What a few days I have had ! I have visited 3 different hospitals in 4 days because I was struck down with kidney stones. I have to say, however, that I have nothing but admiration for the NHS staff I encountered and whilst sometimes I had to wait several hours without anything happening the overall service I had I can’t fault.
It all started on a Thursday morning and I was driving down the M1 motorway. I had stopped at Wooley Edge Services near Wakefield when suddenly I was hit with really bad pains around my kidneys and stomach. After 10 minutes the pain had got even worse so after taking advice from my wife, who is is in the medical profession, I agreed that she would call an ambulance. I did attempt to put on the brave manly face but deep down I knew that I couldn’t drive and I needed help. If you ever have the misfortune to have kidney stones then you will probably need medical attention quickly and you will need pain relief urgently.
Anyway, the first response paramedic arrived and hooked me up to lots of equipment and carried out some basic tests. At this point the pain was so bad that I was throwing up in the car park but I was oblivious to anything going on around me !
Five minutes later an ambulance arrived and I didn’t take much persuasion to get into the ambulance. On the way to Pinderfields Hospital in Wakefield I was given gas and air as pain relief but it barely took the edge off the pain. I arrived in the A & E department and there was no hanging around I was given some pain relief and after about 30 minutes I was pain free and felt ok. The doctor said I needed an x-ray so off I went for that. Later on I was told I needed an IVU (Intravenus Urogram). This I was told is where a dye is injected into you and then x-rays are taken at various times throughout the process and it is possible to see any blockages with might be caused by a stone. This took about an hour but when the results were checked there was no sign of any problems.
Later that day I was discharged but after two more bouts of pain I admitted myself to the A & E department of Leeds General Infirmary and again I was given pain relief. LGI is a teaching hospital and I can tell you that it pays to live near to a good hospital because LGI has a CT Scanner and I was put on the list for a CT Scan. This is a futuristic looking machine that only takes about 2 minutes to scan the affected area. The results of the CT Scan showed that I had a 3mm kidney stone, so I can say that the CT Scan is far more powerful and accurate than an IVU x-ray !
I was then taken to the specialist urology department of St Jame’s Hospital in Leeds and stayed there overnight. After more pain and pain relief I managed to get rid of the stone naturally which is great because I did not fancy any surgery !
All in all it was a painful experience but I have to say that all the staff I encountered from paramedics, A & E staff, doctors, nurses and even the tea ladies were great. I can’t fault them at all. They were thoughtful, caring and they made me feel special. So, well done and thanks to the NHS.
In the UK we do have an excellent health service …. I can vouch for that as I saw 3 different hospitals in 4 days !