Being on the other side... - page 2
Jadednurse inspired me to start this thread. I don't know if it's been done already-if so I'm sure someone will inform me. She recently had been hospitalized for gallstones and said it was... Read More
May 7, '03ouch! the bad hits kept coming ! I'm glad your treatment was not bad, you certainly had enough to worry about and recover from!
Cancer has claimed some of my family, and another is terminal. I would much rather go through getting 'tagged' again. You didn't say, but did the cancer tx work? I really hope so.
May 7, '03LaVorne and Gromit, you two have amazing stories, hope you will continue your recovery and get back to work with a whole new point of view.
I have had several surgeries, and although at times I was too sick to make a fuss, sometimes basic nursing care didn't happen. If I had not been a nurse, I wouldn't have noticed.
In a big teaching hospital, neuro dept, following a craniotomy....no-one ever listened to my bowel sounds.......at one point I probably didn't have a whole lot going on....I was fed a regular diet as soon as I could eat. At the low point, maybe four days post- op, I remember sitting on the commode at my bedside, having diarrhea and then vomiting....not good considering the surgery I'd had.
Two or three days later, time for a cranial angio. These take a long time, and I had to pee.......they brought me a bedpan....it's hard to pee lying down with a catheter in your groin! Finally they put a foley in, not a quick cath. I went back to my room with it, there were no orders to d/c (or any foley orders)........a day or so later, my nurse came in to d/c. She emptied the balloon, tried to withdraw the catheter....it wouldn't come. Tried again, no luck. Brought the charge nurse, she took out a pair of scissors, and cut the catheter in half.....but it wouldn't come out. There I was, catheter draining urine.......the intern was summoned (he'd been an intern maybe four days). He was smart, brought a hemostat to clamp the cath off. Several hours later.....a junior urology resident came in, took me to ultrasound, and there was the balloon, still inflated. I allowed him to attempt one suprapubic stick, didn't work, so I was taken back to my room. A couple of hours later, the head of the Urology dept came in, with junior in tow, and a HUGE needle in his hand. He showed junior what to do, gave HIM the needle, which he slid up alongside the catheter into my bladder, while holding tension on the cath.
The balloon popped, deflated, and the cath came out. Everything was thrown in the trash, and the docs left. Two minutes later, the charge nurse came in and retrieved the foley, took it away.
BTW, I went home with a bladder infection...and no mention of any of this on my hospital bill.
A learning experience, after that I always checked foleys to be sure the balloons would deflate!
Other surgeries and experiences, but that's enough for now.
May 7, '03Hey LaVorne. My experience is nothing compared to yours and these other guys, almost no experience actually. I've had an outpatient laparoscopy procedure done in the hospital I used to work in. While recovering after the procedure, I had Miss Nurse With an Attitude. With the IV fluids still running, I had to pee frequently. And when I needed to go I needed to GO. The first time she came into the room, she was mad because I had to ring the call bell again before she had a chance to get there. "I SAID I was coming!" she growled as she walked into the room. Then she put the bedpan underneath me and stood there watching. Do any of you stand over your patients while they're trying to go? I don't. Anyway, my catheter had just come out and it was hard to go, especially with someone watching. So I looked at her and said, "I'll call you when I'm done." She flounced off. After ages, I was finally able to go (what a relief). I didn't call her because I know my weak bladder, and I knew I would need to go again within 10 minutes. I'd rather have the bedpan right there to use again than to have to call Miss Nurse Unfriendly. But guess who comes in without being called, empties my bedpan and puts it out of my reach. Guess who I have to call again in 10 minutes. And guess whose attitude has not changed.
Anyway when I'm about to go home, Miss Nurse of the Month must have finally looked through my paperwork. "You're a nurse and you work here?!" she comes in the door with this huge smile on her face and extra boxes of juice for me. Hey look, it's Miss Nurse Congeniality. Of course my sister is now in the room and remarks at how nice the nurses are around here. "Some of them are", I say back. The podnurse just smiles and asks if I would like some juice to take home.
May 7, '03I wish to share one too! Well mine is an ER visit, where I refused to be inpatient...
I'm working in my CCU, after eating chineese food, we always order it from the same place, with in 15 minutes, I have this feeling of DOOM, HR is racing, sweat pouring, I'm not hearing right and my airway becomes tight. God love an ICU nurse, "I'm OK, suck it up", until my peers start looking at each other, one says get the cart. I actually make it to the ER., via supervisor that they called.
These crazy ER people send me to triage and to registration, now I'm hyperventilating, because I'm scared as crap, I know they'll tube me... I can't even give name and social, I throw my badge at this clerk who snickers "Don't think you get special treatment hun". (thank god the supervisor took me to the ER, she grabs me and pulls me into the back.
Now I'm about to pass out (because I'm hyperventilating, because my airway is closing and I'm paniced more than SOB). I gert an IV without warning, so I jump and the nurse tells me to settle down...(um, can't breathe, ok, just...settle down). Supervisor tells ER doc, must be the msg from the chineese food... my nurse chimes in "must be nice to sit there and eat take out!) (um, I can't breathe)
I get the tag team, no explanations as to what they're doing I get epi. sq, no warning so I jump, again scolded, meds pushed so fast in my IV that I throw up... was benadryl, solumedrol and ativan. Now I'm DONE!!!! resp. therapy slaps a treatment mask on my face (which left a mark for 2 days), no warning, and the ER doc hikes up my scrub top, mind you I'm in a hallway BED, doesn't find any hives and loudly suggests I'm having a panic attack, not anaphylaxis, "get a grip on yourself".
by now, the meds for my analyphylaxis have kicked in and my eyeballs starts swelling shut.... these asses!!!!!
well more epi, which races my already racing heart causes me to... yes, vomit again on the floor, where two nurses roll their eyes a me.
I'm ordered to drink Ice water to decrease the swelling in my throat, well, no room for water, I choke, coughing water everywhere.... that's when he say's "you're getting admitted" and wipes the ice water off his coat.
HELL NO, is my response, "call my husband now and don't dare touch me again". Well now that I have golf balls for eyes, my airway is too tight for even water, they've changed their tune.
Husband comes, I'm passed out from the ativan and benadryl. THe ER doc, tells him, how they barely saved me from intubation and I need admission, at least to observation.... I say words I can't type here and go home with instructions to take prednisone and stay away from MSG.
Week later, I eat shrimp, which was in the dish I ate that night, same response, medicated myself at home, with 100 of benadryl and 40 of the prednisone, scared the crap out of my husband as I was laying on the floor, gaspping for air, refusing to go back to the ER.
To see the other side of the fence as a paniced patient, almost too incoherent to understand what was happening, I'm sickened at how I was treated, knowing that if this is how we treat our own, imagine how others are treated. My panic over my knowlege of anaphylaxis made my situation worse, bt no one took into account that I was paniced, (yes I made it worse for myself, but I couldn't stop), and took just 3 seconds to explain what was happening.... you're getting a shot in your arm now,,, so simple, yet so needed.
Worse yet, not even a question as to WHAT was IN the food and a serum allergy screen with such a life threatening event,,,, I thought it was the chineese food... found out the hard way it's shrimp!
And to initially be accused of having nerves, because of lack of hives is INSANE! I felt so demoralized, that this happened in Oct. and I remember it clearly to this day.
I pitty our ER patients, and am glad that I refused hospitalization because I am SURE this post would be longer.
thanks for listening, and share in ya all's frustration. Even if we can't cure the common cold, surely, there's a cure for this?
May 7, '03Oh boy,
I am a student, soon to be R.N. (this fall). My pet peeve is repeated undermedication for nausea and vomiting from my 2 surgeries. Last time I had been opened up from side to side to allow myomectomy work on my uterus, down low and lateral in the pelvic girdle. The next morning I can't stop vomiting - hours go by - they put me in the chair, take away my emesis bowl, actually acting like I had a choice about all this. More comes up, I am soaked in it, standing there, crying, angry, trying to call out for help, when the anesthesiologist came in to say hello - He whipped around and immediately returned with a nurse and something like zofran - immediate relief. He was so angry that the nurses had not called him or the surgeon - this had been going on for over 5 hours and the nurses kept telling me that they "couldn't bother the doctor with "normal" post-surgical vomiting" and that they were giving me the "best" medicine (what a load of crap.. it was Reglan).
Another example was when I was hospitalized for uncontrolled vomiting and severe pain because I was 3 months preggers and had a 14 cm degenerating fibroid jammed between the baby and my pelvic girdle. The nurse would come in and give me the Demerol (in the IV) and I would get hit so hard with wooziness and then run out of pain relief by about 3 hours. I started pulling the IV pole over to me as soon as she would leave and wheel down the drip rate to allow pain relief on a nice even rate. She was so angry at me when she came in 4 hours later because not all of the med had infused - Now I wonder.... hey! how about PCA!!!??? These experiences will definitely effect my patient care.
May 7, '03Holy mackerel!! This is how we treat our own??
Most of my hospital experiences have been pretty good, but there was one that showed just how badly the system could be screwed up. Like my father's bad experience last week, it involved a hospital OTHER than the one I was accustomed to dealing with.
I'd just finished a lovely 3 day long weekend at my birth mom's cottage, and started back to work. I only had 2 or 3 calls to do, so I left them to the afternoon. I had a tuna sandwich for lunch, then left to see my first patient.
It was an elderly gent with Ca. of the lung. I helped him onto the bed so I could check his skin integrity, and as I bent to help lift his legs, I felt some vague pains in my abdomen. I began to wonder if my period was starting.
Shortly thereafter, I broke out in a cold sweat, and the pains in my abdomen began to escalate. I was having difficulty concentrating on my charting. I went to the bathroom to see if that would help, but it didn't Within 15 minutes, I was lying on the living room couch, moaning in agony, and throwing up. Second hand tuna...boy, did I feel sorry for the pt's daughter, who had the unfortunate task of helping me! Lucky thing she got a bucket for me, just in time!
I'd already called my hubby, hoping he would take me to the ER. Before he could get there, the pt's daughter asked if she should call an ambulance. I weakly agreed that it sounded like a good idea.
Well, despite the fact I was less than 10 minutes away from the local hospital, the one all my doctors use, I never got to go there. It was on ambulance redirect, and so were Southlake, Markham Stouffville, NYGH and both the Scarborough hospitals. The paramedics finally said that B...H would take me. Now, this hospital had been slated to have its ER closed, which may account for some of what followed.
The ambulance drove slowly, because every time it hit a bump, I screamed in pain. By the time we reached the ER, the pain had subsided a little, from about an 8 or 9 to maybe a 5 or 6. I don't recall how long I had to wait for the doctor to see me, but it wasn't too long. He examined me, then I was wheeled out into the hallway again to wait. I began to shiver, and bless those nurses, who kept bringing me warm flanelette sheets from the blanket warmer! I must have had about 5 piled ontop of me before the shivering stopped.
So, I waited, and waited...beginning to feel feverish. Kept getting worse, still no pain meds, no IV, nothing. I asked the nurse for a couple of Tylenol for the fever. She took my temp, which was 39.5 by then, then said she'd talk to the doctor. I waited some more. Half an hour later, I asked again. She again went to the doctor, and this time, my husband saw him blow her off: "Yeah, yeah, in a few minutes, I'm busy!"
I waited another half hour. By now, it was more than 3 hours since I'd arrived in the ER, and I was nearly in tears. I actually thought of asking my husband to see if he could find a pharmacy that was still open, so he could smuggle me in a couple of Tylenol. This time my husband went to the nurse, and was more insistent. AGAIN the nurse went to the doctor. Well the doctor threw a temper tantrum. He took a stack of charts and slammed them down on the nursing desk, swore (used the "F" word three or four times, ranting about something not being done, or not done on time,) and finally snarled at the nurse: "Take a verbal!"
The nurse got another to witness it, and in no time, she had an IV going on me, then ZAP! Demerol IV push! I had to spend the night in the ER because there were no beds, but I tell ya, after that, nothing bothered me!
They took me for a CT scan the next day, and my husband asked the radiologist about the possiblity of getting me into a room. The radiologist actually laughed. There were people who had spent as long as 5 days in the ER, due...not to the shortage of beds, but due to the shortage of nursing staff, created by the vicious cutbacks to the healthcare system under Mike Harris's government.
My husband noticed the radiologist was wearing an iron ring, and remarked on it, and, upon finding out Roger was also an engineer, the radiologist apologised for laughing, and SOMEHOW managed to find me a bed on one of the floors. (I'd like to know just what strings he pulled to work THAT miracle!)
Anyway, the nurses were super (except for the one who woke me up at 4 AM to ask if I needed anything for pain!) but I was sent home after 4 days none the wiser as to what had caused my attack. They SHOULD have done an U/S in hospital, but they didn't. I had to wait a week to get one done in the OP clinic, then wait ANOTHER whole week for the results. During the wait, I was frequently on the phone to the Medical Records department. The first time I called, they couldn't even find me in their system, even when I gave them maiden name, married name, and OHIP number! More on MR in a moment....
Throughout my stay, my husband had been keeping my GP informed of my progress, and we had specifically requested all test results be faxed to her office. Three days after my discharge, I had an appointment with her. "So, did you get all the test results faxed from the hospital?" I asked
"What test results?" They had sent her absolutely NOTHING!
Uh-oh. As soon as I got home, I was on the phone to MR AGAIN, as I had an appt. with my gynecologist 2 days down the road. My gyne got some info on me, but ONLY because my husband picked it up IN PERSON from the office of the gyne who had seen me in hospital!
So, after this bit of nonsense, you can bet I had my GP's business card stapled to the U/S requisition when I went back for the U/S, along with a note requesting results to be faxed IMMEDIATELY to both my GP and gynecologist.
One week later!!! Due to go on vacation to the cottage in 2 day's time! FINALLY Med. Records says they have my test results, and have given them to the attending gynecologist. "Great. Do my GP and gynecologist have a copy?" I ask.
"Well, they will soon..."
"What do you mean by that? Did't you fax them, like I asked?"
"No, we mailed them...."
I think at that point, I nearly strangled the telephone receiver! It all got sorted out in the end....the gynecologist from B...H agreed to give me an emergency appointment that very day, so I could go away on vacation with some assurance that I wasn't going to have another emergency while miles away from the nearest hospital. Turned out I had an large ovarian cyst, which had either twisted or started to rupture.
The whole experience left me with a bad taste in my mouth, flaming mad at the stupidity of our government, and FURIOUS at doctors and hospitals who seem to think ONLY of their own little world! Why, in this age of modern technology and computers, can't doctors share information more readily? Yes, I know pt. confidentiality is important, but not communicating with the Pt's OWN doctors?? HELLLOOO?
After this experience, I have told my husband to take me to our local hospital the next time I have an emergency, even if he has to CARRY me out to the car!Last edit by Jay-Jay on May 8, '03
May 7, '03Nimbex, just READING your post scared ME! (Still have shivers!)
I'm with you, 5150dx, my experiences will certainly affect the way I treat my patients. I was once re-intubated when I started to gain consciousness after a surgical procedure (dropped a bike on a stupid, not-so-well thought out activity) but my paralytic had not yet worn off enough for me to breath. I start to wake up with this incredible pain in my back (where the surgery had been) and for a frightful moment (I can hear talking, but not sure what was being said) I truly believed I was still in O R and that I was gaining consciousness w/o the anesthetists' knowledge! Gradually I began to be able to open my eyes (I was horrified to find that I could move nothing, and no, I was never told I'd be paralyzed -back then I was just an EMT and had no idea what to expect from all this). All kinds of things go racing through a very imaginative mind.... but anyway, some nitwit finally notices my eyes are starting to open (I can tell there is a clock on the wall, but can't make it out. too fuzzy) and starts yelling at me to 'breath!' I'm trying. I can't draw a breath, though, and I'm trying to let them know I can't draw a breath, but can't even move my mouth. Finally, as I start to fade back out, I felt them pry my jaw open, (felt like it, anyway) and in comes the ET, and when I wake up again, I've got a hell of a sore throat, but I'm all the way awake, and in subsequent procedures I made the anesthetist SWEAR they would not paralyze me again. I didn't sleep well for several weeks, just remembering it. Haven't thought of it in quite a few years, until this thread (gee.. thanks! )
You got it right, though, I'll certainly considder the other side.
May 8, '03My Goodness....all of these stories make me so scared and nervous...I am glad that each one of you made it through your experiences ALIVE! (No thanks to the people who were supposed to be caring for you.) It makes my little experience pale by comparison, but still, here goes...
I became very ill with what I thought initially was just an episode of back spasms, which I am prone to. I came home from work and collapsed into bed, by now with nausea, vomiting and a raging fever. The back pain was awful. My skin hurt! My temp was 103 oral. Hmmmm, that can't be right, take it again. Oh, OK...it really was 103.4! Hubby came home and took one look at me and nearly carried me to the car to go to ER.
Was triaged rather quickly and taken to an exam room. Nurse does a very brief assessment. I tell her the back pain is excruciating now at 8 or 9, and all I want to do is pee and then lie in a fetal position. I had taken Tylenol at home twice w/o touching the temp. Nurse takes it...103.2F
After nearly two hours lying on a small, hard, ER cot, getting up every 10 min to pee, moaning with pain, FINALLY a doc comes in. He orders CXR (*****?? I guess b/c I am asthmatic??? No one explains that they heard rales...
XR Tech acts bored to tears and has NO compassion w me & the back pain I was having...gets all snotty w me b/c of my diff standing up straight.
Back to ER. After another 10 min, lab draws blood. Had trouble getting into a vein (DUH! I have been throwing up for 7-8 hours, diarrhea and peeing constantly.....can we say it together here: "DEHYDRATION"...) Had to be stuck 4 times...finally got enough blood by using a butterfly.
Nurse came in w med cup w 2 pills. I asked what they are and told it's Tylenol 650 and a Bactrim. I ask for nausea med, and state I don't know if I can keep the pills down. I'm told that none was ordered. Jeez...everyone knew I was vomiting...I take the pills anyway.
Finally, MD comes in, says I have a UTI and gives me an Rx for Bactrim.
Now a point here is: I have had NO PAIN MEDS, I STILL have a temp of 102.8, I have had NO IV MEDS nor even a fluid bolus, nothing for the nausea or diarrhea. Just go home. Hey, maybe I should have insisted on admission, but I was so sick I didn't argue. And sweet Hubby is too uneducated on medical matters...if they say I can go home, well...
The next day, I still feel like crap. I went into my own MD office. He pulls up all the tests in ER and about blew a gasket. Turns out I have bronchitis, URI, UTI, dehydration and pylonephritis. He says I should have at least had IV bolus, IV ATB and says I should have been admitted. He said the Bactrim is a joke in this case & gave me Levaquin. He wanted to admit me then, but I decided to wait out the day & see if the Levaquin helped.
I know this is a minor thing, compared to your horror stories, but I think if they do something like this poorly....what else would have happened if it was worse?
May 8, '03Wow some of these stories are incredible. Even though it's scary to know you have to get intubated or have an NG, foley, whatever because you know what it's all about sometimes it's good to know "what's up" cause you're a medical person. Yet sometimes it bites because the ones treating you have the nerve to have expectations of you because you're a nurse. Nevermind you're nervous, nauseated, half-conscious, in pain, etc. What doesn't kill you makes you a better nurse.
Everyone's experience touches me deeply because I can relate. It is an aweful feeling to feel hopelessness and like you can't speak up for yourself because you're incapacitated. Nevermind fear of the unknown. How about Fear of the known as a nursing diagnosis? Knowing what's coming, knowing how insensitive some can treat patients, knowing how little some caring for you actually know!
Please keep telling your stories brothers and sisters!
May 8, '03Yeah.....what do you guys think: is it worse being a nurse and knowing what is going on (and what is ahead)? Or is it better?
May 8, '03Thanks for posting these. It's good for all of us to remind us what it can be like on the receiving end........
Thanks everyone for taking the time to share with all of us!