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Hospital Saga (cutting it short)

My husband, in his mid 60s with SP, had a heart attack a month ago. Had stents fitted immediately but while in hospital contracted pneumonia, in for a week and discharged with the final tablets of antibiotics to complete a 5 day course.

On discharge, felt relatively well. However over the next weeks had recurring chest pain. Saw GP who sent to nearest Emergency Assessment Unit. There for hours, eventually told chest infection not quite cleared but would clear by itself. Chest pain caused by stents being fitted. Sent home.

Another week of breathlessness and chest pain leading to 999 call because of chest pain that would not go away with spray. Went to A & E on Saturday discharged to Day Unit and sent home with antibiotic course.(two types). Told the doctors that blood pressure was very low and thought it was caused by the medications. The consensus seemed to be the lower bp the better. We have been in despair as to how we can access medical help.

The next morning 3 am (early hours of Monday), what I can only described as a collapse. Chest pain, difficulty breathing, unable to move. 999 call when the para medics said heart OK! but bp 70/40. A & E again where blood test reveals that the infection is worse. (has been on antibiotics)

Husband is now currently in the EAU, in single room presumably because he has infection. He has insisted that the drugs to lower bp be reduced. BP currently 104/60. On intravenous drip, antibiotics given intravenously, oxygen (as level was low yesterday). He is relatively better now, but very wobbly on his legs, breathing better, pain eased. I think they may go for discharge tomorrow.

The hospital is full, the consultant who is now managing him is a general medical. The real problem is that there has been no follow up since the heart attack and no one taking into account the impact of MS.

Any advice? Or experience.

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Hi there Bonnie,

First off, I would like to commend you for your obvious care for your partner.

I’m in no state myself to give advice, having just made it back from my own hospital appointment.

It seems like a great deal for you & your partner to cope with. The only advice I can give is try & get as much fresh air & relaxation as possible. Keep hydrated & be calm. Inquire about some form of MS support in this difficult time. To ease the burden. My best wishes. Take care out there.

It’s time for some chicken soup.

Hi Bonnie
Been there, done that - as they say

Third of March - not well, not strong, family called surgery, duty GP called ambulance, blue lights to A+E.
Pneumonia it was, and all I know is that I have tubes in and out of everywhere, and the nurses are getting rather firm when I move the oxygen mask to talk.They got it under control (oral antibiotics, IV antibiotics, even IV Paracetamol) but it was quite a near thing apparently.

They left my heart medication alone, but fiddled with the stuff for my bladder.
Anyway, two weeks in the District Hospital (on four different wards), then two weeks convalescent in a smaller hospital.
Then home into the tender care of a contract care agency (got rid of them as soon as I could).
The nice thing about all this was the big list of people who looked after my wife, and brought her in to visit.

I have just started physio again (local MS Therapy Centre).

Geoff

Oh dear…what a frightening time you’re both going through, you poor souls!

On the stents…my sis had 2 fitted in her heart, about 6 years ago…she had a bad reaction to the dye used…was rushed back to theatre for a second surgery.

That went well, but she continued to suffer chest pains for several weeks after, even though nothing was wrong.

She contracted pneumonia on a separate occasion.

Your Hubby’s condition is doubly affected by his MS…so lots of worry there l know hun.

Best wishes to you both and do keep dialling 999, or calling your gp out, if things get worse.

Love Pollxx

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Thanks for the response. Your experience is very similar.

My husband was discharged yesterday, the oxygen and iv antibiotics being stopped in the morning! At least you have had aftercare. My husband never made it on to a ward, just a room in the Emergency Assessment Unit. He is very tired obviously, just managing the stairs, which makes him breathless.

I dont know where to go from here.

Glad to hear that you have recovered.

Thanks for replying, it is a really difficult time. Would not be so bad if I was in any way confident that he is getting the right treatment. Anyway, one day at a time.

Hi thanks for the response. I hope your sister is well now. I have 2 brothers who have had stents fitted a number of years ago and both recovered well. But of course they were younger then and fitter. I think that MS has really complicated things. I have decided that if I have to dial 999 again I will sue for the stress that this is causing me, let alone my husband.

Best wishes

An update. Husband has been discharged in a rush yesterday (Wednesday afternoon) the planned discharge was for the next day. I spoke to the doctor who said the lungs were clear so had responded to antibiotics, they have reduced the heart meds so the bp was lower.

They removed the oxygen and cannula for the drips and antibiotics at 10.00 and the doctor announced he could be discharged later. This caused much running around to get the meds ready and took hours. Also when I queried the discharge they called the doctor who said he was good to go and I spoke to him on the phone.

Has been discharged with 3 more days of antibiotics.

Geoffs experience seems to be much more of what you would expect, although of course it is quite possible that he was affected differently to my husband. But then again he is recovering from a heart attack.

So at the moment we are going to take one day at a time. But think might keep a bag packed just to be on the safe side…

Thanks for all the responses.

Update

Discharged Wed. Friday am called the GP and sorry to say broke down asking for home visit or to talk to GP. They strongly suggested bringing him in as more equipment etc. there. Somehow got him to the surgery. Dont know how.

However in the GPs office he collapsed. For the second time that week I thought he had gone. GP panicked. Nurses came and could get no BP reading. He did come round after a bit. Off to A & E in ambulance. Waited 2 hours then asked for help as he was in so much pain. A passing consultant noticed something was wrong and took over, no notes nothing. He did a ultrasound and pronounced a pericardiac infusion, which he showed me on the ultrasound. A lot of fluid around the heart. Dispatched to Resus, cardiologist called. Cardio consultant called and drain put in immediately. I think the passing consultant saved him, he would not let go and it was the only sense of urgency witnessed the whole time we have been there. Over 1000ml drained over 36 hours. Still in hospital as I write this.

3 999 calls in a week. I find it hard to believe that this much fluid had accumulated from Wed. night discharge to Friday am.

I dont know where we go from here.

Thanks for reading.

Oh love, you poor thing. You must be totally wrung out. Is there anyone who could help you at home? You need a break to be able to continue. I get you darent close your eyes at night. I do feel for you both.

Pollxx

You have been through so much. I don’t know how I would have coped in your position.

I used to work at a hospital (in an admin role), and I would strongly suggest you contact their PALS (Patient Advice and Liaison Service) department. It’s like a complaints team, who take all forms of feedback - positive and negative, and investigate accordingly. It sounds like there have been serious failings in care, and they need to be made aware. Changes need to be made to try and prevent this happening to other people.

I will keep everything crossed for a speedy recovery, and thank goodness for a Consultant who recognised the issue! I hate to think what would have happened if he’d just been sent home again. Doesn’t bear thinking about.

Thanks, it has been traumatic to say the least. Problem is that the family have families so everyone is busy, especially at this time of of year.

Best wishes

Thanks for the suggestion, I will look into that as yes, I have been thinking this should not be allowed to happen again. Husband is currently having a blood transfusion for anaemia and is then coming home. Which seems a bit odd but there you go.

Regards

Thank the lord that consultant was on the ball,i hate tho think what would happened if he had not been there,so sorry you are having all this,i know how hard it is, i lost my husband to heart disease.Hope things improve for now.

J x

Good luck - it is definitely worth doing.

A friend of mine was taken to A&E with a subarachnoid haematoma (brain hemmorage), and was sent home with meds. Later that day, he collapsed, so I called an ambulance, and he was taken back in, only to be sent home again, with them saying there was nothing wrong as the bleed had stopped, and to keep taking the meds. The next day, he rang me asking for help. He was listless and moaning in pain, and vomiting continuously. Could hardly move. Myself and hubby had gone over to help out as his wife was so tired he couldn’t wake her. I called the emergency doctors who work from the hospital. Lovely lady came. Very concerned about him, and called an ambulance to take him in again…

He went to the acute admissions ward, and was given an anti-emetic to stop the vomiting. It didn’t. Eventually it did subside after a few hours. He was in agony with a crashing headache, only to be told by the nurse she would see to him later because she had ‘genuinely sick people to look after’. I was NOT a happy bunny when I found out.

He was later blue-lighted to a specialist neuro hospital. The bleed hadn’t stopped. His brain was slowly being squashed by the increased pressure around his brain. He had to have his skull cut open and the vein responsible clipped. He did end up with what I’d call minor brain damage, but has improved hugely and is 99% back to normal.

It seems that when the NHS mucks things up, they really muck things up…

Hello

It very much depends on who you actually see. There are an awful lot of junior doctors who quite frankly dont hae the experience. Ambulance crew made my brother walk to the ambulance as they obviously thought he was a time waster. He later collapsed and was dx with kidney cancer, but that’s another story.

Thank heaven your friend had you to fall back on. You have to wonder about the people without anyone able to speak up for them.

Pleased that he has made a good, if not complete, recovery.