Sunday 23 September 2012

Home help

The doctor told us that finally on Wednesday the 5th of September we could go home, after 17 long days in the horrid hospital. At the last minute I had to have CAT scans, X-rays, visits from the neurologist and ear doctor...always the last minute but at least we were going home. We could't go home to our house since I was bed ridden and immobile. We live up near the church so an ambulance cannot stop out the front. Getting to the house would be hard enough, requiring me being lifted up many stairs not to mention the narrow stairs going from our front door up into the house. So our house was out of the question. We moved into my in laws which have 12 wide stairs from the ground floor to the bedroom but oh what an effort it was for bel marito who had to help the 2 ambulance men. At least I got in.

We had borrowed a special hospital bed from someone which has a special massage mattress to make sure my bed sores didn't come back. Oh, I didn't mention my episode in the hospital with horrific bed sores which were the fault of the nasty nursing staff. As I write I am still in that bed, still in that bedroom, still bedridden and waiting for my hospital check up on the 1st of October. Time goes so slowly when you are on your back and unable to move. At least I am with my family and bel bambino can get to know his little sister.

Speaking of family I didn't mention that my twin sister, who is 6 months pregnant, and my aunt surprised me with a visit in hospital. My family were all distressed to learn about the accident and upset that they were on the other side of the world and unable to help. I didn't want them to come over and get angry and see the poor hospital care I was given. I had talked my parents out of visiting at the hospital and into travelling here when I was at home. My twin and aunt regardless came for a surprise visit travelling for 30 hours arriving the Friday night and leaving the Monday morning. When they arrived I explained to the nasty nurses the situation, I told them they had flown from Australia to see me and that they were only here for 3 days. Thankfully most of the nasty nurses didn't work the weekends and it was the 3 kinder nurses on duty who turned a blind eye when visiting hours were over, or came to warn us when we had to hide them in our room. They were here the weekend when bel bambino was transferred into my room too which was lucky.

My parents arrived a few days after we returned home and were a big help since home help is impossible. During my 17 days in hospital we found out as much information as possible about home help. The hospital cannot send you home with nuts and bolts and wounds without having someone check up on you! We were advised to get my GP to put in a request to the public health centre asking for a nurse. We had to wait until I was released from the hospital before this could be requested because they need a certificate from the hospital and the hospital will not give it to you until you go home. We were very frustrated! We needed to organise a nurse but had to wait until I was home. I went home on the Wednesday and first thing Thursday morning my mother in law went to the health centre with all the paper work. They knew the situation, everyone in the area had heard about the accident since it was in all the papers. They said they would send a doctor out to asses the situation and see what help was required. 

I forgot that this is Italy and that money is always being taken out of the public health system and that staff are generally very lazy. Thursday passed without a phone call or visit as did Friday. Finally Monday afternoon we were graced with the presence of the doctor and nurse who looked at me (didn't treat my wounds or anything) and said that I needed help but to be honest there were no nurses available... At least they were honest. They are meant to provide a nurse but there were none! I had a catheter still since the nasty nurses and hospital doctors would not remove it even though the gynaecologist had requested it. Another thing I didn't tell you...yes I had a gynaecologist come down to my hospital room to check my C-section (after I requested 4 times for a visit) and he told the doctor directly to remove the catheter, and the doctor promptly ignored him even though I reminded them every day. It is time consuming to help someone remove a catheter since you need to do a little therapy before and the nurses couldn't waste their time helping me with this! So I left the hospital with a catheter and with no idea when or how it was meant to come out. Now I was told that I would have possibly no nurse either. Excuse me but who is meant to treat my wounds, help me remove the catheter help turn me or check me.... Who? My family of course.

The catheter is the only reason that finally, on Thursday, 8 days after being home a nurse finally came. He agreed that my catheter should have been removed long ago, he explained how to do the therapy, he treated my wounds and then left the rest to bel marito who is my personal nurse. You learn how to become a nurse here. Each night bel marito gives me injections, each day he cleans me, every 2 days he and who ever can help change my sheets which is hard when I don't move! When friends visit they helped with my catheter therapy since everyone knows how to do medical things here since everyone is forced to learn when helping  relatives out! We had tried to get a private nurse but she only called back today....and we have been home a long time. My GP has visited me twice which is nice of her. She came yesterday and said my wounds need to be treated twice a day, not once a week which is when the nurse is currently coming. Another task for my private nurse bel marito!


Canedolia said...

Leanne, my heart goes out to you every time I read a bit of this story. It makes me angry too that anyone should be treated (or not treated) in that way, and especially with a newborn baby as well. Try to stay strong and get well soon.

glenda said...

Beautiful baby stay strong I know it sucks, but you guys have made it this far and one day you will get to go back close to your family..{{huggs}} and your family are in my that hospital need to get their &*&( together and that broken system

Sarah Elizabeth said...

Leanne, I'm practically in tears for you and your family. You've had such a horrible experience made worse by the poor care you've received. I'm furious with the Italian health system for not giving you the care you deserve. I'm glad you have family around to help. x x

Leanne was in Italy now in Australia said...

Hi Canedolia,
It makes me angry too!

Hi Glenda,
The hospital needs to get their &*^together fast!

Hi Sarah E;izabeth,
Hope you have better hospitals up your way. I imagine you do.

Millie Manco said...

Aww. Such a lovely family. I could see the joy in your eyes though and obviously you were all having fun. Well, congratulation guys!

Anonymous said...

Hi there,

I just discovered your blog and have been reading it with interest, I too am an Aussie that spent time in Italy, but the other end in Trieste. I was so shocked by your experiences in the hospital.

I had a bad motorcycle accident in Trieste and ended up in the local hospital and was there for a total of 7 weeks. To be honest I could not fault the level of care and compassion that I was given by the doctors and the nursing staff.

I hope that you guys are settled back in Oz and enjoying life.