moved from Broomfield to Braintree Community Hospital on 27th December, and discharged from there on 15th January. I have been sent to a care home.

In Broomfield and Braintree I saw physiotherapists as having been laid up for so long I was virtually paralysed as my muscles had forgotten how to work. I can still barely stand and cannot walk, but I have been discharged by the hospital to a facility which has no physio support. After getting me over the main illness the NHS has left me high and dry.

I am trying to either get moved from what is an excellent care home to a more suitable facility, or to arrange for a physiotherapist to come in to visit and supply equipment. The care home is fine for the very elderly residents, but I was told by the physios in the hospital that I have every chance of getting back to normal, the state of health I had before November. Of course those physios assumed I would get ongoing therapy, which the hospitals have neglected to arrange now I am out.

I have only seen Gloria in the flesh once since I as taken ill, and that was presumably on compassionate grounds when my situation was still serious. I do not really remember much about her visit. It has been all very difficult for Gloria. She has been brilliant at supporting me and running the household, to which I so wish to return when I have some mobility. Fortunately we can have video chats several times a day so thank goodness for technology.

PS: I have arranged private physiotherapy to start on Monday 1st February, and also hope to hear from the community NHS physiotherapists. I should not have had to do this all myself, but at least I should make some progress.

Gloria came to see me yesterday and we conversed not at all privately through a perspex screen. Online video gives a better level of communication but it was great to see Gloria even if the meeting was unsatisfactory.

1 thought on “My hospital experience

  1. Hi Jon. Boy, have you been through the mill. Things appear to be on the up but but not everything appears to be available re the follow up support you need, alas. I hope there is an improvement on that front, as you’ve done the hard yards thus far.
    An awful time for Gloria and so drawn out. Marion kindly kept us all up to date on your progress, throughout. Tough for her too.
    Again, I’m glad you have made progress to this point and let’s hope that one day at some point, we can all meet up again.
    Take care Jon

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