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I started my therapy to rehabilitate my right leg after long days of being unable to perform normal movements, thanks to an inflammation of the sciatic nerve throughout my leg.
I walked for 45 minutes to get to the place where they would give me a series of stimuli with currents and heat.
I had to stop very early to arrive and take a place among the first patients to be seen. But it was something nonsensical, because after they opened the door I had to make another queue for them to give me a card and then I had to go to the office that would perform the treatment, but there is no one else to instruct me. All I know is that I have to go receive heat and don't know anything else, the only thing you can do is see how others do their own treatment, because the only person in charge is busy in another place and if you go and ask him, he says: "Not now, I’m busy right now" She appears if I go and I remind her that I’m waiting for her to receive my instructions.
Then, you have to make another queue to receive the current but the assistant is inside and a lot of people pass by and the rest of us are sitting until the assistant calls and says that only one person can come in, I was almost one of the last patients to be seen, having arrived at 7am, I arrived home at 11:30am, because it takes 45 minutes to get back home.
I was in this same routine for 4 days. On Friday they don’t give therapy. You have to return by Monday and start over. But when I come back on Monday, my colon doesn't feel good, my intestines sometimes don’t work well and this Monday I was having problems with my bowel movements. I had to wait to get out of the house and feel better. It’s around 9 am that I decide to go to therapy as usual and I walk my 45 minutes at a brisk pace, my leg still does not stretch enough to walk normally or faster than normal.
I arrived at the consultation and after waiting for the assistant who was not there, she arrived to say that she would not see any more patients because she was very tired and she retired to rest. At 10 am, just when she has 2 hours left to finish her work shift.
I realize that there are many things I have to fight for. My right leg doesn't hurt but I can't stretch my leg to walk normally, the muscles are contracted along with my tendons, then there’s my left foot that, from so many walks in the week, stepped on some obstacle on the road that injured my sole of the foot and my left ankle, I have to put an ankle brace to be able to step on and give support to my left foot. And after all of this, I have to get to a place that is supposed to give care to the needy and I must resign myself to the fact that people here are used to not respecting human beings. To have to endure the fact that the people who were given the power to care for the sick have to wait until they beg them to take them into account.
I’ll be ill from the limitation of movement in both legs now, but I won’t allow my dignity to be hurt. I feel sorry for all the people who have to go through the same thing that I went through and perhaps more have no alternative but to endure their dignity being trampled on. I’ll stay at home, now healing my ankle and left foot and then I will have to find ways to do the therapies at home to exercise my muscles, but no one will make me go down on my knees to ask for anything. I don’t have to go there and say that I walk 45 minutes with my legs limited of movement so that someone fulfills the work that they were assigned to do.
It makes me sad how my country is ending, I’m a nurse and a doctor, no one can tell me that I don't know what the responsibilities are to the patients who come to my workplace. I NEVER had to wait for a patient to tell me about their problems so that I could care for them. All he had to do was arrive and sit down and wait for his turn to be evaluated, if someone passed before that person, I would ask for a few minutes more and then move on.
Now I realize that there are no words or phrases to explain why, when you arrive at 7am, you have to find the staff so that they explain what to do in your rehab consultation and why you have to wait 3 hours when many have left, even those who came long after you.
It’s terrible when you look at how the involution of the health system is becoming more and more depressing, in a country where there has been a struggle for many years to improve patient care and I participate in it. Our senior doctors were always on the lookout for evaluating our work every day to highlight our shortcomings and praise our progress.
Every day as a nurse, my senior colleagues encouraged us to give talks to inform patients about what to expect in consultations, how patients should behave and how nurses and doctors should treat patients.
How I felt proud to belong to the health union of my country. Now I have to see for my own eyes how attention to public health declined, how the patient should look for alternatives in private consultations to see their health improve, because public care is being misrepresented since they are services attended by people who don’t have a sense of belonging.
These are difficult years and will become even more difficult because simply for one reason or another, our health sector is no longer monitored or advised by people trained to provide the best service in primary care.