Friday, 26 October 2007

Do we Know We're born?

Debi Alper has been commenting on aspects of
NHS care as it exists in London today.

As I recall it was crisis management at St Thomas's
hospital nine years ago - but there was still a sense
that the show must go on. I emerged from it's
double doors with perfect double babies, which
although born two months early had been
given the best possible care. I was in 
an interesting, fairly grubby ward with a variety of new mothers.
Ranging from traumatised teenage parent (also of twins)
being treated for psychosis, to a woman with learning difficulties
who twice dropped her baby. But I was so chuffed my kids
and myself, were alive. And the staff were very smiley.

Last March I was a little bit ill - and then more ill.
The GP prescribed antibiotics for a chest infection but
when I said I couldn't really breathe - listened and couldn't
hear a 'rattle',  so declined to investigate further. He grumpily
signed me off from work for five days.

At home I phoned out of hours service and described
intensifying symptoms - couldn't breathe without feeling as if I'd
been stabbed. Advice: Carry on with antibiotics. Take painkillers.
Several types at once. Couldn't move and had to sleep sitting up.
Too ill to feel sorry for myself, I just hoped I wouldn't stop breathing
completely. Entered strange grey world and wondered how soon 
I could leave it. Wondered if lungs were tiny, deflated party balloons 
and what sort of salary GP was on.

Looked up Pleurisy on internet.

And yet we do have an NHS.

Apparently Michael Moore said 'the only place you can get
free medical treatment in America is Guantanamo bay'.

What is the reality. How do different systems compare?
Global comments welcome - even from Aberdeen. 



Minx said...

It is a wonder we survive at all. Bought meself a large pair of platform boots and now stomp around looking important until someone takes notice. Learned a while ago to have a sickness buddy with you - acts as a translator and fights for the things that you are too sick to kick for!

Debi said...

Sickness buddy is a great idea. It's so much easier to be assertive on someone else's behalf and as Minx says, when you need it yourself you're feeling too sick to do it.

Floral Post-It said...

Ms Melon I agree with Ms Alper as i too have only just discovered all your scintillating new stuff. You know - for a while a checked daily, than gave up with a pignant sob - where for art etc - then suddenly realise that you have been feeding us delicious tit bits for weeks. I feel hurt by my own neglect of discovery or something.

Anyway NHS has been rather truculant up here in dreich granite city too. Family falling prey to hydra armed virus one by one and always hit rock bottom at the weekend by some quirk of fate. G- Docs strange robotic monosyllibic brand of medical professional who ferret about in nearest cupboard for random antibiotics. However i'm still grateful to have them at all.

I think the most interesting thing is how you cant make an appointment to see your GP in person but have to phone. So you pop into the surgery on your way home and end up phoning from the lobby of the surgery on your mob. Bizarre.

Can we extrapolate from thIs that the NHS is now being funded by 'phone companies?