I was admitted to the QMC where I spent the next 10 days. Four days before being admitted I had suddenly developing chronic abdominal pain. Initially, I thought the pain was due to constipation.
Appendicitis, a urine infection and a possible issue with my ovaries were all queried until the results of a scan found I had an extremely large abscess in my pelvis. I was admitted to Ward A23 and immediately put on a course of intravenous antibiotics in an attempt to reduce the inflammation.
While I was in the hospital the pain increased and symptoms worsened. The side effects of the infection and the medication were awful and there were times when the pain was unbearable. It was like no pain I had ever experienced before, not even during childbirth. Two days in, doctors were talking to me about surgery with possible risks ranging from removal of my fallopian tubes to a full hysterectomy and even waking up with a stoma.
I eventually underwent surgery on day 6 and ended up on a different ward post op for 3 nights – which was distressing and my time there was disturbing.
I eventually returned to A23 before being discharged.
Prior to this I had never been seriously ill and had only ever been in hospital to have children or scheduled medical procedures. The whole experience was traumatic and is still impacting me over two months after.
One person who made a difference in this whole horrible experience was Bex.
From the moment I met Bex, her genuine warmth and compassion were evident. She immediately came across as a down-to-earth, authentic person and demonstrated true empathy. Despite everything I had experienced she made me feel safe. She made me feel that she genuinely cared about me and I needed to feel cared about.
While I was still on the other ward post-surgery, I learnt that Bex had been calling, enquiring as to why I hadn't returned. When I did return to A23 Bex greeted me like she genuinely cared, my wellbeing was her priority and most importantly, I felt safe.
I observed Bex showing the same genuine care and compassion to other patients and my elderly mother who visited.
In fact, just before I was discharged, during a conversation with another patient around our not always pleasant experiences in the hospital, the other patient referred to the positive attributes of Bex. I echoed her views and told her it was my intention to nominate Bex for the DAISY Award. The other patient told me she would too – her appreciation of Bex was that great.
I did send a 'Thank You' card to Bex (and another lovely nurse). This has taken a little longer but it feels too important to not do what I felt so strongly about doing at the time because Bex stood out to me.
It might sound a bit naff, but she was a shining light in the midst of everything I went through - she was like an angel to me.
The impact of the positive attributes she has as a person and that she brings to her role as a nurse are immeasurable and I am so very grateful to her for being such a beautiful person. She is a true DAISY Nurse.