For life's little ups and downs.

A rather quirky, funny and sometimes daunting look in to the life of someone who has a lot of health problems but does their best to keep positive. Punctuated by guinea pigs, anime, superheroes, transforming robots and cross stitching.

I started this blog to tell my story, about who I am and what I do. On top of the health problems and raising awareness for those, I also use my blog as a way to help promote other causes, particularly ones which affect the most vulnerable. I live with a number of different and complex health problems but I refuse to let anything get me down. I know how it feels to be discriminated against or thrown aside. This is me. This is my life. I live it and do what I want with it. Nature sets the limitations. We set the boundaries.

About Me:

A blog about life. I live with Type 1 Brittle Asthma, Bi-Polar Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder as well as Various Allergies, Neutropenia, Crohns Disease (my IBS was rediagnosed as Crohns), Osteo and Rheumatoid Arthritis, PCOS and Osteoporosis and Heredetary Spastic Paraplegia. I have recently also been diagnosed with Sleep Apnea (which makes me stop breathing in my sleep) I live with these conditions, but I refuse to let them keep me down and out. I still try and make the most of my days despite being so poorly and having to rely on my wheelchair, nebulisers, nearly 50 pills a day and 2l/min of oxygen and CPAP.

I'll flap my broken wings and erase it all someday... You'll see.

Monday, 29 December 2014

Stop and Think.

I've been meaning to write this for a while but was struggling to put it in to words. Maybe its seeing things first hand rather than going on past experiences that has made the whole thing ring even more true to me. I go in to hospital a lot due to my asthma and complications, in fact this has been my worst year for my asthma and hospital admissions. I've been in and admitted 8 times now, each time for between 2-3 days to about 2-3 weeks. Its not been the most fun but it has been needed.The time of year has contributed to an increase in workload for NHS staff, particularly in the first points of access (A+E, GP surgeries, ambulances) but there has also been a lot of wards fit to bursting usually due to really demanding patients whose families won't accept. 

Yesterday. I heard a number of conversations over the MAU wards between rather narked off consultants and the families of such patients. The consultant tried to explain that there was no clinical reason for the patient to be admitted and he even commented on how cruel he thought it was that she was being abandoned here for Christmas because no one wanted to look after her during the holiday period. It takes a certain kind of callousness to "throw" someone away like that because you would sooner go out and party instead not to mention selfish and dehumanising. These people are someone's mother, daughter, son, father, brother or sister. They want and need to be cared for. Not tossed aside because they aren't convenient anymore. 

The other side of it comes from people accessing the emergency services (A+E, ambulances) for totally inappropriate reasons. I follow WMAS on Twitter and their recent campaign encouraging us to stop and think before picking up the phone and calling 999 really has opened some eyes. Some of the inappropriate calls they have had are frankly galling. A man calling for an ambulance to take him back to the town centre because he was drunk, someone calling 999 for a cat that was attacked by a dog (yes that is distressing but the ambulance service is for people only) to people calling up for sore feet from dancing and sniffles. Some people do even say they have something seriously wrong and then when the ambulance turns up, all they wanted was a bit of attention or they felt lonely. Its sad that people need to get attention this way but at the same time, that ambulance could be needed for a heart attack or a serious accident.

See, with me it takes some convincing that it's hospital time. I don't want to go in there when I know myself that chances are I can fix whatever small malady I have myself or at worst, go to the GP and get him to have a crack at it. I only really go in when all the other avenues are exhausted and I have honestly tried as much as possible. The last few days saw a cold snap which led to a real bed shortage and a spike of admissions from people who were just looking for some company at Christmas. I felt for them, it must have been so horrid knowing that there was no other place to go for a cup of tea, a chat and then to move on. People also really called in their droves when it came to partying and getting drunk/high.

Being in A+E on a weekend is a different experience to anything I have ever seen or heard. I have seen people brought in on stretchers, screaming like death-metal stars or shouting loudly about everything. I have watched from cubicles as nurses and doctors have been attacked physically and even injured just for trying to help someone. Heck I have even been in A+E when someone came in and decided he was going to try and rape me in a cubicle (which is why I get so wary of going in on my own) and I have seen just what people have had to withstand.

I have a lot of admiration for frontline staff. People who deal with the patients and are often the first to suffer when one of them decides that they can't behave or won't let them work. Around about now, I would hate to be working as a paramedic or an A+E staff member because they are so overworked, underpaid and very under-appreciated. I often think of when one pair of paramedics came to see me and they said that the most wonderful thing they had seen all day was a patient who was polite, friendly and most of all, smiled and engaged them like real people. They almost felt sad to leave me because when they went, they were going to head off to more abuse, violence and sometimes just called out for the sake of having someone to talk to.

So this New Years, please, stop and think. Before you go to A+E or call the 9's, ask yourself:

1. Is the problem something you could ask a pharmacist/GP/NHS111 person about? There are excellent NHS Out of Hours doctors and services. They can actually get you patched up quickly and sometimes even a pharmacist can help you (you'd be amazed at what they can do).

2. Could you actually die from this problem? Breathing problems, chest pain, loss of consciousness, blood loss, stroke are the kinds of things 999 are there for. Fell over from too much to drink and sprained your ankle, yes it hurts but it's nothing a bag of frozen peas won't fix.

3. Going to A+E or getting an ambulance WON'T always get you seen to fast enough and sometimes theres nothing they can do anyway, you may have to wait until Monday anyway. Can this wait? Does it need to be seen to right this second?

Of course, please stay safe over the new year period. And if you know of anyone who may benefit from a friend/relative just popping by to say "Hello" and have a drink with them. It could be the best thing you could give someone, the gift of company. I hope you all have a wonderful new year and I hope that 2015 brings peace, love and happiness.

Wendy xx

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