Crazy Meg of Bedlam (smu) wrote in bad_service,
Crazy Meg of Bedlam

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Sallie Mae, a breadknife, the ER and serum poisoning

This is cause and effect truely in action.

I came home on Thursday from a stressful day at work, and found that Sallie Mae had sent another letter to my home. Again, with the WRONG FREAKING ADDRESS. My father had opened it, and told me while we were eating, that I owed them twice as much as they said I did earlier...

I panic. He hands me the letter, which shows my loan info, all wrong. The interest rate is two percentage points higher than it was on my LAST letter, it says I owe them twice as much money, twice a month. Insult to injury, the address was still wrong, so the customer service people I spoke to had been lying.

I'm further convinced these people are an absolute scam! Something here is definitely wrong and I can't get anyone to tell me what's going on!

I'm so wound up and angry and scared that I hack into a slice of bread and cut into my finger deeply with the sharp bread knife. Soon, I was bleeding all over the kitchen. I hurried put my finger under a running tap in the kitchen sink, and soon the entire basin of the sink is covered in blood. It's running down my hand and it hurts so bad I'm reduced to sobs.

My mother wraps my finger in a kitchen towel and my father takes me to the ER. I run into the ER while he parks the car, and my second bad service of the night happens...

When I'm walking in, a man in OR scrubs is walking in too. He takes one look at my hand wrapped in the kitchen towel and says "Cut yourself?". "Breadknife", I answer, feeling sick and scared. He waves me over to the triage computer and gets all my information. He looks at my finger and tells me it doesn't look "THAT bad". Bullshit, I'm still bleeding! He tells me to take a seat in the waiting room and I'll be seen shortly.

The waiting room is nearly empty and I have high hopes that I'll be seen soon. My finger is killing me and I'm trying to keep pressure on it. My father walks in and asks if I'm on the list. I am. He looks around the waiting room and sees that most of the people sitting there have a little paper bracelet on their wrists with a barcode and their info. I never recieved such a bracelet. Concerned, I look around to see if the triage man is still there. He's gone, so I tell my father that I AM on the list and that when he returns, I'll ask him about the bracelet.

We wait about a half hour. No triage man. I go looking for a nurse or secretary I can ask about the bracelet. I find one who tells me that I don't need a bracelet and that my info is in the system and that I'm on the list. Fanatastic. I go back and wait some more. Still in pain, but holding in there. No one has gone back to be seen yet. Slowly, maybe one person per twenty minutes, gets called back to be seen. There's only maybe five people ahead of me.

An hour and a half goes by. I still haven't been seen, and people who seem to have nothing wrong with them are going in front of me. People who have just literally walked in. My father is getting antsy and annoyed. I go and ask the same nurse if I am INDEED in the system and if I'll be seen soon. She says I am, and that there's only one person ahead of me in line. Cool. I go back and sit down. The bleeding has stopped by now, but the wound is bad enough that I'm convinced I'd need stitches.

Another hour, and I haven't been seen. My father stalks off and finds a different nurse, asking about our place in line and about the ID bracelet. She looks alarmed and said my place in line was skipped and that I DID need a bracelet. She prints me off one right away and says I'll be seen next. My father is enraged, and I'm still in a lot of pain.

Another hour or so, and I'm finally seen by a doctor. He looks at my finger, says the cut is pretty deep and that I'll need stitches. He sends me to an ER bed and says someone will be with me shortly to get me all sewn up. While I'm waiting, another nurse comes to collect my insurence info. Once she's gone, we don't see anyone for maybe an hour. By this point, I just want to get stitched up and go home. I'm still fucked up in the head from the Sallie Mae letter and my hand is just killing me, and I'm nearly reduced to tears again.

Finally, a doctor comes in (who looks disturbingly like The Todd from the TV show Scrubs). He looks at my fingers, tells me I'll need stitches (well, duh!) and goes off to get all the things he'll need. He was in there for maybe a minute.

We don't see him again for a half hour.

When he comes back, he's pulling a cart full of equipment. I'm so happy I'm getting fixed. He tells me he's going to numb my finger, so that he can work on me. I'm even more glad now, no more pain! He takes out two needles and tells me they might sting a little. He injects them both into the base of my injured finger, and they burn like hell. I whimper and when I look at my hand, I see the needle-holes are also bleeding profusely! My father asks him if this is normal and the doctor shrugs and says he'll be back in a few minutes when I'm all numb.

I never get numb. Whatever he injected into my finger doesn't do anything except burn. I'm really starting to panic now. More waiting, by now I've lost all track of time, and the doctor returns. He asks me if I'm numb and I tell him not at all. He starts to clean my laceration roughly and I start crying. It hurts so bad. It's not numb at all and he's being so rough! I try and tell him that it isn't numb and that he's hurting me. He finishes cleaning my wound and says he'll "give me another minute" to feel numb. He walks out, leaving me freshly bleeding from my wound and the two needle wounds.

More time goes by. My father is pissed off. We don't see anything of the doctor for what felt like a long time. He walks past the door, suddenly, by keeps going. I lean out the door and see him sit down at the counter outside and start eating a sandwhich! For Christ's sake, man! I know you have to eat, but couldn't you fucking stitch me up first?!

He eats his sandwhich, comes back in and asks if I'm numb yet. I tell him no, and he says he'll go ahead and stitch me up anyway. My father asks him to use dissolvable stitches, and he looks annoyed that he has to go and fetch a different packet of stitches from his cart. Finally, he sits down to stitch me up. I shut my eyes.

If you've never felt your flesh being sewn together, try and avoid it. It felt absolutely bizarre, and it was also deeply painful. As soon as he's finished, he's gone again. The nurse finally brings back my insurence stuff and asks if I've recently had a Tetanus shot. Neither my father or I can rememeber when I had my last Tetanus shot. He knows I had them when I was a baby, but not recently. The nurse says she'll get someone to give me one, just to be on the safe side.

Cue more waiting.

The nurse returns with my discharge papers, and my father tells her I can't be discharged yet, since I haven't gotten the Tetanus shot yet. The nurse looks confused, then says she'll get someone to give me it. Thankfully, another nurse comes in rather quickly and gives me the shot. She tells me that it will hurt me a little the next day, but it's nothing to worry about.

Finally, I get to leave the hospital.

The next day, my finger is throbbing and my arm feels like it was just kicked by a mule. The site where I was given the Tetanus shot almost hurts more than the stitches! The nurse told me it would hurt, but I didn't realize that much. I couldn't life my arm over my head without deep muscle pain.

The next day is even worse. The injection site has swelled up to the size of a softball and is bright red, like a rash. It's also very hot to the touch, and feels like there's a mass of something under the skin. It's also so painful, I find myself in tears.

Yesterday, it was still the same, still swollen, red, deeply painful. My mother calls our regular doctor and he tells me to come in right away. My family doctor is an awesome guy, but the look on his face when he looks at my arm is not reassuring. He took one look at my arm and exclaimed "Whoa! That does NOT look good!".

He examines me and finds that I have a 100 degree fever, and I tell him I've been feeling chills and generally sick, like how you feel a day or two before you get the flu. He feels the swollen injection site and then sits down, looking absolutely stunned.

He tells me I have "serum sickness", a really bad allergic reaction to whatever they put the Tetanus shot in. He's also confused why the hospital gave me the shot and said I didn't need one, since I was cut with a breadknife, not a rusty nail. He used the phrase "they give those things out like candy in hospitals" and said they should have told me to come to him if I felt sick after the stitches, not to just give me the shot. GREAT.

He gives me a perscription for a heavy duty allergy medicine that's supposed to reduce the swelling. I have to take 6 pills a day for the next week. The injection site is still red, but the pain is slowly going away and it's slowly shrinking in size. There's a bruise completely covering my finger, from the two needles of supposed "numbing" medicine.

So, to recap, Sallie Mae is completely and utterly dicking me over and I can't get a straight answer out of them, or even get them to change my address. The hospital made me wait forever, I got a doctor who put me in MORE pain than I arrived in, and I got a shot that basically poisoned me. If that isn't a night of absolutely shitty service, I don't know what is!
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