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Tuesday, October 13, 2015

A friend of mines bad experience with state run hospital

My name is Martha Maria Tsiforos. I am a single mother of two children and I reside in Parkhill, Durban North. Being a single parent has not been an easy task, but, the day I found out that little Nikkita had Marfan's Syndrome, my life became a nightmare. She was a year and 3 months when I found out. The issue is not the syndrome, the issue is how uneducated the Durban doctors are to the syndrome. Little Nikki has been poked and probed and used as a guinea pig from a very young age.  She is known as a classic case as her heart, eyes and skeletal structure have been affected.  Unfortunately, her father has her on "Resolution Health" medical aid, which obviously does not cover her needs.
After a few years of doctors poking and probing little Nikki, I decided that it was affecting her psychologically and that I would only take her to the doctors when necessary.  I also did not have the finances and time to sit in queues at the government hospitals. Unfortunately, Nikki hit puberty last year and all her health issues deteriorated.
Due to my stress of the last few months, I have now gone and misplaced her appointment card, but I will try my best through other means to give you the dates of the appointments.
In October 2014, I took Nikki to Dr Bayat in Addington Hospital - He is a cardiologist and a very good one at that.
He referred Nikki to the Ophthalmologist in Addington - Dr Reddy, Nikki went for two appointments namely 02/12 and 12/12.  She was then referred for follow-up at Albert Luthuli Hospital in January 2015. She was then referred to the Optometrist in Feb 2015 and she also had an appointment with the Cardiologist at Albert Luthuli on 25/02.
On the 24th of March, Nikki had to go for her pre-op.  The ophthalmologist said that Nikki's lenses had dislocated and that they would remove the lens in the one eye. They would not put a synthetic lens in as they wanted to see if they could correct her vision with glasses or contact lenses. They were also afraid that she might react to the synthetic lens and the shape of her eye was not round but oval, and that also worried them that the lens might tear. They did say that if they could not correct her vision they would then have to re-operate and put in a synthetic lens. We were to do one eye and that would give us an idea on what has to be done with the other eye.
Nikki was admitted on the 21st of April to be operated on the 22nd of April.  An hour before her scheduled op, the operation was cancelled. We were asked to go down to the eye clinic and see Dr Venter (the professor and head of ophthalmology). Dr Venter told us that the operating doctor had to cancel because he did not know how to do the operation from behind the eye, and in Nikki's case they had to remove the lens from the back.  Then Dr Venter checked Nikki's eyes and blatantly said "I don't see why you want to do the op.  The child is not blind yet". That comment was enough to spin me. I told her that Nikki is in school and is struggling to see the board and to do her work. I told her that if we wait for the child to go blind that she would miss out on school. Dr Chetty, who was also present, understood my case and said that he would do the op for Nikki but only in April. Funny enough, another ladies op was cancelled on that day because they ran out of lenses. The lady was screaming and performing saying that that was the third time that her op was cancelled and that she would not come back.

We had an appointment at the clinic in April, but no pre-op was done. We were told that she needs to be admitted in the afternoon of the 21st of April and the op would take place on the 22nd. I asked them to please put Nikki as the first op as her heart takes the strain if she does not eat for long periods. I also asked them to please tell the nurses in the ward that Nikki is a "special" case, and if necessary I would like to spend the night with her.
Nikki was admitted and the anesthetist, a very sweet lady, came to check on Nikki and to ask a few questions. I did ask her to please give Nikki gas before the anesthetic because she is terrified of needles.
The big day came, but they only wheeled Nikki into theatre after 12 pm. The anesthetist was present and they allowed me to be with Nikki until the gas was administered before the anesthetic. I then went to wait in the waiting area of the theatre. Forty minutes later, the theatre nurse came to see me and called me aside to tell me that when they administered the anesthetic Nikki's heart started racing and she went into cardiac arrest.  She said that Nikki is fine now, but the cardiologists from the next door theatre had to come and help and they had to shock her to bring her back. Every mother's nightmare!!! They said it was a simple procedure and that the anesthetists know what they are doing.
Anyway, I went back to the ward with my daughter after they stabilized her in the recovery room. They tried to get her a bed in ICU, but there were no beds available.
I went home quickly because I had to feed animals etc. and was planning to stay next to my child’s bedside during the night. I got back to the hospital during visiting hours.  To my dismay, the night staff would not allow me to stay, I was torn. I nearly lost my child that day and these people showed no empathy.  They said to me that she was not a minor. When I was leaving, it sounded like the staff were in a fish market. They were laughing and shouting and I remember thinking to myself that should anyone call out for them they won't hear anything.
I came home in tears and phoned my daughter on her cell phone. She was wheezing and could hardly breathe. I immediately phoned the ward and spoke to the nurse that answered and I told her that they need to phone the cardiologist because they cannot just give Nikki any medication because of her heart. The nurse said that the cardiologist was not at work. I lost it!!!! I started screaming at her and told her to get hold of a doctor on call and find out what they can administer to Nikki cos she just had a cardiac arrest. She blatantly and ever so calmly told me not to tell her what to do.  I got even MORE upset!!  I then told her that if something is not done soon I will get in my car and come and take my child out of there.  I then put the phone down and phone the switchboard and asked to speak to the manager of the matron in charge.  She was in a meeting and I told them it was urgent and that I was worried for my child's life.  I then spoke to a lady and explained what happened and she said she would phone me back.  I waited a bit and phoned Nikki again and she was in tears. When I asked her what happened she said that the nurse told her that I am very rude. And then she said to me "Mommy, why did you have to make so much noise?"  I told her to let me be a mother and she must just get better. She confirmed that they had nebulized her and that she felt a bit better.  The matron/manager phoned me back to confirm that they had nebulized her and that they would keep an eye on her.
I phoned early in the morning to find out from the nursing staff if Nikki was okay and to inform them that I would go in early to be with her.  I was told that if I come early they would not allow me to sit with her.  I then told them that she was to be discharged and they said that they will phone me to come once she is discharged.  I phoned Nikki and told her that if she needed anything she must phone me.  I went early to the hospital and waited in the car park.  Nikki phoned me and told me that she had been discharged. 
I went to the eye clinic to see the manager there as I wanted to set up an appointment with the matron for that ward as I was not very happy with everything that had happened.  As I was speaking to the manager, Dr Chetty (the operating doctor) came out his office and saw me and came up to me and profusely apologized for what had happened. I felt very sad for him cos he looked as if he himself would start crying.  When I started explaining to them both my dilemma since the incident, I started crying and he took it in his own hands to arrange a meeting for me with Matron Green.
I went up to the ward and Nikki was waiting for her meds. (The poor child now has to take four different tablets for her heart and she has deteriorated since she first went there.  She gets dizzy spells, loss of breath and is very sleepy).
Matron Green eventually came and she had already heard about what happened the night before. So when I walked in her office she already had her back up.  But after hearing the full story and the fact that Nikki had suffered a heart attack and that she was supposed to be in ICU, she called in the nurses in question and she told them that they had no empathy and that a child under 16 yrs. of age is considered a minor. She apologized to me and explained to me that they didn't have a ward manager and that they were in the process of getting one.
The days, weeks and months after this incident had become a morbid state at home for my little Nikki and me.  We were both depressed and didn't know what tomorrow would bring. We started losing hope. I tried sending emails to East Coasts reach for a dream, but no response.  I tried emailing a private ophthalmologist whom had seen Nikki in the past but the medical aid will not cover and he could not help.  I sent an email to the Marfan Organization in Pretoria, still no response. I felt that all I wanted to do is help my child and I had just made matters worse. She didn't react well to the meds, we had to go to Dr Bayat at Addington to give her alternative medication, which obviously Addington didn't have in stock. I now have to spend R400 a month on medication because the medical aid has dried up because of all these appointments to Albert Luthuli. My lively, happy little Nikki became a couch potato whom just sat on her phone most of the time. I had to ask the school to excuse her from sport and any strenuous activity and I also noticed that since the incident her eyes have deteriorated even further.
On the 24th of June we went to see the cardiologist at Albert Luthuli for an appointment with Dr Govender and Dr Gounden.  She was quite happy with Nikki but prescribed more medication.  I asked her if she could please be present at Nikki's next op as I was afraid that something would go wrong. And she said it would be no problem.
On the 6th of August we went back to the eye clinic at Albert Luthuli for an appointment.  Dr Chetty noticed that Nikki's eyes deteriorated and he said that we would book her for another op but that Dr Venter (the Head and professor) would perform the op.
We went in for another eye clinic appointment on the 29th of September, which I thought would be the pre op. They put eye drops to dilate Nikki's eyes and no tests were done whatsoever.  We saw Dr Goosen (or Hoosen) and he confirmed that the op was booked for the 8th of October but that we would have to admit Nikki at 8am on the 7th so that the cardiologist and anesthetist could come and do their tests.  He phoned Dr Govender in my presence and she was happy with being in the operating theatre at the time of the op. Apparently, Dr Venter had no idea that Dr Chetty put her down to do the op and she didn't want to do it.  So Dr Goosen put Dr Chetty as the doctor to operate.
On the 30th of September I phoned Dr Govender to find out if I have to stop Nikki's heart medication 24hrs before the op and she said “no".
Poor Nikki didn't want to pack for the hospital. She was scared to go for the op after the last incident.  I spoke to her and tried to reassure her that we have to trust the doctors and hope and pray that all will be well.  Her response was: "but Mommy, you don't understand.... if something happens while I'm under anesthetic, I won't feel anything. What worries me is what will happen to you if something happens to me."  I told her not to worry about me and that everything will be fine - little did I know!!
So...... at 7:30am on Wednesday the 7th of October we were in the ward waiting to be seen to.  Dr Goosen was there and we chatted a bit.  I then went to the front desk to ask to see Matron Green and the nurse told me that they now have a manager - Sister Z****. I asked to see her. When she came, Dr Goosen was there with me and I told her that Nikki needs the pre-op tests done and that Dr Govender and the anesthetist need to see her as she is a heart patient who has Marfan’s Syndrome.  She told me that she knows everything about Marfan’s and that she knows what she is doing.
While waiting another little Indian boy's op was cancelled at about 12 pm - excuse was that there was not enough time.  The parents were not happy at all. They were all the way from Stanger.
Nikki was sleeping on my lap waiting for a bed. They only got her a bed at 4 pm that afternoon.
No tests were done, no anesthetist visit and no cardiologist visit. I was told that Nikki was the first op at 8 am the next morning.  I only left the hospital at 8 pm after visiting hours and went home.
The next morning, while I was driving to the hospital just after 7 am, Nikki left me messages on my phone that they were taking her to theatre already.
I rushed to the ward and the nurses were having a meeting and I asked if someone can please take me to the theatre to be with my child.  They all looked at me as if I was speaking Swahili!  I repeated myself three times before the male nurse tried to give me directions to the theatre.  I eventually found the place and Nikki were in the waiting area. I put on my swabs and went to stand by her.  I noticed that Nikki's theatre tag said "Dr Venter" - I thought that was weird cos Dr Venter didn't want to perform the op.   The theatre nurse ( the same one that was present the last time that gave me the bad news) came to tell me that they could not do the op as all the necessary tests had not been done. I freaked out!  I told her that it was unacceptable and that they would have to make a plan and that they could not cancel due to the staff's incompetence. I told her that they must bring in the next patient and then get Nikki's tests done in the interim and then bring her back to the theatre later or alternatively do the tests today and operate tomorrow.  She said "no" and that they would have to re-schedule the op.  I told her that every time they are re-scheduling I lose time off work and I'm a single parent and if I lose my job then who will take care of Nikki and that Nikki is also missing on school and that they have now sucked dry the medical aid and I have to pay cash for other appointments and medications.  She said she would get me the manager.  Another two ladies came and took me to the back office. I was fuming by then.  They heard my complaints and said that they would get the head of the anesthetists in theatre who is also a professor (I cannot recall anyone’s names cos I was so upset and angry - He was a white man).  He told me that they could reschedule for December and I told him that it was not good enough because the op would not necessarily improve Nikki's vision in the one eye and that I don't see why this op keeps on getting delayed because of the incompetence of the nursing staff in the hospital. Yes, I was shouting and he told me to keep my voice down and I told him that I wouldn't because I was so angry and upset and that all this is causing a lot of psychological and mental stress on Nikki and me.  He promised that the next time this wouldn't happen and I told him that everyone in a higher position makes promises, but the staff under them do not carry through.  I eventually started crying (I don't know why, I don't cry easily, but I guess that I have kept quiet since the heart attack and now every emotion possible came out).  I told to do what he wants to do and that I would take this further.  I started wheeling Nikki's bed to the exit door, two staff helped me to take her to her ward.  I asked the sister there for sister Z**** (the manager) and she asked me what happened and I bellowed at her that because of sister Z****'s incompetency the op was cancelled.  I helped Nikki to get dressed and I told her to post me the discharge papers. I bolted out of there as fast as I could cos I could feel that I was now getting totally out of control.  If I had not left at the time that I did and if someone had tried to stop me I would have done something that I would have regretted.

Sorry that this is so long Trevor, I feel that I have written a book.  But my experiences in the past few months at this hospital have been so bad that they have embedded themselves in my brain as if it was yesterday.
I really hope and pray that something can be published about this because I know for a fact that I am not the only unhappy person from that ward. I am now starting to doubt the "state" medical care in this country.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Another Fantastic Weekend

Hello everyone. Yes, it is another fantastic weekend here and I hope that it is the same for all of you wherever you may be in this wonderful world of ours.

As you may or may not know, a friend of mine and myself have started our own little biltong business (Jerky business for all those non-South Africans lol). Currently, we are only supplying locally as there are a lot of regulations when it come to exporting meat products and some contries do not allow importing of meat products.

But with that said, if you do live in South Africa and love to eat biltong I do invite you to visit our Website or join us on Facebook and should you buy and try our product to please give us your feedback.

I wish you all an amazing weekend and an awesome week ahead next week.

God Bless.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

My Trading Experience

So I started to trade online with Currencies and also some Stocks and Commodities. Yes I did try a few different software programs and of the few I tried I have to say that the best one I have come across is Insured Profits. Up to now I have made money. I don't make thousands because I am not a huge investor but I make money which is more than I can say for the other options I tried.

If you would like to take a look at it click here and if you do decide to give it a try the broker I use is Interactive Option

Hope you all have a great weekend.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Trip to Cape Town

First domestic flight I have taken in South Africa in over 20 year and how things have changed. Flew on #Mango airlines and the flight was pretty standard and went very smoothly. Flight crew were very curteous and pleasant. Only downfall to flying that I can tell of is the fact that there is no longer a complimentary juice or snack, it all costs nowadays. So if you are planning to take a domestic flight make sure you have something to eat or drink before you board. 

Looking forward to spending a few days in Cape Town and then hopefully have a job interview on Monday or Tuesday. Hope you all have a great Wednesday and enjoy the rest of the week.

God Bless.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Saturday Quickie

Just wanted to drop in and wish you all a fantastic weekend. It is one of those busy Saturdays for myself and before you know it Monday will be here. So make the most of it and share some love with others.

Take some time out to appreciate the weather if it is good and if not then find something inside that you can do to enjoy the company of your loved ones.

God Bless

Friday, August 21, 2015

Food for thought

Today has been a very interesting day to say the least. I was out and about town today and for some reason today I have been really paying attention to my surroundings and noticed the amount of people there are that really do struggle to make ends meet. I realize that my struggles with not having a job and trying to find employment is minimal in comparison to those I saw out there and that just doing something small like giving a few cents or a piece of bread can mean so much to them. Just the love shared in that moment offers them a glimmer of humanity and that they are not alone in this world.

I ask you to take a moment and think just how you would feel if you lost everything and your immediate need to survive was to rely on the generosity of some stranger. I think if we gave it some thought then we would realize that just offering a small token of help and not looking down on others could really make a difference in our lives and the lives of others.

May you all have a blessed weekend and remember to do something nice for someone else.

God Bless

Thursday, August 20, 2015

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Saturday, August 1, 2015

The weekend again

Yes it is the weekend again and I must say that today is really one of those awesome days that one has from time to time. That sun is out in full force and for a winter day the temperature is just right. I took a walk around our neighborhood earlier today and it was nice to see all the birds and critters out and about busy scouring around for some food. It was a great reflection on just how awesome God is and how he always provides for all his creation. I love being out and about and appreciating things in nature, it gives me a great sense of gratitude. The greatest thing to me is the tranquil feeling of being connected to everything around me. Walking on the grass barefoot and feeling that earthly connection to me is one of the most relaxing things to do and having the sun out shining on it all is a huge bonus.

I would like to invite anyone that is feeling stressed to take some time out and find a nice patch of grass and just take a slow walk barefooted around on it and just clear your mind and thank God for all the good in your life. If that does not help then call me a liar :)

I just hope that you all have a fantastic weekend and that th coming week will be filled with love and joy for you all.

God Bless.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Tough to be back

I returned back home to South Africa in May 2015. To start with I have had a tough time getting my drivers license sorted out due to the incompetence of the officials at the Johannesburg International airport. For some mysterious reason there is no record of me coming back home and so they cannot convert my license from my ID book to the new card system until they have proof of my return. After much negotiating they have accepted a copy of my flight ticket and a copy of my emergency travel documents as proof, so now we just wait for the officials in Cape Town to approve this.

They other major snag I have run into is finding employment. To date I have sent out over 200 applications and have only had 3 responses which I am still waiting to hear about. I think this has been the roughest part of my adult life having to depend on others for my survival. With no money or income things are really tough and an eye opener to how things have really become in this country.

I just pray and hope for the best and that things will change soon. I will continue to blog as I get the chance to find Internet access which I must add is another huge disappointment for me. 

God Bless and I wish you all a fantastic weekend ahead.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Bus travel in South Africa

I have travelled now twice to the cape now. The first trip was on the Translux bus service and although the driving was smooth the seating was rather cramped and not that comfortable. 

My second trip down however was really a dream. I travelled with Intercape sleepliner. The seating was really comfortable and not cramped at all. The seats recline far back and there is a leg support that extends from the seat in front of you. They had great in trip entertainment on over 5 monitors on the upper deck where I travelled and the audio was great.

So my recommendation to anyone traveling from Pretoria or Johannesburg to Cape Town is to take a bus ride on Intercape bus service unless of course you are going to fly down.

The difference in price for myself was only R40.00 more to travel on Intercape and it was definitely worth the few extra bucks for the trip.

I wish you all a fantastic evening weekend ahead and God Bless.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Day Trip in the cape

Had a fantastic day trip to Hermanus and then did a small road trip along the coast through Betty's bay and On to Gordon's Bay for lunch. I do believe that this is the place to live. 

This picture is taken in Hermanus.

Loving it in the Cape and definitely working to relocate here 😍

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Daily Rant 05-24

First time in a while now that I took a road trip in a vehicle without cruise control. I cannot believe that modern cars do not come standard with cruise control. So for sure I will not be purchasing a vehicle that does not come with cruise control. The other thing I cannot do is drive for more than 30 minutes without any decent music, whether it be my gospel music or my house music. So the trip home next Monday will have decent music or I will not be driving but laying back and

Well folks, that is not much of a rant but I thought I needed to get that off my chest. I am also going to probably have a weekly rant instead of a daily because it is not everyday that I get a chance to be out and about to experience things that irritate me :)

Have a fantastic week ahead. 
God Bless.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Daily Rant 05-16

Well considering that it is 7:40am, this may be a little pre-mature. But when you wake up at this time of the morning and the house you are in is at 37deg F (3deg C), you sit and wonder WTF am I doing here. I mean really people, things may be on the tough side economically, but you have to at least keep the place you live in at some sort of bearable and comfortable level. I do not want to be bundled up like a freaking Eskimo when I am inside a house in South Africa.

You would think however that the powers that be, would have the common sense to upgrade one of the basic nescessities of a country.......The damn power supply and grid. Oh never mind, I forgot where I was for a minute there and that there are no people in government here that have any sense.

Done for now :)
God Bless and stay as warm as you can.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Daily Rant 05-15

You have to love living in a country where nothing is free. Even open wifi connections that state "Guest" does not allow access to the Internet. I do not understand why things like this are so difficult to offer the public. 3rd world is a bit of an understatement for the great rainbow nation of South Africa. I knew coming back here from the USA was going to be challenging, but rediculous, I was not prepared for.

I guess after living in a 1st world country for so long, there are just things in life that you take for granted and don't realize just how good you have it till you get dropped off in the dark ages again. For me, the freedom to have affordable internet access with great bandwidth and unlimited data or even free wifi at hot spots all over the place is the biggest loss. We had adsl installed at the house and they supplied us a modem that has the capability of offering us 300MBps and yet they only allow us either a 2MBps or 4MBps package......REALLY?

Well that is my rant for the
God Bless you all.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Can things change?

Tuesday morning is upon us here in South Africa. Today will be one week that I am now officially back on home turf. I have to just say that I am a little disappointed to see that in 17 years there has been zero progress and a 100% negative growth in this beautiful country. I find it so sad that after all these years they still blame everything that is going wrong on apartheid.

But then again is there any government in the world that is without corruption of some sort or other. The sad thing is when it is so obvious and people are just so blind to see it or do something about it. Here in this country the people being hurt most with all the bad management., are the black South Africans. I have no idea what cool aid they are being given but someone really needs to step up to the plate and create some serious positive change if things are ever to change and this country become a prosperous one that we all know it has the potential to be. 

The question we need to ask is, how does one motivate people that do not seem to have the will to better themselves or the country. I have to add that this is a majority of the people that I have encountered. Too many people would rather just sit and expect a handout for everything than actually take account of a situation and make a change.

What this country needs is a political party that can make common sense decisions and not be random and idiotic  as the ANC. I mean if we just look at the past decade and realize that they have had no strategy at all and just make random, non logical decisions then I for one would have never voted for them again. Please do not get me wrong, making a call to give every citizen of South Africa electricity in their houses is a great thing. You just don't rush into doing it without upgrading the power grid and power stations first. 

I believe that now would be the time to start doing some aggressive research and to start an information campaign throughout the country on what exactly each political party has to offer, then look back at all the promises made by the ANC and just how many they have actually come through on. 

Thank you for checking out my blog posts and I invite you to follow me on Facebook or on Twitter

God Bless

Thursday, May 7, 2015

A refocus on my life journey.

      After being off the radar for several months I am back again. I am now back in South Africa after residing in the USA for the past 17 years. Unfortunately this has not been a choice I would have opted for, but it has been a hand I have been dealt due to some very poor life choices that I made.

      One thing I have learnt through this life's journey so far, is that when we lose focus on the thing that brings and gives us life ( now this is a choice we are all given and have free will to choose what we believe it is. For me it is God and the Lord Jesus Christ ) then it takes a hard knock in life to refocus and take a few minutes to sit back and look at the entire picture again. I feel that the biggest downfall in life, is when we become self centered and not aware of the people around us who care. I for one have been a culprit and fallen and scraped my knees on that obstacle. Now I could quite easily just sit down and look at all the bad things that have happened and lay blame on others for the choices that I made to cause me to stumble, or I can learn from those choices and see all the possibilities that have come about. A saying I heard many years ago and that has stuck with me is this.... "Two men look through the same bars, one sees mud while the other sees stars."

      One thing that I am grateful for, is that I have met some very nice people along the way and no matter where my life journey may take me I will always have the opportunity to stay in touch with those that have had and still have a positive bearing on my life. And I will always have my Creator and God to guide me along the path.

I do invite anyone who would like to keep in touch, to follow me on Facebook or on Twitter

God bless