Wednesday, April 30, 2008

a bad patient

Today we visited Martin in hospital. It was a most unpleasant experience. After being in dire straits and thinking he was dying, he has, in one day, gone from being rescued by the public health system to being its harshest critic.

The bank of tests has not positively identified the problem and his echo cardiogram was scheduled for today. When I went to visit him this afternoon he was very dark about the fact that it was re-scheduled to tomorrow or even Friday. I tried to explain to our 37 year old son that this was a public hospital, funded by taxes that he has not largely contributed to and that a delay of a day or two is not something to be angry about. He should have looked around the ward to see how other patients are coping with their situation.

Treatment in Australian hospitals is free. If you have a life threatening problem you are in hospital immediately. If it is something like a hip replacement, you may have to wait up to 18 months to have the procedure. By and large it is a very good system; world class.

This afternoon our son complained to us about hospital food. Daughter Helen went and bought him some sandwiches, but he didn't try them and she had to go out and buy some chicken. Send him off to Bagdad General Hospital I say!

I reckon one of the most trying times nurses have in the hospital situation is abusive patients.
I guess they are aware of the five stages of dying (Kubler Ross) and are sympathetic to their grumbles. Personally, today, I decided that I could not be a medico.

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