My husband’s TIA and my TIA

In July last year my husband suffered a TIA. We went to Southend Hospital A&E and after examination by the Stroke Registrar, he was admitted to the Stroke Unit and monitored overnight. He then took part in a pilot to try out some drugs. He was also monitored further to see what had caused his stroke. It was later discovered that he had a heart murmur. All this time, he was looked after with the greatest of care and continues to do so during his visits to the Warfarin Clinic.

Ten days after my husband had the TIA, I experienced tingling in my left arm. At first I thought I had been lying on it, but when it happened again, we rang for the ambulance. I was taken to A & E. Nothing was found, but they referred me to the Stroke Clinic and I was given an appointment for the following week. I thought I had over-reacted, but they said not to worry. I had a Doppler scan and the consultant said I would not be going home. He showed me the X-Ray of my carotid artery and explained that I was in danger of having a full-blown stroke.

To cut a long story short, I was admitted to hospital, everyone was so kind and took time to explain what they wanted to do and what the operation would entail and what could happen. This happened several times and several people spoke to me about it. The surgical team visited me and explained everything that would happen.

I did have to spend a long time in hospital because the specialist anaesthetists were not available, but during all that time I was really well looked after and was never made to feel a nuisance and I never felt ignored and put in a corner. Every time someone came into the ward they spoke to me, even when they had come to see someone else.

I have to say that everyone on this ward treated me with the utmost care and respect and I think this Unit achieves the standard that any ward or unit would be pleased to attain.

Since then I have had treatment in the Endoscopy Unit and have also found them to be kind and caring.

Both my husband and I think we are lucky to live close to Southend Hospital and we are very grateful to have received such wonderful care.


Fibromyalgia and the lack of doctors knowledge and support received by gp,s/hospitals in Derbyshire

I have had fibromyalgia for the past 16 years and had to finish work last year because of it.

I had been seeing a doctor at my doctors surgery and I thought she had a good understanding of the illness and that she was there for me. Since finishing work I applied for Disability Living Allowance and the report she sent in did not support me at all, it was as if all that I had been telling her about my problems had been forgotten.

Needless to say I was turned down for DLA. I went to appeal and she was asked for another report and this time what she wrote down made me feel like she was saying that it was all in my mind, and that she didn’t think I was telling the truth about what was wrong with me, which meant I did not get DLA.

I was so upset at how I had been treated and also by the fact that every time I went to the doctors for help with this illness all they could say was “I don’t know what else to say or what to try”. I have tried other doctors at this surgery and they all seem to have no knowledge of the treatments available or in fact how this illness affects each and every person with it in different ways. They don’t seem to care and I’m left trying to cope with constant pain over my entire body and stiffness in my neck, shoulders, lower back , hips and ankles.

I have morning stiffness, ibs, headaches, numbness and tingling in hands and feet, costochondritis, anxiety, depression, sleep disturbances, visual problems and so on and so forth, the list of my problems is endless. The lack of help and support is now causing me to become really depressed, I’m irritable, moody, and stressed all of the time.

I was sent to the Pain Management clinic at the Royal Derby Hospital and received a lidocaine infusion which didn’t work and that was it, apart from completing the pain management course and that’s it now, I have a 6 month open appointment. I was referred to the rheumatologist after I requested it from one of the doctors at my surgery, again I left this appointment feeling very down, as I was told that I had tried everything that they would suggest, they took a load of blood for tests and they told me that they would write to my doctor suggesting a few different tablets for me to try and would suggest a referral to the ME/CFS clinic at Ripley Hospital, this was at the end of May.

I went to my doctors last week to see a new doctor and I came away even more depressed as she said that she felt her role was to be there to listen and empathise with me, she hadn’t received the letter from the hospital.

I asked about whether there were any other medications that I could try and she said she didn’t know as she wasn’t a specialist. I’m so fed up with having to fight for some support and help with this illness and I am now looking for a new doctor in Ripley, even Derbyshire, that specializes in this illness and knows how to help and work with its sufferers.

I need help and I feel like there is nobody out there that can help me. This illness has robbed me of my life and I feel that the doctors I have seen do not believe me, they have made me feel like I am a hypochondriac because I have spent hours on the internet finding out about my illness, and when you tell them about what is wrong with you they don’t like it, they have made me feel like it is all in my mind but believe me it is real, and I hurt now both physically and mentally and I feel so alone.

If anyone knows of a good doctor in Ripley or Derbyshire who really understands this illness please let me know as I am desperate to get some help.


My wife waited 3 and half years for neck treatment

My wife a patient of an orthoepedic surgeon at Lincoln County Hospital, for 3 1/2 years plus, was getting no where, and the local PCT refused to allow injections which were recommended by him . He wanted to carry out an operation on a different part of her back, and we were waiting for the PCT to authorise this, After a lengthy delay, his secretary gave me the number of the PCT, to chase it up, and they contacted The One Health Group, who after 3 weeks gave us an appointment to see one of their surgeons who told us that she needed to see a Neurological Surgeon and would pass her name to his colleague , who turned out to be Mr Abhiney Kamat , He suggested a route to take, which in fact my wife was pleased to agree to, and she had her operation on Dec 20 at Claremont Hospital Sheffield.

For the first time in over 3 years she has lost the pain and tingling in her arm , and has more movement in her neck, shoulder and arms than for many a year . Although the hospital was difficult to get to , the care and attention she received from all members of the staff would be difficult to improve upon, and we both are fully appreciative of their skills .

John Ridd

The ups and downs of Holmwood

I had to have a lot of blood taken whilst on Holmwood ward and the female doctor that took the first lot was really kind and gentle despite having a hard time finding a suitable place from which to take the blood from me.

However, the male doctor had just the same problem but instead of being careful just jammed the needle into my wrist took it out a little then jammed it in again. This caused me a great deal of pain, which went down into my hand and up my arm. The pain was so great that I cried out and ended up in tears after he had gone.

When I touch my wrist now, three weeks later, I still get a tingling in my hand and arm and it itches quite a lot.

Needless to say if I am in Holmwood ward again, this particular doctor will not come near me with a needle!

The nurses in the ward were extremely kind and helpful, I couldn’t have had better treatment from any of them.

On another matter, I never saw the ward floor washed or hoovered during my stay, and the over the bed tray wasn’t cleaned and I didn’t have a waste bag for two days, and only once did I get fresh water and ice. I also felt that food for those with gluten free diet was poor.

Over all my stay was not a happy one and I hope I don’t have to go into hospital again for a very long time. Having said that, I am still having my symptoms that I was admitted for, so nothing has changed for me.


Loss of Confidence with Northwick Park

I arrived at Urgent Care with extreme burning and tingling pain in my left arm. The pain was so bad I felt I was about to vomit. I was using yoga breathing to try and cope with the pain. When we walked into reception, there was nobody behind the desk except for a nurse who ignored me. I was told to wait at the other end of the counter for someone to see to me. After I was asked a few basic questions about myself I was told to go and wait. After waiting over 1.5 hours I went back up to the desk to see if I missed my name being called. I was told there were 7 people in front of me and to keep waiting. In the next 2 hours I noticed everyone else was seen. Even people who just walked into the clinic. This number was greater than 7. In the whole time was waiting, I had not been seen by a triage nurse, instead I was ignored. I understand urgent care is based on who is most urgent. And I did not expect to be seen instantly, but a nurse hadn’t even asked about my medical situation. I was totally ignored. The toilet facilities were worse then what I would expect to find at the end of a night in the pub. Sinks were blocked up with hair and tissue. All the toilet seats were up and soiled with body fluids. The bowls were blocked with waste. And there was no clean tissue. I expect a hospital to be sanitary, not a place were I would pick up a disease after using the facilities. After waiting close to 4 hours. My partner and I decided to leave. I am pregnant and cannot sit comfortably in the waiting room for long periods of time. My pain was getting worse from sitting. And I was afraid to use the toilets, for fear of picking up an infection. I worry about giving birth in a few months in this hospital. My partner and I are starting to look at our other options.


Medical Assessment Ward/A&E/Physiotherapy

I was taken to A&E in April 2013 following the sudden onset of severe numbness and tingling in both legs that resulted in my being unable to walk. I was given emergency MRI scan to find out whether anything (growth, slipped disc etc.) was pressing on my spine and, when this proved negative, was admitted to Ward D1, the medical assessment ward, for further examination. After a further brain scan and a consultation with the neurologist from Salford who visits Bolton twice a week, I was diagnosed as having transverse myelitis, a rare condition caused by inflammation of the spinal cord. After spending just over a week in hospital, waiting for the diagnosis to be confirmed and undertaking some initial physiotherapy sessions, I am now at home beginning my rehabilitation.

I wanted to write this review to express my 100% satisfaction with the care I received whilst in the Royal Bolton. The staff I dealt with were, without exception, professional, caring, respectful and considerate. I received a diagnosis for this uncommon disease relatively quickly (and, from reports I have read on the internet since, this is by no means always the case). The cleanliness of the ward, and the attention paid to infection control, was spot-on. The food was fantastic – a very pleasant surprise given the popular myths about hospital food! Hats off to the kitchen staff for producing two excellent hot meals a day on what I’m sure is a very limited budget. And I was also very pleased to find out that you can now use mobiles phones in hospital, which obviously means that keeping in touch with your friends and family is so much easier and, consequently, you do not feel so isolated from the rest of the world during your stay!

The only criticism I have is that I would have liked to have known more about transverse myelitis before I left hospital, and to have had the opportunity to discuss the condition, and my prognosis, with the neurologist before I was discharged. I guess that the lack of this opportunity is due to the rarity of the disease and the fact that Bolton only has a visiting neurologist. As it is though, until I get a follow-up outpatient’s appointment, I am having to get answers to my many questions from the internet – not always the most reliable, or reassuring source!

On the whole though, my stay in hospital was a very positive experience. Thank you to all the staff who helped make it so.

Karen Smith

St Mary’s Hospital, its ICU and my visit there to save my life …

Bottom Line: I’d be completely dead without St Mary’s Intensive Care Unit.


I hope you print this story, it means a lot to me to be able to say these things and would dearly like my lifesavers to read my account ..: )

A few years ago, after a summer of severe breathing deficiencies, a new diagnosis of adult-onset asthma and a stinking, rattly chest infection – my lungs decided to backfire completely and the last I remember was collapsing at the wheel of my car on my driveway.

4 weeks or so later I awoke, bewildered at my surroundings, in St Mary’s ITU.

I had been tracheotomy’d and was being kept alive with a ventilator and 25 or so other lines and tubes and Lord knows what. If I had somewhere to stick a tube or cable then a tube or cable had been stuck there. When I ran out of holes they’d just drilled some new ones. ; )

It’s quite the eye opener going from the driver’s seat of a Volvo to an Intensive Care Unit I can tell you – and it’s the part in between car and ICU that I’d like to talk about.

First off though I must acknowledge the superb care I was told I received (I was in cloud cuckoo land myself frankly – on to that later) It really is bizarre to owe so many people you have never met, so much. My family visited almost 24/7 and have spent hours going through my treatment with me and helping me fill in the gaps.

When something removes 4 weeks of your life it is overwhelmingly important to fill in those gaps and the words ‘thank you’ don’t seem weighty enough somehow ”¦

Thank you, anyway. Staff of the ICU and loving family together.

I’d also like to apologize. Remember that cloud-cuckoo land I mentioned earlier?


Hang in there because it gets a little odd from here on in ..! …

In between the various illnesses that were trying to bump me off, the sedation and analgesia needed to intubate and ventilate me and my own rickety grasp on reality, some very peculiar hallucinations took hold of my mind.

I went completely barking to be honest.

ICU Psychosis they call it. Bloody petrifying is a more apt description.

Apparently I kept yanking all my lines out – my wife says she had to sit on my chest whilst 3 nurses and doctors strapped my arms to stop me disconnecting my central line / Tracheotomy tubes / and the other stuff keeping me alive. I always an awkward sod and my heartfelt apologies to any nurse or doctor who struggled to stop me checking out permanently in their ICU!

I’m guessing Morphine, along with something like Propofol, Fentanyl, Benzodiazepines, the Legionella causing double pneumonia and the Status Asthmaticus, along with everything else going on caused my mind to fold in on itself sending me quite, quite mad (temporarily) ..

I was convinced a doctor (who didn’t exist) was trying to kill me off. I heard him with some nurses plotting to sell my organs on eBay when I expired. He kept injecting this jollop into my central line that made my legs go all tingly so I couldn’t escape. Of course I couldn’t tell my family this as a trach bypasses your vocal-chords. Plus he was nice as pie when they were around. The sneaky little hallucination. I wanted to call the police but every time I went for my mobile phone he zapped me in my ear with this device that blocks cellphone signals. Toying with me he was.

I don’t even own a mobile phone in real life. Weird.

After my wife and family left for the day he would do experiments on me by injecting chicken DNA into my line. He kept saying that it was cheaper than buying a dozen eggs and if I would just lay him a few he might not pop my clogs.

I remember him getting very ill-tempered as live chicken bantams kept coming out of me and not the eggs he needed for his omelette or Yorkshire Puddings or whatever he needed eggs so desperately for. Tesco opens 24 hours for God’s sake.

In the end he wore me down – the leg tingling ear-zaps, the hybrid rooster experiments, the 50 grand he was getting for my liver – I was beat I tell you. Knackered.

Anyway this went on, me trying to lip-sync desperate cries for help, asking my mother to call the authorities and him sneaking around with his plot to knobble me – it became like a bad episode of Columbo or Quincy. No wonder I kept trying to rip my lines out.

In between my loonytunes I also watched as a prisoner who’d escaped from Parkhurst broke into the ICU and ransacked the drugs cabinet, wheeled himself round and round the ICU on a wheelchair then promptly coded in a heap on the floor. Looking sympathetically at one of the nurses she remarked that they had to try to revive the bandit as it was ‘their job’ – I’d have left the toerag to it personally. I remember telling the doctor to hide the Christmas presents they had collected behind the counter before this villain got at them. I don’t hallucinate by half I can tell you.

So I am sorry. My mind created a nightmare – so vivid I could actually draw this imaginary doctor now, years later. It took me 6 months at home before I could even walk properly and 18 months to accept to myself that it was all just a figment of a badly damaged imagination.

There is a serious point to all this. I am genuinely and heartfeltingly grateful to the wonderful doctors and nurses who saved my hide and to the hospital for being there to save my life, despite my best efforts to damage myself.

ICU Psychosis is a well recognized phenomenon. One’s mind and body is completely overloaded. The lights, the noise, the constant activity, the drugs (and WHAT drugs! ), the illness and pain. The mind cannot take it and starts crashing. It reboots itself and ends up sitting in the corner, wobbling.

It’s terrifying to go through and I am still not 100% – part of me still wants to understand what happened but I guess I’ll never really know.

But thanks. Really.

You are all very special people.

ICU Psychotic

good hospital

I first attended the walk in centre at trafford general as i had not felt right over the christmas period and couldd not get an appointment with my g.p.I had to wait a little while as they were busy but that was ok.I thought i might have had an ear infection, as i have had them in the past,and would be sent on my way with a precription for antibiotics.when the doctor looked in my ears they wer fine but he was cncerned that i had some numbness and tingling in my face and said one of my pupils was larger and slower to react and immediately referred me to one of his colleagues over in MAU in the main hospital where i was assessed sraight away and because they thought it could be conected to a stroke as my blood pressure was very high also,they decided to keep me in overnight.when the consultant saw me the next day he discharged me but i had to go in on the monday at 9.15 for a head scan and was seen ontime and out by 10.i went back to out patients for the results about 10 days later and luckily my scan was normal and so i was discharged as i was now feeling much better,but told if the symptoms ever came back to return for more in depth tasts.I just want to say thankyou to professor Somerton and his team and all nurses and doctors at the hospital and walk in centre for their attention as although i wasnt expecting all that to happen i can rest assured that had it been a stroke i would have had the best chance of recoverey.I know i am lucky it wasnt serious but have sang your praises to all my friends and family and hope the hospital remains open for many years in the future,yours sincererely,Hilary Chamberlain.

hilary chamberlain

A & E and Ward 23

I would like to express my sincere thanks to the staff on A & E and ward 23, I bought my husband to a& e after him complaining of feeling very dizzy and tingling lips. He was promptly treated and after having an ECG, they wanted to do more tests, He was then sent for an xray and admitted onto ward 23 while we awaited his blood results back. The staff on Ward 23 were very helpful, professional and friendly. The ward sister after looking at my husbands ECG, was not happy for him to come home and wanted him to see the consultant the next day (Sunday). To cut a long story short further tests were carried out and even though my husband had no symptoms of Heart trouble and has not suffered an heart attack in the past, it turns out he is in need of a triple Heart Bypass. Not the best outcome but if it wasn’t for Good hope and their extensive tests he would be a ticking bomb. Thank you again for your excellent service and the care my Husband received.


Bad experience at A&E

My daughter was taken by ambulance at the decision of the paramedics to A&E on Friday. She had been suffering headaches for weeks and had been to the GP twice. But during Thursday night some new symptoms came on which were pain down her right arm, laboured speech and tingling in her fingers. On arrival at hospital not one member of staff acknowledged either us or the paramedics. We waited until finally the paramedic went to the reception and got booked in. We were taken to the children’s department and after a long wait a nurse came to asses my daughter. The nurse was pleasant and kind and asked if we would like to wait in the room as it was very noisy in the other room and my daughter was in a lot of pain. Eventually a doctor came with another person (presumably a trainee) and they asked me to leave as they wanted to examine my daughter. My daughter asked me to stay but the doctor said no I had to leave and so I did. When she came out my daughter said we are going home so I asked what was happening. I was told there was nothing wrong with my daughter and before I could ask anything else the doctor asked if I would like a second opinion. I found this odd but said yes and a senior consultant came to talk to us. While they were very pleasant I was somewhat surprised to hear them say to my daughter that her mum was worried she had suffered a stroke. I had never mentioned a stroke to anyone at the hospital and felt very patronised at this point. They also implied the pain and tingling fingers could be in their imagination. Again this was very patronising and at NO time had I ever suggested a stroke to my daughter. We left the hospital having been told to take paracetamol and carry on with the antibiotics she had from the doctor. They also said if things didn’t improve they could be referred to a neurologist. Both my daughter and I were very upset by the experience and when we got home my daughter told me that the first doctor asked why she needed her mum when she was 16! And why she had gone to A &E, well because that’s what the paramedic said we should do. Also the other doctor spent the whole time on her mobile phone, very unprofessional. I would like to add that my daughter is still in agony with headaches, still has pain in Her hand and tingling fingers so I will be taking her back to the GP and going in with her for whether she is 16 or not. The GP will be more than happy with me accompanying her.