In the early hours of this morning, I was moved to another room on a different ward in hospital. The room was freezing as the window was open. A nurse came in and I told her how cold I was. She said that first she had to do my obs.
Getting a reading on blood oxygen levels can take a few minutes as the machine has to calibrate the information thrown at it. I said again would she mind closing the window as I was very cold. She again insisted that my stats had to be done. Finally, the window was closed and I was given two blankets. I went to sleep, which is what I was doing before I got moved.
The basic ethic of nursing is human touch and the comfort of the patient. Heart rate, blood pressure and blood oxygen levels can wait for two minutes. It seems that somewhere the humanity of a patient in hospital is at times overlooked.
The day before, I had a CT scan. They attach a dye to the cannula in your arm or hand, and remotely inject it from behind their protective screen while you are in the CT machine. It feels very warm they told me. I felt a burning fire, and when I was retrieved I mentioned that it had felt like an explosion in my vein. They immediately started looking at my wrist, and I was told the dye had seeped into my soft tissue. No one should use the cannula again and the put a green label on my wrist that read “extravasation do not use”. Or similar. I kept trying to read it but a circle around the arm makes tricky reading. I have a pink mark on my wrist, to compliment the bruises that are the result of failed cannula insertions in A&E.
I also have a huge bruise of my left arm which is inexplicable. I only know that when I took my watch from my right wrist and put it on my left, it started to irritate but I could not see why. Then I took off my watch and saw a bruise sized around one inch by two inches. I have no idea why or how.
I came home as a pedestrian as I wanted time out. I was overwhelmed by dinging, clanking, beeps, phone notifications and having things done to me. As I had no jacket with me, I was given a blanket to wrap round. It was brisk and invigorating. I found pleasure in it. On arrival at my back door, I could not find the back door key in it’s hiding place. The key I had with me did not fit and I realised the key I had on me was the shed key. I felt anxiety briefly. Then I thought of calling the fire service. They get kittens out of trees, and children out of rooms which they locked but don’t know how to unlock. They also put out out fires.
So I dialled 999 and asked for fire, even though a fire was the last thing I wanted. The woman didn’t even hesitate at my predicament. She said help was on it way. Within a few minutes I heard a siren. I opened my gate just as they came into sight and I waved. They were delightful. They asked if any windows were unlocked, and I said probably and showed them my kitchen window. They meant the handle being up, not locked. Then one said could he see my key safe to double check. He peered around and ran his finger around it. A key fell into his hand. He unlocked the door.
They made me a cup of tea, and one went to the truck to fetch an oximeter. My blood oxygen was higher than it had been at any time in hospital. I was stunned. It was because I chose to get home as a pedestrian.
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