May 9th, 2012

Hospital Suck

A few months ago my friend found out she was pregnant! Yay! We're all a little on edge because she had been pregnant before and miscarried, so all of us were keeping a close eye on her. We got past the point she'd lost the baby last time and all sighed a little bit in relief.

A week goes by and friend is living with me at the time. We're out and about and she starts mentioning cramps. Uh oh. She wants to wait and see if maybe it was just heartburn or something. So an hour goes by and they've become unbearable to the point she's crying. Now, friend is not a crier and she's been abused as a child so I know she's in agony and needs to go the ER, NOW. I half carry her to the car, and off to the hospital we go. We get her there and she goes through triage, saying she's a week shy of 3 months along, prior miscarriage, etc. They give her a bracelet and send her to the waiting room.

An hour goes by, two hours go by, three hours go by...all this time with maybe three other people in the waiting room and no ambulances coming in. While we're waiting I'm taking phonecalls from her family and trying to keep her from having a meltdown. Finally, I go talk to a nurse at the front desk.
"We'll get to her when we're ready!" is the only thing said to me before she walks off. ...okay.

Four hours, finally have her calmed and probably worn out from crying for four hours that she falls asleep. Five hours...nurse calls for her, then makes a snarky remark that if she's asleep she must not be in much pain. Really? Y'all are testing my patience, and coming from the daughter of a nurse, I understand that sometimes they're stressed but that was not necessary! So we go back to the ER and The nurse throws her a gown and tells her to put it on, then leaves without doing anything. And then we wait.

Another three hours. Finally, doctor comes in, shuts the curtain and starts talking to her, leaves, comes back, puts an IV in and disappears. At this point my friend is freaking, just wants to know the baby is okay. So we wait an hour for the IV to finish and we look out to see an ultrasound right outside her room. Thank goodness! Except, no ones coming in to use it and there's nurses and doctors all along the nurses station(right outside her cubicleP), joking and flirting.

Friend starts crying again and I have had it. I walk out to the Nurses station and ask them when she can get her ultrasound and go home. "We have more important things to do." Mmkay, no more nice girl. Go back to friends room and ring up the patient advocate. She's as shocked and annoyed as I am. Wouldn't you know it, fifteen minutes later someone comes in, does the ultrasound, friend is estatic to see her peanut and we wait for release papers. Except, while we're waiting I hear the person who came in to do the ultrasound making fun of us, saying how some people are such babies. REALLY?!

The nurse who walks in is the one who told me they had more important things to do. And she's holding the very things that mean I can go home after being awake almost 24 hours at this point. She talks to friend like she's an idiot and explains everything very slowly, then turns to me and says something that makes me want to punch her. "Ya'know, you didn't have to whine to the advocate, we would've have gotten to you sooner if I didn't have to waste time on the phone."

Needless to say, I called the patient advocate back on the way home, I was too drained and running on anger that I was afraid I'd have punched someone, had I stayed to complain in person.

Seriously? That's "normal"?

I was seen the Tuesday before Easter in the Emergency Room. My arms, chest, and face had all gone numb. I have a disease called Mastocytosis ( if you're the type interested in that stuff), so it was LIKELY that it was some sort of inflammatory response tied to mast cell disorder. Instead of doing any sort of testing the ER doctor decided to just do IV steroids, H1 and H2 blockers. I agreed to this treatment course, thinking it was probably a good *starting* point.

The nurse putting in my IV said to the other nurse in the room "hmm I'm not sure if this is a good spot" the other nurse said "eh just go for it." and she did. Well when they removed the IV I started gushing blood. I've never seen anything like it. And I clock a lot of blood tests and IVs.

The drugs did nothing. If anything it got worse. He still refused to do any tests, told me to call my Mastocytosis doctor and discharged me.

I get home from the ER and I have this huge golf ball sized lump under my skin and a black bruise. It is now over a month later I'm still bruised.

I've called the patient advocate twice. I finally got my response today. "Bruises are common after an IV, it's usually reduced by applying pressure to the area after the IV is removed." SERIOUSLY!?

I'm ticked off.