I have spent the last two days having a treatment called Extracorporeal Photochemotherapy, (E.C.P).I have this treatment for two days every two weeks, and have been on this regime for six months now, with at least another three months planned. It may have to continue beyond this period, depending on results.There are very few units in the country that provide this treatment and I have been lucky enough to have been referred to the major one in London.
My journey since diagnosis, is well into it’s fifth year, and I don’t think that there has been any year where I haven’t been in hospital as an in patient, having some serious treatment. This includes a stem cell transplant and a top up of cells two years later, as the original transplant was failing.
When I was originally diagnosed,with a very poor prognosis there was a programme of treatment layed out, and the process started very quickly.I mention all of this because whilst having the ECP, (the process takes around three hours) there is always plenty of time to think. The nurses were looking after myself and my fellow patients, taking care of our every need, and joining in with my continual banter.
This has been my experience, since I entered the system. All of the Health Professionals, nurses, doctors,etc have been nothing other than fantastic.I have been given all the treatment possible to extend my life, without the cost ever being mentioned. I was given all the drugs I required and any additional help I ever needed. If I am honest, I don’t think that I could have expected anything more, if I had gone private.
Whatever my needs are, they are met, almost unquestionably, and by such lovely human beings. It made me think today, that I was taking that sort of service for granted! I appreciate that we all contribute to the upkeep of the service, and plenty of people I listen to talk about their rights to good welfare. To a degree they are correct. The Health Service very rarely lets us down when we really need it’s help.
Sure, there are many things that need to change, and I have mentioned some of those in a previous post. I’m sure like in any other large organisation, there are people who are not as good at their job as they should be. We can all find examples in the media, where the service is letting us down.
When we are unwell and don’t know why, we feel very vulnerable and stressed. It affects our whole life and we want to get fixed up as quickly as possible. Things may not always happen at the speed we want, or necessarily in the order we want, but on the whole, they do happen.
The boundaries of healthcare are also at times, very difficult to define. Who is responsible for what, and how much of your care pathway is the NHS responsible for? I think at times that we think that the service should provide us with everything!! Maybe a cure for all social ills???
I feel that we do take our Health Service for granted in this country, and I am glad that I took time to think about what they have done for me, and how grateful I am. I would like to thank the people that care for us when we are sick. I am aware they get paid, and it is their chosen profession, but just because you get paid to do something doesn’t necessarily mean that you care. Most of these people care over and above their call of duty.
Just in this week, a little girl we know has had an operation on her face, and a colleague of mine had a baby girl born very prematurely, just over 3lbs! Thank you for being there for us when we need you.
We have readers all around the world, and I wonder if you have a service like ours here in the UK, or wish you had that sort of service?
UK readers,how do you feel about our service. Has it looked after you like you feel you deserve? Please let me know any stories that you would like to share.