Thursday, 23 June 2011

How they cope with wonky bodies in hospital

I am going for breast screening tomorrow and I was pleased to note that they had put on the letter that I had been allocated a longer than normal appointment. At least I am assuming this is because of the problems we have encountered in the past trying to get my body into shape to allow me to fit in the machine. We tried standing in the usual way, tried sitting, tried different technicians until we managed to get the picture taken, and confirmed it was ok. I remember leaving there a little sore after being pulled and pushed into position.

I was sent for an MRI recently on my head, that was just a joke as there was no way on this earth that they could get me into position never mind stay there for 20 minutes. It seems there are MRI machine which can be used, where appropriate, with the patient sitting, now that would have been doable!

A couple of years ago I had a C T scan, that was however on my middle and with copious pillows, we managed to get my head and legs supported so that we got my back as close as possible to the position required. But, again, I don’t think I would have managed this on many other areas of my body.

When I think back to the many and various X-rays taken, bone scans etc I cannot understand why there is such a commotion to deal with someone like me. When I look around the waiting rooms I see many, admittedly mainly elderly, people who are obviously with mobility issues and movement issues - how do they cope??

Are the machine simply made in the one way, or are there variations of the machines but due to cost hospitals don’t/can’t afford to have more than the basic model? As I said on an earlier blog, I am not that unusual, maybe a little more extreme, but there are all sorts of physical disability that would make these machines difficult, surely?

The other big problem I have found is anaesthetic, they have quite a problem due to lack of movement in neck and jaw/neck restricts how wide the mouth can be opened. Last year the doc put the tubes down my nose, the tubes had to stay in for a few days afterwards so I ended up with thrush in my nose/mouth - lovely! I wont go on about the surgery, as I have already described it, simply put my hiatus hernia had allowed my entire stomach and part of upper colon to move up and into my chest cavity, thereby squashing my lungs, So they pulled everything back into place and stitched stomach to my abdominal wall, however as I was not flat on the table the couldn’t find the hole (hernia)….which is a little worrying in case anything else goes walkabout!! Again the stoop was the problem both in the operation and because they think that once the stomach started to pop through the hernia it more or less got sucked up……….

There are, of course, all the smaller annoying problems, e.g. they never have enough pillows, whether to support you for tests, or if you are an inmate - to be comfy in bed (I now always take my own pillows in with me!) Even popping up on the docs exam table, for me needs the back to be raised and then a couple of pillows to support my neck, and I always just ask whoever it is, do they want top or bottom half to be flat, because the can’t have both, to get as flat as possible top half, need several pillows under legs, plus one under head. I do find I get frustrated as only a few docs will ask what do I need to allow them to carry out whatever it is, but most just kind of hover looking uncomfortable, so now I just ask them what they want and direct them.

And as for dentists!!!!!!!!!! I now have a lovely lady who has no problem at all, we just work together, I have had a few who found me to be such a nuisance they would sigh as they tried to carry out the exam…..I would get so angry then upset, but this lady saw me as usual dentist was on holiday and as I started to explain, she immediately said it was all ok, we would simply work together………Now there's a novel idea!!!!!


  1. I have a cardiac MRI due in august and am not looking forward to it. Cardiac MRI's need you chest much nearer top than back scans and cardiac ones usually last 40-60 mins. It will be my first since having AS symptoms and need to make sure I'm properly comfy before going in as well warning them I may need an early exit if pain is too much.
    I always find hospitals never enough blankets, last time I had to go to a&e I took my own - the nurses were quite grateful

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