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The Health System – Pumping them out!

By Psygorian 16 October 2009 33

On Wednesday morning I was taken into surgery at 11am at Canberra Hospital. After surviving a head on crash on my motorbike, I was left with a badly damaged left shoulder that required a bone graft and reconstruction. At 12.30pm, I was taken into surgery where as far as I am aware everything went well. I was warned though that the bone graft and shoulder were both very painful during recovery. After waiting for 2 years to get the surgery, I was just happy that something was being done.

I woke from surgery at about 5.00pm, very groggy and in pain, but that was ok, I thought I was going to be in the hospital for a couple of days to heal before I went home. Was I wrong!  The next morning, at about 9.00am my discharge was organised for lunch time, I was going home after less than 24 hours from major surgery. My wife works and cannot take time from work so here I am, at home by myself after having a bone graft taken from my hip and put into my shoulder.

The nurses were all wonderful, and so was my doctor, so why was I thown out on to the streets to fend for myself? I cannot walk and I have to crawl around the house to get to the toilet and bathroom. I am just waiting for the infection now to set in. I have no extra dressings to tend my wounds, and my pain relief is a few tablets that the hospital gave me.

So, is this how the hospital waiting lists are going to be managed? Cut us up and throw us out the door? Everyone I know is in shock that I am home and they are worried about me. My family feel guilty that they cannot look after me. And what will happen if I do get an infection at the 2 surgery sites? Maybe this is one of those survival of the fittest things, if I get through this I will be a stronger Canberran for the gene pool.

I am sure that I am not the only one going through this. I think it might be time to make some noise to the Health Minister and tell him we are not leaving hospital until we are well.

What’s Your opinion?


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33 Responses to
The Health System – Pumping them out!
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watto23 2:03 pm 20 Oct 09

Funnily enough I had the exact same surgery. I even went in as a private patient. It took 6 months to get the surgery done though and I was in and out overnight also. I think the issue for me was, it wasn’t clear that it was just an overnight surgery and just what care was required at home. I had to go and live with my parents for 7 weeks while my shoulder healed in a sling.

Initially for 2 weeks, walking was difficult due to the bone graft.

In hospital (John James) i was looked after, but felt a bit neglected when they discharged me ASAP in the morning.

busgirl 8:47 pm 17 Oct 09

…wouldn’t you rather be home anyway? Hospitals are just full of sick people anyway…why wouldn’t anyone be please with hospital staff telling them they can go home because they are strong and healthy enough to heal at home? I don’t get it…you’re only a phone call away from help if you need it…be happy that you are considered such a low risk.

…whoever said their dog gets better treatment at the vet…that’s because you pay for it.

…I’m assuming seeing as you waited 2 years, you went through the public system…if you had private health insurance you wouldn’t had to have waited for two years…

…and anyway, c’mon now…you’re loving being at home chatting to us folks…

indigoid 4:42 pm 17 Oct 09

eh_steve said :

Also, Indigoid, how long would you expect to stay in hospital with just a broken pinky, if the rest of you “didn’t even have a bruise or a scratch”? A forearm cast? I have broken each of my fingers and never had more than the “buddy strap” system, strapping one finger to it’s stronger counterpart.

Oh I certainly wanted to go home. I detest hospitals, like any sane person. and I’d have loved to not have a cast. Not my decision, you understand. If the local anaesthetic had worked (not the first time this has happened to me, sadly) I would have been out of there the next day. They put a wire in the finger too. It was pretty messed up, having been squished between car door and clutch lever, and is slightly but permanently mangled

OP, did you ever get back in the saddle? If so, how did you find it?

sepi 10:48 am 17 Oct 09

I know of a case where an elderly man who is the sole carer for a down syndrome teenager was sent home after major surgery. He felt ok before the anaesthetic wore off completely, and thought he would cope. A relative later found them both crying on the couch, him unable to move in pain, and the little girl totally bewildered. The man speaks good English, but does not read or write, so even needs help with dosages for taking medications etc. Not everyone can cope with being shunted off home as early as possible.

Anna Key 8:53 am 17 Oct 09

So the hospital system needs to compensate for your wife not being able to take time off? I think you/her are the ones with their priorities wrong.

But best wishes for a quick and full recovery

s-s-a 11:35 pm 16 Oct 09

They can’t forcibly evict you. If you have insufficient support at home or don’t think you can manage then you are within your rights to ask to stay in hospital or for suitable support services to be put in place.

Anyway, don’t be a dope. Get your wife to buy some dressings.

They probably discharged you on a Friday thinking that your wife (who no doubt visited you last night) would have the weekend off. If that’s not the case and you didn’t tell them, that was a silly move. Also intrigued to hear what sort of job doesn’t have some kind of provision to care for a family member for a day or two in this day and age?

Open the discharge paperwork you were given (you were given an envelope for your doctor weren’t you) and see what it says about post-discharge check ups.

If you have any problems over the weekend call the hospital and ask to speak to the nurse in charge of the ward you were in for your surgery.

cleo 10:35 pm 16 Oct 09

Doesn’t matter if your private or public, you will get the treatment, I was in hospital in Melbourne and had things stolen, was also in Castlecraig Northshore hospital private in Sydney, I was out the next day after reconstruction surgery on my foot which they put two screws in my big toe, and broke the two other toes and put rods down each one, I went to Sydney because I wanted an excellent specialist (the guru) after a surgeon in Canberra completly deformed my foot, he has retired yepee!

I-filed 10:07 pm 16 Oct 09

Psygorian – your wife probably has an industrial-law right to take carer’s leave from work – if she’s a casual worker, she would be paid a loading to cover such, wouldn’t she? Can you tell us more? Sounds as though she has a bad manager in any case …

fuzbats 9:39 pm 16 Oct 09

There seems to be growing evidence that recovery is quicker and better at home than in a hospital. Once you can manage your pain with oral medications your flat out going to be more comfortable at home than in a ward of other annoying people.

As for infection, nothing you are going to get at home is close to the really nasty little bugs that hospitals breed up and harbor.

blueberry 7:28 pm 16 Oct 09

As far as i know that is a fairly standard time in hospital for that sugury private or public.

I had two bone grafts and multiple pins put in my foot last year privately and it was only a day surgery I was home by 6pm. Regarding dressings, you should not even be touching your dressings at this stage let alone redressing any wound. It should be left until you go back for a check up in the few days/ week after you surgery.

cranky 7:17 pm 16 Oct 09

Don’t you understand? Katy has no interest in fixing the health system. She has to ban smoking first.

All our local Ministers have persued their own little interests to the detriment of good Government. Sonic with his art and arboretum, Hargreaves with banning fireworks and payback for anything Tharwa related, Katy and smoking, Barr and his selective school closures, and the Greens and chooks.

We are poorly served.

Psygorian 6:42 pm 16 Oct 09

In a way it is good to be home, but what I worry about is the chance of infection, or falling down trying to go to the loo. Although there is the statistics that say you are more likely to be infected more while in hospital. I am taking it very carefully around home though when I am alone. The bone graft was taken from my right hip to repair my left shoulder, so getting comfortable is a challenge. I did get a call from the hospital today, they want me to come in on the 29th for a follow up.And yes, I can still type, it’s just a little slower with one arm in a sling. Thankyou to all of you for your kind thoughts, it’s better than the meds they sent me home with.

grunge_hippy 5:58 pm 16 Oct 09

Call A Current Affair.

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