2 hospitals in one day

On the second full day at the Bay of Fires, I woke up early as is my habit, feeling fine. Well ... maybe ... I have just a ‘stitch’ in my side. Truly it was nothing. I had breakfast and did some reading whilst Rob enjoyed a sleep in. Within a couple of hours though things changed dramatically.

I had severe abdominal pain and continual vomiting though I did not have diarrhoea thankfully. I thought I must have food poisoning, what else could it be? Poor Rob is feeling helpless and I felt like a big sook. The pain was not going away, actually it was increasing if possible. Finally I tell Rob I need a doctor, so he drives me back to St Helens.

Rob sighted a hospital and took me in the emergency entrance. They had to fetch a wheelchair as I was in so much pain, I could hardly walk. We arrived about 11am. Though St Helen is fortunate enough to have a hospital, sadly the fact is that the government doesn’t allocate them a full time doctor and they have to wait for a doctor to come to get permission to give me pain relief. This took about 90 minutes. Gosh I have never moaned and groaned on the way that I did. I kept on apologizing but I couldn’t find a comfortable position and I couldn’t stop moaning. The staff were absolutely marvellous and even the receptionist ‘adopted’ me and spent a lot of time talking and reassuring Rob and I. Finally with a couple of shots, the pain became a dull ache and I am scheduled to go to Launceston for tests. They suspect kidney stones.

At 5pm, the air ambulance comes to pick me up and another lady who had chest pain. I was much too concerned to be excited about being in an Air Ambulance and seeing our son’s work from the inside. The flight is relatively short – maybe 20 minutes. On an aside, Tasmania has only one Air Ambulance to service the whole state. They are kept extremely busy 24/7

I am sitting up by now and as such I wasn’t allocated a bed until 10.30 that night in Launceston, and then finally they sent me in for tests. I had been asking unsuccessfully for more pain relief since 7.30pm. I also hadn’t had anything to eat or drink in case I have to have surgery, which is fair enough and I wasn’t really hungry though I was getting mighty thirsty. At 11pm, the nice intern who has been looking after me intermittently gets a surgeon to check out the results. The surgeon wanted to discharge me immediately! He was so rude and made me feel that I had been wasting everyone’s time and resources. I had to tell him, I have no phone, no money, no friends in Launceston and that even my husband was stuck back at the Bay of Fires and I couldn’t even contact him! If they did discharge me then I was going to spend the whole night in their emergency waiting room as I had literally nowhere to go.

I get to have a narrow hard bed with no pillows in the emergency department for the night – there wasn’t enough pillows to go around, so I had a folded blanket as my pillow! It is such a noisy place. It is one time I am very grateful that I am deaf and that I can take my hearing aid out to have a sleep in peace and quiet! The nursing staff were fantastic as was the registrar whom I met the next morning. She couldn’t believe that the surgeon would have kicked me out last night and that there was no way I was wasting the hospital’s time and resources. My scans showed I had two large stones 16mm and 5mm. I am to be discharged and advised to come back in 4 weeks to have the stones blasted. When we explain that we are travelling, she wrote it up that I could have them done in Hobart too!

Rob finally got back to Launceston with the motorhome and car towed on the back. He gets the car off and comes to pick me up from the hospital only to be told that I had been discharged hours ago and that I had left. He knew there was no way I could go anywhere as I had no money, no phone, no anything, so he had to fun and games of looking for me himself! He finally found me. 25 hours after I was admitted to St Helens hospital, I finally get to leave Launceston Hospital! Other than that one surgeon the staff at both hospitals were fantastic. Thank you to the staff at both hospitals and the Air Ambulance.

We bought some lunch and crashed out back in the motorhome. I am not in a hurry to go back to any hospital, even though I am grateful for discovering the cause and relieving my pain.


  1. Unfortunately there are knuckleheads in all occupations but it sounded like that surgeon was short on sleep. Never had them but have been told those stones make you think you are dying. Hope you last out until they can blast them for you.
    Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It's about time.

    1. Thank you. I have had a second 'attack' and was hospitalized again in a different hospital. I am on a short list for the blasting. In the meantime I am in no pain and enjoying what travelling we can do while we can!


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