Broken Heather (brokenheather) wrote in bad_service,
Broken Heather

A couple of medical bad_service stories...

I've been reading here since long before the spotlight, but with all the recent posts about horrible medical/dental treatment, I thought I'd throw a couple more into the mix.

I didn't previously have a great history of getting to the dentist regularly (mostly due to money/lack of insurance), but never had a cavity and only minimal problems over the years. I decided to find a dentist once I got insurance and went for my first visit in probably five years.

So this wasn't screaming in agony while teeth are being pulled un-anesthetized, but was plenty miserable. She looks in my mouth and starts poking around. I explain that I hadn't been able to go in quite some time. She says 'I can see that, you have horrible dental hygiene - look, I barely touched you and you're bleeding. I bet your teeth are riddled with cavities!' What? No, I brush and floss regularly, and I've never had a cavity! 'No, you don't get bleeding like that, unless you don't take care of your teeth.' I swear, I take good care of my teeth!

So she goes for the xrays. I tell her I absolutely can't use adult sized films, they WILL make me barf. She says nonsense, I HAVE TO use the adult ones on're an adult! First one for my front teeth, I can't close my mouth, and she's saying YES YOU CAN! I say no I can't. She's getting pissed off at me...I finally get it done, but not without scraping up/bruising the roof of my mouth. Second one triggers the gag reflex and I throw up a little over the side of the chair. She gets mad at me while they're cleaning up...and says I'm being intentionally difficult. At this point, I'm not _crying_ but I have a little bit of leaky eye... She tells me there's no reason to be acting like wonder I can't take care of my teeth.

Finally she comes back from looking at the xrays. She says, 'hmmm, no cavities. I guess you _do_ take care of your teeth. That gum bleeding is a problem though - that could be indicative of some serious diseases.' I say WHAT? Like WHAT??? She says, I don't know, you need to see a specialist. Mind you, I'm leaving for the UK the next day - no chance to see a specialist. I spend the next week in the UK worrying that I'm going to die of some horrible disease, because she gave me absolutely NO INFORMATION as to what my problem could be. I came back and saw a different dentist who didn't make me cry, and got my problem resolved (a bit of an infection that cleared right up with some antibiotics).

And then another from a hospital stay. Just because you are a medical expert does not mean you know everything... Long story short - I'm celiac - that means I can't have wheat, rye, barley, oats or it will make me very sick in multiple ways. I landed myself in the ICU (because I'm apparently one of those people they warn about with stomach bleeding on commercials about NSAIDS)...

I'm admitted to the hospital in the afternoon (after collapsing in a subway station - if there were a category for bad_humanity, I'd have more story to share here)...and they decide I shouldn't have any food the next day (aside from clear things like broth and jello), pending a stomach scope. I tell them about my dietary restrictions right away, because sometimes there are some of my 'forbidden' ingredients even in something simple like broth. They acknowledge. Finally I'm done with the scope (I did have to correct them on WHICH DIRECTION they were doing the scope from - it was written down wrong - minor scare...heh) and I'm starving! They bring me my food.

Well, they bring me turkey and stuffing and a roll. Ummm, even if you're not 100% clear on what's in food, a roll and stuffing are clearly BREAD, which I can't have. I tell them there's no way I can eat that, it will make me VERY SICK. They said 'can't you just take the turkey off?' No, even contact will make me very sick. So they send the nutritionist up...and I think, yay, I'll be all set!

The nutritionist comes up with a bunch of print outs about gluten free food and celiac. She goes over them with me, like she's teaching ME about how to eat gluten free. I figure as long as I get food I can eat, I don't care if her methods are slightly misguided. So new food comes back up...a tuna sandwich! NONONONO! It's on bread! What the heck? I ask, can you just get me some fruit and some jello, and we'll leave it at that? I'm absolutely ravenous at that point - it's been almost 36 hours since I've eaten beyond broth and jello.

The next day, at breakfast - toast, rice crispies (which have barley), yogurt (which I can eat), and fruit. I ask them to send me the nutritionist again! I explain to her what's wrong with my meal. She seems to understand. She comes back a while later with more printouts. She says, 'here, I want you to take these home with you, so you can adopt your gluten free diet correctly'. I tell her I've been abiding by this diet for 5 years! I just can't seem to get any safe food in your hospital!!! She still didn't seem to get what I was telling her - shouldn't this be her job to make sure I got safe food? If I had eaten anything that I shouldn't have, it would have aggravated an already mangled stomach!

A total of four days in the hospital, and the closest thing I got to a meal was a scoop of tuna salad and a bowl of fruit!
Tags: *medical/pharmacy, dentist
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