Should there be a second wave and really hoping there's not, please could all hospitals when taking the temperature of a person, please use a face scanner or forehead thermometer? My husband was in Pembury hospital for a week after an operation and as if that was not stressful enough, I had to endure the drama of trying to get into the hospital itself! I've spoken about this briefly in a previous blog. I wear hearing aids in both ears, and on a hot day my ears can get very hot. Using an ear thermometer just doesn't work for those who have sweaty moulds in their ears!
My husband had the operation on Monday and so I was able to go along to the hospital to see him on the Tuesday. I walked in and failed the first ear thermometer test, I was told to sit down and try to cool myself down. It took 4 attempts of wildly trying to flap some card next to my ear and eventually my body temperature got itself down to normal. I was seriously on the verge of tears.
On the second day of visiting, it took me 3 attempts to get through. I had tried shoving an ice cube down my ear in the car but had left it too late by the time I got to the hospital and so I had to frantically wave my hand over my ears for 5 minutes every time. Eventually, my body temperature sorted itself out.
On the third day of visiting, I decided to wrap up an ice cube round some kitchen towel and shoved it down my ear until I was almost at the entrance and I sailed through. It's so frustrating because I knew I didn't have a temperature but it was the hottest week and I need to wear my hearing aids all the time!!
On the fourth day of visiting, I tried a different strategy and had a mini fan and as I approached the entrance I realised the fan had got tangled up with some of my hair so I spent the best part of 5 minutes frantically trying to rip my hair out of the fan without anyone noticing, it then took me three attempts to get through as I had got myself into a bit of a state! Honestly, you couldnt make it up! My husband likes to say that he has the hottest wife! 🤣
On the fifth day, it 'only' took me 2 times to try and pick my husband up to take him home, by this time I never wanted to see the inside of another hospital ever again.
We went to hospital once the following week after much persuasion from my husband and I got straight through using the ice cube trick. I then had to sit with my husband and try to 'hear' a nurse talking through her mask for 20 minutes.
My levels of stress (and don't forget not being able to get into Maidstone hospital for my audiology appointment because my temperature was too high and I had to wait 2 weeks before I could get my hearing aid fixed!) have been very high during lockdown and it was unfortunate that Covid happened when my husband was in hospital. I've never visited the hospital so much in my life and I've never felt so discriminated against. I've had such levels of anxiety and frustration and I'm really hoping I can put it all behind me. Saying that, the NHS have been absolutely wonderful to my husband and their service has been incredible.
So, please, please, use forehead thermometers if you need to do this again, (I know other hospitals use them) it will save a lot of anxiety and please throw in some clear masks too!!