Friday, 3 June 2011

A l'Hopital

Spud and I spent three hours in A&E today because he was showing symptoms of Endocarditism, which he is currently susceptible to. We were fairly sure he was fine and intended only to visit the Walk-in Centre, but because Spud suffers from a congential heart condition, the hospital pulled out all the stops for him and referred him to A&E. It seems having a congenital heart condition equates to an instant VIP ticket into the NHS.

So within minutes of arriving, we found ourselves sitting in A&E, and I don't mean just the waiting room, but inside the emergency ward itself! We felt rather out of place in the midst of the bustle of doctors and patients covered in blood or strapped up to heart monitors, but Spud was seen to fairly quickly. He was placed on a gurney and given an ECG in the corridor, and a few minutes later moved into a room when one became available. He was then attached to a heart monitor, and we were left to our own devices for several minutes.

A nurse kindly offered us a much appreciated drink, and a junior doctor had a good long chat with Spud to find out more about his symptoms and his condition. Spud's main concern was the heavy breathing he's experienced the last few evenings, on occasions when he's been fairly inactive. He was eventually given a blood test, and while we awaited the results he was taken through for a chest x-ray. At this point I had to leave and buy another ticket for the car, and as we didn't think he would be in for much longer, we agreed that I would wait for him in the waiting room.

I waited another hour. I wasn't all that anxious as I knew he was in good hands and that it was unlikely that anything was wrong. I had a book to distract me from my overractive imagination. Eventually he came out, his eyes scanning the crowded room until they fell on me. I was relieved to see him, and glad to find that he had been given the all clear, but it did cross my mind that this is one of many hospital visits I am likely to attend with him. I know a lot about Spud's condition from what he's told me and from doing my own research. I know that it is fruitless to worry about his future, our future, as he can live a long and normal life despite the severity of his condition. And I don't often worry these days as I know he's receiving the treatment and advice he needs.


Ashley said...

I'm glad Spud was okay, and that you got such great treatment! Weird question: how does paying for hospital treatment work in England? Here, you have to pay out of pocket (for some usually huge bills) unless you have insurance, which usually pays for a lot of it. So if someone doesn't have insurance, they tend to not get the treatment they need sometimes, or to put it off until the situation is desperate. I know that in other countries, the government pays for health care, but it can be harder to get good treatment. I was just wondering how it works for you guys, since you had such a good experience with receiving treatment.

I'm also really glad you have such a positive outlook on your future.

Kess said...

Thanks Ashley! :)

Over here we have the National Health System (NHS) which means everyone's entitled to free health care/treatment. Some people opt to go private though which comes at a cost, but they may get quicker/better treatment as a result. I don't know much about this though as we receive our treatment through the NHS.