Feeling Guilty – Why?

Why do I feel so guilty about being ill, why am I made to feel like a hypochondriac, why! Oh why! I ask myself time and time again. Having CVS is not a pleasant thing, but knowing that whenever I have an episode, I am going to be treated so badly, does not make it any easier.

I shall describe one of my episodes. Arriving at the Accident and Emergency Department at around 10 pm vomiting profusely, I just want to curl up, be left alone and given my medication to calm it down. Firstly I have to join the queue, sit on a hard chair, if one is available, or stand in agony. It is my turn so I have to explain to the triage nurse what CVS is. She looks at me quite blankly and asks me what my abdo. pain is on a scale from 1 to10. I tell her then I am given a paper and told to book in at the window. I queue again. Then I am told to wait again until someone comes to me after about another 30 – 40 minutes. I am called. At last I think but things do not improve yet! I am sitting vomiting and doubled up in pain. I get undressed and lie on a trolley, explain myself for the 2nd time to the nurse that I have CVS. Here comes that vacant look again. She tells me the doctor will be along shortly. I ask for a drink of water. I am then refused. The doctor arrives. Here we go again for the 3rd time, I explain to him about CVS. “Never heard of it”, he says. “It sounds awful”. “ It is horrendous”, I am thinking, “Please just give me my medication so that I can begin to feel better”. Eventually he decides to take bloods and put up an infusion. He cannot find a vein so I am sat with cotton wool all over me. I do get some medication and then told that I have to go to the admission ward to be –yes– seen again. I arrive on the admission ward and have to wait again. It is now 4 in the morning and I am still vomiting and in pain. I now see another doctor and explain for the 4th time what CVS is. He then decides that I need to be admitted for observations. At this stage I feel so ill that I will go along with anything.

After another couple of hours, I am taken to the ward I have been on before, and greeted with “OK, it’s you again we know you.” Well all I can think is “Thank God someone does”. Stuck in the middle of a noisy ward, certain staff treat you as you shouldn’t be there and accuse you of self inflicting. The nurse even puts litmus paper into my vomit to see if it is acidic, as she states she is not convinced that it is vomit. Even though she was standing in front of me while I was vomiting. It is hard to convince them that you require medication, so you have to wait and wait. Why is it so difficult for anyone to understand what you are going through? Soon it is morning. “Please God”, I think,” Let there be a consultant on the ward round who knows what CVS is” Hurrah! Yes there is, he prescribes my regular medication and he himself puts up the infusion, at last I shall start to feel a little better.

I could go on and on explaining what you are accused of. Not all the staff are the same, some are quite humane, but the added stress and worry you are put through exacerbates the vomiting. You give the doubting staff literature on CVS. They glance at it then put it to one side. I did not ask for this CVS, trust me all you doubters. Please have a little compassion. What never ceases to amaze me is that when on holiday at my sister’s a country doctor in a little surgery knew exactly what CVS was, and treated me with such feeling. I was stunned. Yet, the hospital I go in time and time again, continually gives me all the hassle and doubt, and they know very little about it. So I will say it again, “We are not hypochondriacs.” Please treat us with a little respect.