31 October 2008

Hospital world... (part one)

...or living life to the on the edge, because you're never sure if a nurse will answer your call button and you always want to be nice to the nurses because who knows it may be your turn for an enema. Believe it or not that pretty well sums up the guidelines of my visit or for that matter pretty much any one's visit to hospital. Okay maybe I'm exaggerating just a little but it's always better to be safe than sorry especially where enemas are concerned.

So let me tell you all about my latest trip into the world of all things medical and surgical.
My journey began with a flight up to Sydney on Sunday the 28th of September. The first thing I did was make an appointment to see the neurosurgeon who performed the first two operations on my back. I saw him on Tuesday the 30th September. The surgeon seemed a bit perplexed with the whole thing. He kept saying "I've never seen this happen so quickly". He wouldn't tell me what he thought had happened with my back and that he wouldn't make any decisions until he saw the results of another MRI which he sent me down to schedule ASAP. I went down to schedule the MRI and the girl at the front desk told me that it would be at least a week or more before I could have the MRI. I explained that I had flown up from Hobart and that it was really important to have the scan done quickly in light of the recent surgery and the complication that arose from it and now it looked like it was possibly happening again. The receptionist went to the back of the office and had a secret meeting with the scan people. Upon her return it seemed that they magically had a space for me on the Thursday coming up. I said great I'll take it. After booking the appointment I walked next door to the offices at the public hospital and stopped into make an appointment to see my neurologist. I was lucky as he was just coming back from a conference overseas and his secretary said I could see him on the Wednesday before the MRI. It just seemed as if luck was on my side. I said it seemed.

Now all of these different appointments were all very convenient if I lived near the hospital or in my case if I was staying near the hospital but alas I was not. I was staying at hubby's mum and dad's house on the Northern beaches near Manly on the other side of Sydney Harbour and to be honest it was a bloody pain in the ass. The only way for me to get to the appointments was to either pay for a cab ($65.00 each way) or alternatively if lucky I would be able to hitch a ride with hubby's brother as he went into work. I would then only need to catch a cab down to the quay on my way back so I could catch the ferry back across to the northern beaches where hubby's dad would then pick me up. All in all it was a logistical nightmare and the way the week panned out I had to go back and forth to the other side every day to see either a doctor or to have a test done. It was surgeon on Tuesday, neurologist on Wednesday, MRI and surgeon on Thursday, and back to the neurologist on Friday. At least I got to take a pleasant ferry ride across Sydney Harbour at the end of each day so no matter how bad the news got I could chill out watching the waves pass and contemplate rather or not it would be easier to just jump. Alas all I did was contemplate the jumping part with nary a toe or a leg making it over the railing. Believe me once Thursday came along and the surgeon gave me the results of the MRI in which he told me we would have to do the surgery again now for the third time I have to admit that water was starting to look real tempting. I would never do it because I'm a big baby and besides if I jumped I would then have to tread water until someone came and plucked me out of the water and with all the things that swim in the ocean that would just as well eat me as swim with me I just couldn't do it

So, I saw the neurologist on the Friday after I got the news about having another surgery and we discussed what the next move would be as to when I might be admitted into hospital etc. I was going to have this surgery done in the public hospital as we could not afford to have another surgery done in the private hospital like the first two times. I don't have private health insurance and because we needed to have the surgery done the first two times in a hurry we had to pay for everything out of pocket and all up we were out roughly $24,000. We just could not afford another trip to the private hospital. I wouldn't have to pay for anything in the public system but I would have to wait a few days or maybe more to be admitted into hospital even after the surgeon even put "URGENT" on the surgery request. The only other way around the system would be for me to present at the Emergency Department and then I would get a bed and be booked into surgery faster. We decided to let the system work a bit and then if it got all to much I would do the "Emergency" way. We waited for a week and by Monday of the next week I was about to go the "Emergency" route when I got a call and was told everything was arranged and that I needed to show up at the admissions desk on Tuesday 14th October at noon and we would go from there.

I'm going to break this story up in parts as it would otherwise be a huge post so I'll end it here and the next post I'll talk about my first four days and possibly maybe even a bit further, venturing into my first days of recovery after the surgery on that Friday (17th October) following admission but let's wait and see how things play out. We'll let things come as they may and you'll understand as the words flow, why I need to break this up because there is just so much to tell. Really there is, I promise. Until the next post take care....

1 comment:

Ur-spo said...

thank you for posting
i like the notion of having your story in bits - it makes you sort of like Charles Dickens.