Seeing Double at Epworth Geelong Emergency Department
My name is Lindy, I’m a hairdresser and I live in Highton, Geelong.
About the last week in July I began to get some blurred vision, but didn’t worry too much initially, but as it didn’t get better, I went to my GP and had my blood pressure tested. The GP recommended that I may need an MRI the following week.
But then I started experiencing double vision, so I began to get worried it could be serious and decided not to wait until the following week. Instead, while talking to the chemist and explaining the symptoms, the chemist recommended not to delay and suggested I should go to the newly opened Epworth Geelong. So, on 16 July, I went to the emergency department at Epworth Geelong and was seen by Dr Anne Waterhouse.
Dr Waterhouse examined me and tested me for possible issues, including heart, blood pressure, blood sugar level, etc. She also recommended an MRI. All the tests were done within the hospital and all tests came back okay, which was a relief, as it ruled out more serious conditions such as stroke or brain tumour.
The emergency department organised an appointment with a specialist neurologist and an eye specialist the following week to investigate further and I was admitted to hospital as they tested and ruled out various conditions. Eventually, it became clear that the cause of the double vision was not a serious brain tumour, but an issue with her eye muscles and began treatment for this. With this treatment, I was able to go home after 3 days and began work one week later.
The hospital experience was very good. Because I didn’t feel sick as such, it was like being on a holiday! I have been recommending Epworth to everybody I speak to. A few things really impressed me, like being given a warm blanket when I came to emergency, and the ward nurse putting the monitor behind the curtain, so the light wouldn’t bother me at night, but also the way Epworth does the nurse change is so much better than what I had experienced elsewhere, and the staff, from the volunteers to the food staff were fantastic.
The other thing that really impressed me was that the imaging people have the backup of the Melbourne team, who are there 24hrs. One of the MRIs that I had done was done at the end of the day and I was concerned that it would take another day to get the results. I didn’t need to worry. They sent the images to Melbourne and had the report to my doctor shortly after, so I didn’t even have to wait until the next day to get the results.
My room was also amazing. I had the most wonderful view and did not feel like going home. I could have stayed. The food service was like a hotel. You order whatever food you want when you want it. Loved it.
Luckily I had nothing really serious. In the beginning, I was thinking stroke or brain tumour. My doctor was worried about that too, so I was very lucky that it was nothing serious and that I am well again.
But I did have a little bingle in my car when I first went to the GP. Due to the blurred vision, I miscalculated the garage door at home and took off the bumper bar. Luckily there wasn’t much damage and I wasn’t hurt. The big lesson is: Do not drive yourself anywhere if you are not feeling well!’
We sat down with Maya, Director of Strategy and Operations, Karla, a Mental Health Social Worker and Rosie, a Clinical Nurse Educator from Epworth Clinic to talk about what it’s like in a day of an in-patient.
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