Just been for an assessment prior to having toenail surgery. I came out in tears and was made to feel very unimportant and a nuisance time waster!
Well guys, you know me well enough to wonder what happened and that I am not a problem patient…Yorkshire lass or not!
After several years of putting off the advised surgery, I finally agreed to it and today was my pre- op assessment.
I got there in good time and was a tad taken aback not to see my usual podiatrist. It was a woman I had never seen. Not to let that be a problem, I asked if I was still having the assessment. Yes, I was…fine!
As I wheeled into the room, this woman looked at the couch, then at me, as if she expected me to get onto it.
I said I can’t get out of my chair without a hoist. She said, ‘Well how am I supposed to know that?’
I thought to myself, ‘Aye up! This is a clever piece!’ I said, ‘Hasn’t Debbie told you, or isn’t it in my notes?,’
She said she hasn’t had time to speak to Debbie or read my notes. Then she said ,‘Why are you in a wheelchair?’
I felt like saying, ‘Cos I’m too chuffin idle to walk!’ But no, that wouldn’t help matters! I was told I would be asked questions re health and a Doppler test would be done. She asked if I needed my nails looking at and I said yes, as one was very sore again. She took my shoes and six off, clipped the sore nail, it chuffin hurt and my toe jumped.
Now like most of you, I have no control over my legs or feet movements. She seemed annoyed when I said ouch!
Then I asked if she could pack the corner. She said she didn’t believe in packing, but if I wanted it packed she would do it.
She followed that with replacing my shoes and sox. I asked what about the Doppler test. She said, Oh I forgot. Thank you for reminding me.’
Now she did the tops of my feet and got a satisfactory 3 reading. Then she did the sides and took a while to find a pulse! When she finally did, the reading was a 1! She said that wasn’t good. I asked her to elaborate as I was concerned.
She said it might mean I couldn’t have surgery as it may not heal well. She said she would speak to the surgeon and ring me tomorrow. She added that my 20 mins was up and she had other patients to see and didn’t have time to book me in, for surgery. She said she would ring me in the morning at 9. She added that that was the only available time she could ring, as she was so busy. Fine by me.
I left. But I had tears in my eyes and a tight throat. Hubby called her a cowbag when I told him how shed spoken and treated me.
Once I’d composed myself, I decided to ring my district nurse and as she has previously done a Doppler test, ask for her thoughts.
Nurse was on the phone and would return my call. When the phone rang, I expected it to be nurse. But no, it was this podiatrist person, Caroline. She told me she had booked my surgery for 27th May.
I hesitated and decided I would tell her how she made me feel…unimportant, a nuisance, that my fears and questions were dismissed. And that after 12 yrs in a wheelchair, I didn’t feel it welcome to be asked, yet again, why I was in my chair!
She said she was sorry, but I was quite welcome to report her! She said her managers should know patients feel rushed. I said it wasn’t so much being rushed, as feeling that my questions and condition were not dealt with in a polite and adequate manner.
Again she apologised and mentioned my reporting her. I said I didn’t feel that necessary, as she had apologised, but suggested she think differently about how to treat patients in future. I told her my life was difficult enough without being made to feel a pest. I said I don’t want sympathy, but I would like empathy and understanding.
I then asked if she felt she had the Doppler test correctly, as she had rushed it, after forgetting to do it at all!
Mmm, that one brought a gasp ,‘Of course I did it properly!’
She said I should discuss the safety of the op with the surgeon BEFORE he begins surgery! Huh!
So there you go guys. I got my apology and had my say.
Then nurse rang and I told her everything. She was pleased I’d got my apology and if the Doppler reading was so low, then be cautious about having the surgery!
What do you reckon?
Phew! Knackered now!