I had to let the ripples settle before I wrote this.
Exactly two weeks ago, I had my first post ever going viral.
My “Dear Dalriada Doctor” was seen by 25,000 people in the first three days after being published and was shared over 3000 times!
Upon publication, I was almost immediately approached by a number of prestigious local magazines and national newspapers who wanted to interview me and give me a chance to speak on the subject.
I was taken aback by the attention, to be honest with you.
That evening, I wrote my post as I usually do, out of frustration and as a means to release my emotions and allow my mind to reach a point of rest.
The best outcome by far has been being contacted(as a direct result of the post) by many Northern Irish mothers whose children have been affected by cancer and several of the dear CHU nurses we got to know during Georgie’s hospitalisation.
Many women also reached out and shared their equally frustrating medical encounters with the Dalriada system and how affected they were by the unprofessional and cold approaches.
I was also pleasantly impressed with the lack of negative comments. I have been in the blogging world for three years now and I know that when a post goes viral the risk of trolls picking on the thread and creating havoc is very real. I am very grateful this didn’t happen as the stress would have been too much for me.
I was encouraged also to write about the positives, not only the negatives in the health system.
It was not my intention to portray the entire health system as negative.
My post came as a result of many Dalriada appointments that were too desperately similar to each other and portrayed a very lax attitude towards the patient in the out of hours department.
That was NOT our experience in our own medical practice.
That was NOT our experience in the Royal Hospital for Sick Children, when Georgie was surrounded by wonderful and very caring medical and auxiliary staff.
That was NOT our experience in the Children’s Hospice where the nurses were again, so very caring, compassionate and loving.
I had to visit Dalriada again on Saturday. My body isn’t managing stress very well and one little thing led to a very nasty throat infection that needed antibiotics.
I dealt with a receptionist and two doctors, one female doctor, who took my initial call and assessed my condition and the other one, a male one, who saw me upon arrival.
They were all professional and kind and efficient.
So I was maybe dealt a bad hand every time I walked through that Dalriada door, either for myself or with Georgie or Emma, for the past six years.
Or maybe, just maybe, things got someone’s attention in the system and things will be better for me from now on.
I was not after preferential system.
I wanted to make sure no-one is treated the same again I had.
I want not preferential, but humane and caring treatment for all of us.
To me, this whole exercise has been extremely positive, on so many levels.
More importantly, it has proven that things CAN change.
So if you do work in the health system and have been treating your patients with compassion, understanding and care, thank you!
And if you work in the health system and you have found yourself lacking patience, empathy and desire to serve, may I encourage you to reassess your priorities? Thank you.
And thank you to all who got in touch and expressed support or just sent me a message to say hello.
More importantly, thank you for not forgetting that Georgie is the one who gave me courage to speak and write and more determination than I have ever had to see things changing for better in this world.
Mama loves you.
Anything good coming out of this,
Will be because of you.