We left the house at 11am in an ambulance with our just in case paramedic on board. Hubby laid on his back positioned on a piece Roho cushioning to try and save his pressure sore from getting even worse. There he laid for the 1 1/2 journey feeling the pain cursing through his body with every bump and lump in the roads. His swollen feet on fire with the neuropathic pain.
We phoned the Outpatient Assessment Centre Bolsover Street, Central London, when we were about 15 minutes away and to their credit, porters were waiting for us to take us up to the first floor appointment. No sooner had we arrived and they decided to send Hubby for some more x-rays, which we found rather odd since in the preceding weeks, both MRI / CT scans had already been taken. Oh, a different angle is required with Hubby sitting up to show how his spine looks under the pressure of gravity. Okay we said, not sure how we will accomplish that for you as Hubby can not sit up unaided. Anyway we managed it, sort of, with me and the radiology nurse helping to prop him up. I love how these consultants order these tests and do not have a clue how difficult it is for the patient to actually do it.
We eventually got to see the consultant after a further wait. By this time the wound blood was starting to seep through the dressing, so I guess he got to see it at its worse. He did not seem to deliberate for long before announcing to his colleagues, that a bed needs to be found urgently for his patient. They will try and get him in early next week, or as soon as a bed becomes available. He told Hubby that he hoped he realised that it will be a prolonged hospital stay, we said what about a month , he said no maybe longer. He mentioned something about Hubby's Baclofen pump being a possible extra source of infection, that was something new to us which we will have to research what he meant.
We thought we were finished so asked the ambulance crew up, but no apparently they wanted to do pre-admission procedures to apparently save time next week during his admission. Hubby by this time is getting very grumpy, having not being able eat, being in pain etc etc. The poor Doctor taking the bloods & details got the brunt of Hubby's displeasure, which I hope he does not take personally.
We eventually set off for home at about 5.30pm. On the way back the driver got a bit lost and we ended up on the M1 rather than A1 so Hubby had to endure an even more bumpy cross country trip. At one point I thought we were in medical trouble with Hubby as he went as pale as a white sheet, his face contorted in pain. How he managed to keep it together I do not know, as even myself able bodied as I am was in pain, feeling sick etc. We arrived back home just after 7. 8 hours since leaving home in the morning.
Can someone tell me how this is conducive to good patient care, well being. It is about time specialist units like this made use of information technology , doing consultations in conjunction with local doctors via video phones.
So now we wait for the available bed at RNOH Stanmore and another torturous journey to hospital. At least we have a few days to get everything ready.
Overall a successful but painful visit .....