Thursday, October 08, 2015

When Alf Was Hurt By Dirty Needles

Two years and six months ago when my son was only 18 months old, I experienced a day from absolute hell. A day that to date has been the worst of my life and I hope to god that it is never ever topped, especially where my children are concerned. This is a long story but there is no way to make it short and I need to write it down, so I apologise.

On my day from hell, a horrible incident happened and I thought that my days with my son were numbered. I am writing this now as it still bothers me daily and I am in need of some sort of closure from what happened. It's all over now - thankfully, but hopefully writing this will empty my head enough for me to forgive myself and lessen the anger I still feel at the lady I feel responsible, our old GP.

I visited the doctor one morning with my son A. I only had what I thought was a throat infection and I was hoping for a quick in and out appointment and a prescription to make me feel better. We sat in the busy waiting room for over an hour. A was grizzly with it being now nap time and we were massively overheated. It was stuffy in there and there was a drug addict asleep on some chairs nearby awaiting removal from the police, a crap day all round, but it got so much worse.

I eventually got seen and made my way to the doctors office where I was told I could put A down with some toys if I liked and seeing as he was so fed up from the long wait, I put him down to play. I explained my issue to the GP who asked me to tilt my head back to examine my throat.

In that three seconds that I had my eyes off my son, he moved about two feet to the left and appeared crying his little eyes out with bleeding hands. I was instantly in shock. What had happened!? It was only then, I saw our trusted doctor moving (at speed) a large yellow sharps bin that had not only been left open but within reach or a tiny 18 month child on the floor, only a couple of feet from the toys placed their for our children. This totally went against their sharps policy in the county and should never ever have happened. It was full of dirty used needles - every parents nightmare.

I couldn't believe my eyes and to this day I hate myself that my first reaction was to shout at my son to ask him why he did it. Ridiculous, I will never ever forgive myself. It seems awful now but he seemed so grown up at the time. I just kept asking why why why over and over again. In hindsight I should have throttled that doctor but I was so scared at the possibility of what could come from the accident, that I ran out in tears and in a panic rang my poor husband who returned hastily from work. He still panics if I ring him at work, it has totally ruined us. Just writing/reading this makes my heart completely stop.

We went straight up to the hospital where bloods needed to be taken for storage, so that yes - you guessed it, my son could be tested for HIV and treated for hepatitis. We were told it was fairly unlikely, but even if it was one in a billion - who could say that one wouldn't be us? No more reassuring whatever the statistic. We had several hospital visits over the following year, numerous needle encounters for my, (by this point now terrified of anyone) son. We couldn't even take him to get his feet measured at Clark's because he was so terrified that everyone that came near him would hurt him. At about three and a half this started to improve, before that day he never had a problem and had always been so confident - I had too. Another annoying occurrence from a needless incident, caused by one woman's neglectful work ethic.

Since that day, my anxiety has been through the roof. I can't trust anyone properly around my children, I can't relax when A goes out of sight and I am constantly on high alert for needles, we have seen a few in the street since and I go into a full on panic attack. I am now on medication to ease it all and carry an inhaler at all times. I just can't cope with the thought of that happening again and what could have been. 

We are so lucky that nothing came of it for A and that he is fit and healthy. Being such a bright happy little thing, he is fully over his fear of people going near him. The results were all clear too for him thankfully.

For anyone wondering, the response from the doctors practise was that it was my fault, and that to prevent this happening again (this will make you laugh) they made a laminated sign for her office saying, 'Your children are your responsibility'. Presumably they feel that this covers them to be sloppy in practise and do careless things in future? They refused to speak to us unless in writing and after three months they couldn't even answer my questions as to why it had happened. They just didn't want to say anything that could lead them to trouble, I just wanted answers and to know what the risks may be.

I hope eventually this all gets easier, but in the mean time I just have to be grateful that he is OK and that no long term damage has been caused to him. This was a day to really bring home what's important in life. I'm going to publish this with nerves so please be kind and I'm sorry this isn't my usual cheery post!

Thanks for reading,


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