My husband's treatment in hospital...

54 posts in this topic

Posted

I have had some "heart" issues in the past in Germany and have been treated extremely well--then again Düsseldorf has a major heart treatment center.

I have found that ICU's in Germany are absolutely awful. Yeah, that typical "lack" of food is common. I had my friend bring me food. The newer hospitals are more equipped with "state of the art" rooms. As for transferring--I think you need to talk to his cardiologist in Frankfurt and tell him your issues with the hospital. That is the complete antitheses (except for the crappy food) that I had in Düsseldorf.

Good luck!

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Posted

Thank you JSD. Good point regarding his cardiologist whom he only saw a few weeks ago. I can only imagine that this whole episode with the lung infection (I forgot to say that they think it might be pneumonia) might affect his heart too.

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Posted

Thank you Marie-Claire for your kind wishes. It was last night that he told them all he wanted in the world was a jug of still water with ice cubes. They didn't have any. It's so hard to imagine this sort of thing in a country like Germany. I had a similar experience years ago in a part of Malaysia that was considered "second world" at the time.

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Posted

Thank you calibear. I'm not usually too slow at making myself annoying in a forthright kind of way! It's really helped to get some ideas of what's feasible. I will spring into action tomorrow after I've brought my husbands daily food and drink. I really hope that all is well with your daughter. All the best

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Posted

Sorry to hear about your husband, emkay.

It has also been my experience that hospitals don't like giving patients tap water to drink, but the bottled water provided is only fizzy. Although you do usually get a choice between very fizzy and not quite so fizzy! For one hospital stay when I couldn't cope with that I persuaded them to let me have water from the kettle the staff used to make their tea. They called it "abgekochtes Wasser" and I managed to get a nurse on side who would nick it for me and put it in a jug by my bed. Being sweet and nice worked for that, but I agree that you probably have to be tougher for the other stuff.

Hope your husband recovers soon.

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Posted

So sorry to hear your husband is being treated so poorly in the hospital. May we ask which hospital? Some have better reputations than others, though if it was an emergency, we do end up going to the closest one.

Hope today is a better day for both of you. Let me know if you need assistance with anything. I can be quite firm with hospital employees. Just send me a PM

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Posted

Thank you all very much for your support. Special thanks to 2B_orNot2B and Moondancer for your very kind offers of help and pms. I think my first strategy today will be to go and see my husbands haus doctor who originally referred him to the hospital when he got the fever and coughing. I'm hoping that he may be able to help me to get my husband transferred to the better hospital that has better heart facilities. If he can't, won't or is not there there I'll directly contact the cardiologist As my mother says " du musst dich warm anziehen Kind". Many thanks again. Off now to gather myself for the forthcoming challenge.

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Posted

I have nothing useful to add, except that I have been on the patient end of too many hospitals, and at the time I had nobody to stand up for me and my rights, whilst not being in any condition to do so myself.

I am sure your husband will be very proud of all your efforts Emkay, and I hope that his condition improve drastically over the next day or two.

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Posted

Well, emkay, I wish you strength in dealing with it and, of course, a swift recovery to Mr emkay too, but don't hesitate to contact me if you do encounter further difficulties.

Not knowing which 'better hospital' you are considering means I can't point you at any potential POC, but most major German hospitals have established a service which may also be able to assist in such circumstances. Some hospitals administer this service centrally, but larger ones with specialist stations often have dedicated staff attached to the stations. These folk are often social workers and are primarily of service to single in-patients who often have anxieties about their domestic issues and no family or friends to intercede with landlords, utility companies,banks, the tax office or other official bodies. The idea being, of course, that as a worried patient takes a longer, and less economic, period of bed occupation, the investment is of mutual value.

In any case these people are not only there for the patient's welfare, but also to assist their families in coping with the system. As there are growing numbers of elderly former Gastarbeiter in Germany whose next of kin are not fluent German speakers such interfacing 'gehoert der alltag' and is treated as selbstverständliche. The key words to ask about vary by hospital, but most common seems to be either Patienten Representativ or Patienten Advokat. Many have opted to use the same nomenclature, but with the English spelling.

2B

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Posted

Cripes, poor emkay! I'm so sorry that you are going through all this. Wishing you much strength.

I had a sort-of similar experience with my husband in hospital here. He had, as it turned out, severe gastro-enteritis, but the doc thought he might have appendicitis, and anyway he needed IV fluids, so to hospital we were told to go.

Driven by a neighbour, so we arrived with a bucket, which I guess was a clue that he might throw up... so while waiting for the Dr, the nurses told him he must not have any water. At first I thought this may be for some medical reason, but it became clear that they just didn't want to deal with him being sick. This struck me as pretty uncaring, since he had a really high fever and naturally a hot dry mouth / throat, so very uncomfortable. Soon after admission he became unconscious, and thereafter drifted in and out of consciousness, and no-one came near us for a few hours.

The day I brought him home, I turned up at the time they told me, and he was already wandering the corridors - still in the pjs he was admitted in - looking for me, cos they had told him to leave. He still had a high fever and I had to 90% carry him to a taxi.

This was just after we arrived in Germany, and we both had very little German, so I was pretty bewildered. I basically allowed all this to happen, which I feel a bit bad about now.

Were this to happen again, or were it to happen in England, I would kick up a lot of fuss until I got what I wanted... I have no other hospital experience here, but back home I have found that if you are enough of a pain, they usually prefer to sort out your loved-one's issues rather than put up with you bobbing up to complain/ask. Please be really strong and stand up for what your husband needs. And avail yourself of help offered... I wish I could help, too, but mein Deutsch is only moderate and I'm in Berlin :S Sending you a great big hug for what it is worth, though.

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Posted

I'm sorry to hear of your situation.Though I can't help in your specific situation, I thought I'd add in my experiences as patient as well as doctor's wife.

From what I've heard of my husband, the common (German) patient rather wants to be treated than actually being made part of the decision making process. Or is one of the wikipedia educated kind who knows better than the doctor from the start (but those do not seem to be too common). Therefore the thing to do is to make sure to get the point across that you are none of the above but that you are

1) interested in what should be done and why

2) you are clever enough to understand this

3) you do accept that the doctor is the one who knows about things.

In order to do so I ask a lot of questions while using proper medical expressions (so they see I would understand an answer), I always try to get my background across (adding the Dr. to every form so they will at least ask whether I'm a collegue which is answered by: no, just working in medical technology but having a husband who is one) and if I'm not happy with the treatment I get explaining why and listening to the response - and in the end insisting. Anyway, this hardly seems to happen when you're involved in the decision making in the first place.

Now I've had friends and family also being caught up in unpleasent situations like yours, and to me it seemed that they didn't get point 2) across. What would have helped would have been some research to find out what their diagnosis meant, what it was usually caused by, what the prospects usually were and the terminology usually used. Now one could rightly assume that this should be told by the doctor himself, but then if you seem to have no idea of the implications of the diagnosis it's clear to him that you need to be told the basics and not advanced reasoning. Actually, the doctors are really glad if they finally meet someone with whom they can seriously talk about the treatment. Even if you cite papers they haven't heard of before :)

Actually I'm really glad I've today learned that bit about the Patienten Advokat because I was always wondering about what kind of advice to give if asked by non-academic non-googling neighbours. Thanks 2B.

And good luck to you, emkay.

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Posted

Emkay, i am so sorry to hear about your husband, pls tell me which hospital this is just in case i have to ever go to one in FFM you can PM me if you don't want to say.

I can't believe my eyes what I have been reading and we are talking about Germany, OP also say they have been treated this way.

Maybe op on tt are right and i have a lot to learn when i get to Germany, BUT i don't care who the Dr/nurse are i won't stand for it and i am not about to start now at my age.

I would never put up with any of this a god help any Dr that treats me or my family in this way, (none of you have seem me go when i get started, not a pleasant sight :angry: )

I hope i never ever to be in a situation like this especially in Germany.. Drs aren't God people need to make a stand.

I don't drink fizzy water in Germany I buy still bottled water, get some for your hubby and give it to him and some food. Poor Guy.

Sorry for going on I probably don't make any sense, right now and no doubt have a lot to learn. :rolleyes:

So happy you are getting it sorted out and that he is improving, should have happened days ago, wish you all the best.

Everyone have a great weekend.

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Posted

From our experience this is not normal at all. Document everything that doesn't seem right - and don't be shy to let the carers see you taking pictures and notes.

If you get the chance to see a senior person, stick to one or two concrete complaints (don't scattergun them with details) that you want addressed.

Hope your husbend gets better soon.

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