|>>|| No. 3586
This is mostly a rant about how inefficient the NHS is and how a lack of communication between departments has made my situation much worse, and could indeed have killed me.
Some backstory: I am a 20 year old male, whose parents both happen to be doctors. For about a year, I've had a form of arthritis that means I take methotrexate (an immunosuppressive drug also used in higher doses for chemotherapy) each week.
Fast forward to the start of University this year. I'm bed bound with fevers, vomiting, headaches... Some kind of virus, I thought, I'll take a few paracetamol and wait for it to pass. This continued for a week and a half, when my mum recommended I go for a blood test to check it isn't something more sinister, which I then do. Because of my medication the GP realises it's fairly important I get the results quickly, so he tells me to call on Thursday (the day after next) when they'll be ready.
So I call on Thursday, twice, and both times I'm told there are no results and to call again tomorrow. Friday, the same thing happens. I explained that it was urgent because of my medication, but was told "there's nothing I can do, call back on Monday". I relay this to my mum, who rings them up, telling them she's a doctor and they need to call the pathology lab and obtain my results, which will almost certainly have been ready since yesterday, which they then do.
The results were quite shocking - I was severely neutropenic (very weak immune system, susceptible to infection) and as such, needed to leave the house I was in immediately, since five of my 9 housemates were sick with various forms of freshers' flu. Had I waited until Monday I would have been at risk of developing potentially fatal infections.
I went home to my parents, who took me to the hospital they both work at. I was admitted onto the wards, and was given regular IV antibiotics and paracetamol, with daily blood tests. After two days, a nurse told me my immune system was completely destroyed and I needed to go into isolation immediately. I was then ignored for 6 hours, sitting in a ward full of sick people, coughing, sneezing and in one case shitting himself repeatedly, until I asked what was taking so long and they finally moved me into a private room.
For a further 2 days I had continued regular paracetamol and antibiotics. At one point, a nurse tried to give me my weekly methotrexate - had I taken it, it would have seriously harmed my already damaged immune system and liver. For some reason, no-one had marked on my charts that for the time being I absolutely cannot take it. Luckily I was sound of mind and told her where to stick it, but any confused or senile patient would probably have let them do it. Eventually my immune system recovered somewhat, so they let me go home. I was still neutropenic, but not as severely as before.
Out of curiosity my parents checked all the blood tests taken during my hospitalisation the next day and found some surprising/worrying results.
Message too long. Click here
to view the full text.