Tag Archives: NHS Wales

Catheter Conundrum…

This catheter situation is starting to get a little beyond out of hand. Yesterday, it came out twice. Within 8 hours of the first one being inserted, it was out. And I thought 16 hours was being ridiculous…

In the early hours of the morning, the night staff from the District Nurse office came to reinsert it. Fortunately the people there are lovely. And patient. I have to call them out so frequently (or go to their clinic, if I am able to) it’s beyond a joke – it stays in for 24-72 hours mostly.

img_0887The one that first came out yesterday had been in for 5 days… I don’t know what the secret was. But strangely enough, I had no sensation of it coming out (there’s usually a sensation of a stun gun that has a very sharp pointy end stabbing me and shocking me). The one that replaced it was in for 8 hours… so go figure. I barely felt that come out, but there was a bladder spasm at the time, and I vaguely felt it being shoved out.

To put into context, they’re supposed to stay in generally 8-12 weeks.

It comes out with the balloon intact. A filled 10ml balloon at least 3-4cm [or about 1.5″] in diameter. I can’t even tell you how teeny a urethra is, but it gets shoved out of it. Sometimes it feels like my body is trying to lay an egg… Every time this happens, that is what happens – and yet no one has done a bladder scan or checked how much damage is being done to the bladder and urethra by this constantly occurring. I imagine it’s a lot.

The worst pain comes with bladder spasms and what I term “Retention-Release“. This means the bladder goes into retention until the spasm that causes it is unable to keep the pressure on the full bladder. Then, when it cannot keep it up anymore, it releases… all at once, and causes horrible pain. Now, though, it’s through the roof. And if I can feel it, and it’s unbearable, then it must be bad.

This morning the bladder has been going into Retention-Release badly. There was less than 100ml in my night bag (attached to leg bad, which was empty). It wasn’t until 11:25am that it overfilled and released (after coffee, a diuretic). And it hurt.

It released about 300ml at once. It was agonising. It feels like… a stun gun with a very sharp and pointy end both stabbing you and electrocuting you at the same time. It’s like that constantly right now, but when it released, it’s unbearable. If I already didn’t know what utter agony was, I’d be screaming. But I do, so I don’t.

My urethra now feels like it’s being tasered to death. It is well over a 10 in agony. And as someone used to living with agony 24/7 for five years, I can tell you it is horrific if it affects me that badly that I care and feel the pain.

I cannot sit on it. I literally cannot stand, so that’s out. A little bit of being raised on my kneed on all-fours like a baby helps a tiny bit, but it’s not like I can keep myself balanced there forever, it’s not like my legs can keep me up… So I’m stuck with it.

I feel dizzy and sick (as in seriously nauseated) by the agony. Lying down doesn’t help either. I’m stuck with it, and I probably will pass out from it. And I’m home alone with no one to help me.

Paraesthesia is no joke – it is my pain, my agony, what causes screaming both inside and out. It’s the same intensity and agony as if you had been crushed and fallen several stories from a building and survived. But if you did that, you’d get Fentanyl, Ketamine, some serious Morphine. What do I get? Tramadol, and if I’m lucky some soft-crap Oramorph (just 10mg).

The formally-empty night bag now [at 11:48am] has over 600ml in it.

Come 12:17pm and it starts again. It floods. It comes out. I’m vibrating from shaking.

I’ve had to agree to keep the catheter out as long as possible now, up to 24 hours, or more, if possible. I’m not seeing it… But I agreed to try. Doing it though… Well, I’m not so sure about that. My bladder is still in Retention-Release. It’s very painful when it does release (all at once). I’m not going to be drinking much now. How can I, if the consequence is, effectively, wetting myself? In a grown-up nappy, sitting on a incontenence may for babies? And nappies that I have to change ever couple of hours?

The only reason I’m even agreeing to this is because my current Fibro Flare Up is so bad I cannot move or go anywhere anyway – otherwise I wouldn’t be able to go anywhere because of this, and I find that unacceptable.

I’m highly anxious. This makes me feel…Gross. Ashamed. Like I’m a baby again. Or a puppy that is still learning… I can’t stop it, I can’t change it, and I can’t help myself… There is nothing I can do about it. It looks like I might not even be able to be catheterised anymore, if this is what it’s going to do. I’m at a loss as to what I can do, and the professionals are at a loss as to why. All waiting for Urology to come and fix it. Except they aren’t listening, or making it quicker.

But that’s my life now… All about the waiting… and, thus, the suffering…

 

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Always Waiting…

I don’t even know how to say this… I am frustrated and just lost… I feel like I’m stuck in limbo, waiting for some kind of life to start – one that is recognisable as one – and yet after 3 ½ years I’m still stuck and getting nowhere fast.

I have a formal diagnosis, but it’s got me nowhere, except just knowing what I have. The health & social care system couldn’t give a rat’s ass about any of it. I’m stuck on waiting lists that are longer than Andrex toilet roll, and stuck in the house because I cannot go out in the wheelchair I have, despite the extra modifications made to it with cushions. I went out yesterday, and today I just can’t. Despite the nice weather. I have to be stuck indoors because my wheelchair hurt me. Today I can barely feel my legs or use them – even the small amount I can is too precious to be messed around with, so how can I justify using something that takes that away from me? It’s not OK to have to crawl – with difficulty – to the bathroom because of that. It just isn’t.

Even the wheelchair company – privately contacted – has a bloody waiting list, although it’s about a week, instead of months or years. But t he thing is even they are making me mess around and wait – and they’ll be taking actual real money off us. Well, only if they get their act together… it’s not like they’re the only ones out there. So far it will have already been a month since the first fitting to try and get the issues with the “prescription” ironed out – then I’ll have to wait another week or so for the new quote. And we might then end up having to go round again. Even when it’s finalised, it takes about 6 weeks to make it, so there goes that month and a half too. I’ll be lucky to get one by bloody Christmas.

If I wanted one organised with the NHS it would take up to maybe nearly a year to sort it out, which is ridiculous and unacceptable. Despite asking back in January or February for physio (whom, it turns out I would not only need for actual physio, but to sort out eligibility and getting a proper chair), it seems I have only just been referred now. And the waiting list is long. I was put on the waiting list for psych back in January (I presume, anyway), and it seems they have up to an 18 month waiting list. I have also been referred to “Pain Management” … although I don’t know how they can help when your problem is you can’t feel any pain [almost]. The last thing I need is an anaesthesiologist – it’s the one thing I’ve got more than enough of is lack of pain… or anything. Everything that used to kill me with agony I barely notice now. It’s come in handy, but not great when you see injuries, bruises, cuts with dried blood, and you have no idea how they got there.

I’m getting nowhere fast, housebound, frustrated and climbing the walls (only metaphorically, unfortunately). Just… waiting. Existing. Barely surviving. Doing nothing.

I want to do things. One day I’d like to be well enough to have a job again, even part time. But I can’t do that if I can’t even sit in my bloody wheelchair for two days in a row. I’m being hindered and disabled by the system, less my (strange and almost unique – unfortunately) condition[s]. My array of complicated needs and history just makes me invisible to the system it seems, and it’s degrading, demeaning, humiliating, and lonely.

All I want is to have the tools and means to do the things I love – going out with my dog, visiting historical or National Trust places, maybe going on holiday, certainly going to work as a data analyst… and I just simply cannot do that with the state things – and myself – are in now. It’s that simple. And if the government hounds wanted me off ESA and into work, then they should make it possible, not erect barriers via austerity and raging stupidity… Like keeping Jeremy [H]unt in charge of healthcare. It’s like the wolf guarding the hen house… there are going to be many, many unnecessary casualties with no favourable outcome to anyone but the wolf.

What I need is physio, someone to tell and show me how to deal with the paraesthesia and numbness caused by my Hemiplegic Migraine/Weird Fibro combo, a good active wheelchair, emotional support designed for people with ASD, and the opportunity to do what I love (the latter of which I can manage myself).

Apart from the latter, the rest is being withheld from me by extensive waiting lists, caused by a government who screams as all us disabled, disenfranchised, demeaned, ignored, and ill – or “Scroungers” as they call us – to get our arses back to work.

Presumably this is all with the help of the Magic Fairy, who will magic up all the things we need without having to go to the NHS or through Social Care… Because it’s not happening otherwise.

 

 


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