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I had a colonoscopy at the hospital yesterday.
I would like to mention the amazing team of nurses that this department has. They were since the beginning, during the procedure and after it, absolutely caring, professional, compassionate and helpful. The main responsible of this department should congratulate them and the doctors should be proud of the team of nurses they are working with.
The doctor, however, was very cold and distant since the beginning. I asked for the sedation and seemed that the doctor was not very happy with this decision at all. (I right that, undoubtedly, the patient has).
Before the procedure the doctor put a cannula in my hand and injected some of the sedation. I felt slightly relaxed, but I think that this “sedation” its more a placebo than a proper sedation itself. I felt every single thing during the colonoscopy. I asked for more sedation and they applied more, but it was like nothing at all. The sedation gives you a feeling of relaxation but it doesn't avoid the pain at all. At one point the pain was absolutely unbearable and I asked the physician to stop several times but the doctor didn’t. (Before the procedure I was told that I was in my right to stop the procedure any time if the pain was unbearable… so I do not know what part of my sentence this doctor didn’t understand. I think this is enough reason for a formal complain, I took the name and surname of the doctor so I’m thinking seriously about it).
Not to mention the comment of the doctor regarding the monitor. Basically the monitor wasn’t working properly and the doctor couldn’t see some areas of the colon as it was too dark. As A patient is normal, I guess after hearing that, to have the doubt if the procedure was properly done, missing maybe important areas that hasn’t been check.
In the recovery room and still experiencing a terrible pain, the doctor passed by my bed a few times and not even a comment. As the pain was still there after a while I nurse asked to the doctor to come and see me. The physician seemed to be bothered by that (the expression in the face was very clear), and explained to me the whole procedure that was done, the problem with the not clear images of the monitor, the biopsies taken etc…. Not a word about why the doctor didn’t stop when I asked for that, not a nice word about how are you feeling…nothing. And in the same cold, distant and apparently bothered way, the doctor left the recovery area.
Just the nurses took good care of me and made my, so far unfortunate journey, more bearable.
We are in 2014 and the colonoscopy its a procedure that can be absolutely painless with appropriate sedatives. It would make the patient's journey easier and obviously the work of the physician too. In other hospitals and clinics in the UK this procedure is painless (I know people who have had a colonoscopy painless as they were basically asleep during the procedure and they can’t even remember anything during it….lucky them…). But not just in he UK. The rest of the countries in the UE (and probably in the rest of the globe) They have understand that this procedure can be absolutely unbearable and the main rule for it is avoid the suffering to the patient.
So, I’m wondering myself why at the Royal London Hospital the patients have to go through this torture. It is because maybe it would be a big expense for the department? (Which it would), or its just an inexplicable lack of consideration, knowledge and compassion from this department towards the patients?
But, lets go back to my appointment with the gastroenterologist a couple of months before. During my appointment the doctor was really nice but didn’t mention a word about the sedation. If I had not asked the question, I had left the room without knowing.
It is true that I had all the information in the letter that was sent to my house with all the explanation of the procedure, its pros and cons. And they offered to me this option the day of the procedure too. But I insist, the doctor should mention it during the appointment as well. At least as a basic right of the patient.
So again I really do not understand why the sedation seems to be like a taboo.
I hope this review can help future patients and also, I truly hope that this department, which I have seen already that has amazing people working on it, read this words with understanding and compassion.
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