Saturday, 19 September 2009

Hospital Open Day

Last Saturday I was invited to another Open Day at my local hospital (as a member of the Hospital Trust). This time it was a mystery until we got there. Then we found that we were divided into three groups and sent in seqence on three tours - cardiology, ophthalmology and then a 45 minute tour of the hospital on foot! That's the way my group did it. The other groups had a different sequence. When I first arrived, I was greeted by the man who had sent out the invitation, who turned out to have lived opposite me before he worked in the Hospital Admin! So that was a nice warm welcome, and he was the leader of my group too.

Cardiology was very interesting, as they demonstrated (with a healthy member of staff as a 'patient') what they do when a new heart patient comes in. We saw what the doctors see and were told what they look for when a patient goes through an echocardiogram, an ECG, and is walking on a treadmill and we had angioplasty explained to us - all very interesting. They said that women are not as good as men at recognising heart attacks and if any of us had a pain in the chest we should call an ambulance immediately, in order to get quick treatment. So I asked, 'What if you don't have a pain as such but simply a tightening across your chest?' and I was told, 'You should go to see your GP.' {I have now done so, was told that it was angina and was referred to cardiology!}

In the ophthalmology Dept., they were keen to show us the new unit that they have just acquired to deal (separately from the rest of the Eye Dept.), with the 300 patients (of which I am one) who have AMD (age-related macular degeneration). My referral from the optician was so early that they only told me to come again in February, so it was very interesting to see how someone in need of treatment was treated, including having to go to the Hospital two or three times a week for eye injections over a period of (I think it was) 15 days. So I know what I could be in for sometime in the future! A tailor-made tour for me!

When the staff saw my dressings on my ankles, they insisted that I had a chair at every change of location. I couldn't have had better attention if I had been the queen. When it came to the foot tour of the hospital, I opted out, saying that I knew the hospital quite well anyway, and went with Mike (our leader) for a coffee to wait for them all returning to the dining hall for lunch. (There was another member of staff leading the foot tour.)

At lunch, I happened to sit beside a man who said he was the church organist at Dunsden parish church and he sometimes plays at our Gosbrook Road church. Not only that, but he said he was the father-in-law of one of our Local preachers, Patrick Stonehewer! So it turned out to be a very interesting and happy Open Day!


Anonymous said...

Very interesting, Olive. Thanks for sharing your trip.

Olive Morgan said...

We are fortunate to have our hospital as a Trust. It is just such a pity that more people don't take the opportunity to become members, because membership is free and it is very enlightening to be shown all the new equipment and advanced treatments available. Another time I thought we were very privileged to be shown the robot that, in conjunction with the surgeon, performs very delicate operations, particularly on patients with prostate cancer.

mollygolver said...

I enjoyed sharing your tour around the hospital too. These people provide so much care for us. Last year was 'our year of the hospitals' when my husband was not well at all. The staff were so kind to us. Take care with your angina and your feet problem. Love Molly xx

Olive Morgan said...

I 'm glad you enjoyed my hospital visit, will and Molly. I missed out that we actually handled some of the things that they use, as they were passed round for us to see - like the stent that is put in often after angioplasty to prevent the arteries clogging up again.(They were then thrown away as non-sterile and therefore unusable.

Thanks for your concern, Molly. I only have mild angina symptoms when i try to do any walking and now I've been given a spray to spray under my tongue before I start to do any walking - but I'm waiting to be summoned to the hospital to be properly assessed and then I'll know what I', dealing with. My feeling is that the trouble is that my legs need angioplasty again. I've had them done twice. The problem with my ankles is that both ankles have had several operations, leaving me with with completely fused ankles, which have no movement at all, neither up and down nor sideways. As a result the circulation is poor and I have tiny ulcers where there is bone and little blood supply. But I've had those for ages and it only means that i have to dress them daily to keep them 'healthy'.