Sunday, April 1, 2012

Broken Bones

If you have broken bones, any day of the week, you can go howling in pain to the A & E Department of your nearest hospital. When you arrive there you may have to queue for a bit, well maybe a while. Okay, maybe a very long time. But you will be seen, you will get pain medication and you will have your broken bones mended.

If, on the other hand, you have a broken mind and are howling and mumbling in mental anguish, you may not take the simple route to your local A& E Department. Instead you must travel a far more circuitous route. Especially at weekends.

You must wait a while, okay a very long time, while the medics follow the various protocols in place.

Patient, carers and family get to sit back and watch that protocol ball ping around the numerous pin ball machines of the various branches of our health system. Meanwhile the patient continues to linger in mental anguish.

Eventually that protocol ball comes full circle. A day or two has elapsed, the patient is still howling or mumbling in mental anguish and medically things may have changed.

Now, and only now, do you get to go howling in pain to the A& E Department of your nearest hospital. When you arrive there you may have to queue for a bit, well maybe a while. Okay, maybe a very long time. You will be seen, you may or may not receive pain relief and your broken mind may have to wait a long time before it can be mended.

You may have to spend some time in the acute hospital, being treated for a medical condition which has psychiatric undertones.

You may even have to repeat the steps above a few times before you finally get to attend the correct health facility.

Or to get them to finally visit you.

Whatever their protocol dictates.

Then, and only then, may you receive appropriate pain medication and your broken mind may finally begin to heal.

I'll take broken bones.

Any day of the week.

xx



Note: Image credit: shutterbox.com

16 comments:

  1. I know EXACTLY what you're talking about. I spent a day and extremely traumatic night trying to get a close friend treated for a major breakdown this week. Eventually, sadly, had to get Gardai to have him sectioned as Hospital Docs would/could do very little as his rights were paramount over his need for urgent help. Despite him wrecking his home, injuring himself etc etc nothing was done until he smashed a window at the hospital at 5am on Thursday. Heartbreaking!

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  2. @Lenny Lovett: And I know EXACTLY what you mean too. Have traveled this road MANY times and am sick of it. So not right to leave people suffering in mental anguish.

    The other problem is dehydration from their refusal to eat or drink. For that the patient has to go to AN ACUTE hospital to be re-hydrated simply because psychiatric nurses can't/not allowed to do drips. I will never understand that.

    I do however understand the need to rule out a medical/organic cause. But they have to attend an acute hospital for that, be sent home and THEN transferred to a psychiatric hospital or outreach clinic for further treatment! They CANNOT be transferred directly from acute to psychiatric hospital...at least a nursing home patient can't.

    Co-location would seriously help.

    My heart goes out to your friend....you were a very good friend to him.

    xx Jazzy

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  3. So difficult isn't it? Sounds like you are having a tough time at the moment Jazzy, hope you're OK... xxx

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  4. Oh no, Jazzy, a horrible horrible experience for everyone involved, and so unnecessary, I just hope that the patient is getting the right help in the right place now xxx

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  5. @BavarianSojourn: Yes, it is very difficult and very upsetting. But I'm doing okay thanks, have to keep strong. Have a 12 yo on a 2 week school holiday to keep occupied!

    @Blue Sky: It is terribly unnecessary. protocols, like rules are meant to be broken or at the very least bended to suit the individual patient needs. At the moment we still await a psych review. Almost 48 hours after initial referral....almost 24 hours longer than their protocol dictates. Simply because they made us take the circuitous route to an acute hospital.

    Thank you for your comments and good wishes:-)

    xx Jazzy

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  6. What can I say! The system sucks!

    You could have entitled this post "Broken System"

    It just makes no sense what so ever.

    HUG!

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  7. Jazzy, so tough, so sad. What is the world coming to? What is public health care coming to? What a stuff up. :(

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  8. @NanP: Thanks P. Yes, I could have called it that but I really wanted to highlight the differences between dealing with broken bones and broken minds in our health system. It's shocking. No medic would ever leave a patient with broken bones in pain for 2 or 3 days yet that's precisely what they've done with this case of a broken mind....

    @Di: Total stuff up! This patient continually falls between the cracks and the protocols seem to change depending on the doctor on call you get to speak to!

    Thanks for your comments :-)

    xx Jazzy

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  9. We were actually very lucky when our son had a breakdown. We took him to the GP who was so worried that she sent him to A&E....they referred him right away to the child mental health department...and thankfully we 'picked' the right day as the consultant was there on his one day a week so we were seen.
    It was a long drawn out progress and I dread to think what would have happened if we got the wrong day.

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  10. @magnumlady: I am so glad to hear that you got the help you needed for your son. So worrying. And yes, you did get lucky. It shouldn't be down to luck though should it? It's the same here when my mam gets unwell and has been for years. Your basically told to hold on to your mental breakdown til the clinic's net weekly appointment! Pardon the pun but that's mad!

    Thanks for your comment :-)

    xx Jazzy

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  11. Well done and well said Jazzy. Yup-broken bones any day. It just isn't right the way that people and their needs are weighed and measured in this world..What is viewed as an emergency and what isn't...I am so terribly sorry if this post was based on a recent experience.... It seems at times that the world has its priorities skewed...

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  12. What an awful situation; hope the patient is OK. I empathise with it all; my experience with the mental healh services has not been good and the delays have contributed to worsening symptoms for some people I know.

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  13. @Kathleen: Thanks. This is my discreet rant over a very recent and still ongoing situation ;-)

    @Deb at aspie in the family: The patient is much calmer this evening, thank you. The delays do not help at all. It seems, in this country, that even when you have a guarantee of a consult in 24 hours you must still go to an Acute hospital to be medically assessed. Then you must sent back to whence you came from to request another consult within 24 hours.Making it 48 very difficult hours at least.IF psychiatric hospitals weren't situated miles away from acute hospitals, or if they had a medical team attached, then this whole debacle could be avoided.

    Thanks so much for your comments :-)

    xx Jazzy

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  14. I hope you get the help you need x

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  15. Wow that sounds a real nightmare! It really is about time the so called system woke up and smelt the coffee!! Mental illness is just as debilitating as physical illness- as a sufferer of M.E ( an invisible illness too) if people cannot see it they do not think it is there.Equal treatment for everyone I say!! I'm so glad they are now getting the help that they need x

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  16. @magnumlady.com: Thanks, We eventually did get the help we needed and all is well. Until next time.

    @mum in meltdown: Thanks. It is difficult with 'unusual' conditions isn't it?

    Thanks for your comments :-)

    xx Jazzy

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Your comment is very much appreciated! x

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