Jan. 9, 2018

Emergency room experiences part 3

Beware, this last entry for ER experiences is long.

I was finally wheeled to a room.  FINALLY!  I’m immune-compromised and should not have been in a hallway where anyone with a communicable disease could spread their germs!  The tech that wheeled me from one end of the emergency room to the other was nice and funny.  He kept me entertained and kept asking if I needed anything else so he could get it for me.

Once I was settled in my bed, my nurse was a woman that gave me the feeling that she was a smug one.  I don’t know why, but I had a feeling that I wouldn’t like her.  Wouldn’t stop me from being polite, but I couldn’t shake the feeling.

I needed to have my specialty medication, so I called and had my sister bring them to me along with a pillow.  My sister, my rock, even took it a step further and brought one of my power banks because she knows how I am about my phone.  She offered to stay with me, but I couldn’t have her trying to rest in one of the chairs or even in the bed with me (there wasn’t room because of my fat ass).  She showed her hesitancy in leaving me, which shows how amazing my sister is.

After informing the rest of my familia and rydas that I was admitted and in a room, I finally was able to rest a bit.  The bed was adjustable and made sleeping a little easier.  Not that I got much sleep, no matter how hard I tried.  I hadn’t had anything to eat since 8am and nothing to drink since 12pm.  Though my body had that bag of hydration trickled into it about two hours prior to admission, my mouth and throat were bone dry and I kept coughing.  This nurse took it to mean that I was having problems with sleep apnea.  She woke me up so she could hook me up with the oxygen cannulas. 

I kept waking up due to pain.  I woke up again around 4am with the need to use the restroom.  I kept pressing the nurse call button, but no one came.  After an hour of waiting, I took off the blood pressure cuff and the ECG wire so that the alarm would sound and get someone’s attention.  Half an hour later, still nothing.  I finally got her attention by yelling.  My yell can be compared to a sonic boom.  I should have done that sooner.  An hour and a half of waiting for help!  What if I was in serious distress?  I could have died waiting for help.

Then around 6am, she woke me up because she was adding antibiotics to my IV.  I asked if I could finally eat or drink something.  She literally had no idea and had to take the time to search my chart.  Yes, I understand that she has other patients and that she has to follow the orders in my chart.  Is it really that difficult to let one of your patients know that they can drink something if they need to without them having to ask?  Anyway, she finally said yes to both.  Breakfast was due to be brought in between 6:30 and 7am, so I had to wait until then.  No problem.  But I needed water.  When I asked for it, she brought me a small cup filled with ice and a small amount of water.  I asked for water, not a cup of ice.  Maybe my expectations are too high?

After drinking all the water, I settled back down and fell asleep.  I woke up again when I heard some noise in my room.  A tray had been placed on the counter near the sink.  I tried to get up and get it, but my IV lines were too short and I could not reach the tray.  And I suddenly need to go to the restroom again.  Guess what I did.  Go ahead.  Yeah, I pressed the useless nurse call button with the hope that I had been pressing it wrong.  Nope.  From 7am til my parents and sister arrived at almost 9am, I had been trying to get someone’s attention. 

Finally, I got a new nurse, a male named Harold.  He was sympathetic and cheerful.  He unhooked me from the IV lines and let me go to the bathroom.  When I got back, he hooked me back up.  

My sister was able to bring my breakfast tray to me.  You know the saying about hospital food being bad?  It’s not an exaggeration.  Just a warning to those who are lucky enough to not have had to eat it.  Dry “French toast,” rubbery scrambled eggs, and two small sausage links, accompanied by orange juice (I hate orange juice) and a cup of Mandarin oranges.  I have to admit, when you’re practically starving, you’ll eat what they give you.

Between 11:30pm and 10am, I had not seen another doctor.  Hell, I barely saw a nurse.  However, I discovered why I had to wait for someone to come help me after pushing the nurse call button is that the ones on the bed do not work.  There was a kind of remote stashed in a basket of supplies BEHIND the bed.  The tech that transferred me apparently had no idea that the buttons on the bed were useless and failed to mention the other remote.  It worries me that things aren’t working in the ER rooms, especially the important things like nurse call buttons that patients need when there are serious issues.

I was discharged at 12pm with a prescription for antibiotics and the reminder to elevate my legs and use the compression stockings to help the fluid flow.

The good part in this whole thing?  I had concerned and loving friends who kept checking on me and did things just make me laugh.  I even had a lovely friend who helped me meditate because she knew I was starting freak out.


The moral of this long story?  Beware of changes in your skin and the rest of your body.  They could signal a bigger issue than you’d expect.  Listen to advice given by concerned friends.  Lean on those who reach out.  They do it because they care.  Also, do everything you can to ensure that you get the best care possible.  Problems with your health do not just affect you.  They affect your loved ones as well.