Modern torture

hospital“God does not impose on anyone any more than they can bear” (Qur’an, 2:286)

What a week it’s been. I was happily painting my wardrobe on Sunday, when I got a phone call from my mum’s friend that mum had fallen of a horse while horse riding and they were now in an ambulance, on their way to the hospital.

Since then it’s a been a whirlwind of going to the hospital, scans, tests and most of all lots of waiting and frustration with the hospital. It was found that my mum had broken her spine, although she’s been lucky enough that her spinal cord wasn’t damaged and so she’s not paralysed.

But because she’s not paralysed, she is not classed as an emergency case and so has now had to wait one whole week, with a broken spine, in the same position, not being able to move and in excruciating pain.

The doctors kept repeating that her case isn’t urgent, because she can move her legs, and that there are no beds in the specialist spinal hospital, she’s on the waiting list and as soon as a bed is available she’ll go there, surgery should happen within 48 hours we were told.

One week later, she is still waiting for surgery. Only yesterday after much harassment of the directors of both hospitals and complaining to my local MP as well as threatening to go to the press, if nothing is done urgently, I was told that she will be transferred this Sunday and have an operation this Monday.

After we were told twice that there was a bed and then again were told there wasn’t a bed the next day, I said to myself I won’t believe anything until it actually happens.

My mum has finally been transferred to the specialist hospital yesterday, and now she’s being told that her operation might be delayed another two days after the confirmed date.

I just cannot believe this system where people are left to lie with a broken back, in pain, being pumped with drugs for more than a week waiting for treatment. Being told they’ll have an operation and a bed a number of times and then being told the next day that there was a mistake and that there is no bed and no operation yet. Being told that ‘there is no urgent need to operate, because you can move your legs and we can give you pain killers for the pain.’

The pain killers make you feel sick, so you have a choice be sick and without pain or have pain. My mum has said that the minutes are like hours and that this has been the worst week of her life, nothing compares to it, it feels like torture.

I do understand that people who could be paralysed should have priority in getting treatment, but there is a limit to how long anyone should have to wait with a broken back in agony for an operation and being constantly misinformed about what to expect.

I don’t even know what would have happened if I hadn’t complained to the directors of the hospitals and the MP, perhaps my mum would have to wait even longer to be transferred, which makes me sad about the people that are in hospital and have no one to advocate on their behalf.

Right now, my mum is still in hospital waiting for an operation after more than a week, this is only the first hurdle in the process and it has already been so stressful and difficult that I don’t even want to think about the next steps.

There are some things that I have learnt so far from this though, and no doubt the learning process has not yet finished.

  1. If you want to be heard you need to fight for your rights and challenge others, otherwise no one will care and people will not give you the treatment and opportunities you deserve.
  2. Take things one step at a time. You can always deal with the present moment. Thinking about the road ahead will only cause you anxiety. You need to focus on what is happening now and deal with the rest when it comes to it.
  3. Why take unnecessary risks with your health? Once you see something like this happen, you come to question if horse riding or other potentially dangerous sports are really worth it. Sure, you can get hurt anywhere anytime; you don’t have to be horse riding or doing a dangerous sport, but why take the extra risk?
  4. Patience really is a virtue
  5. Look at private insurance

Those are my conclusions so far, and I’m only praying that things actually start happening now, that the operations will be as scheduled, that it will be successful and that my mum will get better soon.

When I feel down about it, I think about the verse in the Quran which says:

“God does not impose on anyone any more than they can bear” (Qur’an, 2:286)

And that makes me feel better…

Peace and love






About Maia

My name is Maia, I live in London, UK, and I originally come from the Czech Republic. Maia's World is my blog where I write about life in general, personal development, and about ideas, beliefs and discoveries on how to live a fuller life.
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8 Responses to Modern torture

  1. I hope that things improve in the following, days, weeks and months, and I ope ou and your mum have the strength and courage to to deal with all. You have borne the troubles of the week, and you have learnt from the experience too and that really is a very important thing to hold on to.

    • Maia says:

      Thanks for your comment J. Yes the lessons are valuable, although we might not appreciate the way we had to learn them at the time!

  2. Storysoother says:

    Hi Maia,

    Thank you for sharing. I am very sorry about your mom’s injury and what she and you have been going through in this Kafkaesque nightmare. I am trusting that the surgery will be soon and she will have a speedy recovery.
    Regarding the things you have learned and shared, I agree with you 100%. My life for the past few months have been a roller coaster ride – going through a divorce, child custody, company-related friction, etc. On top of that, last weekend, I broke both of my arms doing something foolish. I am definitely in a better shape than your mom yet understand the lessons well. Especially the one about taking one step at a time – krok za krokem. Having patience is a BIG lesson for me.
    I also like the line from the Qu’ran. Have to put it up on the wall in my office. 🙂

    All the best,

    • Maia says:

      thanks Alex, yes you’re right krok za krokem is definitely the number one lesson from this. This situation made me realise that taking things step by step is the only way not to get down about it. I might have already known this in theory, but the situation made me realise that actually this is the only way to avoid stress. It seems like you’re going through a hard time too, having both arms broken must be hard! I hope it all works out for the best, I’m sure it will. Glad the verse spoke to you.

      • Storysoother says:

        I also believe it will work out for everyone and there is a silver lining here. Like in the story of the Chinese farmer, “good, bad, who knows”. 🙂

  3. Storysoother says:

    Ahoj Maia, how is your mom doing?

  4. Maia says:

    Hi, she’s had her operation now, it went well, and she’s at home recovering. Going through the hospital process was a nightmare, but all’s well that end well as they say.
    Thanks for asking 🙂

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