A real-life story from someone who has volunteered to write a feel good story for us.

How hospitals have an effect on mental health, empathy, kindness and emotional anguish.  Kaz* tells us a story that can make you feel both emotional and also evoke good feelings about real humanity.  Happy reading!

So, I had been poorly since Christmas with a bad chest infection which turned into pneumonia and then pleurisy. By February I was still in lots of pain with my chest and couldn’t breathe very well.

My doctor sent me to the CCU…critical care unit, to have some test’s done.

I absolutely hate hospitals as I have high sensory issues so the smells and noises have a huge effect on me. I was there from 1pm and had various scans and tests done.  At 8pm the results came in… I had fluid around my heart!

I was told I had to stay there overnight so they could keep an eye on me and then have a specialist see me in the morning…this was a Friday!  Obviously, I wasn’t happy but had to stay.

The noise in critical care was unbearable. I was given some earphones and luckily had my pad with me but could still hear everything going on. I didn’t sleep at all that night.

The unit was full of people in the same position as me…rushed in for tests etc. One lady was quite upset and wished she had bought a book with her so I lent her mine as I had packed a few essentials in my bag (just In case). She was so grateful.

In the morning I found my nice hand cream and the lady next to me told me it smelt nice, so naturally I offered some to her and on getting up I decided to cream the hands of all the ladies that wanted it done…. which was quite a few.

I waited all morning to no avail and later found out I had been forgotten by the specialist.

They transferred me up to the cardiac unit and said I would have to stay another night…. another noisy night coming up!

My husband and kids came in with everything I needed which was good as I needed to wash and change!

I was in the cardiac unit for 5 days as I was diagnosed with Pericarditis and they didn’t want to let me go until they were sure there was nothing else going on. Even with sleeping pills I couldn’t sleep as the noises and smells drove me insane.

It wasn’t just the noises of all the machines it was other people snoring and moaning in pain…just horrible. I found myself pacing the ward at 3am most nights.

As much as I was climbing the walls, in loads of pain and so tired I found the experience very thought provoking.I met some amazing people…patients and nurses.

The staff in there were amazing. They couldn’t be more helpful and cheerful. One nurse even sang songs with me every day. They were always short staffed but you wouldn’t have known!

I also met some lovely ladies in my ward.

Two stuck out.

The first was a lady who clearly had dementia…the nurses were so busy it went undetected for a while … until I told them a few things that had me convinced. They then made sure she wouldn’t be going back to her home alone.

She thought I was her daughter in law and I played along as I didn’t want to upset her and get her more confused.

I felt compelled to help her. I shouldn’t have kept getting up to help but the nurses were so busy and the lady was distressed most of the time.

The other lady that I was compelled to help and talk to lots was nearing the end of her life. She was a great character, an ex-army wife who had spent time in Germany. She loved her funny shows and music so we had lots in common despite the 30 year age difference.

It seems wherever I go I am drawn to people that need help. I’m an Empath so it’s impossible for me to ignore people wanting and needing help.

So even though I hadn’t slept and was in pain I found joy everyday with these strangers. It’s an experience I will never forget.

I was going to go back and visit Pam the lady nearing the end of her life but due to the pandemic I couldn’t so I’m sat here wondering if she’s still alive.