If you’re not up to speed you can find Part 1 of this story here…
And Part 2 here…
Ok, ready for Part 3 of the turkey hospital holiday drama?
We had been back at our resort for two days, it had been one hell of a rollercoaster up until this point and I longed for just a few minutes to myself. So after dinner I told my children I was going to sit at the bar for just ten minutes to relax with a Pina Colada or two (I can drink them very quickly!) while they went back to our room.
I just wanted to be alone with my thoughts for a short time to compose myself. It had been a difficult time up until now, my son who is autistic with a host of other accompanying issues had found the horrendous goings on very difficult to deal with. It was all taking its toll on me and taking ten minutes for me to quietly sip one (glug two) free cocktails was immensely appealing.
I had just sat down and was about to take a drink from the glass of pineapple, coconut & rum delight that sat before me when my son came hurtling towards me faster that I had seen him move in a long time.
“Milly’s bleeding Milly’s bleeding and she’s crying come on!”
I leapt up from my chair and told my son to run back to the room and I would follow (I can’t run as fast as a teenage boy!) as inside my head I was thinking what the fuck now! I hurriedly half ran to the room which was only a few minutes away but seemed to take ages to get too as despite my best efforts I can’t actually move very fast! (I’m definitely in the ‘built for comfort not for speed’ camp!)
My son was already at her side when I reached the room and they showed me that when she had got undressed the wetness that she thought had been spilt water on her dress was in fact blood that was seeping out from her stomach.
I tried to remain calm as I called the reception to explain that we needed a doctor.
When a doctor from the medical centre called me back I was told that a car would be ready to pick us up in a few minutes and take us back to the now so familiar building which was around 15 minutes away. I quickly chucked a few things into a bag just in case ended up not coming back tonight.
This proved to be a wise choice as the medical centre sent us straight to the hospital where we had left just 48 hours before.
We were admitted straight away and a flurry of doctors and nurses came to examine, prod, poke & needle to ascertain what the problem was. It was around midnight by this time, we were both tired, I was hugely concerned, my daughter was worried. Again we didn’t know what was happening and had to piece together the broken English, but I could tell that what was happening was not good.
We were told that she would need an ultrasound scan which I assumed would happen the following day due to the late time, but around 1am we were ushered to the basement area where the scans were performed. The same gruff old man was doing the scan and as he pushed and prodded her stomach and fresh operation site the screams that came from my daughter were heart-breaking. I had never heard her make the noises that she did and it was clear that she was in agony.
There was nothing I could do except hold her hand as she tightly squeezed it and try to help her calm down.
Once back in our room more blood was taken and several IV antibiotics were administered. She had an infection inside her stomach and a collection of fluid was shown on the scan. We eventually managed to get a little sleep and when the doctors came visiting the next day I wasn’t prepared for what they told me.
The infection was pretty bad, her infection markers were sky high and they needed to get this under control. We would be in hospital for some time and we would also have to return in a week when we were discharged to check how she was doing.
We were due to fly home in 2 days.
We wouldn’t be allowed to fly anywhere because my poor little girl just wasn’t well enough.
There were umpteen phone calls and emails backwards and forwards to my travel insurance company as I needed to update them with this latest development. They said they would make all the necessary arrangement for our accommodation to be extended and would deal with the resort.
However this didn’t go smoothly as every day I had the resort calling me on the hospital phone telling me that we had half an hour to vacate our room and check out. My son had people coming to the room telling him he had to pack up all our stuff and leave immediately. He would then call me in a panic. It was fucking horrible.
I was yet again stuck in hospital with one very ill and upset child, with one very stressed out and upset child at the resort.
Our return flight time came and went and we were still in hospital, after almost a week we were finally allowed to leave and return to the resort, on the proviso that we would return to the hospital in one week for another scan, more bloods and if the doctors were happy they would then sign her off as fit to fly so we could go home.
Once back at the resort again things were not good. My son was not coping well with everything that had gone on. I had only packed clothes for two weeks so spent hours at the sink washing out all our clothes with the hotel shower gel and hanging them out to dry on the balcony.
I take a fair amount of medication, of which some are anti-depressants.
I had totally run out as I had a two week supply not anticipating that I wouldn’t be coming home as planned. I suffered some terrible side effects from stopping taking them all and effectively going cold turkey. I couldn’t easily sleep and when I did I had the most terrifying nightmares, I would scream and shout out in my sleep, disturbing my children who were then scared by how much I would be freaking out!
Every day the Thomas Cook reps would be questioning both myself and my children as to when we would be going home, despite me telling them every day that we didn’t know. We had to wait until her return visit to the hospital and for her to be assessed as fit to fly, providing the documentation that the insurance company required in order to arrange return flights for us all.
But that didn’t stop them putting pressure on us, they even told us that the hotel manager wasn’t happy as we were staying in his resort for free. Now this I couldn’t get my head round as he was being paid by the insurance company, but we were made to feel very unwelcome and it was blindingly obvious. We made daily visits to the nurse where my daughters dressing and wound were cleaned with iodine and gradually we began to see less ‘stuff’ coming out of her operation wound.
We were halfway through our ‘week of waiting’ when my daughter became violently sick. Yet another call to the onsite nurse inevitably ended up with us being taken yet again to the hospital that was now so familiar to us.
We were only there for one night this time as more bloods and IV fluids and medication were administered. My daughters veins were beginning to not play ball due to the huge amount of needles that had been inserted into her over the last three weeks. She ended up having cannulas fitted into the strangest of places simply because they were running out of decent veins to use. Her arms were covered in bruises, not just a few but literally covered.
Again, back to the resort, more questioning despite me keeping the reps up to date at every point, I had nothing else to tell them and one rep in particular was extremely rude and we all went to great lengths to try and avoid her. However one day she smugly came up to me and told me that the hotel manager had spoken to the hospital and had arranged for my daughter to be seen and assessed the next day so that we could be given a fit to fly and leave asap.
I was fuming, he had no right to get involved in my daughters care, nor had he tried to make an abominable situation any better for any of us at any point. Yet he now basically decided to stick his nose in so we would leave his resort asap.
He obviously pulled some strings to get us seen quickly and was hoping that we would very soon afterwards be on our merry way back to England. However, his plan seriously backfired!
We went to the hospital, my daughter was subjected to yet more bloods, ultrasound, CT scan, and examinations. We were told that things were all good, she was now fine. They would contact the insurance company, confirm she is fit to fly, we were free to leave. Excellent I thought! I started seeing what flights were available thinking that surely we would be rushed out asap now!
But that would just be far too straightforward and simple wouldn’t it!
I spent many hours on the phone to the insurance company with emails constantly being exchanged to try and ascertain when we could go home. It seems I was jumping the gun a little bit. All of the hospital records had to be checked my the medical team of doctors and nurses at the insurance company. They had to inspect all the blood results, scan pictures, doctors notes with a fine tooth comb to ensure that they were indeed happy that she was fit to fly.
Turns out they weren’t happy, and she wasn’t fit to fly.
Her test results showed her infection markers were again far too high to be considered safe or acceptable, despite the hospital telling me she was ‘fine’. Again I was fuming, how dare they! This was my daughters health!
The insurance company said we would have to go to a different hospital for more tests as they wanted a second opinion on everything. We had to make our own way to somewhere else and despite confirming that this was definitely where we needed to go, when we got to the medical centre we were told that they couldn’t perform the required tests and scans.
We had had a very wasted trip, one which had cost me money in taxi fares, money which was in short supply as we weren’t even supposed to still be in the country!
So it was again back to the drawing board, back to the resort, back to being constantly badgered by the reps wanting to know what was happening and when we would be leaving.
The insurance company took another few days to arrange for us to visit a different hospital, one almost 2 hours away. I had to fight for them to provide transportation there and back as I didn’t have the money to spent on a taxis for such long journeys.
It was one hell of a long day when we went to this new hospital. The journey itself was long and my daughter was still suffering with sickness. The barrage of tests included yet more bloods, ultrasound, CT scan, Mri scan and yet more IV medication. We left the resort at 9am that day and returned home at midnight.
We were both exhausted, my daughter in pain and we were just so done with all of it.
It took a few more days for all the results to be fed through the insurance company and eventually the news came that the were happy! She was fit to fly! Fantastic! I was so happy and thought we would obviously be hauled onto the next flight and began to start packing thinking that they would say we might have to be ready to leave really quickly.
Obviously that didn’t happen!
We were given an option of return flight dates, two were to different airports from which we had flown in from, which were no good as my car was at Stansted so I needed to return there otherwise we would then have no way of getting home!
The next available flight to Stanstead was a week away. We spent that last week avoiding the reps and hotel manager, keeping our heads down and wishing the week away as we were all so desperate to get home.
By the time we left Turkey we had been there for five weeks.
Our two week holiday that we were so looking forward to had turned into a living, breathing five week journey of hell.
I couldn’t quite believe it when we finally returned home, it was an amazing feeling. Everything will be ok now I thought. Nothing else could surely go wrong after this utter shit storm that we had been through.
But coming home was just the end of one chapter and the beginning of another one…
Watch out for Part 4 to discover just how bad things got next!
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