I would like to start with an apology as I missed our normal Sunday post. I was an inpatient at Watford General. I will detail my experiences in this blog.
I was taken into A & E Resus by blue light, time was clearly a priority. I noticed the paramedics were not too concerned about comfort, but more interested in getting moving and starting treatment.
Past ambulance journeys have always been more calm and time was always taken to explain what was happening and what I could expect.
However this time, I was strapped down, and it was full speed all the way. I remember the paramedic calling the hospital ahead giving an eta (estimated time of arrival) of 10 minutes and that she “had a hot one!” despite my ego my intelligence made it clear she was not describing my appearance.
There was a sense of sympathy and fear in the paramedics, one I’ve not experienced before, although I felt safe and secure being in the presence of the East England Ambulance service I couldn’t help but wonder why they seemed emotionally concerned.
A very short time had passed and I found myself in Resus, as Dr came and explained that he was going to start treatment of back to back nebulistion, a saline I.V and steroids. I explained I had already taken 70mg of prednisolone, this changed the treatment plan slightly with the addition of magnesium.
I arrived with little or no air movement in my lower lungs, an Xray and bloods raised questions of an infection, so a course of antibiotics was added to my treatment.
Due to the urgency it was clear that everyone had not read my notes, or taken much notice of my medical card I keep with me at all times, giving the reader a clear background of my history – this is not a complaint.
This was my first attack outside of Northwick Park, I didn’t realise the importance of familiarity and the sense of safety it provides, or the vital role doctors play with their bed side manner and conduct to immediately put a patient at ease.
The A & E Dr explained that the intensive care team would see me to evaluate me and decide if my treatment needed intensive care, up until now time seemed too frantic to quantify, I assumed with the intervention of ITC things would only get faster.
Oh how wrong was I? enter… Dr Meera, swanning into A & E, peeping into my bay with a reassuring smile and a nod of confidence. We both knew I wasn’t going to ITU. Dr Meera would have been well within her rights to take one look and say “No” and return to her department to help patients who really needed her.
That didn’t happen, after a detailed examination, reassurances and the certainty I was getting better and would soon feel fine, the Dr gave me the most powerful and effective drug, a drug that had results instantly.
TIME, Dr Meera, gave me her time. we spoke freely, discussions included topics better suited in a social setting not a sterile medical bay. This was a first for me, I pushed the boundaries, I steered the conversations in directions of topics I had not explored with someone I had just met let alone a Dr, my mental sat nav continuously instructing me to make a u-turn where possible.
I found myself feeling happier, calmer and as a result my breathing become slower and more controlled. Please do not think I have relieved my senses and implicating that bed side manners, and the power of conversation has more potency then medicines, I am not. I am aware that the medicines starting working and it was just good timing that my symptoms were improving whilst interacting with Dr Meera.
Although i do believe Dr Meera did improve my emotions and mind set. My mother is a firm believer and practising positive thinker I am certain that if I hadn’t been put at such a deep ease my experience would have been different.
Another fine example of the power of the bed side manner bestowed by a Doctor is Dr Whu. Dr Whu is apart of the respiratory team under whom I receive my care at my local hospital.
As I lay in the assessment unit awaiting a bed in a ward, I heard my name being shouted, my curtain was kicked back to reveal Dr Whu. It was a great surprise and somewhat emotional reunion, my extended hand for a professional hand shake was pushed aside and instead I was given a loving hug.
This was the first attack I was not surrounded by family and loved ones, I was in unfamiliar surroundings, I didn’t know anyone, I wasn’t even aware of where I was geographically from my house. Small factors which I have previously taken for advantage.
Dr Whu, gave me his time, we talked at length and laughed. The sense of safety normally offered by my family which up until now was absent; now seemed so prevalent.
My treatment seemed more suited once Dr Whu intervened.
This experience made me think, do you possess this power? knowingly or not? when was the last time you told a loved one you were there for them? do you have someone in hospital or that is feeling under the weather? when was the last time you checked on them?
Are you Dr? when was the last time you spent those extra few minutes to smile, place a reassuring hand on a patient just to let them know, you are human and that they are not just a 3 minute task before then next one.
Medicines have developed and illnesses previously deemed incurable have now become manageable, but we should not abandon the power of personal interactions.
My final note is to thank Dr Meera, Dr Whu, the teams involved in Watford General and the East England Ambulance service
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Thank you for you time,
Take a breathe,