, it’s been a bit of a *week* for me. My mum tested positive for covid and has been pretty up and down, including a trip to hospital booked in by the GP because of her breathing being so strained. We thought she was on the mend after that, but then yesterday she started to have trouble with her breath again so…I don’t know. This virus is an absolute f***er. Also special shout-out to Peterborough Hospital for treating her appallingly. First doctor acted like Mum was a personal inconvenience to her which obviously has made me furious – I hate that I couldn’t be there to advocate for her. Apparently a women in her mid-seventies with a positive covid test and trouble breathing to the extent that talking is a struggle is not worth her time.
Second doctor found that she had bilateral basal opacifications on her lungs as well as crackling in both her lungs – only we didn’t find any of this out until two days later when the discharge person called up, because no-one deigned to communicate any of this with her. At the hospital mum had been told her lungs were fine.
So here we are with all these questions and no one to answer them – bear in mind my Mum is a nurse for MSF so is perfectly capable of having a sensible conversation about her health. But even if she weren’t, she has a right to know what is wrong with her and what she is being treated for. I could not be more unimpressed with this treatment team. I also am of course very reluctant now to send her back if she deteriorates if that’s how they treat their patients. Obviously I will if it gets really bad, but god I don’t want to. It’s just brutal that you can’t accompany a covid patient, especially now I know how cavalier some of the doctors can be.
And to be clear, I very much mean SOME doctors. I know the vast majority of staff are working their arses off and I have nothing but huge respect and admiration for them. This is a bloody awful time for all of us and they are right at the coalface, doing this day in day out. They are exhausted, often underpaid and under-protected (see gender data gap of the week). And I know she was probably just very unlucky. But it’s really hard when someone you love is being treated like they don’t matter – especially when you see the treatment less ill world leaders get who by implication matter more than my mum. Well, maybe they do to society, but they don’t to me.
It also feels like there is no good advice available (like when exactly is it that you’re meant to call 999?? NHS website says when they’re having trouble breathing, but ffs that is like the entire of Covid). And 111 was about as useful as a chocolate teapot.
Anyway, that very long preamble is just to say I’m perhaps not entirely across the Gender Data Gap this week and this will not be a vintage newsletter, for which I apologise. Hopefully regular service will be resumed next week.