Privileged to have such an amazing NHS team!

I feel very privileged and lucky to be able to write about the incredible team who cared for me during my life saving Leukaemia treatment.  Over the many weeks I was under their care they became so special to me, always treating me with incredible care and dignity.  At what was, without doubt, the worst time in my life I was able to put my life in their hands without question. Many times I was too ill to be in control of what was going on yet at the back of my mind I knew I could rely on them and believe me this really did help me cope.  It was obvious that most of the time they were under a lot of pressure but, not once did it affect the way they did their work.  

Me and my husband

When I arrived for each chemotherapy cycle I was greeted by smiles and ‘hello Anna’ really putting me at ease.  We are all on first name terms now and there is always a laugh and joke between us.  I nicknamed my registrar ‘The Vampire’ and have a brilliant relationship with my consultant whose called Kandee (pronounced candy) which always makes me smile as the stuff he was prescribing me was nothing like sweets!

As the Leukaemia had affected my immunity I suffered lots of infections and one time I had one in a gland in the side of my face.  Causing unending, intense pain it was only dulled by morphine which was given to me regularly by an injection.  During the night when the nurse told me I couldn’t have any more I was so distressed that she sat and held me while I sobbed, a moment of kindness I will never forget. Another time I was comforted by the ward sister, who took precious time out to sit with me when my daughter had clung to me, distressed, when it was time for her to go home.

When I collapsed in the bathroom, managing to pull the emergency cord before I blacked out, they were by my side straight away.  A few times they were unable to wake me and would calmly but firmly bring me round without panicking.

I screamed at them once while suffering excruciating pain as I’d developed colitis, refusing any more treatment until it was under control.  They calmly dealt with my concerns and when I later apologised to one of them she immediately asked me to stop saying sorry.  Whenever I did refuse any intervention they always listened to my concerns, allowing me to feel in control and understand why I had to carry on.  No matter what questions I asked and whether it was to a nurse or consultant I was given an honest and comprehensive answer.

My family and friends were always made to feel welcome and treated with such courtesy.  In fact if the nurses need them to move in order to give me any treatment they would apologise even though my visitors were the ones in the way.  At a time like this allowing my family to be by my side day and night without question was a great comfort.  A bed was arranged at one point so my husband and his sisters could stay over night with me.  

Whenever patients complained, mainly due to being so ill or in pain, their medication having been delayed they listened apologised and resolved it straight away.  I remember being really impressed by this knowing how hard working and under pressure they were throughout their shift.

The other staff I am grateful to are the cleaners and health care assistants, I got to know them really well during my stay, they would chat away while working making me laugh. When you are in hospital and fighting something like Leukaemia it is little things like this that mean so much.  It’s the unseen, small acts of kindness that aren’t in people’s job descriptions that have a positive effect on people like me.  They would often happily get ice for me for my food supplement drinks, change my bed whenever needed, get me toast at random times and much more!  In these circumstances its the little things that mean so much.

It was always evident at how much pressure they were under and sometimes when I pressed by bell it would take a while for assistance but this is not their fault.  They never took their frustrations out on me, nothing was ever too much and me, my family and friends owe them so much.

I have a check up every 8 weeks so I always pop back to the ward to say hello as they like to see me and its nice for them to see the result of all their hard work – Me looking so well!

There are so many more examples I could write about so I will have to do another post as this one it long enough!!

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