I thought I’d leave it a while to post again, give myself some perspective and time to think about things after coming out of hospital.
It’s been a week since leaving hospital and I have to say thats the time i’d most like to have video calling access to a nurse or to the surgeon. As you may have read in the previous post, my wound (from belly button to top of pubic bone) has a big gap in it, it’s not that bad about 6-8mm but it does look kind of gross and I think perhaps they shouldn’t have taken the staples out as early as they did. It will mean I have a much bigger scar this way which for some people would be a bit of an issue but hey it’s surgery number 6 for me and my stomach has a number of scars on it from both open and laparascopic surgeries, and to be fair I”m not sure the last time my belly was exposed to the public! Most of us are not blessed with barbie bodies and after the age of 25 should really keep it covered up – actually no sod that, thats a hideous way to think, people of all shapes and sizes should feel comfortable to wear what they like at the beach, me personally I’m embarrassed and I cover up my wobbly bits.
I went to see Frank the surgeon on Tuesday to just check the wound as my mother had gotten in my ear about it and I just wanted to shut her up that it was Ok and not infected. Seems all is fine and thats great news – wish i didn’t have to get in the car drive 30minutes and then find a park, then wait to see him – would have been great to be able to do it via a video call – but I guess would he have had the right information needed to assess the wound and me? So much of how you are is the colour of your skin, the way you walk, that look in your eye – will that be lost on video consultations?
I was right though and that stupid nurse at the hospital was in the wrong, she should not have let me leave the hospital before I had seen my surgeon and in fact she lied, I asked her whether Frank wanted to see me before I was discharged and she said no no I’ve spoken with him it’s fine he wants you to go – apparently thats nowhere near the truth. She had a management incentive to get me out of my bed by 10am – stuff the fact that my surgeon wanted to see me and inspect the wound before releasing me and was going to be in surgery till 4pm so couldn’t get there – DODGY… I’m quite upset by that really, it shows that money and process rules instead of people and safety – thats pretty horrific for a hospital right?
Getting back to the technology though I think it needs to be there to support existing practices and a lot of this talk of it “taking over” is a bit ridiculous, being able to maximise the time a doctor, nurse or whoever spends with a patient as “care” time rather than admin time.
The biggest thing I’ve wanted to have since leaving hospital is a trusted healthcare service or person I can ask the “is this normal?” questions to. When you’re in hospital they are there right on teh end of a buzzer to answer your questions help you out, tell you what to expect, but once you get home – you’re on your own. Understanding what’s happening to you and thats it’s Ok or better yet it’s not Ok and please come in and do something about it – would be really handy.
I wonder how many repeat admissions would be prevented if people had an easily accessible video call number or just general call centre of nurses that specialized in post operative care, you could call and ask all your questions, or type them into a chat session online. It would link to my personal electronic health record and I would grant them access to read about my operation and what was done and they could add notes so that in 2 months time when I go back to my surgeon he can see how my recovery went.
Particularly for things like bowel surgery where unlike a broken bone or something more visible it’s really hard to remember what your bowel movements or activity was like during the recovery period when your asked about it 2 months later when you’re feeling good.
I have started a little diary to monitor how different foods I”m eating are affecting me – I won’t get into too much detail but if you’re planning to get 10cm of your large intestine removed you do not want to eat anything that gives you gas or makes you constipated or need to run to the loo. Keep it nice soft and simple!!
Anyway enough from me – hope you all have a lovely christmas !