Posted in Health

To any Healthcare Workers out there….

This article was submitted to my ‘Mighty’ page but has been saved for future release rather than being published straight away.

Roll back to early March 2016: I had just completed training for a new job within the emergency services and it was my first day “set free” to take calls and be “in training.” I felt strange, was having chest pain and really didn’t feel well. Within the first couple of hours into the shift I went home unwell. The 30-mile journey home was the longest ever and I was straight on the phone to NHS direct for advice.

Fast forward to late April, a very long six weeks later. I was still off work and had been to so many nurses, GPs, out of hours and telephone triage appointments I had lost count. That day I spoke to my surgery to request an appointment with a doctor and was told I couldn’t see one but they had a paramedic in the surgery I could see. By this point I had lost the will to live and just wanted the pain to stop.

I will never forget the kindness I received from that paramedic. I was told to go to the hospital and a letter was written and faxed to the emergency department for me to go to see the surgeons.

I have polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and while this condition is being talked about more, there is still a stigma with the condition. I had abdominal pain that had lasted about six weeks and had been referred to the surgical team, not the gynaecology team.

One of the worst comments I have ever overheard from a person was: “She has polycystic ovaries, just send her to gynae and they can discharge her.”

While this comment may only be minor, I also saw these people shaking their heads and asking about beds for other patients. Might I add, this person was a doctor.

Three days later, I had surgery and my appendix was removed and then two days later I went home. I continued to use the services of my GP, district nurse and NHS Direct as I had an infection in one wound that turned out to be two different infections as well as several water infections.

I will never be the same person again, but I am very thankful to that paramedic who believed me and listened to me and the surgeon who listened to me and didn’t presume it was just my polycystic ovaries – because it wasn’t!!

To any healthcare workers or those who wish to become a healthcare professional: If a patient comes to you with a problem, please do not presume it is “just” their pre-existing condition. Yes, take it into account, but don’t use it as the first excuse to discharge your patient.

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Posted in About Me, Mental Health

Healthwise Wales

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https://www.healthwisewales.gov.wales/homepage/

Healthwise Wales is working to improve the health and wellbeing services for the Welsh population. They ask that we help them by answering questions about health topics and our own information to help them with their work. Whether you have health conditions or are fit and healthy, you can still help them with their work, no matter your age or health status.

I signed up to Healthwise Wales as I thought it was a fantastic idea when I received a work email encouraging us to sign up.

I received a phonecall and was asked if I would be willing to share my experiences, I never thought about a camera and filming taking place (duh….how else will I share my story). But I am glad I took part (even though I forgot half the stuff I wanted to say and forgot at points how to speak Welsh so ended up doing the ‘Wenglish’ version 😉

If you are interested in finding out more information and signing up to Healthwise Wales then go to;

https://www.healthwisewales.gov.wales/homepage/

If you click under ‘Research stories’ there you will see my face and the article written.

or click on this link;

https://www.healthwisewales.gov.wales/research_stories/?id=16

You can also register and help Healthwise Wales.

If for some reason you do not want to follow the link, or cannot access it then keep scrolling to read on this page.

The Below Research Story is my story but published by Healthwise Wales;

Stacie-Mai’s Story

 

A woman from Barry who suffers from anxiety and depression has joined a unique health research initiative in Wales to help fight major diseases, and is urging others to do the same.

26-year-old Stacie-Mai Pemberton has signed up to HealthWise Wales, a flagship study aimed at improving the health and wellbeing of the nation to inform new healthcare treatments in Wales.

It is the first large-scale survey in Wales to build a picture of the health of the nation, using detailed health information gathered from people of all ages to help inform future health service planning.

People aged 16 and over and living in Wales are asked to complete short questionnaires every six months as part of the project, which is led by Cardiff University and backed by the Welsh Government.

Once registered, participants are then invited to help inform relevant health research on specific conditions, their management and treatment.

Stacie-Mai, who works as a peer mentor for Welsh mental health charity Hafal, began to suffer from anxiety and depression when doctors struggled to diagnose her appendicitis.

This, combined with previous insight into different healthcare issues gained while working for the Welsh Ambulance Service, made Stacie-Mai sign up to HealthWise Wales.

She said: “My appendicitis wasn’t a textbook case of the illness, so when I went to the doctors with complaints they struggled to diagnose my illness. I was upset and frustrated and developed depression and anxiety. I was finally diagnosed and operated on, and my appendicitis cured, but I felt very mentally fragile.

“Supporting people who suffer from mental health issues at Hafal has meant that I’ve realised things about my own mental health too. I know now, for example, that there were also more long-term reasons for my depression and anxiety, aside from the appendicitis.

“Trauma from my early childhood, such as losing a parent, have definitely contributed to my mental health issues. Knowledge and education on mental health is vital, which is why I feel so passionate about improving the NHS by supporting initiatives like HealthWise Wales.

“The NHS is a great service, but there is still room for improvement. For this reason, I am committed to initiatives like HealthWise Wales that strive to paint a clearer picture of the changes that need to be made to improve the state of healthcare in Wales, and I’d urge others to do the same.”