Posts tagged ‘Cancer’

Hemp Seed OIL Balm – NHS Says No and Goes Into Meltdown – Part 3


Part 3 of my Guest Blogger Chrissie Fuller’s observations on my 95 year old mother’s three month stay in hospital.

Sylvia was moved into the Rehabilitation Ward at Royal Preston Hospital and we were hoping that she would soon be on her way home, but it was not to be. At this point she had already been in hospital for over three weeks and had contracted an infection for which she was put on oral antibiotics.

Despite a visit from the District Nurse and the Social Worker, it was clear that she would not be discharged until she was deemed to be fully fit. Having finally finished the course of antibiotics, Sylvia was then diagnosed with shingles and promptly moved, yet again, into a side ward because the infection can be highly contagious. She remained there for a further two weeks. During that time, because her hand was severely swollen due to excessive bandaging of the arm, the staff were advised to elevate it in a suspended sling. One evening when we visited, the sling was hanging off her arm and the nurse, a Staff Nurse, admitted that she didn’t know how to use it! If was left to me to show her how to fit it – she had been trying to use it upside down!

As it was by now becoming very expensive making the trip to and from Preston to Chorley every day, we were informed that there was a bed available at Chorley Hospital and that she would be moved there on the Friday evening. We asked Preston Hospital to ask Chorley Hospital to notify us as soon as she arrived there so that we could visit her there. By 8pm at night we had still not heard anything so I rang the ward and was told that she had not yet arrived, but they would ring us as soon as she did. We never got the phone call, so that night Sylvia did not see anyone from her family.

The following day we went to visit her at Chorley and she was confused and disorientated but, having had personal experience of the ward she was on, (my father was there for 10 weeks and very well cared for, even though at one point they told us he was beyond hope and would die – as it happened we “stuck to our guns” and he has now made an almost full recovery), I felt that the care she would receive would be be of a better quality than at Preston. We managed to speak to the doctor who assured us that he wanted to be in a position to discharge her as quickly as possible in order to free up the bed and that as soon as he had run a few tests on her he would be happy to let her go home, so long as the care plan was in place.

In week six, a couple of days after being admitted to Chorley, for reasons unknown, Sylvia was again moved, this time into another side ward. We were told that it was because she didn’t like the bright lights on the main ward. This has been an ongoing problem, partly due to her poor eyesight but it is also a symptom of dementia which appeared to be getting worse by the day. She had difficulty recognising her grandson and granddaughter and was insisting that she was eating her meals when it was plainly obvious that she was not. When she was weighed a few days later she had dropped from 6.5 stones to 5.5! When asked why there was no help with her feeding the response was that they would do so if she asked for it! As if……!

In week eight when we called to visit on the Saturday afternoon we were horrified to find her laying in her bed in the hospital corridor. She had been there for over an hour before she was moved again into the main ward, this time because they needed the side room for a more seriously ill patient. Less than a day later she had to be moved into yet another side ward because she had the runs and they needed to be sure that she wasn’t infectious. As it turned out, she wasn’t infectious but she spent a further two weeks in this isolation ward, completely alone, with the door closed most of the time. It was quite obvious that this was having an adverse effect on her mental health as she became more and more confused and her weight continued to drop because she was incapable of feeding herself and. more to the point, incapable of asking for help to do so!

In week 10, she was finally moved back onto the main ward, bright lights and all, where she was given the medical all clear to go home. A multi-disciplinary team meeting was eventually held and it was agreed that she would be released from hospital on the following Thursday week. At this point her weight was only 5 stones.

It is worth mentioning at this point the almost complete lack of empathy coming from the hospital staff. Whenever we had a question or needed to have an update on Sylvia’s condition we always received the same response which was “I couldn’t possibly comment on that”. The other observation I must make is that in spite of the large numbers of “staff” on the wards, apart from the weekends, when in many cases there were only four staff looking after up to thirty patients, whenever we approached any of them we were given the automaton-like response “I’m sorry – I don’t work on this ward”.

Well, if they don’t work on that ward, what the hell are they doing there using the equipment and tending to patients? Its almost as if they are pre-programmed automatons with no human interactive skills whatsoever!

One evening, when we went to visit, we witnessed one of the dementia patients answering the telephone on reception! The  number of patients with dementia taking up beds and the nurses’ time is quite scary. There was a female patient in Preston Hospital who could not be left alone AT ANY TIME and she needed to hold hands with a nurse whilst wandering around the ward as if she owned it because if left to her own devices she would steal other patients belongings or generally disrupt their treatment. She should NOT have been in there, but where could she go? On another occasion a male patient with dementia kept trying to walk into Sylvia’s room and when asked to leave he became abusive – one of the nurses later told us that he had kicked her on numerous occasions. Then there was the lady who came into Sylvia’s room and asked if she could escape via the windows! No wonder the NHS is in meltdown – too many otherwise healthy patients taking up valuable resources that could be better used elsewhere!

In Part Four I will tell you what happened next..in the meantime please feel free to leave your comments below……..or read it on my blog at The Chrissie Fuller Daily

 

 

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Hemp Seed OIL Balm – NHS Says No and Goes Into Meltdown – Part Two


Here is part two of the Guest Post by Chrissie Fuller.

In my recent blog, Part 1 of this series, I wrote about 95 year old Sylvia, who has a rare cancer on her arm that was being successfully treated with hemp oil balm by her 70 year old son, James. He had received a visit from the Social Services and together with one of his GPs they managed to convince James to take his mother to A&E with a suspected minor stroke. You can read Part One here). This is what happened next…..

As our local A&E in Chorley is closed overnight from 6pm due to the NHS cuts we had to take Sylvia to the Royal Preston Hospital which is a 20 mile round trip from home. There she was examined thoroughly, and after 5 hours and several tests and scans later we were informed that she was medically fit but that they wanted to admit her overnight for observation and further tests. She was admitted to the EDU ward around 11pm on the 19th June 2017.

The following day James received a call informing him that she had been moved to Gynaecology. When we visited her later that day she was hooked up to an intravenous drip which turned out to be saline and were informed that she was dehydrated and anaemic and that she was to be given a blood transfusion overnight. Gynaecology Ward at the Royal Preston hospital appears to be used as an overflow ward and nothing to do with having babies! Sylvia was in a ward with five other ladies of varying ages and degrees of illness. While we were there we noticed that it stated on her records, “Safeguarding from son – dressing with hemp”!

Yes – you read that right! Safeguarding from her 70 year old son, her carer for the past seven years, who has only ever had his mother’s best interests at heart and whose medical intervention had been containing the damage to her arm caused by the cancer! James was devastated and when questioned about this, the staff on duty promptly told him off for looking at the notes and his questions were met with a wall of silence!

He was informed that his mother would not be released from hospital until a suitable care package was in place at home with District Nurses calling three times a week and carers coming in every day to see to her needs like washing and dressing. When he asked how long that would take he was again met with the silent wall but given the impression that it would be weeks, not days, because they were under pressure and it was not something that could be sorted out overnight.

In the meantime, Sylvia, who is almost blind, extremely deaf and suffering from mild dementia, was left to fend for herself in a hospital bed along with a ward full of strangers, being nursed by an ever-changing supply of bank staff who knew nothing about her or her case, miles away from home and her son, who felt that he knew what was best for his mother and who wanted her home just as much as she did!

In the meantime, the hospital began to dress the arm every day with twice as much bandaging as James had ever used and at the beginning of week two, we noticed that Sylvia’s hand had swollen to twice its normal size. No-one on the ward had noticed this even though it was plainly obvious to anyone who happened to compare it to her other hand. We also noticed that her ankles were swollen. The diagnosis was that this was because she was in bed most of the time and not getting any exercise, which James said she would have had if she had been at home with him! It was decided to put the arm up in a sling and to elevate it. They also provided a foot stool for her to put her feet up when sat in her chair.

At this point, we were also given the opportunity to see the wound on Sylvia’s arm as we were visiting her when the dressings nurse came to change her bandages. It was a horrific sight! The wound was oozing and slimy and totally unlike it had been when James was tending to it himself. It was heartbreaking to see. It was also apparent that none of the staff on the ward had ever seen anything like it and that no-one really seemed to know what they were doing. At one point Sylvia was surrounded by six different nurses, many of them trainees and of course, James, who was trying to educate them as best he could on how best to care for the arm.

The next day when we visited she was hooked up to another IV and we were told that she the wound was infected so they were giving her intravenous antibiotics which would take at least a week to work. The arm was not elevated and the footstool was not being used. James went ballistic!

In week three, after repeatedly pointing out numerous failings of basic care for his mum, including the fact that the fingers on her swollen hand were becoming rigid due to lack of exercise and, in his opinion, tight bandaging, and pointing out that his mother was rapidly losing weight due to the fact that she couldn’t feed herself properly, James gave the staff an ultimatum – either they discharge his mum by the end of the week or he was taking her home himself! Sylvia by now was constantly repeating that she hated being in hospital and wanted to die. She was obviously not getting the standard of care she would possibly have had in a Geriatric Ward where her needs would be better understood.

Something must have worked because the very next day a meeting was called between James, the District Nurse and a social worker and it was agreed that everything would be put in place for her to go home, probably within days. The very next day Sylvia contracted another infection and was back on the IV antibiotics. James called for a meeting with the senior doctor who explained that as soon as Sylvia was medically fit she could go home. The course of antibiotics would take at least another five days to work.and as soon as she could be put onto oral tablets he would be able to discharge her. When we asked why the fingers on her hand were going rigid like a claw, he explained that it was because although the tendons in the arms were still functioning, there was very little muscle left to open the fingers due to the cancer. Once again, James was convinced that if she had been at home, this would not have been the case.

At the end of week three we had still not heard anything further about the care package but we did hear from the hospital that Sylvia was being moved into the Rehabilitation Ward, a positive step in our eyes. Rehab was supposed to be a stepping stone to finally going home….wasn’t it?

In Part Three I will tell you what happened next…..you can read it on here or visit my blog at The Chrissie Fuller Daily

Hemp Seed Oil Balm – NHS Says “No” and Goes Into Meltdown – Part 1


This is a Guest Post by my partner Chrissie Fuller based on her observations from when my 95 year old mother was admitted to hospital. Three months later we finally managed to get her home! (Do you have any experience or comments on the use of hemp seed oil balm? Please comment here!).

We’ve all heard the rhetoric that the NHS is in meltdown and many would agree that the Conservative party has failed to protect this great institution that we all depend on for emergency care, but I have recently had first-hand experience of the problems that some non-emergency wards are having in simply managing to keep functioning.

I want to share what I have seen over the three months whilst visiting an elderly friend who was admitted to hospital overnight with nothing more than a mild case of dehydration. Eleven and a half weeks later she was still there!

Sylvia is 95 and a cancer patient. She has myosarcoma, a rare muscle cancer, on her arm that is being treated palliatively due to her age and fragility. Six months ago it was suggested by senior staff at the hospital that there was no hope of a cure and that the only effective solution would be amputation.

Considering her age and fragility is was discussed at length and decided that any operation to remove the arm would be potentially life-threatening and emotionally devastating for someone of her age and so it was simply decided to offer palliative care and keep the arm dressed on a regular basis, for what will be the rest of her life, however long that may be.

For the last six months her son, James, aged 70, had been taking his mother to his local health centre for the arm to be dressed, three times a week. However, not every week because frequently there were no available time slots at the health centre and it was not possible to book these appointments in advance. So, on the numerous occasions when Sylvia could not have an appointment at the surgery, James had taken on the responsibility of dressing her arm himself. He had all the correct sterile equipment at home – dressings packs, gloves, saline solution, bandages which had been supplied, on prescription, by his GP.

Sylvia is amazing for her age – she has never smoked and hardly ever drinks and she has kept herself physically fit by taking a regular daily walk around the block where she lives. It takes no more than 20 minutes and she doesn’t have to cross the road so it is quite safe for her to do on her own.

In the meantime, James, not ready to give up on his mum’s arm and feeling that anything was better than nothing, went online looking for potential treatments for his mum’s arm and came up with an alternative therapy known as hemp seed oil balm. According to the website www.naturalon.com it is a perfectly legal cannabis derived product (actually a cousin of the cannabis plant) that contains no hallucinagenics but does contain canabinoids (CBD) which have been shown to have some good outcomes in reducing the symptoms of certain types of cancer, arthritis, diabetes, alcoholism, schizophrenia, PTSD, MS,epilepsy and chronic pain. It is an analgesic, anti-inflammatory, anti-spasmodic, and anti-nausea treatment.

As the only other treatment was amputation or simply waiting to die, James felt there was nothing to lose and, with his mum’s blessing, he purchased some of this balm and used it on her arm. It worked! The swelling on the arm was gradually reducing. He was so happy with the results that he told the family GP and everyone he came across! His GP said he couldn’t recommend it but “just keep doing what you feel is best”.

Three months ago, James received a visit from a “Safeguarding” representative of the Social Services who explained that they were concerned to hear that he was dressing his mum’s arm himself instead of using the local surgery. James explained that he couldn’t always get appointments at the surgery and proceeded to show the visitor what he was using and how he was using it.

It was then divulged that the real reason for the visit was because he was using hemp with the dressings. James explained all about the benefits of the balm and explained the therapeutical effects on his mum of using it. He also explained that it was actually helping to reduce the swelling. It was agreed that the visitor would speak to the local health centre and try to arrange for James to show them what he was doing in order to gain their approval for him to continue doing the dressings himself.

Eleven and a half weeks ago, during a routine surgery appointment for Sylvia’s dressing, one of the nurses just happened to notice that one of Sylvia’s pupils was enlarged. (It had in fact been enlarged for some time due to previous eye surgery). The nurse insisted on referring it to the GP who in turn decided that it could be the sign of a mini-stroke and he recommended that Sylvia be taken immediately to hospital for assessment.

And so begins the story….! Read Part Two here on OldGitJimbo’s Blog

 

Written as a guest post by Chrissie Fuller. You can read more blogs by Chrissie at The Chrissie Fuller Daily 

 

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