Friday, August 14, 2015

Fine balance

Recently something happened...without going too much into details, I saw a bright young healthcare professional upset...and I mean genuinely upset. There had been a post on social media- directly against the care given...and I saw it...caustic, bitter,angry. Patient confidentiality stops anything else but I knew it wasn't accurate...and yes, I know enough about social media to know everything isn't accurate and in someone who lives with a chronic disease, its isn't right to judge either- as quite rightly those who don't have it, do not live their lives, do not live their frustrations.

But what about the carer? Compassion is a 2 way street too- and the number of amazing examples of healthcare always far outweigh the minority of poor care. Indeed there are some examples which can never be condoned. professionals who don't care enough but that minority is no different to any group of individuals- a mixture of extremes makes us all the human race we are. So I asked the question on twitter whether there were any blogs which actually spent time appreciating the care they receive. I always see blogs which suggest what could improve, I also read highly critical blogs..there also seems to be a dissociation of the reality the NHS finds itself in. Any carer in the NHS will tell you one thing- the expectation, the pressure is high but more importantly the financial numbers are simply not adding up. Under pressure,under constant squeeze of time, compassion gets eroded - one step at a time....someone said compassion needs nothing extra...wrong..compassion and caring needs one thing we don't have nowadays- time.

If I am honest, locally, we have our own Ninjabetic whose previous blogs have been of constructive criticism as wells laced with appreciation (examples: here , here and here)where it has been due..however I have been keen not to highlight those- as it once again goes back to what I myself have been guilty of..."Look at us, aren't we amazing?" Time has taught me it does tend to rub people up the wrong way- and its perhaps time to share- but with more care, more humility and less bravado. 

So I asked for examples beyond our local patch- and I must admit to being very pleasantly humbled at not only the beautiful tweets I received but also the sparkly examples of what they care they felt they had received. 

Want to read? Have a go here and here and here and here . Beyond diabetes, a great read sits here It does make you feel nice and warm.

I have never done guest blogs but via twitter someone kindly said she would put down a few thoughts...have a read below..from Emma Stahly ..in her own words...



My daughter was born at 36 weeks gestation, weighing 5lb 5oz. Against the odds, my induction had been successful and 8 hours after my waters were broken I gave birth. I felt on top of the world, empowered, proud - and grateful.

As soon as I called my diabetes specialist nurse (DSN) when I got a positive pregnancy test, I was booked straight into the diabetic antenatal clinic for a scan, blood tests and a chat with my consultant about my blood sugars. From then on I saw my team every other week, and e-mailed my consultant almost every other day. I did all the hard work, but I never felt alone doing it. I felt listened to, and that I was working on my diabetes in partnership with my healthcare team. My control was excellent, and I believe it was in part because I was so well supported.

Towards the end I started to suffer more hypos and the expected insulin resistance didn't happen. My obstetric consultant became concerned about placental failure. I was booked into the maternity ward every other day for cardiotocography (CTG) monitoring. Each time I sat there with my belly strapped up, clicking every time I felt a kick, my consultant endocrinologist showed up to have a look at my blood glucose diary and see how I was doing. Finally she became concerned enough to call the obstetrician, who arrived at the ward immediately. He decided to admit me to receive steroid injections to help the baby's lungs, and that I'd be induced 48 hours later.

My daughter was small for her gestation, and I was told my placenta was too. I believe had I been allowed to carry much further my baby would have been at significant risk. I am certain that my consultant team spotted the danger and made the call at just the right time to deliver early. They are paid to see patients and make these decisions daily - but the pay in itself would by no means guarantee positive outcomes. They are committed to their patients, to healthcare, and to making lives better. They may well have saved my daughter's life, and I will forever be in their debt.

Beautiful, isn't it? I will be honest- i don't want false praise- a sentiment which will be echoed by thousands of professionals everywhere. But I don't want to be told off always either..I took this job to help- and in the circumstances, I am trying the best I possibly can. Patients and professionals have to work together- there should be no "you" and "us"- if the system is such that this decide is created, then we must- I repeat, must join hands together to ask whether the system is sustainable, ask ALL political parties to accept a review of where we are heading. The NHS is struggling and this is not the time to have divisions- this is the time for the public and the professionals to unite for better,safer care.

Shine a light where needed..but with care...just as the professional doesn't know what you are going through with your needs...similarly you, perhaps don't know what the professional is going through every day in their work. Let's have that balance- it indeed is a fine balance- but one we must work together to keep.

To the professionals, read some of the links too...its not all bad either. In the heat..it perhaps feels so but it isn't the case always. The fact is..we all need to look out for each other a bit more.

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