Black Tuesday

Tuesday after Easter Monday we rushed into A&E – I got real scared because I couldn’t insert the catheter into S. urethra. It was blocked.

We spend some time in waiting room and then got to talk to reg, then there was an ultrasound and in the end ..I wont go into details – but we had a very traumatic situation that involved a paediatric surgeon who clearly forgot he deals with kids.

Its scary how unprofessional his conduct was. His action has had a huge impact on our daily routine and all life in fact.

Massive set back – as now S. is fighting nearly each time we have to do the catherization, trying calm her down and keep saying shes safe, we are gentle and no one will hurt her….and in all this trying to stay calm instead of running away to hide in the dark corner and cry ( yes, I do feel like that). We also missed first outpatient appointment straight after- as S. refused to get dressed when she heard we are coming back to hospital…

This note isn’t for “name and shame” reason. I wont even say the name of the doctor who did it. But if he happened to read this i just want him to know that forcing 4 year old girl to proceed a catherization, and saying “if you wont relax it will hurt more” isn’t a best approach …Gently said.

It was awful experience.

Its traumatic to my child and to me.

It took me days to calm down enough to speak out and even more time to put it in writing- to make an official complain ( Thank you Emma for help).

And it will take while – if ever- for S. to get over this trauma.

Right now we have a lot of appointments in hospital- seeing urologist and neprhologist and each time she sees a doc who looks like the one who caused all this unnecessary stress – she freeze and look scared. Still fight catherization. And when we try talk about it- she refuse. One day – shortly after- I had to drop a sample to laboratory and I told S. I went there and spoke to Doc- her immediate reaction was : “to the one that harm me??” my heart broke…

I couldn’t decide if i should talk about it on the blog or not.

It was very traumatising and still hurts to think about it – for me as mum. But can only imagine what my little girl felt like…. on one side it’s the age when we should teach her that some private stuff and parts are private and there she is coming across a professional staff of hospital who act like that…how can I explain her to why?? why someone who should be trusted – act like this?? I’m angry at myself I let this happen. We are in and out of hospital for last 4,5 years. Friend of mine told me its because in the past we were treated with respect and naturally we expect the same now – you should be able to trust the doctor in the emergency department , that he is there to HELP not to HARM – even if it wasn’t intentional.

I told this doc to step away from my child- but still feel like I could have stopped this ridiculous situation before it went that far and S. intimacy was violated and she got so frightened.

I will never forget how shaken up she was straight after and how she cling onto my arms and cry for a while. I will remember that and i promise S. and myself it will never happen again.

I explained to S. this wasn’t right and it shouldn’t happen and I will do anything I can – it won’t happen again. I asked her if she knows that not all doctors are like that- she said yes-Professor Mortell is nice.

That’s all I could say and do. I wont turn back time even though I wish I could.

Anyway- the reason I decide to share this experience is – I would like to tell all parents who read this blog:

If anything concerns you- the way hospital members behave- do not Wait. STOP THEM.

You have a right to be explained whats happening and what the doc is about to do- not just walk in and force your child….

I missed that on that black Tuesday.


Added in May 2017

This is a part of our complaint letter:

“The events of the 18th of April have had a significant impact on S. Due to her condition and incontinence, catheterization and medical examination of her ‘private areas’ are an inevitable part of S’s daily routine. Ever since S’s experience with Mr. X, she is afraid to be catheterized and refuses to let us near that area. The most disturbing consequence of it is that having to catheterize Sophie so often, 5 times a day, now each time we do, S. immediately gets upset and resist. Now we have to spend a lot of time calming her down and reassuring her. Making the procedure a lot more emotional and stressful for S. and for us than it ever has been before. ”

“To me, Mr. X showed a complete lack of discretion. He used an unacceptable bedside manner that was neither sensitive to the intimate nature of the procedure nor mindful of how a child should be addressed and treated in any medical scenario, but especially, for the catheterization of a young female.

As S.’s mother, it took me a while to emotionally process the event and as I did I felt angry and upset. Cloaca is a sensitive condition, involving the intimate parts of my daughter’s body and it is therefore crucial that it is dealt with in a sensitive and appropriate manner.

We are in the process of preparing S. for primary school and her greatest concern is whether anyone other than myself or my husband will catheterise her while she is there. These should not be the worries of a 4 year old and I feel this fear and negativity could have been easily avoided had Mr. X applied the correct level of professional and sensitive behaviour.

My husband and I now have to work with S. to try to undo the fears and concerns arising from her experience. Something that we find very challenging.

It is important to us that this feedback reaches Mr. X and that he is aware of the repercussions of treating S. in this manner.  I do not doubt his ability in his medical role but I consider the depersonalisation of his patient, my daughter S., to be wholly unacceptable.”

Today we got reply “(…) your email was forwarded to Mr X , he reviewed your email and was most upset that he was named as the treating doctor…….”

HE got upset? REALLY??

I decided to make an official complaint mainly so I can tell my daughter “I did something about it”.

I didn’t expect for Mr X to get in trouble – I just hoped that maybe he will think again before he approaches a small girl again…After this reply im not so sure.

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