Losing the A&E safety net during the Pandemic has meant that for many people like me, life has become even more difficult than it was before Covid.

I rarely head for A&E when my pain levels are very high and that is because pain is nothing new, I am sick of hospitals and even though this sounds crazy, when I am in that much pain, I don’t want to be getting up and going out to.

The level of pain that I am in even on a good day would have sent a previously healthy me dashing for A&E for help.

In fact most people who are in Chronic pain do exactly that during the first year or so. It is natural to want answers and or to seek help when you are in pain and so a chronic pain patient will be no stranger to the accident and emergency department.

But eventually two things happen;

  • You realise that they can’t help and in fact it is a sad fact that doctors and nurses will make it very known that ‘here they are again!’ and make you feel like how they see you. A frequent flyer who is there to bother them again!
  • You learn to live with pain and unless there is absolutely no other choice, you will refuse to go and seek help even if you are in ridiculous amounts of pain.

But even though I will refuse to go to hospital when I am laid there crying because the pain is so high, I know that it is an option and somehow that helps, that safety net is there and you feel safe.

As well as the pain, I get chest pains and this is been ongoing since 1996. For some reason since then I get a change on my ECG, what the doctor said was t wave inversions in v1 to 3.

So it seems strange but Chest pain has become normal, but I have been told that if it is very bad, go to A&E and get checked out and last time I went up there the doctor asked “why didn’t you phone for an ambulance?”

The answer to that is that when it first started and I did get checked out whenever it happened, I was made to feel bad for being a ‘frequent flyer’ despite the fact they told me to get checked every time it happened!

Losing the A&E safety net

But now we find ourselves in very strange times, Covid has been in the UK for over a year now, we are still in lockdown and the NHS is buckling under the pressure.

I have recently had a flare up, I laid in bed in the early hours with very bad chest pains and I was suddenly very aware of having lost or feeling like I have lost that safety net!

Should I go to A&E?

  • It’s very busy with ambulances queued up!
  • It isn’t safe because of Covid!
  • Will I end up laid on a trolley in a corridor?
  • The South African Variant is here now!
  • If the wait is very long my pain levels will soar!
  • My wife can’t go with me & she is my carer!
  • I will be at more of a risk of catching Covid!

My mental health had been quite good until Covid hit last year, I was feeling good and doing really well, but now I have to admit that I am scared and it has set me back.

All we see and here now is COVID, COVID, COVID!

It is on the news, it features in programmes we used to like watching, social media is full of talk and articles about it.

I know that I am not alone in feeling a scared and unsafe with regards to my health and having lost the feeling of safety knowing that if the worst comes to the worst, that I can go to A&E or call an Ambulance.

But having said that, if you are getting chest pains or are very unwell with something that isn’t the normal, please do phone 111

Our NHS is under incredible pressure but I know that the Doctors and Nurses would want you to still seek help if you need it!

I have written this post to talk about how I and many others are feeling during this pandemic!

By Zechariah Richardson

Over 50, disabled, husband, father and gramps who reviews products and writes blog posts about his life, beekeeping, gardening and whatever pops into his brain!

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