Source: ‘HSE At ‘Deaths Door’
I had an appointment today to see a psychologist, I had waited over a year for this appointment! I was referred two years ago for treatment, when I was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I had an assessment with a psychologist in October 2014 where we decided the best course of treatment for me would be Hypnosis and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, I would have to go back on the waiting list as she was retiring and her post had not yet been filled.
Fast forward to today, after many phone calls from my GP, I received a text on Friday to attend the clinic this morning. I waited an hour and ten minutes to be seen, only to be told they have not filled the two Psychology posts as ‘NO ONE HAS APPLIED’! The doctor then went on to apologize for the long wait and he was really sorry he could do nothing; as he doesn’t have the staff? The doctor began to tell me how broken the system is, ‘I was working in Norway and the comparison with Ireland is five star hotel Vs 1940s care home’ He began to tell me how he worked in Limerick before moving to Galway and pointed to his desk saying ‘at least in Limerick I had a computer and typed referrals rather than this flimsy out of date paper system’ pointing to a badly photocopied template for referral.
I asked him what he would do if he had the power? ‘Firstly I would get rid of all the managers and install an integrated computer system’ he said ‘Lets say you go to A&E tonight when they put you r name into the computer they would see all your information including our meeting today’ He said if the HSE don’t act now if five years time there will be nothing left to save! Most if not all of the graduating medical students for ‘2016’ are planning to leave and with them they will take their skill, training and hope for the future! It is now very difficult for the hse to employ new Doctors, we are outsourcing to countries where the training may not be of a high standard, this has already been an issue when the Medical Council found only last month; a chap was working as a doctor in a major hospital; had no formal training or qualifications?
Mental Health is a major problem in ireland, with more people dying by suicide in 2015 than on our roads! The government made multiple promises to improve mental health services, the reality is they have not only under invested in the service; the hse has such a bad name they are unable to hire the staff to run it!
With the election only weeks away, we must concentrate on health and housing before all else. I wrote a blog two weeks about my surreal experience as an inpatient, in one week I witnessed over crowded wards, patients with dementia being left hungry, when the food was there; just not the staff to feed them? We will all need to access the health service at some stage in our lives, we owe it to ourselves and our descendants; to ensure the government tackle and fix this broken service it is just not good enough!
Derek Nolan’s response to this letter was to block my family from his social media! Steve wrote to him for an appointment to which he never replied? Steve has made over 50 calls for an appointment and visited the office more than 20 times with the same request! Steve who had voted for Nolan, he never got his appointment and they reason was; I discussed on Twitter his lack of response to our question, ‘can you help us get an appointment at the pain clinic’? He phoned Steve and said he cant work with us as I was talking about him on twitter in a non positive way? He informed Steve that he does not support people trying to jump up on the waiting list? This guy got 2 votes from our household that he will never see again, Keira is 18 now so his actions have actually lost him 3 votes. Steve, Keira and I were front row at the hustings last night and this arrogant man ignored us! Ask yourself do we really want people like him running the country?
« on: October 19, 2012, 10:04:39 PM »
this is a a true story and has roused many people , it was posted on iradio on facebook
My name is Keira Banks and i Live in Knocknacarra Galway. I Listen to your show every day without fail even during the summer i would get up early just to listen to your show !
My Mum , Jennifer Banks , Suffers with MS ( Multiple Sclerosis). if you are not Familiar with It , it is a chronic, often disabling disease that attacks the central nervous system , and unfortunately , it has disabled my mum. We Have many problems at home and in everyday life due to the MS. At this moment , as I write to you she is in bed in severe pain , she has taken 7 different types of medication today to try to control the pain, because her pain is so bad she is on a tens machine to try to relieve the pain but unfortunately sometimes doesn’t work . Usually every 8 weeks , my mum gets Lidocaine Infusions which helps to control pain , but due to the health cuts , the day ward in the regional hospital have been cut back 5 beds in the morning clinic and 5 beds in the evening, so 10 patients a day have been put back on a waiting list , but my mum was one of those 10 and she has been put on a waiting list until late november (21st) which means that we have been living with my mums chronic pain since september and we keep having to call doctors at all hours of the day , sometimes 4 or 5 in the morning , to give her a morphine injection to reduce pain. Some nights she will be in tears over her pain but being such a strong person , holds back for me and dad. There is only me , mum and dad in the family so for us to run a house , look after my horse , 2 dogs , 2 chickens , Bills are a lot of pressure on us. So Dad Went to TD Derek Nolan (Labor Party) to see if mum could get an earlier appointment. Derek Nolan said that he could see what he could do and get back to us as soon as possible , but we didn’t hear anything back from him for 2 weeks Until today , when he phoned dad and told him he was very angry with him and disappointed because my mum has been writing on twitter about her pain and said he didn’t do anything after my dad went to see him, the truth is he didn’t do anything and he is just angry that my mum is telling people about how she suffers with pain and how the health cuts have effected her health. He said that he feels as though he cant work with dad about mum because of what my mum said about the cuts on twitter. Iradio , my family doesn’t deserve to live like this and everything would be a bit better if mum could just have her treatment. People on the outside of all this dont understand my family’s day to day life, due to mum being ill. Mum needs medication every morning and night, we have a stair lift in our home as she is not able to climb the stairs, she has to inject every single night. Because of my mums pain she needs to use a walking stick , a walker or a electric scooter to go around town or something as simple as going to the nearby shop. when I am in town with mum, I get a lot of strange looks from teenagers my age and i sometimes get questioned asked and a few people snigger and laugh because my mum has a disability. I love my Mum , But because of these health cuts i have to witness her first hand in pain and suffering , we asked Derek Nolan only to try help us but he was too concerned over his own position in the government to help us . I am Hoping that you can help me make people aware of our situation and get people aware of the effect that these health cuts have on a regular family.
Since the recession begun myself and many thousands of others, are fighting for better health care; sadly it has only gotten worse! During a recent admission in University College Hospital Galway, it was akin to a warzone. After a couple of nights on a trolley I was admitted to a ward in the eight bedded section, during my seven night stay there was no fewer than twelve beds on the ward, peaking at thirteen for a couple of nights when a woman was thrown in a corner no bigger than 3 by 7 foot? I was immunosuppressed and three of the patients had bacterial chest infections (one of the nurses informed me) the ward was manned by three nurses during the day and one at night?
Two of the women on my ward had dementia. one was violent towards the nurses and the other was bed bound but kept trying to get out of her bed, at night the nurses moved her to the waiting area for visitors/supply room. I witnessed patients who were unable to feed themselves ignored, people who are bedbound left for hours in their own feces and watched the nurses trying to cope to the point of tears. The cleaners were useless and had no clue about cross contamination, she used the same cloth on the floor and table, before my eyes! I chose to go home for my own safety I knew if I stayed another night I was putting my life at risk, pneumonia kills many people with ms and I had already caught the chest infection, the cleaners activities were the final straw; my GP took over my care at home.
I have as good as given up fighting the Pain Clinic for my lignocaine infusions and I am trying in vain, to manage my own pain control. The health service is badly broken and yet UCHG have just built a four storey car park rather than wards? We all know that we are heading quickly towards an American style health service of ‘Pay or Die’! We have a chance to vote for change in #GE16 if we don’t act now, if we return a Fine Gael/Labour or Fianna Fail government, they will privatise the health service and we will ‘Never’ get it back.
Use your vote for real change and if we do return the failing parties to power; we have no one to blame but ourselves!
When your world as you know it is ripped from beneath your feet, what can you do? I remember the day it all changed like it was yesterday ‘May 30th 2000’ I decided then I would never allow my disease to become my identity; sometimes such things are out of our control.
Somehow I lost the run of myself, I became very depressed and consumed by the chronic pain, it is and always has been the most difficult symptom of my multiple sclerosis . I defy anyone to live with pain 24/7 and not lose the will to fight on. Things were very difficult over the past year I hit an all time low I even considered suicide, it would have been so easy to take pills and allow myself slip into a place without pain.
My GP noticed the change in my personality first, I was not making light of my situation it was sort of my trade mark to make some jokey comment at the most difficult of times. I am so thankful he opened the conversation one evening in January, he said he saw the sadness in my eyes and I just looked at him and said, you don’t know the half of it. I let it all out told him about how useless and burdensome I had become, I felt a failure a sort of creature whose only purpose was to survive between treatments for the pain and the battle to receive my treatment was my only focus; Jennifer was gone lost in the fog darkness that hung over me. My GP and I spoke for a bit, I promised to tell my husband how I was feeling and I was put on antidepressants, there was no quick fix it took a good four months before I could feel the weight of depression lift. I had to talk about how I felt with brutal honesty, no conversation came easy but I knew it was pointless unless I was honest.
Once I began to feel safe in the present, I was shocked that I had felt so low death seemed a better option than living. I had been so matter of fact about how I was going to die, I had not given any thought to the pain and devastation I would cause my family! I couldn’t understand how I was prepared to leave my daughter how had I fallen so low that I could easily inflict a lifetime of pain on her? What seemed so logical six months ago in the dept of my depression was now causing feelings of shame and anger, I had to learn to forgive myself for my suicidal thoughts, I know it was not really me who was prepared to die; it was my illness talking.
Fighting back is not easy and no I am ‘not’ great, wonderful or amazing, I am a woman who is fighting for as near normal a life as possible. I need laughter in my life and good music but what I need most of all is to love the new me!
If you or anyone you know is feeling depressed or suicidal please please talk to someone I swear it gets better.
Samaritans: 1850 60 90 90
Console: 1800 201 890