"easily distressed, easily agitated, not always observed"

About: North Devon District Hospital / General medicine

(as the patient),

...or apparent. i have mental health problems, with a diagnosed disorder. i dont imagine this history follows me about. but as i dont mention it, this doesnt mean that i am not affected by it.

i had to attend the sleep apnoea clinic recently. i had not attended the hospital before. i find virtually everyone i asked help from to be very supportive. the one area i became overwhelmed by, which i held onto until i got to my vehicle, was the person attending me the most. i had waited to go into an area for tests then go back to the clinic. it was the area i was waiting the tests in that i had a problem. initially the staff receptionist, the person holding details on me, could not find my name on the list, then asked me for it again. i sat waiting and was asked several times by other staff members if i was being attended to. up till going in, i was ok, holding onto my agitation. unfortunately when i went in, the procedure was only made apparent, when i was in the room. i had my husband as my carer, with me. i was asked to undress and this caused me some level of discomfort. i was already struggling to hold on to my dignity. at no time was i asked if i was ok or coping, and the same person who attended me happened to be the person who had taken details on the desk at the reception area.

i really didnt cope well, although this was not at all apparent. i had to disrobe and lie down and i struggled to get on the bed. it was just a bit too tall for me. i should have asked for it to be lowered as i became even more tangled. this along with how i "felt" made me more anxious. i was asked to lie in a certain way and electrodes were placed on my bare body. i also became upset by this procedure. i know to others it may seem a simple request. but it was compounded by no eye contact with the operative, no seemingly patience, or observation or requests as to if i was coping or not. i became more anxious as to other staff members knocking the door and making requests of the person attending me. i felt very exposed. i am not aware if the person(s) at the door actually could see me, i believe there were at least three if not more interruptions. no one acknowledged my husband, other than being with me. his role as my carer was ignored. no seat was available for him. this did not bother him but its a little note that could be adapted to make things easier for those accompanying patients.

at no time was anyone made aware of my mental health issues and i felt very strongly if the person attending me was aware things could have been amended. a simple gown to cover my modesty would have been sufficient. to be so exposed has left me feeling vulnerable and exposed mentally and has not left me.

i want to know that future visits will not be compromised like this. all other incidents relating to staff members etc were dealt with in a friendly professional manner and whilst i may not want to draw attention to having mental issues, i dont want to feel so inadequate when attending the hospital. it means i am reluctant to follow up. i know this is a hurdle for me. i know i shouldnt feel like this. but i do.

i need to contact the hospital to make a further visit but i am really reluctant to go back now. could someone please see how this small gesture for modesty could help someone such as myself who know feels crippled by this lack of foresight. thank you

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