• Nathira Salim

Pissed

Welcome back to my blog peeps.


What irritates me most right now is the inability too save my posts when I write it. I need to figure out why all of a sudden I can't seem to auto save my work.

Today is also the day I am pissed. Very pissed.


I had a CT scan scheduled today - after moving the date three times in the past because it clashed with my chemo and radiation dates. I have to also ensure that the CT scan is at least two weeks before my consultation with my breast surgeon so that she can check the scans and advise me if my cancer has all gone or touchwood, there is some remaining.


I reached the hospital on time, registered, paid for the scan and waited to be called in. When I was called in, I had to wait a bit for the consultant nurse to sign some documents before I go in for the scan. When I got to meet the consultant nurse, she found out some stuffs from checking her monitor and I also found out at the same time, that they have some trust issues.


Nurse: When was your last menses?

Me: August, last year.


Nurse: Are you sure? We need to ask this because you are young and still 42.(Proceeds to show me the portion of the document where I have to confirm I am not pregnant.)


Me: Yes I am sure. I have been taking Zolodex from October last year till May this year because of my chemo.


Nurse: Oh I see.


Zolodex was prescribed in NCCS and NCCS was part of SGH. Shouldn't SGH have this information with them? But maybe because NCCS and SGH are different entities, I am assuming, they don't share the same application system to check on patients history. So let's say this is my bad. I shouldn't be annoyed with this.


Then she makes another comment. "Oh - you have asthma" she exclaims after looking at her monitor. And she goes on asking more questions about this so called "new" information. How long have you had asthma, when was your last attack, have you taken any prednisolone? After getting my inputs, the young consultant nurse, tells me that she needs to check with the doctor about this and brings me to wait at a dressing room which was an enclosed room that had two dressing rooms, waiting table and chair and adjoining doctors room on two sides. When I was waiting there - there were two Filipino nurses checking on their phone waiting for something - maybe their shifts to start, two doctors who changed from their grubs to normal wear and another nurse who came to apply some cream on her hands, one cleaning lady and another Indian staff - all in 30 minutes where I endured their enquiring looks at me. It seems everyone was coming in and out of that room - but the consultant nurse.


She finally came and apologised for the long wait and told me that the doctor wants me to take Prednisolone, and come back another day for the scan and she proceeded to hand me the prescription form for the tablets and another form to reschedule scan. I asked her why I need the medication when I didn't have to last July. She said the doctor wanted me to take it because its was the protocol. Ok fine - but why didn't I have to take it last year? She said the doctor couldn't find the details of my last scan and so I will have to take it. I was getting pissed. I looked over the papers, and politely declined the Prednisolone and asked to have the scan without it. She repeated my requests and said she will have to check with the doctor. She left and came back again maybe a few minutes later and told me that the doctor will come to me to explain.


Around five more minutes later, in came the doctor a young good looking Malay doctor clad in a tudung who introduced herself as the "Doctor". She started off by explaining that I needed to take the Prednisolone which is a steroid because, in this CT scan, a contrast will be put into my body via my veins and the contrast has a risk of inducing some breathing problems in the bronchitis for people who already have respiratory issues such as asthma and it could be life threatening as well she said. I looked at her and was like - ok fine, I get the risk factor. But I had various scans last year - CT scan, Bone scan, MRI scans - I wasn't told to eat anything I said. According to this doctor, not all scans are the same - and CT scans require contrast so I have to take the medications. Ok - again I get that, but I didn't have to take any medication last July when I did the same CT scan I countered. That - she cannot comment on because she was not the doctor at that time and there was not able to find much details about my scan done last year.


I asked to cancel the scan, but because my breast surgeon needs to get this test done to give me a clean chit of bill, I cannot refuse this scan the doctor said. And also - I just have to take this pill the day before the scan and it's not something I have to take long term she said. I was officially pissed. I left after voicing my frustrations as decently as possible, and left the hospital after getting my payment refunded and medications delivered to me.


First of all - let me explain my frustrations. The inconvenience. I don't mind the waiting time for I am aware that not everything happens on time or by schedule, especially at a hospital. I have a car and I am not working, so the only person I am bothering is my hubby who have to shuttle me to and from hospital during his work hours while working from home. Just because he is working from home, it doesn't not mean he is not doing anything at home like many others.


What about other patients who don't drive? They would have to wake up early, skip their breakfast and take the multiple form of transportation (bus, train and shuttle bus) to travel to and from the hospital to come for the scan. Even if they take a cab, its definitely not a free ride. This would be hard for elderly patients as well. Just because I am not an elderly or the inconvenienced one as mentioned in my example above, doesn't mean I don't have to care. I am a person with cancer who still cannot walk right and still in pain so its not funny to travel to and fro the hospital because the hospital forgot to let me know about their protocol.


Secondly, me having asthma is not news. Its in my medical history in every database in SGH. I have stated that I have asthma in every scans, surgeries, chemo, radiation and appropriate treatments have been given to me based on this fact alone. When I was given the appointment for today's scan, no prescription paper was given to me. I was only told to fast four hours before the scan and was reminded of this via the sms sent to me a week earlier as well. Nothing about taking Prednisolone. So why this sudden news flash that I have asthma and I need to take some medications beforehand and why tell me when I am there at the hospital itself?


Thirdly, the doctor said she couldn't see the details of my last scan. This I believe is an irresponsible comment coming out from a respectable doctor. How could there be no details of my last scan that was taken last year? If the doctor from NCCS could access my CT scan when she did an ultrasound of my liver a few months ago, why couldn't the doctor from the same Radiology department from the same SGH where I had the same bloody scan retrieve this information? I did not go for the CT scan before the time of computers so what rubbish is this? If there was a risk for asthma patients to have the contrast and so Prednisolone must be taken was the standard protocol - then was this protocol introduced in the last 12 months after my last CT scan in July? I don't think so.


So, SGH please - do something about your application systems there. It's pathetic.



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