A few days before Easter I was delighted to be asked to speak at a conference on the Patient Experience in October to Chief Executives of the NW of England. I had begun to think about making my talk more generic than my experience of postnatal illness....
but I wasn't expecting to get first hand information again!
On Saturday 4th April I began to get severe abdominal and back pains and ended up by needing to be admitted to hospital. I went into ward G1 at York hospital and stayed for a week needing huge doses of pain relief and by the end of the week exploratory surgery. I am likely to have to return at some point for keyhole surgery.
I have to say I have nothing but praise for the staff on the ward! Even though I felt so poorly not once did I have to wait for pain relief or for any of my needs to be met. At times I felt like a spy because it seemed they were acting out my 'what really matters to patients' talk!
Their patience, kindness and compassion was the basis of excellent nursing. Clive didn't do too badly either!
His account is here http://blog.clivegott.com/2009/04/kudos-to-the-nhs.html
I confess at one point to be feeling extremely low and questionned why did I have to feel so ill and wallowed in self-pity! However, I got my answer ...
my second book!
Since 'Eyes without Sparkle' was published I have spoken about my experiences of suffering and recovering from a severe mental illness. But the talks have developed and I believe that health professionals need to be aware of how important the apparently small acts of kindness are to those at the receiving end of their care. I want to thank and inspire - not moan and demotivate.
So laying in my hospital bed I realised that I must put into print now the messages of Patient Care that I have been speaking about! Plan is to have it ready for the October conference.
They say things happen for a reason ....
but I was so upset to miss spending time with Dominic which we had planned before he went away with his Dad.