Discharge disaster

hmmm so far this hospital has screwed up twice, in quite major ways… interesting given they are private and charge an arm and a leg.

First with the agency nurse who didn’t check on me, missed out my meds and didn’t do any obs for her shift.

Now the discharge process.  Not impressed. In fact quite literally might be scarred for life.

Nurse comes in this morning and says I’ve spoken with Frank your surgeon and he says you’ve had a bowel motion so you can go home – yippee? really home tonight when? don’t I need to see him? No he said it’s fine just see him in 4 weeks. We’ll take your drain out and the rest of the staples and you can go. Ok cool, I said stupidly thinking well if the surgeon said it was fine it must be Ok.

So two hours later, drain out, staples out, bags packed and ready off I went with some butterfly stitches things holding my guts together.

As the day progressed, so did the gap between the left and right side of my belly button, the scar was stretching open and a yellow oozy cavern was opening up in between.

Hmm… this doesn’t look so good, so I called the nurse and she said oh thats should be Ok go to the pharmacist and ask them to give you some butterfly stitches and try and bring the two sides back together. Ok sounds easy enough.

Off to the pharmacy, where the women in there sighed and said urgh put that away can you stand over there I might throw up… seriously it wasn’t that bad, and I mean pick the right bloody workplace if your squeamish why dont’ you – stupid woman. The pharmacist took a look at it and was like oh wow bowel resection oh yes, that looks nasty, I am not going to give you any bandages you need to go back to hospital immediately. Really ? i dont’ feel bad it doesn’t sting, it’s not hot or red or smelly (all the things my piece of paper said to look out for). So I called the nurse and lucky for us we live in an age of photo messaging.

So I took some snaps on my iphone of the wound and MMS’d them to her personal mobile phone (iphone to, trendy nurse:-) ) I had to send her a couple to get a good view of colour and light, but it is quite hard with a photo I think a video call would have been much better as you can talk and move the camera as you discuss.

sorry for the yuck factor

Anyway she said Ok lets call the surgeon and make sure he’s ok. An hour later of left messages and pagers and my mother having a heart attack saying, oh my god your going to have a huge scar, it’s appalling I can’t believe they did this to my baby – think nagging old jewish grandma overreacting and your getting close…

An hour later got through to Frank who promptly said to me why did you leave hte hospital and sounded really pissed off with me?

What the?

Umm the nurse told me you said I had to go? sheesh this is what happens when the staff are incentivised with how quickly they can turn around patients – after 7 days the hospitals start loosing money so they want you out of there so they can bring in the bigger bucks – screw your health.

So after being told I’d been bad leaving and then agreeing that actually no the nurse was the bad one, I asked maybe as St Vincents hospital is closer to me here in Carlton i should just pop in there and they can stitch it up – he inhaled deeply and said absolutely no way, dont’ let anyone else touch it, emergency nurse and also you shouldn’t have a pharmacist tell you what to do about a surgical wound they dont’ know anything about that stuff so don’t take their advice in future, and dont’ let anyone touch that wound except me or the nurses here ( I wonder if thats because he doesn’t want a future law suit or because he wants the best care?).

He said look your on antibiotics because it was red a few days ago this is probably some of that gunk coming out so better out that forming an abscess, Cover it with a dry pad and you can get it wet, just no soap or anything else in it. Lets see how it it in a week. If it gets hot, red, itchy, painful or smelly call me immediately.

So here I am at home hoping a stray dog hair doesn’t waft into my scar and wondering how much is business and how much is healthcare in this whole scenario.

oh well, at least I’m at home.




About rdesain

I am a passionate advocate for ehealth, I believe we are at an exciting point in time that technology can revolutionize the delivery of healthcare. I am also a patient, with a chronic disease and this is my journey of major surgery - I hope to highlight where possible , opportunities for eHealth.
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