"Care following surgery"

About: Wagga Wagga Rural Referral Hospital

(as the patient),

Recently I needed a diagnostic operation which was to be a day surgery. As it turned out I needed to stay in hospital and was put in the orthopaedic surgery ward. The day after my surgery I had a lot of pain and a fever, I was given oral Panadol as this is the strongest medication I could take. I was very sleepy and found it hard to stay awake and also to hold down food. I was encouraged to get out of bed even though this was a struggle due to a lot of stomach pain, but I did my best and managed to get up walk and shower. During the night one of the nurses called a doctor in as she thought I may have had an infection, blood was taken for testing, my temperature stayed between 37-38.5 for the next two days. I tried to take the medication and drink as much water as possible, but found it was not passing through so was making my pain worse so in the end just didn’t take it. I was put on a drip, needed to get up through the night to go to the toilet, but needed help to get out of bed, pushed the buzzer and was greeted with - did you push the buzzer, why? I explained I needed help getting out of bed and to unhook the drip.

The following night I had a huge vomit, which made me feel better for a while. I still could only eat a couple of teaspoons of food as anything I took orally did not go down. I overheard the nurses comments - she is not helping herself refusing to eat and take medication. After I tried to tell them what was going on, it seemed that they did not believe me. I was still unable to stay awake for a long period of time.

The next morning the doctor came, said I could go home. I told him what was going on he said sometimes this happens. Also was told two days prior that I had an infection, but was not given antibiotics, I had to ask the doctors for a script to take home. 9am someone came to get me to take me to the transit ward, I had not had time to change. I had to ask the visitor for the lady in the bed next to me to help remove the stockings, as once told I was going home no nurses came to help. I asked the person who was taking me to transit if she could wait a minute, she promptly went to the nurses and asked them to talk to me to hurry up.

After all of this I was feeling nauseous so was given a vomit bag for the trip home. I was home for an hour and started vomiting profusely for 4 hours, after which I had to return to hospital and was put back in for a further 3 days. During this time I still had trouble with anything orally, had a drain tube in my nose to help drain my stomach. I believe this should have been taken out the next day if I was feeling better. I asked and was told no, I was put on a drip again. This was a drip that made me feel dehydrated and feel terrible. I asked if it could be stopped as I was feeling worse and was told no. I had not seen a doctor for this. I felt it was decided to do it even though it did not seem to be helping. Eventually I was sent home again and managed to stay, but have been left having no faith in WWRRH and it’s policies. I worry as I need to go back for further treatment and operations. I understand staff are over worked, but patients need to be treated with a little respect and listened to, not put down. I feel this happened as I am a public patient. In my opinion, please you need to address the staffing shortage or I beleive someone is going to be really sick.

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