Saturday, 10 January 2009

Don't Swear At The Carers

I shouted at my carers last night. I'm not at all proud of this but all I can say in mitigation was that I was in pain, finding it difficult to breathe and that we were doing nothing that we don't do every night. So why we were in such a mess? I don't know.

As has been mentioned on countless occasions in this blog already, I use a BiPap ventilator at night. Effectively what this bit of kit does is ensure I take deep enough breaths all night to expel the build up of CO2. The BiPap pumps air, under pressure, via a hose to a nasal mask that is strapped to my face. Every night we fit the mask. Every bloody night I explain which way up it goes. Last night, one of the carers, let's call her Woburn to spare her blushes, not only failed to fit the mask, but in her panic managed to break it in to it's component pieces even as it was being painfully yanked about my face.

At this point I must explain that I have an irrational fear of anything that obstructs my breathing. Months spent in Intensive Care on ventilation have left me highly aware of just how fragile my respiratory system is. The rational part of me knows that I will not suffocate if carers mess around with my mask, but several close shaves in the past means that the irrational part of me kicks in and I find it massively stressful. Woburn has fitted the mask on many occasions over the last six weeks or so, but every night it's as if it's the very first time she has ever seen the damn thing. Last night, as the mask disintegrated in her hands, I freaked out and told everyone to f**k off.

Inevitably Polly was called to sort it out. The poor girl has been working incredibly long hours doing her Clown Doctor training this week but yet again she had to step in and do the care teams job.

It says a lot about how I feel about the situation that I am actually relieved that Carlotta is back tonight. She may be a bit loopy and prone to attempting to heal me using psychic energy, but at least she is reasonably competent and is really trying to be a good carer.


  1. I would have said the same thing Stephen! Makes me upset just reading it!
    Sending BIG hugs your way.

  2. Stephen, I am surprised that you didn't yell before. Really, it can't be that hard to repeatedly do something one has already been trained to do. There's no reason that you should be subjected to nightly incompetence, and certainly no reason for you to feel the slightest need to justify your anger over the situation.

  3. Nice phrasing scribe. You can tell you are a professional wordsmith.

    I think you were more than justified in expessing your displeasure in the full, unabridged Anglo Saxon...

    Take care

  4. How scary...I would have reacted in exactly the same way..

  5. Putting on the BiPAP is the single most annoying ordeal that I go through. There is almost always a leak. So I have to keep tightening it. Then in the morning, my face is all broken out in some kind of allergy-induced rash. So then I can't wear it for a few days. Luckily, my respiratory system can take it... for now. I need to find a solution, though.

    Sometimes anger just gets the best of us. I've yelled at my own mother because she rolls me so fast that feel like momentum is going to carry me right off the side of the bed to my certain death.

    By the way, I came up with one crazy alternative to my typing problem.


Please take a moment to leave a comment. I read and appreciate them all. Thank You.