Yea verily, hell is other people

Edited for typos. (To think I used to proof-read for a living. Where can I put my face etc.).

One more moan, and then I swear I shall cheer the fuck up already.

List of people who were arses, and who made a horrible weekend in hospital just about as horrible as possible:

1 – H has already mentioned the stupid nurse who didn’t read the notes in A&E and started her treatment of me with the cheerful phrase ‘You’re seven weeks pregnant’. Grr. She was perfectly kind, but she followed that one up with sending me off to collect a urine specimen when I felt able to get up and shuffle to the loo – fair enough – but when I’d returned it to her and she’d tested it she felt the need to tell me in a concerned voice that there was blood in the sample. Err. Yes. I am bleeding vaginally. It is very hard to collect a blood free urine sample under those circumstances. I pointed this out. She said ‘oh!’ and then, get this, THEN started to tell me it was perfectly normal, under the circumstances, for the sample to have blood in it and I wasn’t to worry. Oh good. So glad. I shan’t then. Except, may I be slightly concerned that my nurse appears to be a Grade A 24-carat moron?

2 – I mentioned Cow Nurse who failed the ‘appropriate tone to use when refusing the sweating, jaw-clenched patient pain-killers’ test.

3 – The woman in the bed beside mine. I don’t think she was a Real Arse, but she was annoying. First, she had an enormous family, including what appeared to be about seventeen teenage daughters, who stayed with her until well past visiting hours and talked their heads off and had to be refrained from playing their stereos out loud by the nurses. Second, she had been told not to eat on Sunday night. Later, they decided that she could eat after all, and as she’d missed the official supper, her family went out to get her some dinner. They brought her a vast takeaway curry. Curry smells strong. Also, I firmly believe it is perfectly possible to eat even a vast stinky curry without making noises like a vacuum cleaner extracting marbles from a bucket of custard. The delicate, stoned, sore, and woozy lady in the next bed found all this quite trying. Thirdly, her mobile phone rang all the time. The nurses asked her to turn the ring-tone off, as it was loud and obnoxious. She said she didn’t know how to. She also talked at the top of her voice at all times, even at midnight. We could hear every single word doctors said to every other patient on the ward, so I know she was admitted with pain and bleeding in week 11 of her pregnancy, and they thought she was miscarrying and would need an ERPC. The scan showed the baby was till alive, still fine, and not the source of the blood. Her reaction to this news was strangely unimpressed and uninterested. Of course, everyone processes everything differently and I am being grossly unfair, but my own recent history made me quite bloody silently furious with her for quite some minutes.

4 – Now this was the real arse. I shall call her Fag Butt. Fag Butt was in the bed opposite mine. Fag Butt wasn’t a gynaecological case at all. Fag Butt was only there with us because the hospital was stretched for beds. This somehow made it worse. Fag Butt was having surgery on a dental abscess. Fag Butt was 22, smoked like a volcanic crater, and had controlled her diabetes so poorly that every single vein in her body blew as soon as a phlebotomist even looked at it. Her abscess was also caused by smoking and uncontrolled diabetes. Her toe-nails were beginning to show signs of fungal infection and damage. She was 22. You don’t normally see such a crap-shoot in diabetic patients until they’re over 50. Also, Fag Butt was whiney. She was rude. She was self-centred. She cried and wailed all night the first night, because she wanted her surgery to be over, and she wanted a glass of cold water (she was on nil by mouth), and she wanted a cigarette. She threw an almighty fucking tantrum, including throwing a drip-stand at her father, on the second day, because she’d just come round from anaesthetic and her blood sugar was worryingly low and therefore the nurses wouldn’t let her get up and go outside for a cigarette. Her relationship with her parents was horrible, and they argued and shouted at each other the entire time they were there. She cried her eyes out because the doctor wouldn’t let her come off the glucose drip, again, because her blood sugar kept crashing and soaring. She lied to the nurses about how much insulin she took how often. She refused to take her medication because ‘it tasted nasty’. She refused to take her medication until she got iced water to take it with. She actually drank the water she was given to rinse her mouth with when she was still on nil by mouth and promptly threw up all over herself, the bed and the floor. She swore and cursed at the nurses who wouldn’t take her off the drip so she could walk about easily. She swore and cursed at the nurses because the doctors had come round while she was off out having a cigarette and she wanted them to come back right now. She cried and phoned her mum because the diabetes nurse had come up from a different hospital to see her while she was out having another cigarette, and refused point blank to come back. Eventually the doctors did come by while she was in bed and gave her the scolding of her life. So she phoned her mum and then every single friend she had (she had friends? Good God) to cry about how mean and nasty everyone in the hospital was.

5 – The receptionist in the EPU. Enough said.

Meanwhile, the fourth lady in our bay of the ward had also just had a miscarriage – she had, in fact, collapsed bleeding profusely and had to have an emergency D&C/ ERPC to control the haemorrhage. Naturally, she was feeling very weak and faint. She and I gave each other a lot of sympathetic glances, especially when Fag Butt was kicking off, and after my throw-up-a-thon, when I was shuffling to the bathroom to brush my poor teeth, she asked if I was OK. Of course, she would have known exactly what was wrong with me just as I knew exactly what was wrong with me. I wish, I SO wish, I had had more of a chance to talk to her. I think she would have understood. We spend months getting pregnant, we cherish ourselves like precious jewel-caskets when we get there, trying so hard to be healthy, to look after ourselves, for the sake of the baby, and it’s all taken away anyway. And meanwhile, some silly bitch not only sees taking care of her own health as a vast imposition, she sees everyone else’s efforts to take care of it as mean and unfair and can’t look beyond the instant gratification thing. I worry that Fag Butt will be dead by 40. She is so young. She will get to a point where she will realise what she has done to herself, and her heart will be broken and horrified, and there is nothing any of us can do to save her from it.

And I think Fourth Lady and I could have done without that, when we tried so hard to save ourselves and still couldn’t.


3 responses to “Yea verily, hell is other people

  • Artblog

    Oh May. I just read the bad news! Sorry i haven’t come before, I’m so sorry my love.

    I remember my D&C all too clearly. Mine was a shit experience too, due to the many imbeciles working in that department. You’d think they’d be different, more compassionate! I know they’re capable of it when I had the stillbirth so there’s no excuse really. and I had a woman in the next bed to me who was a bit too positive, “it happens”, with a smile on her face for my liking!

    I’m so sad for you. Wishing you lots of strength to you both 😦


  • Hairy Farmer Family

    There are service-providers and service users in the NHS that totally deserve one another. Totally.

    So why, WHY, does it always happen that the beatific nurses get the shitty-arsed patients, and the good, deserving patients get the Nurse That Should Not Be.

    I really feel like writing a stern note to someone about it.

  • Jackie

    Ugh, what an utter nightmare adding insult to insult to injury. I’m so glad you are home. I am so sorry you had to go through all of this and be subjected to these idiots. And I’m sorry for your lack of privacy in this situation. It just stinks all around. Much love to you while you recover.

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