"I felt humilated at QMC"

About: Queen's Medical Centre / Colorectal surgery

(as the patient),

Because of a condition called h.n.p.c.c., I was admitted into hospital to have my colon removed. It was a serious operation, and a very long one, and I was very scared about having it done.

I woke up after my operation, with tubes up my nose, down my throat, in my neck, and a spinal block in my back so I could not feel the pain. I also had a catheter in, so I wouldn’t have the need to urinate. I remember waking to a oxygen mask over my mouth and panicking because I couldn’t remember where I was or what I had done, eventually my husband had calmed me down, and I started to come round, but I was still very confused.

That night I remember waking to an awful smell, but couldn’t feel anything because of my spinal block, and I lifted up my sheet and discovered that I had messed myself everywhere, there was poo all over me and the bedding. I rang the bell, no-one came. I started to cry and another patient came over to me, she rang the bell too, eventually a nurse came to my bed, and she started to tell me off, calling me dirty, and asked me why I didn’t get up to the toilet?

I explained that I had just had my colon removed, only 5 hours ago, and she didn’t know what I meant, just kept repeating "dirty girl" to me... I felt so humiliated, I physically couldn’t move because of my condition, the nurse could not comprehend the seriousness of my operation! I was really shocked by that.

She did help me get cleaned up, but complained the whole time. I just cried the whole time, even the other patients were crying with me, I was hysterical. I had 32 staples in my tummy, was wired up to lots of machines and I had a nurse humiliating me. I felt worthless.

My husband was called to my bed I was that distressed, he complained on my behalf, and we were both told that she was an agency nurse, and hadn’t read my notes. Does that mean if she had, she wouldn’t have spoke to me like a child?

Nothing was ever done about my complaint, and even though I wasn’t meant to, I went home after 7 days, and recovered where I knew I was loved and wanted. I wouldn’t want to go back there again.

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