Discharge day!

Ray was finally discharged from hospital today. He’s really pleased to be home and very positive that he will never drink again. A positive start!

I don’t think the problems will start up again for a little while. At the moment the memory of how ill he was is very fresh. I think the danger will be that in a couple of weeks he may think one or two drinks would be OK and they wouldn’t. Lets hope I’m wrong and he sails through this!

We didn’t sail through the discharge though.

When I arrived at the hospital I knew I may have to wait a long time and was happy to do so, chatting to Ray.

I’d rung that morning to explain Ray’s glucose monitor had broken and the nurses were organising a replacement for him. When I arrived I told them we also needed some of the glucose shots in case he had a hypo.

One of the nurses was very helpful and went all over the hospital and found all of that for us.

The doctor arrived to do the discharge paperwork and I explained the glucose meter and the test strips we’d need as well as the glucose stuff. I gave him them tubes of glucose so he could order them, and never saw them again 😦

A very helpful nurse on his previous ward had told me all the things I’d need to make sure I got when he was discharged and I was working my way through it, not appreciated by the nurse I was asking! “Who gave you that list?”

The district nurses told me the referral was late for that night’s injection and as I’d been shown how to use the pen a couple of times I said we’d probably be ok tonight and that they’d come in the morning. I made sure I took their contact number though, and I’m very glad I did!

I was given a huge bag of medicines but when I asked for the discharge letter and drug list I was told they couldn’t print them but would post them on to us. I said I needed to be able to get them to the GP so we could organise prescriptions and was told the information was all on the system and he’d have immediate access to it.

The very helpful nurse went out of her way to try and get a wheelchair for us. She eventually borrowed one from another patient and took Ray to our car. She was lovely and very kind to him.

When we got home I settled Ray and went straight t the doctor’s surgery to say he was out of hospital and ask for a copy of his drugs list to help me sort it all out. They had received no information!

Back home I started to go through the pile of medication.

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There were drugs he had prior to admission and others I’d never seen before. Different drugs had to be taken in different quantities at different times of day, but there was no indication as to what drugs could, or could not, be taken together.

In hospital Ray had been taking pain killers, we had none. I think he was having paracetamol so I’ve just been and bought some as I vaguely remember being told not to give him ibuprofen. Hope I’ve remembered right!

I have two containers of one of the drugs. One says one tablet once a day the other says one tablet three times a day. Which is correct?

There were boxes of needles, why? What are they for?

Then I took the lid off the insulin pen and found out – no needle! Now what do I do? I don’t know what to do with these.

Then I discovered I had two different insulin pens. What’s going on???????

I rang the District Nurses this was beyond me!

When they arrived they asked about the discharge letter and drug lists. I explained I didn’t have them, showed them what I’d got they seemed to be as shocked as I was!

Then I remembered that while we were still on the ward I’d become uncomfortable with how things were going. The form that the nurses faxed to the district nurses was on the desk, and I took photos of it!

This showed the doses of insulin that Ray should have

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Great, but why have I also got this?

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He appears to have developed arthritis

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But no longer has any communication difficulties! (I have that photo but haven’t added it as it had lots of other details on it).

I’m clever and resourceful but this is dangerous! What would have happened had I not been there?

I am a great supporter of the NHS and the staff that work for it. We’ve been fortunate to meet some truly caring people who’ve looked after Ray really well but I have got to follow up on this, it is so wrong.

On a more positive note Ray says the food was lovely and that their chicken tikka masala was far superior to the one I get him from Morrisons!!!

8 responses to “Discharge day!”

  1. So sorry to hear about this – I’ve been on holiday and have only just caught up. There just isn’t the joined up approach that is needed in the NHS,. Everyone is compartmentalised in their own specialism/department instead of looking holistically at each patient’s individual set of problems (and many people, certainly as they get older may have several health issues, which can interact and certainly affect the treatment regime). Hope Ray feels better soon and , with your support, is able to tackle the alcohol issue. Also I hope you are soon able to get back to your fitness programme, at least in part, and that you feel fully fit yourself again.

    Janet

  2. I think Janet has hit the nail on the head there re the lack of ‘joined-up’ care & information. Sorry you have been landed with yet more difficulty Gill. x

    • Afraid I think it’s worse than that. 2-3 minutes with the diabetic nurse? Doctors not looking at the liver scan? Mixed bag of medication? No discharge notes? This hospital has had really bad press recently and I’d love to defend it but I can’t. Such a huge shame for the few really caring staff we came across!

  3. Please tell Ray never to have another drink, my husband who died at 45 was exactly the same, drank so much he destroyed his pancreas and was insulin dependant, he too was good when he was first released from hospital but after, a few weeks started drinking again, never as much as before but he thought a little wouldn’t hurt. It was the 17th anniversary of his death yesterday 25th April and it makes me so sad that he never saw how well our children have done or saw his Grandchildren, A wasted life, plus very bad memories of very bad behaviour while he was drinking 😦

    • Thanks Karen that’s another one for my armoury! Ray has watched others do the same. Sounds like my guess of how this would go is right :-(. So sorry for you but really appreciate it. xxx

  4. Sorry it was such a shambles. You are right about the Ibruprofen, its no good for your liver if its not working properly, we never used to give it to our liver babies.

    It’s ridiculous that they hadnt been through the medications in conjunction with the discharge letter with you both to ensure everything tallied & was there. We have to do that on discharge although I guess i don’t know if everyone does but it makes sense to.

    I hope he stays tough & remembers how ill he was. Hope things improve, help wise. xx

    • Cheers Linds. It’s great having friends that can help. You do livers and another friend is a diabetic sister! It definitely helps to know people!!!!!

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