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Interview 12

Age at interview: 23
Brief Outline: Was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis. Had to have surgery to remove colon. Had kidney failure and was in intensive care for about 21 days, High Dependency Unit for about 2 weeks and a general ward for 2 weeks.
Background: Occupation: none at time of interview. Marital status: living with partner. Number of children: no children. Ethnic background: White British.

More about me...

 

She wondered how she'd got colitis and why she hadn't been told sooner about having a colostomy bag.

She wondered how she'd got colitis and why she hadn't been told sooner about having a colostomy bag.

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Yeah, after they'd done the x-rays and things, I had colitis.  

And did they explain what it is?  

No. I actually, someone actually brought me a leaflet from another ward and told me to read it because my cousin, she'd just got diagnosed with Crohn's disease. And like whilst I was being poorly at home, everybody thought it was Crohn's disease, like she'd just got diagnosed. But it was colitis obviously, different well they're similar but different. So like my cousin told me more about it than anybody else and, like I say, somebody brought me a leaflet. That's about it really, they didn't really explain anything, do you know what I mean?  

What kind of things did you want to know?

What it was. What had happened in the end, because my surgeon, when I was on Ward 11, before on my two weeks on that Ward 11, every day I'd see my surgeon. They'd do the ward rounds, and he'd come and say, "Look I don't want to operate, it's the last thing I want to do." And I was like, right fair enough, you don't want to operate but he didn't explain nothing about stoma, having a colostomy bag, you know what I mean? And like from the beginning I'd like to have known that, not an hour before my surgery, you know ...  

 

She was embarrassed when she was hoisted from the bed to a chair and surprised at how weak she...

She was embarrassed when she was hoisted from the bed to a chair and surprised at how weak she...

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I had physio because of my breathing and then they decided, "Oh, we'll sit you up." You know, "We'll turn you round and sit you up on, you know, at the side of the bed, sort of thing." And I wrote it down because I used to have to write things down, that I wanted to try and stand up. And like I had my nurse at the back of me, and like three physios round me and when I, because, I fell forward sort of thing but they got me and I started crying and I thought, "Why can't I bloody get off this bed?"

And then they had to, I seen a man over the ward from me and I wrote it down that I wanted to sit in a chair like he was. Like a relaxed, comfy chair. So they hoisted me, and that was horrible. And I was like, all my dignity just went because my, I had a gown on and all my backside was hanging out and I thought, "Oh God, just put me back to bed", you know. It's not nice this but by, well, because I were young and, I don't know, and then you've got nurses who are as young as you looking after you and, well I don't know, it's just, it's not right nice.

And you looked at yourself, and how did you feel when you saw yourself?

Oh God, I had to have a, because the first time I saw myself it was when the physios hoisted me on this standing hoist. And because there were a mirror there and they turned me round and pushed me backwards to sit in this chair and I just said to them, "Wait a minute," and I just looked in this mirror and, I don't know, I was shocked. And I thought, because like I didn't have a bath, my hair was a mess, I didn't have no teeth in, I'd lost all this weight. All you could see were like dressings, bags and, oh, I don't know, I was disgusted, you know, it was horrid, it weren't nice.

 

Her wound is slowly healing and she is looking forward to doing all the things she enjoyed before...

Her wound is slowly healing and she is looking forward to doing all the things she enjoyed before...

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So you're recovering. And how do you know how long you'll have the VAC machine for?

No, it shouldn't be much longer because like I've been on now three weeks. I don't, maybe a couple of more weeks. And then I've got like to have dressings on. You know, to close it up finally. And then I'll be normal, well, a bit normal.  

So you're slowly recovering?

Yeah.  

Are you feeling better?  

Oh yeah. 

Day by day?

Yeah. Yeah, I definitely can tell, you know, because some days I even forget about it and forget I have a wound, and then I think, "Oh God", you know. "You have been poorly but you're getting better." You know, because like, loads of people say to me, "Oh, you've been so poorly", and, "you've been through it," and I think, "Oh, shut up, I don't feel like that now." You know. I am now. Yeah.  

So how would you like to see yourself recovering over the next few months? 

Oh, I'd like to be able to drive my car again. And just like do normal things like swimming and things, because I used to go to swimming and just to be able to go, I don't know, go shopping on my own and, you know, just to be able to walk without this machine [laughs].

 

She still felt confused after being transferred and had to keep asking questions to understand...

She still felt confused after being transferred and had to keep asking questions to understand...

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What happened while you were there? Were you having physiotherapy during Intensive Care as well?

Yes. Because of my breathing, as well as movement, you know, mobility.

So someone came every day?

Yeah, every morning. Went to Ward 21. I couldn't, I was still really groggy, do you know, even all the surgeons used to say, 'Oh she's still groggy.' I used to like sit there and I used to say 'What', like, 'what time is it? What day is it?' I didn't, I forgot what day it were. I'd have a visit in the morning. I'd fall asleep and I'd wake up and think that they were still there. You know, 'Where's my visitors? Why aren't they here?' I used to wake up and shout my boyfriend or my mum. As if they was sat at the side of me. I don't know, oh God it was horrible. At one time I thought I was going daft, you know, I thought, you know, 'I'll end up going to some lunatic place', you know. I never thought I'd come, you know, come round and talk sense rather than nonsense, because that's all I did talk, nonsense.

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