A and E

>>  Monday, April 06, 2009

What a 24 hours!

The history of the wrist started preblog when Cog fell down a flight of steps in Australia in about 2004. But more recently in January she got hurt at a swim party on the wrist again went she was kicked of the water slide.

Well last Thursday, Cog had a fall at Brownies. Her wrist was sore but seemed like the "usual" problem so I left it in the 'working mum' way and hoped it would sort itself out. On Sunday night she came home in tears still complaining of lots of pain. "I think you should get it looked at" I say and then the famous last words "how bad can A&E be on a Sunday tea time?"

Well A&E was hell on earth; it was rammed full of ill children(!) and concerned, fractious parents. It was understaffed, undercleaned and undersized. I knew what level we had hit immediately on booking in when I was asked who my social worker was, not whether I had one!!! Cog started to cry after about 90 minutes and begged me to take her home. I did not give in and I wish I had.

After a 2.5 hour wait, we finally got to see a doctor for less than 3 minutes who said "need an x-ray". We walk through the adult A&E (yukky) to x-ray to find ourselves at the back of the queue of people who had come into A&E after us but had been sent to x-ray straight away. HoHum. After 30 minutes I started to work out how long it is going to take to get to us and at that point I threw in the towel and told the receptionist that we had been beaten, I surrendered and we were going home. She looked at me gone out.

So we got home 4 hours later having seen a sarcastic and indifferent doctor for 3 minutes.

I feel thoroughly let down by the whole episode.

Today, I drove to the local(ish) minor injuries unit. We were greeted enthusiastically, and seen within 10 minutes. The nurse had time to listen to the whole story, offered help, advise and told us what to do next.

As it turns out, Cog is to stay on the ibuprofen and "see how it is in a week and come back for x-ray if the pain is still there".

I am not normally a fussy mum, Cog has had to learn to bounce with only a few occasions (3 in 10 years isn't bad) where it has been important to me to have her checked out but this time I am left angry and concerned by the state of A&E and I really really hope we never have to go there again.

The lesson I have learnt is when I say "how bad can it be", the answer could be VERY (and to wait for the minor injuries to open) and Cog has learnt to be more careful!


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