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Helpfulness of 111

Discussion in 'Diabetes Discussions' started by enamor, May 18, 2015.

  1. enamor

    enamor Type 1 · Active Member

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    Hi,

    Having seen a few comments regarding interactions with the NHS 111 helpline I thought I'd share my story.

    Never having experienced hypo's that I didn't feel coming and couldn't manage easily what happened last week threw me. I was getting ready for a run and suddenly felt quite sick. Within a few minutes I was vomiting (I'm guessing it was something I'd eaten by the speed with which it started with no poorly feelings). I live alone with my two kids aged 4 and 16 who were with me, but after the sickness passed I felt fine. I tested my blood and it was 7.4 so felt all was well.

    I hopped in the bath and after a few minutes felt very strange, didn't recognise it as a hypo, called my daughter for my machine, tested my levels and was on 2.2, took glucose tablets and attempted to get out of the bath. My daughter was talking to me at the time but it was like I was in a bubble and stared blankly at her not even registering that she was talking to me.

    She straight away called 111, I managed to get out of the bath, felt slightly more coherent so made my way to the kitchen for some bread and jam. The lady on the phone was asking my daughter lots of questions and then asked to speak to me. She asked me a long list of questions including if I had any bleeding/swelling etc. I understand the relevance of prioritising patience with this list of questions but still felt it was wasting time when it really was quite clear this was a diabetic related incident. I explained to her that I felt better and able to manage myself but could she give me any advise on the sick day rules I'd heard about in case I got poorly again during the night. She told me to go to my kitchen and eat a spoonful of sugar or a tablespoon of jam. I explained again that I'd sorted my hypo out, didn't need the sugar or jam but would like advice for the rest of the night, she then told me to eat 20grams (I think) of carbs and retest in 10 minutes. I mentioned again that I had managed myself and eventually she told me that a doctor would call me.

    When the doctor called me I went through what had happened and asked about sick day rules and if there was any advice. He knew what insulin I was on and I told him I was on the pump. He told me to not take my night time injection. I told him I don't take injections I'm on the insulin pump so couldn't do that. He then told me oh ok then only take half and possibly the other half in the morning, it was literally like I hadn't spoken. I told him again, and I was getting a little frustrated by this point, that I'm on the insulin pump and don't take injections, then he really did repeat the same advice. If I feel poorly take a spoonful of jam and then some carbs if I can and don't take my nighttime injection. I just agreed and thank him for his help all the while feeling like I'd stepped into some weird parallel universe.

    It worries me what could have happened, I told my daughter that if at any point in the future something like this happens again and she feels I'm not responding just call an ambulance.
     
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  2. mrspuddleduck

    mrspuddleduck · Guest

    In my head, 111 is like a big call centre that is manned by students who need to work to support there studies sitting at a computer with a 'menu' list of things to ask. The doctors are the same as the ones that cover the 'out of hours service' from your GP, or Locums who are generalised practitioners rather than specialise in anything. Of course this is only my fantasy of what the 111 service is like, I am probably totally wrong and the first to admit I dont actually know, but until I know, if Im in real trouble Ill phone an ambulance....... Sue xxxx
     
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  3. CarbsRok

    CarbsRok Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I have a rare autoimmune disease (Addison's) and started to vomit one night and couldn't stop. Outcome I became very dehydrated as could not keep any fluid down . This is very dangerous with my condition so rang 111 the response ! drink some soup. I had already told the plonker I couldn't even tolerate warm water
     
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  4. Heathenlass

    Heathenlass Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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  5. enamor

    enamor Type 1 · Active Member

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  6. himtoo

    himtoo Type 1 · Well-Known Member
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    WOW -- predictable from 111 though.
    best bet in the future is to get a mobile number for your pump DSN .
    she might not answer straight away but at least you will get sense when she returns the call.
     
  7. donnellysdogs

    donnellysdogs Type 1 · Master

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    Sounds like me last year having the receptionist phone me to tell me to not take my evening insulin!!

    I'm on a pump too!! The GP had never even looked at my notes!!

    A complaint went in as it was longer than this....as the GP didn't have a clue!!

    I hope you have found out the sick day rules. However, I also experienced awful sickness directly after eating a chinese... With a huge bolus and couldn't keep anything down at all. I told my hubby to phone ambulance as I knew there was nothing to stop me getting a full blown nasty hypo. I was right. It doesn't count as assistance on my DVLA form either for driving as I was conscious and knew I had to get help due to unforseen, impossible circumstances.

    Best off just getting 999 call made. I wasn't taken to hospital. They don't have to take you to hospital..

    The other thing to do is to tell your children if you are not with it then for the older child then your tube to the pump..(providing it has a tube) could be cut as a precaution. Saying that, none of my hubby, the 1st responders or the ambulance chaps in the last scenario thought to do that!!

    If I'm sick and can't keep food down after a bolus again (i did try glucogel from fridge but was unable to stop my self sinking) then I have no qualms at all in calling 999 ir telling someone else to do it. My bolus incidentally for that food had been about 18 units... I'm normally bolusing about 3 units so I knew I didn't stand a hope in hell!!
     
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  8. Daibell

    Daibell LADA · Master

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    I would never call 111. An organisation staffed by non-medical students following a poltically correct script is unlikely to be of any use other than by exception. Most people would be better off Googling the web.
     
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  9. BooJewels

    BooJewels Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    It's a shame that the service appears to now not be staffed by medical personnel - but call centre workers working through a computer program. It's truly a retrograde step.

    The old NHS Direct was manned by medics and in 2005 they helped saved my husband's life. He'd got up in the morning feeling rough and very rarely for him, was sick. So he phoned in to work and the colleague that answered said he'd been up all night with all 3 of his kids vomiting, so he joked about how it was his fault and settled down under the duvet in front of daytime TV. By 9pm he was shivering so violently that it was evident it was more than a tummy bug, so I rang NHS Direct and they talked me through a series of tests to run with him, decided that it sounded like appendicitis and they called an ambulance - she was totally fabulous, as were the paramedics that came. By 11pm he was in emergency surgery for a burst gangrenous appendix and by 2am he was on a life support machine and very poorly indeed. He had blood poisoning and total organ failure.

    He turned a corner about 12 days later and came out of it - it took a year to recover. If that first lady on the phone had told me to wrap him up and see how he was overnight or some other non-action, he could have died within a few hours on the settee. He deteriorated rapidly in the ambulance, so it wouldn't have been long before it might have been too late, even if I'd called an ambulance myself.

    We see a lot of posts on here talking about the shortfalls of the NHS - and they're often justified - but they are pretty bloody fantastic too! Every single one of the staff my husband encountered in that episode was truly exceptional. With the exception of one work-shy auxiliary nurse on the ward he came out of ICU to, I couldn't fault any of the very many staff who played a part in bringing him back to me. Every day of the 10 years since I have sent up a silent prayer to thank them for what they all did. He now has a lot of problems as a result of that illness and still gets the most fabulous care.
     
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