I had to go to a&e this afternoon because the pain was unbearable, it was 15 out of 10. I’ve got a weird sensation in my back, down my left leg and foot that feels like when you have restless legs. This frightened me as well because I know something has changed in my back and didn’t know how serious it was going to be with the pain and new sensation!
When I got to a&e, I drove which was wrong I know, I booked in and took a seat expecting to wait hours to see the triage nurse let alone a doctor. After about 20 minutes I was called in to triage, they took my blood pressure and did a blood sugar test. We spoke about my back and the pain then was sent back to the waiting room. I’d just got my bum back on a chair when they called me back in to triage saying they forgot a test.
When I got into the room they asked if it was ok to take my BP again. I just thought the nurse had forgotten to write something down. Then the nurse asked if I’m normally tachycardic, I said no, not really understanding other than it’s something to do with my heart. My heart is fine. She advised that my heart rate was really fast, BP and respiratory rate were high and that they wanted me to have an ECG. They got me onto a bed and took me straight through to cubicles because they saw how much pain I was in. I had 2 ECG’s which was a nightmare because my back and leg muscles were really tense from the pain. It took me ages to relax my legs enough for the machine to work. The ECG nurse was really patient and kept telling me to take my time there was no rush.
Eventually everything settled and the nurse said it was clearly caused by how much pain I was in. They advised that even though I’m in agony, until my entire lower leg & foot go completely numb or I become incontinent I’m not eligible for emergency surgery and they can only manage the pain. They’ve given me crutches to keep me balanced and help spread my weight a bit when walking. They’ve also given me Oramorph for prn use too. They advised the weird sensation is another result of the bulging disc pressing on my nerves.
My experience of a&e was really positive. People are quick to criticise but the nurses that dealt with me were extremely patient even though they were very busy. I know they could only help a little bit but that’s due to the processes of the Neurology Department.