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COPD and asthma not disabilities?

micox profile image

Taken into hospital 26/05 after a fall left me on the floor for 6 hours. The hand written report by the admitting consultant said "end stage diabetes!, Does anyone know the implications of this?

I was investigated and well treated for breathing problems and picked up an extra diagnosis of asthma. I was discharged on 07/06 after a heart scan and a twenty four hour heart trace tape.


No attempt to investigate the pain and neuropathic loss of use of my legs which caused the fall in the first place!

NO DISABILITIES' ' FACILITIES AND EQUIPMENT ON THE WARD APART FROM ZIMMER FRAMES.. While there I had a nasty fall in the shower which was completely devoid of facilities and unfit for a disabled person.

15 Replies
Damon1864 profile image

My goodness that's awful I would be putting a complaint in. You need to know why this Is happening to you, I would ask your GP to refer t ok a consultant who can help you. Hope this helps, have a good night and take care 😊 Bernadette and Jack 🐕 xxxxxx 🌻🌻

That’s awful and not the way anyone should be treated. Investigations need to be under way I feel especially as you’ve had two falls. Why has nothing been done. Please contact your GP abd let him know what has happened.

I do hope you get the help you need as it’s just not good enough. Xxx

Sounds like your care left a bit to be desired to say the least, and I’d also advocate making a complaint.

With regards to the fall and leg issues, my understanding is peripheral neuropathy (pain and loss of sensation) is a common complication of diabetes. It can effect anywhere in your body that has nerves, meaning it can quite literally effect anywhere, but feet and leg problems in particular are common. Which may explain the mention in the report - perhaps they assumed you know about it, or somehow failed to communicate it properly. I’ve had situations before where one doctor thought another had already explained things to me when they hadn’t. This link to the diabetes UK page on peripheral neuropathy may be of help:

By no disabilities, in ward terms I understand that to mean that you’re orientated to time and place etc. (so not confused), and able to mobilise to perform personal care. It’s not that they don’t consider COPD as a disability, it’s the way they’re using the term. Problem with that being the fact that you’re in for a fall and have leg issues: would suggest that mobilisation and personal care might be a problem and they should have taken it into consideration. Clearly they didn’t.

sassy59 profile image
sassy59 in reply to Charlie_G

Great reply Charlie. Xxx😘

Cloudancer profile image
Cloudancer in reply to Charlie_G

Fabulous reply -you said everything I was going to!!!!

It seems bonkers to me that, after being admitted following a fall, you were allowed to use a shower with no disabled facilities (by which I'm assuming there were no grab rails and no shower chair or seat.) This sounds like negligence. Were you offered any other options?

From what you say, I'm not sure if you knew before going in that you had diabetes? Or did you mean that you didn't know it was 'end stage'? Either way, it needs to be clarified for you so that you know how to manage it.

It was good that they gave you a good investigation re your breathing issues. At least they got that bit right!

As others have said, you should make the hospital aware of your experience, especially your additional fall due to having no assistance or facilities. That is something they could put right for the future. At very least, it could be noted that you need a shower chair and/or assistance if you are admitted again.

Regarding the 'End stage diabetes' , you will need to speak to your own GP about it. Be aware, though, that the hospital may have picked up something that your GP has not. For example, my discharge note from hospital once said I had COPD. When I raised this with my GP, he said, 'No, you haven't.' I referred him back to the discharge letter and he arranged a spirometry test which confirmed that I did, indeed, have COPD.

I think you might feel better about things once you have discussed them with the people who can advise you properly and/or get things changed.

Good luck!

xx Moy

micox profile image
micox in reply to MoyB

Hi Moy. Thanks. Your 1st para absolutely correct and I am going to make a complaint. Thought I knew everything about diabetes but never come across 'end stage' before. Booked a phone call from my GP - got the only one available - for the 20th June!

MoyB profile image
MoyB in reply to micox

20th June is a long time to wait. I wonder if Diabetes UK could help you at all?Xx Moy

Unfortunately neuropathy is caused by your diabetes and nothing can be done for it. It's irreversible. You may have to start using walking aids. I personally don't have it but my best friend of 50 years does. She has to use crutches as cannot feel her feet at all.

That hospital's equipment is not suitable for anyone who is ill. temporarily or permanently, no seat or rail in the shower is not good enough, on a ward where presumably some people are ill. As you have been admitted because of a fall, they should have been keeping an extra eye on your safety, when you were on your feet. Did you have a Physiotherapy and or an Occupational Therapy assessment whilst you were on the ward, after a fall that should be the protocol, for someone who has fallen, especially when they are returning home. The ward staff are meant to complete an accident form, when a patient has a fall, would be interesting to know if one was put in your notes. Worth making a complaint, some people use the hospital's PALS system.

I thought hospitals were there to make us better. Obviously not always. I hope you are recovering from this unpleasant ordeal. xxx

Hello micox, please report your concern to pals or the hospital manager. That's disgusting but at least you got admitted and some investigations of your condition. Neuropathic investigations are very hard to get done. I have never heard of end stage diabetes either must be locum general doctor, COPD & Asthma are disabilities as are any other illness or things like deafness or sight defects. Of course if you have several disabilities they all impact on your ability to perform activities. I have just joined a research project on clinicians approach to health assessments for any illness. Recently I attended hospital and like yourself felt the process did not address the matter referred for, to spite a very good time consuming medical attendance, I felt I was being dismissed as able and time waster. My optician brought my problem to the Gps attention and they referred me and I waited 6 months for consultation, I was actually in a BP crisis and to spite him saying I have no neurological illness I do its called a benign essential hand tremor but is not a major health issue just an irritating disability. I do not have white coat syndrome my blood pressure cannot be controlled because the tablets cause my lung condition to become worse . Like yourself my mobility is affected by distortions of my lower limbs that are arthritic. But hey don't we do well at living a sort of normal life. I feel all hospital wards should be disable friendly as some able bodied can't manage as normal when ill in hospital either. Hope this helps you to realise you are not alone in your feelings and a clinician has a duty of care to the patient not the hospital trust. Hope you are beginning to feel a little better, take care and best wishes

micox profile image
micox in reply to katieoxo60

Hi and thanks. I must say my breathing is 50% better after treatment. Snap. I too have essential tremors. It's much more than a nuisance than some people think, including medics. I played wind instruments since I was 14. I've had to give them all up. Music was a large slice of my life.

katieoxo60 profile image
katieoxo60 in reply to micox

It is sad that you can no longer play your musical instruments, do you listen to music still? In this modern day a lot of music is synthesized, I was at a concert this week with a 81 year old still playing music and doing a jig on stage amazing I think. I love the sounds of the Irish flute and saxophone's, the harp is lovely and relaxing and ukulele's are coming back into popularity. Enjoy your day that's another day gone but its looking bright out there my roses are growing lovely to spite little rain.

I am long term diabetic and never heard term end stage diabetes. Not sure I agree with such a term. Am always astounded when hospital bathrooms don’t have at very least grab rails. You don’t need to be disabled to require those when recovering from illnesses or operations.

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