Recently I have been chatting with family members who all have differing medical conditions and our talk turned to the NHS and whether we all thought it was good or bad from a personal point of view.
Now, for me at the age of 38 I have to say that from my own experience I would have to say it has been a good one.
I’ve never had a bad experience so can’t say otherwise. I have been treated many times for different conditions, illnesses and ailments from sprains, mystery stomach pains when younger which had me hospitalised, a 2nd degree burn to my face when pregnant with Emmy however the main reason I used the NHS over the years was for my recurrent miscarriages.
After 3 miscarriages before having Emmy, I was expecting to have a fight on my hands to get booked in to see a consultant and get the tests rolling however my doctor was great and sent me straight off to Harlow to see a consultant, under his care I underwent multiple tests from blood tests, Chromosome testing on both myself and on Paul, internal examinations and many scans amongst other tests too numerous to name. After all the results came back normal we were still left with no answers and with so many questions. Our consultant was amazing, he sat and listened to my fears, held my hand while I cried and tried to reassure us that it didn’t mean we couldn’t have our rainbow baby.
He had done all that he could do for us at our local hospital but wasn’t prepared to write us off as another statistic – 5% of women who suffer recurrent miscarriages do so for no reason with all testing coming back clear/normal. Well I can tell you after loosing 3 babies you certainly don’t feel normal, you feel far from it, like normal is a thing of the past and you’re unsure just how to move past it.
Our wonderful consultant offered us a referral to see the top miscarriage consultant in a top London hospital – I had researched this hospital and this consultant completely prepared to fight my corner as to why I NEEDED to see her, however it wasn’t necessary – he offered us a referral instantly and unprompted. He really wanted to help.
It turns out we didn’t actually get that far as I fell pregnant with Emmy before my appointment came through, I then couldn’t see this new consultant as you can’t be pregnant, my old consultant then took me back under his wing. I called his secretary the day I found out I was pregnant, his secretary was actually the 2nd person to know I was pregnant. He called me back the same day, put me on 75mg Asprin daily and scanned me fortnightly from 5 weeks and was only a call away should I need to speak with him.
That pregnancy ended at 42+4 weeks with a 8lbs 13oz Emmy, my consultant came to see me and Emmy while we were in hospital for the 2 days after my emergency C-section, and he shed a tear with me on the ward.
All NHS treatment! It’s safe to say I have received some amazing treatment under the NHS, I was even put back under the care of the same consultant during my pregnancy with Harry – after another 2 miscarriages.
Other family members have had mixed treatment – My uncle had 14 heart attacks and survived each and every one! Amazing I have to say, he’s no longer with us after passing away a few years ago but considering ALL the medical conditions he had and how well he coped with them it really was amazing and the treatment he received was brilliant, mostly. He was blind after losing his sight to diabetes, his kidneys had fails so he was on dialysis, toped with being wheelchair bound and the numerous heart attacks he had had the treatment he received was great.
However, he did also contract MRSA numerous times while in hospital, infact so did my Dad and many others I know.
My Dad had a rather bad experience years ago which gave us all a huge fright during what was a minor procedure. He has a heart condition and has Stents through his arteries to his heart to stop the blockages occurring, during a procedure to see if his Stents were clear (a procedure he had had a few times before) the surgeon nicked an artery causing lots of blood loss, this simple day procedure resulted in Dad being whizzed through to the ICU and spending the night on the ward following a major bleed.
Mum and I had gone to Breakfast while Dad had his procedure, we returned to an empty bed, his things all gone and no-one around to tell us where he was or what had happened. It was a heart in your mouth frantic 10 minutes before we heard he was OK and what had happened and understandably it has scarred Dad. He has undergone counselling and is now scared of the procedure understandably – He has combatted this fear very bravely to have the procedure redone again during which we found out his Stents have closed and he needed another major operation.
This has been done and all went well in the London Heart Hospital. Currently he is now awaiting the results of an X-Ray he had on his knee as he has lots of pain, swelling and bruising – the doctor thinks it could be his knees wearing our slowly so he could end up on a list awaiting a knee replacement operation.
That’s both good and bad experiences for him.
We discovered the bad again when Paul’s Mum was diagnosed with Cancer, her treatment was delayed, appointments not allocated and numerous other things went wrong including when she was at the end of her life we had to fight with the doctors to allow her to come home and spend her remaining days at home in the comfort surrounded by her family and loved ones. It was this reason which led me to write about the importance of having medical power of attorney which I seriously urge everyone to look into.
Other friends we know have also had differing experiences within the NHS, some of course great and some not so brilliant and they are looking into clinical negligence.
So I guess the NHS really is a personal thing, your opinion of it is usually based upon your experience of it.
Our last experience was when Harry needed an emergency operation after knocking his teeth loose in an accident in the park, after a dentist trip we were referred to a nearby dentist for extraction however the wait so long we took him to London and he had an operation under general to remove his top two teeth, I cried when he was in theatre but he coped so well and then proceeded to eat everything in sight when leaving the hospital – typical Harry really.
Have you had a good or bad experience?