I was admitted to NY Methodist hospital April 9th, 2011 with two pulmonary embolisms. yikes, right? painful beyond all description. The kind of pain where there is no past, no future only the present that's come to a standstill and all you can do is live IN the pain and make it part of you. Never again the blood clot times. After eight days, I'm released and put on short term disability. My instructions are to definitely rest but also do something upwardly mobile once a day, mostly in the form of walking. So I do that, but I pushed myself too hard and ended up back at the hospital five days later with a fever, intense pain, back muscle spasms, all sorts of fun things.
I'm re-admitted. And then spent the next five days being ignored and even made sicker.
For starters, the hospital staff kept forgetting to order my daily blood thinner shot. I had to keep reminding them. I need this once a day and it should be taken at the same time or as close to as possible so I don't accidently thin my blood too much and (ya know) DIE. Additionally, I'm taking a very specific type of blood thinner which has more potential adverse side effects, as standard blood thinners make my liver freak out. EVERY DAY THEY FORGOT. And one nurse coped an attitude with me on the third day and actually said: "Oh, well, I thought you brought your own medicine."
Uhm, that's not legal, I cannot bring random medicines from home into the hospital and just take them. Wrong. I just looked at her dumbfounded and she then muttered, 'fine, i'll put in the order'. FOUR HOURS LATER I get my damn shot.
At the same time this is being forgotten, so are my required morning blood draws to monitor my liver enzymes, both for the medicine I'm taking and to make sure my mystery feverish illness isn't attacking my liver.
They didn't remember ONCE. NOT ONCE. I had to remind them EVERY.SINGLE.DAY. And every single day, they were late and the blood was drawn too late in the day for that day's processing. Unbelievable!
Additionally, I also needed blood draws the first day because the doctors are trying to figure out what is making me so sick. Blood infection, perhaps? The nurse who took the samples was great, but they weren't instructed on all of the vials needed so more blood had to be drawn. The person who did it this time was the head doctor on call for this ward. She nicked me TWICE causing those huge bubble looking things to form on my skin. She was very apologetic but at the same time, let the nurse back who did it right the first time.
ON TOP of all this, I was given an IV in the crock of my arm when admitted to the ER. After the first 24 hours, this IV was not used again. This thing was never flushed out and HURT. I asked for THREE days to PLEASE remove the IV and to please flush it out. I was told I was being unreasonable by another nurse because they might have to give me fluids again and then they'll have to redo their work. Oh, boo hoo you poor thing you might have to do your job. HOW TERRIBLE FOR YOU.
I continued to tell everyone how much this was bothering me. I showed two doctors and three nurses that there was now an angry huge red welt that was feverishly GROWING by the IV injection site. I was ignored. They gave me some hot compresses for it then gave me cold compresses for it. What to the what?
FINALLY my main doctor who was in charge of my case during my first eight days in hospital showed up after she had a long weekend. I am relieved. She's fantastic, she'll save me. I nearly cried when I saw her. She took one look at my arm, raised holy hell, removed the IV and called in an infectious disease specialist.
Let me say that again. An INFECTIOUS DISEASE SPECIALIST.
I'm now diagnosed with a phlebitis. What's a phlebitis?? Well, it's basically the swelling of a vein...CAUSED BY A BLOOD CLOT. This happens with shitty IVs that are damaging the vein. This blood clot could have broken off, traveled to my heart and killed me or lodged in my lungs and killed me.
The hospital basically screwed up so badly I was now growing IN MY ARM the very thing that previously almost killed me two weeks prior. I had to take hardcore antibiotics immediately.
I named my phlebitis Fred. I don't know why exactly, pretty certain the opiates convinced me this was the proper thing to do.
I have a somewhat icky picture under here.:
|Say hi Fred!|
It's now the end of day three. I'm exhausted, worn out, pissed off but my mystery fever is gone. I'm now feeling better. I'm ready to GO. My main doctor agrees. After all, the longer I stay in this hell hole the sicker I'm getting in certain aspects. Because not only am I now growing a blood clot, am covered in black bruises from messed up blood draws, have taken my daily shot irregularly which is fucking up my liver enzymes but I'm now covered in hives from an allergic reaction to the strong detergent used on the bed sheets. I'm done. LET ME GO HOME NOW.
It's decided I'm going to be discharged. YAYAYAYAYAY.
Because they forgot to do my damn blood draw for my liver enzymes in the morning, I have to wait until day 4. UGH. I mean, sure, I totally have all the money to spend on these massive co-pays, this is like the Ritz with better food, I'll totally stay here. I love the sound of loud beeping machines and scrambled eggs molded from an ice cream scoop in the morning, it's awesome. (I have a picture of those eggs too, it's kind of hilarious).
Day 4 comes and goes. I'm now hobbling around the corridor asking repeatedly for discharge papers. My mom and friends have called the patient advocate several times. She's been by to see me and is also trying to get the ball rolling. I'm told 'it's coming, it's coming'. Meanwhile, the staff puts me in these big old orange socks that indicate I'm supposed to be in my bed and on bed rest and if I keep leaving my room, they're going to put an alarm on my bed. You can easily spot these orange suckers down the corridor so anyone can spot me "sneaking" and I'll get in trouble. Ohhh, I'm getting on their nerves so now they've grounded me to my bed that's giving me hives. I have a pic of these fashionable socks as well and took them home with me if anyone would like them. They have hard white knobbly bits on the bottom that I guess are there to keep you from slipping but also hurt your feet so you don't want to walk.
I'm a grown ass 37 year old woman but I'm confined to my bed for a time out. Sigh. Who cares, I'm going home shortly.
But once again, my liver blood test was delayed, I have to wait. I will not be discharged unless they can prove my liver is now stabilized. UGH.
Day 5. I get the word everything is being drawn up, any minute now YAY. Only they forgot. And kept forgetting. And kept forgetting. FINALLY AT 11:30 pm after throwing as much of a Terms of Endearment 'GIVE ME MY RELEASE PAPERS' fit as I can possibly muster with limited capacity lungs in pain, I'm released.
I should have complained properly to the patient advocacy department. But I didn't. I was exhausted, in pain for months, had mobility issues for about seven months and my meds made me sleep at least twelve hours a day. It was all I could do to resume work and go home. I'm now kicking myself. NEVER AGAIN will I ever let this kind of bs happen to me or anyone I know. NEVER. I will always make sure my emergency contact has the information for patient advocacy, and even if I'm on opiates and totally out of it I'll make sure ALL staff who works on me has their name and date of service notated in detail in MY notes that cannot be lost or forgotten about. And folks, never EVER forgot that each hospital has a patient advocate there for YOU. USE THEM. If you're not capable, have a family member or friend do so on your behalf. If it wasn't for my friends and mom fighting for me, I'd probably still be there forgotten about in a closet suffering one embolism after another until one finally kills me...and all while wearing those fantastic orange with white bumps socks.
Okay, here, have a pic of the socks I stole.
|My stop sneakin' socks.|
WHO WANTS 'EM? Wait, no takers??? :(
Happy health to everyone!