"Can't stand the sight of this damn stoma!!"

About: Queen's Medical Centre / Cardiology

(as the patient),

I spent 30 days at the QMC due to an aortic aneurism. The first ten days were spent in and out of the theatre and ICU. Needless to say, I was amazed when I was told that 10 ten had already passed. I did get a letter from the nurse in ICU inviting me to come to the hospital in a few weeks after I came home and she explained what happened to me whilst I was in the unit fro 10 days. I had two major operations. The first one was an “aorta aneurism” operation. I then haemorrhaged so badly that I went “walkies” for a few minutes but brought myself back! The next thing I knew, I woke up in the ward with a stoma on my stomach. One year later after all the tests I had, I was told I could have a “reversal operation” to get rid of the stoma. But then I woke up with the stoma still there! I was told there was too much gunge. I can't help wondering nothing of this need of happened if they had operated on me when the aneurysm was 5.4 and not waited all these weeks until it grew to 6.7 and oblong shape in the aorta artery! I don’t think I need say anymore about that.

In all the time I spent on the ward, I only once saw two cleaners arrive one day. One cleaned the beds and bedside lockers and the other man polished the floor. The only time I saw a mop used in the ward was when there was a spillage of water at the hand basin in the ward! There was no damp dusting or floor mopping done at all. As far as I am concerned the only way to get the standard of cleanliness back to the hospitals again would be to get rid of the contract cleaners and to give the tender back to in-house domestic cleaners. I was a manager at the cleanest hospital in the Midlands and got the shock of my life when I walked into the hospital a few years later to see my late husband and saw the dirty state of the corridors that greeted me when I walked in. Yes, the tender was handed to outside contractors a year after I had left! To me that is the worst thing the NHS has done in all hospitals.

If the cleanliness in all hospitals was like the way I have described above, then I think this would explain the infections that exist in hospitals. We had a nursing sister giving all our new staff control of infection courses before they went anywhere near a ward or theatres.

I just remembered one more thing. When I was in hospital, I had difficult getting out of bed and what a time I had with the nursing staff getting them to help me out of bed. I used to continuously get, “I am not allowed to”, by the nursing staff. As far as I knew, nurses were trained to lift or help patients but not domestics! All I wanted was just an arm to hold onto! There was one nice West Indian nurse there though.

I have to presume that nursing staff are not told what operations the patient has had and therefore need certain attention like having to deal with a bloody stoma and non existing stomach muscles after the operation. I can’t stand the sight of this damn stoma which had ruined my life! I can’t even go on a coach trip abroad!

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