Saturday, 23 January 2016

Being a Mum can be hard

Sometimes being a single Mum can be really difficult. It's hard when you know one of your children is struggling and there is nothing you can do except be there for them. I want to take their pain and worries away but sometime that is just not possible.
My daughter went all the way to Maryland in America to study at the university until the summer. The preparation was stressful and she didn't get her things ready until the very last minute.
I got up at 3am and drove her 2 hours to the airport in Manchester and then drove all the way home, worrying whether she had caught her flight ok and if her case was too heavy etc.... I then worked all day and was so shattered that I got ill with a bad cold and chest infection.
When my daughter arrived in America the airline had lost her case. It was freezing cold and she didn't have the warmest clothes on, plus she left her coat in my car! Tearful phone calls continued for 3 days and she had no clean, warm clothes, no bedding and no one she could turn to. I just wanted to jump on a plane, give her some clean clothes and a cuddle and then come home but I couldn't.
I just felt so unsettled knowing that she was in a bad place. I did what I could and contacted the airline and eventually she got her case back.
Home sick phone calls continued with her saying she hadn't made any friends etc and I just couldn't settle. I felt so helpless. She was sleeping on a bed with no bedding and it just didn't seem right.
Today however, she has some bedding and has been out with some new friends. She seems a lot happier and maybe I can settle again.
It just got me thinking that when I had my 3 children I didn't sign up to be a single Mum and do it all by myself. All the worry is horrible and it would have been so much better to have her Dad to share it with. I even did something I have never done before and I emailed Bruce to tell him how much we were struggling. I know it won't get me anywhere and he won't reply but for once he might worry a tiny bit or wonder if she is ok and he might know a bit of what I go through.
I'm so proud of her and really want her to enjoy this experience and make the most of it but so far it hasn't been a brilliant start and it can only get better

Sunday, 10 January 2016

What a week!!!

Just had a really bad week and am exhausted.
About a week ago my beautiful labrador, Lottie, stopped eating and suddenly looked really ill. After a few trips to the vets we found out that she had an enormous tumour in her stomach that was inoperable. I brought her home for one last night and we all said our goodbyes to her and then the vet came round to the house to put her to sleep. I snuggled her up in her bed and kept her calm and he gave her an injection. Within seconds she had gone but it was peaceful. I'm missing her so much as we had had her since she was 5 weeks old and she was nearly 14. I am trying to remember all the lovely times we had but it is a bit raw right now. We have her daughter, Rosey, who is 10. She is missing her Mum and has become my shadow.
I have started taking citalopram and it is making me feel really crap. I feel sick all the time, dizzy at times and my temperature is all over the place. Am not sure if that is due to an infected wound or the tablet. When you look at the side effects for citalopram there are so many!!! I'm going to try and stay on them but might cut the tablet in half tomorrow as I somehow have to go to work and won't be able to if I continue to feel sick and dizzy.
I have a meeting on Tuesday afternoon to go over my complaint about A&E. I'm glad they're taking it seriously but I'm not looking forward to going over it all again with someone else.

Monday, 4 January 2016

Response so far

Dear Julie,

Thank you for your e-mail dated 3 January 2016.

Your concerns are in relation to the care provided by A&E, Queens Medical Centre (QMC).

I am very sorry to hear of the distress and anxiety you have experienced and I can assure you that a full investigation will be requested.

Before we can proceed with your complaint, we will need consent to investigate your concerns and forward your letter to the provider.  I would be grateful therefore if you could return the attached consent form giving the NHS Nottingham North and East Clinical Commissioning Group permission to investigate your concerns and forward your letter.  As soon as we have received your consent form we will write to Patient Experience Team, QMC asking for your issues to be investigated promptly.

It will also be helpful if you could state on the consent form your preferred method of contact for keeping you informed about the progress of your complaint.   Please note that for confidentiality reasons we may not leave messages on an answerphone.

Please note that during the investigation, our Complaints Department will need to be satisfied that all of your concerns have been appropriately investigated and responded to and have sufficient time to prepare the response letter.  I therefore anticipate that we should be able to respond to you within 35 working days of receipt of the consent form. I will let you know if we are unable to meet this timescale.

During our investigation we will be looking to establish the following:

1.     The conduct of the Doctor ‘Chris’
2.     An explanation why the Doctor refused the gown and blanket brought to you
3.     An explanation why pain relief was offered but not provided
4.     An explanation why A&E could not provide a prescription for one tablet of lorazepam
5.     An explanation why there appeared to be a lack of basis care and communication from all staff members

Your expected outcome is:

1.     An apology and explanation of the events that took place on 3 January 2016
2.     Staff informed of the outcome of the investigation and the impact this had on the patient
3.     Assurance that measures have been put in place to eliminate other patients experiencing the same difficulties
4.     To make the service aware of patient feedback

cid:image001.png@01D087F9.50B52680DISCLAIMER: This e-mail and any files transmitted with it are confidential and intended solely for the use of the individual or entity to which they transmitted may be subject to disclosure 

Sunday, 3 January 2016


Ended up in A&E last night and had to make the following complaint

I am not sure if this is the correct way to make a complaint directly to my CCG but maybe you can point me in the right direction.
This morning at 4am I unfortunately had to go to A&E. I suffer from Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and subsequently have mental health problems. In recent years I have repeatedly had to attend A&E to be stitched up etc. Recently I have been trying very hard not to self harm and have been accessing therapy and support and hadn't been to the department for quite a while.
When I got there the streaming nurse recognised me and said how well I have been doing and she had noticed that I haven't been for a while. She was very caring and supportive. I really hate going to A&E. I call it 'The walk of shame' as I know my wounds are self inflicted.
Earlier this morning I had had a nightmare and flashback and had woken up yet again with a wet bed, crying and shaking and so frightened. When I am in this state I disassociate and today I found myself in the bathroom with scissors in my hand and had stabbed myself in the chest.
I knew I needed medical attention and stitches so I reluctantly went to A&E.
The streaming nurse took my hand and led me into the resus section of A&E as the stab wound in my chest was deep.
When I walked in I felt so upset and frightened and it is really loud and busy. The doctor, called Chris, recognised me. He sat me on a bed and the nurse bought a gown and blanket. He coldly said that he won't need them. He briefly looked at my wound. Didn't ask me many questions but did ask if I wanted pain relief which I said I did. He never gave me any but made me feel like I deserved the pain I was in. He bought a kit over and coldly stitched my wound and then said he would get DPM to see me. He put on a plaster that I am allergic to but I didn't have the courage to say anything.
At 4.30 he left me curled under my coat, cold and upset and never spoke to me again.
I cried and felt so lost and pathetic. I hate it when I hurt myself and never want to be at the hospital.
Later on they put me in a different area of the department and I laid there for 3 hours on my own. When the new staff came on a male nurse put a blanket over me and that made me cry more as I didn't feel I deserved any act of kindness.
I was wheeled into the other side of A&E and placed in the middle of the department on a trolley. I cried even more and was in pain.
At 9am I finally saw a man from DPM. He told me to go home and to call my MHT tomorrow. I told him how frightened I was about hurting myself and that I was in pain. I asked for one tablet for tonight so I had something to calm me down but he told me I had to ring 111 and he couldn't help me.
I left the department at 9.30, really upset. I had to sit in my car in the car park and ring 111 to ask NEMS to call me. I sat in my car for nearly an hour and a GP rang me back and luckily gave me a prescription for one tablet of lorazepam so I can be safertonight. I picked up the prescription on my way home from hospital.
I know that I self harm and can understand the judgement that professionals make but I was treated really coldly and in an uncaring way. It just compounds the thoughts that I have that I am dirty, stupid and disgusting. No one cared that I was upset, cold, in pain and alone and I got the impression that they think if they treat me like that I won't do it again but unfortunately mental health doesn't work like that and I don't have a lot of control. I am waiting for in patient trauma therapy and am happy to engage in any way it can in order to get better.
The New Year is the anniversary of a major traumatic event and is a hard time for me. I have had very little sleep, too many flashbacks and nightmares and feel very suicidal and low. Last nights care has just made me feel worse and the worrying thing is that I'm not sure I will ever go back but what do I do when I need urgent care. It frightens me that I will kill myself.
I know that I use services more than some other people but I do try to give something back to the NHS. I am a member of the patients cabinet at my CCG, am part of my patients participation group at my surgery and recently have been supporting the procurement team with the new contracts for talking therapies. I want to use my knowledge and experience of mental health services to support and help others.
I would hate anyone to be treated like I was last night. I have never complained before and am so appreciative of the support I receive. This time, however I want an explanation as to why I was treated so badly and in such an uncaring manner. No one should spend hours cold, upset and in pain curled up under a coat with no basic care and compassion. It is not good enough.