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.
This one is for you, Bubba Boo, Baby Blue.
Mama loves you.
Anything good coming out of this,
Will be because of you.
Thanks for the update Oana, I love seeing every photo of Georgie but this one is especially touching 💕
We were on the Beaver ward. And he was doing well. And we had so much hope those days, despite the tiredness and the fear…Thank you for sharing my initial post and congratulations on your latest news about the American site, I am sure you will do very well and Leah’s legacy will reach far and wide through your words!xx
Thanks Oana ❤️
Sadly, I too once knew those hope filled days…………….
I know, lovely, I know. The memories are still so very painful. Our beautiful children…Hugs to you, hope I haven’t upset you.xx
Oh no Oana, you never cause me to be upset.
My tears sit ever ready, just below the surface, waiting for permission to make an entrance.
Wish I was there to give you a hug. I am sorry for your pain.xx
And me for yours – wish you lived nearer 💕
I’m glad your recent experience was more positive. And I’m glad that your words have been listened to.
Thank you, Nell. I wish there was no need for posts like my first one, I wish people would just be kind and compassionate to each other, especially when it is their job to do exactly that.xx
Sending hugs and glad that your recent experience was handled in a more positive light.
Yes, Laura, it was refreshing to have this experience!xx
After reading your initial post, I’m so glad that your recent experience was a lot more positive. To have been treated so poorly through your grief is just awful. xx
Michelle, it scares me that this happens so often. Many people approached me afterwards and told me about their equally horrid experiences. I wish these doctors will understand we are in need of compassion and not after giving them a hard time.xx
I’m glad this time things went better. I know lots of people waste medical staff’s time, but they need to have some empathy because not everyone is like that. x
I know, Erica but as you say, if empathy was the default setting rather than dismissal, how much better would the health system be?xx
oh i am pleased it was pleasant for you and wow to the gorgeous pic beauty
Thank you, Lisa. That was my gorgeous little Georgie!xx
Darling girl, this is the first time I have picked up on this story, and I am so, so sorry to hear you have suffered so much. I am glad though, that your beautiful son is living on in the strength you clearly have inside you and sincerely hope that you continue to see positive changes come from such a horrible situation. xxx
Thank you, Lucy. For your empathy and for mentioning my beautiful boy.xx
Wow it sounds like you have A) had an awful time and now have had a much better time. Such a beautiful photo and thank you for sharing what is something so private but so beautifully written x
Thank you, Rachel. I need to keep sharing Georgie with the world, I do not want him to be forgotten, ever!xx
Such a lovely photo, I hope to read more updates on this space.
Stop by anytime, Nayna!xx
I’m so glad your experiences were more positive – thank you so much for sharing. x
Thank you, Sarah, it was so much better this time around!xx
Great that things got better – change is always possible. Congratulations on the viral post!!
Oh, thank you, I am well chuffed, every blogger dreams of this moment, don’t we? And yes, change is always, always possible!xx
well done Oana for keeping strong enough to make a point about the service you received… i am so very glad that on this latest occasion things were better.
P.s I hope your feeling much better and the antibiotics are working their magic x
Hi,lovely and thank you for your encouraging comments. Yes, antibiotics have done their magic and I am fully functional again. I hope spring will bring more good news and less illness, I have had my fair share this winter!xx
I am glad things went better this time – off to read the original post as I had not seen it. Never had a post go viral so must mean lots of others in your situation
Yes, Kara, I am afraid so! I hope my post has been read by many GPs too and will lead to changes in approach.xx
I hope you are feeling better. I am glad it was a more positive experience. Your little Georgie was so cute x x
Thank you, lovely. Yes, here is to hoping my initial post has made a difference, not only towards me but other patients in my situation, too!xx
I’m so glad to read that this time your experience was more positive 🙂
Thank you, Abi.xx
I’m glad your more recent experience was better xx
So pleased it was a more positive experience this time around. Xx
Well done on the viral post, hope it leads to changes