Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Going To Accident and Emergency

I think I have already mentioned that Carol had a really nasty fall when she slipped over when we visited Waddesdon Manor on New Year's Day. She has been complaining about pain in her hand, and I had got Voltarol to use on it to try to relieve this pain. She has been using this for over a week, and although it has helped to a certain extent, it has not completely relieved the pain. Infact, she told me it might have got worse. This is in her left hand. This morning she said she was finding it really difficult to do simple things when she was dressing, even pulling up zips. I really thought that there was a good reason to go to the doctor with this problem or go to the Accident and Emergency department at the hospital, so at around 7.30 she rang the Academy and said she wouldn't be in until she'd been to be checked over for the injury. You have to ring in by 7.30 for cover to be set if you are ill.
There was really no point driving to Milton Keynes Hospital, because we live so close (it's just over the Redway to the back of our house.) and you have to pay to park, so it was going to be easier and a good deal less stressful to just walk there. It seems really awful to think you have to pay to park your car in a hospital car park, but that's a matter to discuss elsewhere.
So we set off and walked the half-mile or so, coming into the Accident and Emergency department the wrong way round. It really surprised me that we were never challenged by staff, as you do hear of some quite appalling incidents regarding security in hospitals. We went to the reception desk where they take basic details of your injury, name, address and so on, and we then had to sit and wait in the waiting area.  From experience myself, having gone through Accident and Emergeny regarding heart problems, they prioritize patients so that if you have a more life-threatening condition, you get seen before someone with a lesser condition.need/injury. Coronary conditions, particularly the possibility of heart attack, is obviously going to be further up the list, indeed, more likely at the top of the list, compared with someone who has a cut, bruise  or abrasion or minor problem.
By now it was around 8 a.m. There was a hand-written sign up saying that there was a waiting time of approximately 6 HOURS, but as this was for the previous day it was difficult to judge how quickly we would be seen. I do think the information should have been more up to date. It wouldn't have taken that long for a member of staff to clear this old information and put up the current approximate waiting time. There were quite a few other people waiting in the waiting area.
After about 15-20 minutes Carol's name was called and we were taken into the Triage Department, where a male nurse took far more detailed information regarding the injury to Carol's hand. About an hour later Carol was called again and was seen by a Care Practitioner who did a further examination and it was then decided that Carol's hand would require X-raying. This was done in the Accident and Emergency X Ray department which was a little further into the department. After this was done we returned to the waiting area (having been through this department myself, it is all extremely familiar.) and we were joined by Carol's friend Judy who works in the hospital, but I'm not entirely in what capacity, but she always shows up like a guardian angel at just the right time to give support. A truly lovely lady. 
The we returned to the Care Practioner lady's office to look at the by-then developed X rays of Carol's hand and it was decided that she would need some therapy on the hand from the Hand Therapy Unit. I was never aware that there was such a department in the hospital. She could go there immediately or an appointment could be made for a later date, but it seemed sensible to get something set up as soon as possible, so we walked there around the outside of the hospital. 
The room was set up with quite a few tables, with people sitting at them and OT staff (Occupational Therapy) staff working on exercises on patients' hands that had been injured in whatever fashion, similar to Carl. It was decided that Carol would have to wear a splint on her hand until it heals, and this was produced, and is kept in place with strips of Velcro. She has to come back in about a week to have it checked and to see how her hand is healing. 
It was gone 12 midday when we eventually left the hospital. So, we had been there around 4 hours, which wasn't as long as it might have taken, and at least there was an outcome, with Carol having her hand injury seen and given something to relieve the injury. 
We walked home and Carol went into work back at the Academy.




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