(Augst 26, 2016)
I cried not for the physical pain …
(Augst 26, 2016)
They would open my rib cage. They would take bits of tubing from my leg and from behind my heart …
If you were told several times that they were going to cut you open and even saw through your sternum to get to your heart, I wonder what would disturb you most?
Ok. I confess. I’m terribly squeamish. I shut my eyes during a lot of TV. I avoid needles like the plague. I don’t like people “doing medical things” to me, however necessary they are.
So, the worst case scenario for me was a consultant sitting beside me following a series of minor heart-attacks and an angiogram saying the fateful words: “I’m meeting with the surgeons at lunchtime today and I’m going to recommend you for a bypass.” And here’s the laugh. He added: “And because you are young and healthy (dear reader, I am 63 and have had five heart-attacks), they will all be fighting to do you.” Continue reading “It Wasn’t The Saw That Disturbed Me Most”
Trying to work out the names and roles of the many people who may briefly interact with you during your stay is like trying to master the full cast list of “War and Peace”.
Don’t get me wrong, I have many, many reasons to be grateful to the NHS. It has saved my life on at least two occasions. I wouldn’t be here writing this today if it wasn’t for the skill and care of paramedics, nurses, doctors, and surgeons. However, having just spent 19 days in four hospital beds on four wards in two hospitals, I have had plenty of time to reflect as I gazed at the ceilings. My random observations are listed below.
Understand that the fear is genuine. Patients don’t wake up and say: “I know what I’ll do today. I’ll pretend to have a fear just to be awkward.” The look of terror isn’t good acting. In many cases, there may be sound reasons behind the fear relating to previous traumas.
“…the strong do what they can and the weak suffer what they must.” Thucydides, History of the Peloponnesian War
Advice for all medical staff when confronted with a patient who has a needle phobia. (Written by a psychotherapist who has a deep-seated needle phobia.)