Feeling Isolated, yet surrounded by others.

Although I am a VIP, I pride myself on being independent and when I am within environments that I know or at least understand I am able to achieve this.

But move me away from my comforts and I struggle. I have often linked asking for help and needing support as a weakness and laughed it of as me being silly not being able to do things because of my eye condition.

After all,  lazy, I don’t like to just sit back and get others to do things for me while I am able to do it for myself.

A recent bought of bad health has seen me admitted to hospital. Which I am sure you will agree without adding in my eye condition is quite a daunting and scary thing.

But starting with the travel in the ambulance to get here, to moving from emergency medicine, to medical assessment to the current ward, I am feeling very low and lost.

The ambulance crew were fantastic, very descriptive and explained what they were doing and even where we were on our journey especially when we were travelling down the corkscrew of a slip road off of the motorway, which whil laying down and travelling backwards felt like a roller coaster ride!

Emergency medicine was very busy and nurses and doctors were rushing everywhere, I was really looked after and treated brilliantly, every time a nurse came passed my bed they asked if I needed help to get to the bathroom as they were all aware of my sight or lack of it.

Following hospital guidelines on time etc ( the politics of the nhs) I was moved to a medical assessment unit for further looking at. The handover on this ward was detailed about my eye condition, but sadly not passed over clearly to the next staff that took over, so having buzzed for assistance to go to the bathroom I was advised that if I couldn’t walk I was to use a commode…. So I corrected them that I was able to walk, but couldn’t see, which she argued over as I wore glasses, surely I knew where the bathroom was (don’t worry, the compaint went straight in to the staff the next day and the bed allocator who spoke with me about my preferences before I moved to the ward I am on now)

The porter that took me between the two wards was unaware and grumpy that she had been apparently stood by the side of my bed being ignored for 5 minutes, so she got a firm explanation of my eye condition and how it was polite to make people aware of her presence!

The ward I am on now was not able to accommodate me in, but I was given the next best thing. The ward I Amon with just 3 other ladies has a bathroom directly opposite me. The layout of the room was thoroughly explained as was the location of the bathroom, the rails and most importantly the help call buttons.

The odd slip up with cleaners moving my table or my glass from one end to the other has occurred, but the ladies on my ward have helped greatly, although immobile they have always explained the new location of the table or the glass perfectly. Just this morning they advised me of a wet floor sign just at the side of my bed that I would have kicked into.

Hospitals are not my favourite place and I know how busy the staff are, so hate to feel that I am making a nuisance of myself when taking up their time with silly little things.

The reaso sharing this with you is because, just this morning I had a great chat with the nurse. I explained my condition, my worries and had a really good chat, she then helped me sort out my clothes within the locker so I would find things easier. She briefed her staff about me and even got one of the assistants to help me plait my hair to cheer me up. She told me that all of the things I needed, whether that was medication or being told where food was on my plate wa all part of my care, nothing silly, nothing was because I was being stupid. She said that she would expect everyone on the ward to receive the care that they required with all of their needs, not just the medical issue that had bought them into hospital.

I sometimes need reminding of that. Just because I see my disability as a failing on my independence, others don’t and they would be failing within the job they were assigned to do if they did.

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