"lack of pain management at weekends."
About: North Middlesex Hospital North Middlesex Hospital London N18 1QX
Posted by Dennis Plumb
I went in for a full knee replacement.I have suffered for many years with FM and take a lot of pain relief.Before the operation I was told that I would continue with my own medication and if I needed anything else it would be available.When I awoke after the operation I was in an incredible amount of pain and I found out that all of my pain relief tablets had been stopped and that I had been put on something else,which was not helping me at all.Each time I asked for pain relief I was refused it wasn't until the fourth time of asking that I was given anything,by which time it was the early hours of Saturday morning,and I then managed to get some sleep.Before the operation I was told that the first 24 hours were the most important for healing and that I must not be in pain during this time as it would slow down my recovery. When the doctor came around on Saturday I explained my problem,he asked the nurse to get someone from the pain management team to come to see me but was told that they don't work weekends.He told the nurse to give me Gabapentin which she eventually did,some hours later.I was given a dose of 300m. and told that I would be given another 300m.every 3 hours.I normally take 2400m a day and so this was no where near enough , the nurse also would not give me Gabapentin with other tablets so I had to wait 4 hours for my first dose. I also take Co-Codamol ,30/500 8 tablets,Baclofen 40mg and Tramadol 200mg slow release 4 tablets.Eventually I saw a doctor standing in the ward and went to explain the problem however,when I tried to talk I was in so much pain that I just burst into tears.I am 62 years old and it's a long time since that's happened.The doctor then got out my paperwork and made arrangements for me to start taking my own prescribed medication.This was slowly introduced and it took a full day before I was on all of them,partially because one of the nurses "missed" some of the items,and only gave me codene. When she asked me how my pain was ,about an hour later , I queried when I would be getting the rest of my tablets and she said that she had not seen the Tramadol ,Baclofen or Co-codomol on the chart and so I was given them late. I feel very strongly that someone on the pain management side was at fault for not taking into account my illness when they prescribed medication and have caused me a lot of unnecessary pain , both in the hospital and since ,and also delayed my healing process Apart from the person in Pain Management and one nurse I was very happy with the care that I received although I did not have a curtain around my bed until Sunday (I went in on Friday ) so It made using a bed pan a bit difficult.