To keep going back to A&E?(11 Posts)
Three years ago I was diagnosed with an illness which has a "minor symptom" of blackouts.
I have spent a lot of time in hospital both as an inpatient and seeing my various consultants. All had been well until 3 months ago when I started blacking out again. I was rushed to A&E after being unconscious for 30 mins and ended up as an inpatient again with all the tests under the sun not really clearing up what was happening but they played with my drugs and we hoped everything would be sorted.
Since then my blacking out episodes started 1-2 times a week with unconsciousness ranging from 1minute to 30mins. (My consultants and GP are aware and trying various things)I was back and forth to A&E a lot.
In the past month the frequency of my blackouts has become frenzied with me blacking out most days. I've hurt myself a few times from the resulting falls (miraculously nothing serious). My DP, friend and x2 ambulances (when I've been at work or shopping) have all taken me into A&E.
Many times I am very, very confused or have a shattering headache or even covered in vomit.
I don't like to criticise the NHS because they have been amazing up until now, however I have been made to feel because I have a diagnosis I am wasting their time. My DP has had to fight my corner a number of times when I have been pretty much out of it, insisting something more serious must be happening and just because "she faints a lot and some people just do" isn't a reason for me to be dismissed so easily.
The last 3 times I have been there (1. Blacked out, unconscious 20+mins and confused, 2. blacked out, unconscious 10 mins, gash to head 3. Blacked out 15 mins threw up, confused rambling) I have been made to feel like I am cluttering the place up and wasting their time. One doctor was particularly nasty and dismissive to me even when I collapsed in front of her.
I come away from there crying my eyes out and it has got to a point where I don't want to go back there but my DP (and GP) insists I should and unconsciousness for those periods of times are dangerous and constitute and emergency. I should add they do of course give me proper care and check me over but the entire time I am made to feel like I'm abusing the system or something.
AIBU to keep going back to A&E?
Yes keep on going back. My 6month son has breathing problems since birth so we go to A&E alot .after a while i felt the same like I was wasting there time ( I even saw a doctor roll her eyes ) his main doctor made it clear to me that he needs to go up when he's bad and his o2 checked for a few hrs which they never do. I still take him up when he's bad . I know how you feel sometimes you have to push as turns out my son has laryngomalacia which needs surgery which If I didn't push he would've got the test for it . Hope you feel better soon
Sorry to hear your son is unwell lady2016, I hope his surgery goes well.
I've had the doctor rolling her eyes too. I said last time I was in they did the laying down/standing BP test and found out my BP was bonkers and she sort of sniffed and snorted at me. I wasn't telling her how to do her job but just trying to let her know my history. Something obviously isn't right, I don't want to go to hospital and sometimes have a bit of a battle with DP about it but I'm now so anxious about going anywhere near there. I don't want them to feel like I'm a waste of time.
Assuming you haven't hurt yourself, in which case you need to get that checked out: what actually do they do for you in A&E?
It sounds more like you need to book an urgent appointment with your consultant, and your GP should be pushing that.
Going to A&E each time sounds like sticking a plaster over a wound that needs stitches-will perhaps stop the immediate potential issues but not deal with the real issue so it continues to be a problem.
When I go ( and I don't go everytime I blackout, otherwise I would never leave) they do what I assume are standard neurological tests (pulling hands, finger to nose etc.) and occasionally give me a CT scan.
The first few times they kept me in on an actute medical ward before transferring me to inpatients but now they just look me over and send me home.
I have seen my consultant several times since my new episodes and he has referred me for tests and switched around drugs but still I am spending an hour a day, collapsed flat on the floor with my eyes rolled back in my head with my DP unable to rouse me. Im becoming more and more confused.
If I saw someone else in that state I would phone for an ambulance but now I just don't know what to do. I feel like I've come to the end of some road and because I've been diagnosed and have a consultant there is no more to be done, even though I'm in a state every day. I don't want to go and take up their time if I don't need to but equally everything I read (plus my GP & 111) points in the direction of A&E.
I suppose part of the problem is that a 30 minute period of unconsciousness might be down to your ongoing problem, but it could also be due to something else unrelated and not getting medical help at the time because everyone assumes that it's just the OP fainting again could mean missing out on treatment if you had actually (for example) had a stroke or some other issue.
Could your consultant write a letter for you to carry with you, putting it in writing that he thinks you need attend A&E when these episodes occur and outlining any tests he thinks might be necessary in the immediate aftermath?
But I agree with pp - next stop needs to be an urgent appointment with the consultant.
You should go, yes. Because every time you blackout and fall, you risk damaging yourself and that needs to be assessed. The doctors who are being dismissive to you are at fault here and should stop looking at your diagnosis and dismissing you but treat you as a potential head injury case when you come in after a blackout + fall.
I agree though that your consultant needs to step it up a notch and try to see what else might be going on here.
I dont think its unreasonable to seek medical attention if you are unconscious for a prolonged period. on the other hand, its difficult to know what A&e can do for you, because as you say, you have a diagnosis and have consultant care and with NHS services being the way they are, i can sort of understand the frustration of a&e doctors when there is very little they can do for you. That's not to say they should be rolling their eyes or taking those frustrations out on you, that's unprofessional and unnecessary. If your consultant says you should access a&e when you are unwell then you should. perhaps you need to discuss with him a list of criteria for when you should go, and then you have a clear idea and you wont feel so worried about it?
I would definitely get something in writing to carry with you - IF you can get anyone to do that of course...
Unfortunately most people who end up being 'frequent flyers' at A&E will start to get somewhat grumpy responses from certain staff members - I did too and its fucking horrible.
Like you, my GP told me if I need to go in, I needed to go in - in my case it was for pain control because I have additional medical conditions and needs and just gritting my teeth through the agony of gallstone and pancreatic pain wasn't considered safe with a dodgy heart - theres a good chance I could have a heart attack and delay treatment because I am treating as if for gallstones/pancreatic issues.
This however did not amuse A&E, and whilst most people were LOVELY, the odd one or two were downright foul, including leaving me shut in a room (actually the plaster room with a bed shoved in it not a cubicle), on a bed with high sides on I couldn't undo the sides for myself... and left me there to piss myself for 2 hours after I'd asked to go to the loo/get a bedpan (I am also a wheelchair user and was off it on morphine so climbing out wasn't an option!)...
I overheard her talking about me in a fairly unpleasant manner and she had a face like a smacked arse when I was admitted as I was showing signs of a billiary infection!
So yes if you can get something that says 'IVE BEEN TOLD TO ATTEND IN XYZ SITUATION'.. go for it.
But you might struggle getting hold of that magical bit of paper unfortunately.
What is the diagnosis if you don't mind the question?
The idea of getting such a letter from consultant hadn't crossed my mind! That's a great idea, I wonder if it will be difficult to procure? I will phone first thing on Monday and ask his secretary if it would be possible.
Do you think in lieu of getting that letter I could take correspondence regarding my illness from my GP and two consultants if I do go to A&E? I generally just have a piece of paper with my medications, illnesses and need to know information in my handbag because I'm usually so confused all I can say is "blackout" and never remember the name of my consultant let alone my merriad list of symptoms.
Widdlin, sorry you had to go through that! That's bloody grim. I hope you complained?
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