Healthcare & Covid-19

You have NO IDEA the week I’ve had.  I am still dealing with the awful problem in my house (I will do a post on that at some stage, but atm it’s too traumatic), we are in lockdown with the Pandemic, and both my parents are acutely ill.  Why now, God, why now?!

As I’ve mentioned, my Dad started with severe nausea on Tuesday which ended that evening in acute diarrhoea which was ongoing two days later.  During Thursday night it was so severe he didn’t make it to the loo, bless his heart, and the stuff was everywhere.  So I went on Friday to strip and change the bed, scrub the carpets, boil wash the towels and deep clean the bathroom.  The poor bloke couldn’t even take a sip of water without then spending 15 minutes on the loo :-/

My brother went to get him some Imodium from the supermarket.  You usually take 2 tablets and the diarrhoea is sorted.  No such luck.  Despite taking 5 tablets throughout the night last night he still couldn’t even sip water without explosive poop.  He now hasn’t eaten, and has barely drunk anything, for 4 days.  And he’s 80 years old.

I told my Mum to ring the GP first thing this morning, but it was closed.  CLOSED during a fucking killer pandemic!!!  The answer machine told her to ring the non-emergency 111, which she did at 9.15am.  She was placed on hold for 2 hours then the line simply disconnected.  So she had to start all over again at the back of the queue.

Two hours later she was, again, disconnected.  FFS.  I went through to town to sort the situation as I could tell she was getting really stressed and worried.

I fill out the form on the 111 website, which tells me my Dad urgently needs to see a GP.  No shit Sherlock.  WTF did it think we’d been trying to do for the past 5 hours?!  I fill the form out again, this time lying that my Dad was bleeding from his rectum when he pooped.  That, thankfully, allowed me to request a ring back from a Doctor.

A really nice GP contacted me at 4pm and said he needed to see my Dad but we were given strict instructions.  The windows had to be wide open to allow air flow.  My Mum and I had to stay in the lounge and he would see my Dad in the bedroom.  He would speak to me via the mobile phone.

While we are waiting for the GP to arrive I ask my Mum why she is still wearing her nightie at 4 o’clock in the afternoon, as she’s always dressed by 9am.
“Because I’m uncomfy” comes the reply.
“Uncomfy where?” I ask.
“Y’know” she goes red, “down below” and looks down at her foo foo.
“Is it itching, burning or sore?” I ask.
“All bloody 3!” she tells me.
“I need to have a look” I tell her.
“You are NOT looking at that!” comes the reply.
“How long has it been going on?”
“Oh, about a week” and she is only telling me this now?

She has had 4 courses of antibiotics and a course of strong steroids recently for a COPD exacerbation so I assume she has thrush.  I ring my Brother and ask him to go to the chemist and get me some Canesten cream and a Canesten pessary.  “No problem” he says.

A bit later he rings me.  “The Pharmacist won’t give me the Canesten because Mum is over 60.  She needs to see a GP.”  People are dying in their beds and even they can’t see a GP, and he thinks my Mum should request an appointment for fucking fungal cream?!  I ask if my niece can go to another chemist and pretend the cream is for her.  Which, bless her, she does but apparently the Pharmacist is not happy and practically wires her to a lie detector before he’ll give her the drugs.  It’s fucking fungal cream, not Methadone!  I wouldn’t care, but in some places you just buy it off the shelf and don’t even need to see the Pharmacist.  Or at least you used to be able to…………..now, you have to line up just to look at the Boots website and I am number 256,321 in the queue 😲

Boots

While all this is going on, the GP arrives in full hazmat including mask, gloves and apron and makes my Dad wear a mask he’s brought with him.  He thinks my Dad has developed Diverticulitis and has a bowel infection.  I’m personally not convinced and think it might be Colitis, but time and response to treatment will tell.

After examining my Dad he strips off his protective kit, puts it in a hazmat bag, ties the top and leaves it on the landing for me to get rid of “in 3 days time”.  Look, pal, the bin men come on Monday so it will be going in their van on Monday!  My Dad is then given strict instructions to only drink clear fluids for 48 hours and if he’s no better to see his GP on Monday morning.  Only of course every sick person in a 50 mile radius tries to ring the GP on a Monday morning and you are often on hold for an hour only to be told there are no appointments left.  Somebody shoot me.

The moral of the tale is, do not get sick at the moment.  If you get Covid-19 you aren’t even allowed to ring 111 or the GP, and if you get sick with something else you are allowed to ring 111 or the GP but physically can’t get through.  So there is basically no health care available.  Just so’s you know.

 

 

13 thoughts on “Healthcare & Covid-19

  1. Marta

    Sorry for the nightmarish week. I just wanted to tell you that one of the symptoms of COVID-19 is diarrhoea. Some people start with GI symptoms and then progress to respiratory problems. If this is the case with your dad, I hope you were very careful, as the virus would be then transmitted by faeces.
    I’m not a medical person, but have read extensively about the virus. You can Google it to be sure. Please try to have your dad tested just in case. It’s surely something else, but you can’t be too careful.

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    1. Jak Post author

      Hi Marta

      Thanks for your concern. However, my parents and I have all been in total isolation for over 2 weeks now. Also, although diarrhoea can be a symptom of Covid-19 in some patients it will not be the only symptom, especially after 5 days. There is no testing available for frontline healthcare workers, so no chance of a member of the public being tested :-/

      Jak x

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      1. Marta

        That’s a relief. I agree that he would be having other symptoms as well as. He should be monitored in any case. I have my 73-year-old father in quarantine on his own, he’s been having a bit of a cough and you can imagine the worry even though he hasn’t had contact with anybody for the past two weeks. We shouldn’t get paranoid, but…

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        1. Jak Post author

          I think we’re all freaking out about little things we wouldn’t ordinarily bother about. I started coughing yesterday and even though I knew FOR SURE it was my reflux I still panicked! I hope your Dad’s OK x

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          1. Marta

            Thank you! It’s probably just a cold. I myself was feverish the whole week, something I always experience courtesy of my uncontrolled MCAS when I’m ultra stressed out.
            We need to calm down…
            I’m keeping my fingers crossed your dad is feeling better soon.

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  2. s church

    AI hope you’re taking vitamin c to BT to prevent getting it. It also treats it. BTW, one can go 38 days without symptoms and the GI symptoms is the strain that is deadliest. Please take care.

    On Sat, Mar 28, 2020 at 3:26 PM Mast Cells & Collagen Behaving Badly wrote:

    > Jak posted: “You have NO IDEA the week I’ve had. I am still dealing with > the awful problem in my house (I will do a post on that at some stage, but > atm it’s too traumatic), we are in lockdown with the Pandemic, and both my > parents are acutely ill. Why now, God, why ” >

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    1. Jak Post author

      Can you tell me where you’re getting that info from, because the Covid-19 Guidance for infection prevention and control in healthcare settings issued jointly by the Department of Health and Social Care(DHSC), Public Health Wales(PHW), Public Health Agency(PHA) Northern Ireland, Health Protection Scotland (HPS) and Public Health England as official guidance states:

      “2.2 Incubation and infectious period
      Assessment of the clinical and epidemiological characteristics of SARS-CoV-2 cases suggests that, similar to SARS-CoV, patients will not be infectious until the onset of symptoms. In most cases, individuals are usually considered infectious while they have symptoms; how infectious individuals are ,depends on the severity of their symptoms and stage of their illness. The median time from symptom onset to clinical recovery for mild cases is approximately 2 weeks and is 3-6 weeks for severe or critical cases.3There have been case reports that suggest infectivity during the asymptomatic period, with one patient found to be shedding virus before the onset of symptoms.4Further study is required to determine the actual occurrence and impact of asymptomatic transmission.”
      taken from https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/876569/Infection_prevention_and_control_guidance_for_pandemic_coronavirus.pdf

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  3. Karen, The Walking Allergy

    Jak! How difficult for you and your parents. What a dilemma- risking going to hospital or risking these other issues getting worse. I hope your parents (and you) get the care and support you need. In the fall our province implemented a new virtual service where appointments can be done over video link. SO glad it was in place before this nightmare hit. GP’s haven’t made house visits here in 50 years, it makes such a difference to not have to go in. My GP has basically said ‘don’t come in, I’ll do a virtual visit’. I’m still fighting bacterial pneumonia, so if I get COVID it could be extremely dangerous. I’m fortunate that my GP ‘gets’ it.

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    1. Jak Post author

      Hi Karen

      I’m so sorry to hear you already have pneumonia 😦 I hope you are managing OK during these very strange times and can get on top of it.

      Brilliant re the virtual GP visits. I have no clue why they can’t do that here in Britain! It would be invaluable for people in rural areas like me, as our nearest big hospital is 90 miles away and often when you have appts with consultants they don’t physically need to see you.

      My Dad was due to see the neurologist on Tuesday, but she is doing a phone appt instead. I still think they should use Skype though so they could actually see the patient they are speaking to.

      Take care xoxo

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