Monday, October 09, 2006

The NHS Should Be Grateful For My Daughter

Those of you who’ve been with me for awhile will remember Imani’s stroke last year. Here we are again, a year later and I’m just thrilled that she’s nearby this time.

Imani came home (to London) for the weekend. On Saturday night she was hospitalised. Tests revealed that she has a pulmonary embolism. (Translation - she has several blood clots in her lungs.) For you medical types out there - we are fortunate that they are not on any major arteries.

Today, she’s feeling a lot better. Less pain. Less blood when she coughs. I’m grateful. But, more so - I’m finding myself so proud of her.

She's appalled by the UK hospitals. Her ward doesn't even have rooms. Imagine the curtained cubicles in an American ER with six people to a room. The doctors don't work weekends - unless someone needs to have meds authorised. Then, they page the on-call doctor. There are four weekend on-call doctors to serve the entire hospital. And the other doctors only work 9 - 5, Monday through Friday.

The nurses don't really do much. Imani calls them "glorified waitresses serving up people their lives." Imani's been quite the candy striper, since she's felt better. She’s been keeping herself occupied by:

* Helping the old ladies take their medicine - the ones who can't pour their own water or hold a cup to drink. (Yes, the nurses just set the meds down on the table and leave.)

* Soothing the frustrated children of senile patients.

* Soothing senile patients.

* Drawing portraits of patients and making them look pretty.

* Running to the nurses station for old ladies who are in pain or trapped on bed pans, but can't get anyone to help them because their call buttons don't work.

They'll either be happy or sad to see her go. Happy because they can get back to neglecting their patients. Or sad because she provides support to them and improves the quality of care for patients.


Jax said...

I'm sorry to hear she isn't well, but pleased to hear that she is making other ppl's illnesses easier to manage, if that makes any kind of non trite sense at all!

Christina Springer said...

Thanks, Jax!

I completely understand. On one hand, she should sit her butt in the bed and get well. On the other hand, she's a very compassionate person who - even when ill - will look after those less fortunate.

I guess this is the outcome parents hope their children will manifest.