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Bad experience - is this typical?

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by keikei keikei (Member)

keikei specializes in public health.

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keikei specializes in public health.

1,010 Visitors; 28 Posts

Sorry if it sounded dramatic....it just was what it was. I don't go looking for drama. I was at home making dinner for my family on a nice Sunday afternoon, looking forward to relaxing. One slip of a knife and I get to live the "drama". But instead of the people involved making sure I was taken care of when they could see I was drenched in my own blood & scared to death (as was my husband), I was treated like the most insignificant annoying interruption. Even when I arrived & was scared & freaking out, I was not screaming, acting crazy, being rude or anything. I tried to stay as calm as possible, answer their questions while still trying to get someone to do more than glance at my finger - at that point we weren't even sure it was still attached.

I'm just reporting exactly what happened. It was a dramatic (traumatic) experience I never care to go through again. If you choose not to believe me, well, that's your choice. I have no reason to lie about it. I only posted on here because I wanted to see if other people in this profession thought this sounded normal or if it sounded wrong. Yes, I realize that there is malpractice insurance out there and that most medical professionals are terrified of it. I don't know what that has to do with any of this though - that is exactly why it is so confusing and shocking to me. Thats why I asked the questions here - to find out if that is how ALL ER's would handle a patient like me under those circumstances or if someone dropped the ball. The fact that two hospital adm. approached me and a nurse filed a report basically tattling on her co-workers shows me that something is not right. The fact that there are those of you calling me a liar (someone you don't even know) because it all sounds too unbelievable makes me even more convinced that something wrong happened.

About the surgeon walking out of surgery to come see me? Yes, he did. He still had on his scrubs. He told me that he was a resident and that the other surgeon was still working on the other patient and asked him to come down and examine me then to call him IN the OR. He told me they routinely "break scrub" to consult on ER cases because hand surgery is very specialized and that there is always a team ( the main surgeon, residents, etc). I don't know how ER veterans wouldn't know that? :confused: So the resident surgeon came down, put the nerve block in, poked around in my cut, told me what he saw (mangled the artery but luckily we have two in each finger, cut the nerves, tendon, it was repairable but didn't know how much longer they would be with the surgery & that my bleeding had to be stopped immediately so that was what he suggested and said he was going to go call the other surgeon. It was then they felt that it would be OK to stitch me up loosely & come in to be seen at 8:30 a.m. the next day. It doesn't matter to me if you believe me, I was there and have nothing to gain by making this up. It's all formally documented & written down and I have it right here in front of me.

How did I leave the ER with that much blood lost & no transfusion? You tell me. They never even TOOK blood, no IV, etc. It's the ONLY time I've been in an ER and didn't have an IV started immediately. I questioned that several times & got no response.

-Nurse & PCA did: got gauze pads, 3 xrays, 2 vital signs checked, 1 percocet, 1 tetanus shot - those all done by the nurse and the PCA who cut my thigh when he leaned over me to put the BP cuff on my arm.

-ER Doctor: I was checked once by the ER doctor, an older man who poured a bunch of water from a bottle over my finger and said "Oh no, this is way too deep, I'm not comfortable doing this, we need to have a hand surgeon down here to check her". He told me they would be moving me to a different room down the hall so the surgeon could examine me better (they never did).

-The PA sewed my finger up with black thread and talked to me about why she was doing it instead of the MD or the surgeon. She did a nerve block that she said would last about 2-4 hours. She told me it was just temporary to see if we could stop the bleeding long enough for me to get to the surgeon in the morning. She was also the one who requested my vitals be checked AGAIN because she said my skin felt cold/clammy to her and I told her I felt so dizzy and sick. (this happened AFTER the shift change and AFTER the staff had gotten yelled at by head nurse supervisor)

-The surgeon resident came down, did another nerve block (this time he shot the back of my hand around the knuckles & told me it should keep me pain free for about 8 hours, hopefully long enough for me to be seen in their office in the morning. He looked around, told me that I had cut the arteries & veins on the outer part of my right index finger and then the flexor tendon sheath and some nerves. He said he would be right back and went to call his boss, who was still in the OR with the other guy. He came back & said the surgeon wanted me to come in at 8am and for me to call the office and tell them I had been seen in the ER that night, they would make room and then he would schedule surgery. He then left.

-The PA returned, talked with resident surgeon, he told her the same thing and to just sew me up well enough to stop the bleeding. She came in, did the sewing.

-The PCA came in and cleaned up my cut with water & tried to wipe as much blood as possible. He then wrapped it in gauze and that tan stretchy stuff.

-Nursing supervisor came in last to discharge me. She was the one I heard yelling that the staff during changeover time about them not triaging properly & leaving someone bleeding that long. She came in to give me discharge instructions, apologized for the long wait.

-the next morning, my husband scheduled a consult with a different surgeon at a different hospital, I went in at 8, he already had the hospital records & was ranting and raving about them allowing me to bleed that long, not putting in an IV, no antibiotics, etc. HE was the one who spoke the words "I hope they have good malpractice insurance, this is criminal" as he was going over my labs that HE took. I was scheduled for surgery, he fixed what he could and told me the arteries were too big of a mess and that he just had to leave them that way.

I only found out how much blood I had lost the next day when I went to see the surgeon who did the repair. Which was NOT the one I saw in the ER. I have NO idea how they calculate blood loss, but he took a look at the CBC I had done at the end of April and compared it to the one he did that morning and that's what he told me. He told me that was why I was feeling dizzy, cold and why my iron level was so low. It made sense to me. Maybe it doesn't to you, I don't know what to say about that.

Believe it or not....it's helping me to get this all written down & the fact that there are so many of you caring people telling me that it's just not right (and even those of you calling me a liar when you don't even know me and can't give me a good reason why I'd be lying) shows me that there IS something wrong here & I need to pursue it. A few bad workers shouldn't be allowed to get by with this, what about all of the good people who work at that hospital & would be horrified to hear this ?

Edited by rn/writer
Names of hospital personnel removed.

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imintrouble has 16 years experience and specializes in LTC Rehab Med/Surg.

51,001 Visitors; 2,397 Posts

I was right!!! LAWSUIT. Free money. Hooray!:thankya:

KeiKei has names. What each person did. I'm suprised she doesn't have times down to the minute.

Edited by imintrouble

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keikei specializes in public health.

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I believe the OP, mainly because as I said in a previous post, the same thing happened to my husband in an ER. Also, you CAN lose a third of your blood and walk out without a transfusion... I walked out once (separate incident, obviously... different hospital) with my H&H halved with a script for some iron pills. It was AWFUL and I WISH I had been given a transfusion!

Thank you Ohio Nurse - I feel pretty crappy right now but at least the finger is starting to heal a little. They checked my iron and creatinine levels yesterday so we'll see how much stress all of this caused healthwise not including the finger. I have a friend who is an ER doc in this same city, she is on vacation right now, but you can bet I will show her all of this & see what she has to say.

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Mrs. SnowStormRN specializes in Mental Health, Medical Research, Periop.

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For the person who wanted to know how i typed this: it's called voice to text, lots of computers have it.

For the person who says it sounds like a story I made up from Scrubs. I've never watched that show. What purpose would there be for me to make up a story & post it here? I asked here because most of you are ER nurses & I want to know if this is the typical standard of care for people and what would make a nurse treat a bleeding patient like this because I do NOT want to choose ER nursing if that's how it is. I felt like I was in a nightmare, I remember saying over and over to my husband "I just can't believe this, I can't believe all of this blood and that it's normal & OK to bleed this much for this long & that they're treating a sore throat ahead of me"

For the person who said it isn't my business why other patients are being seen. Um, yeah - I know that. But the thing is, when the exam rooms are separated by a CURTAIN, you hear EVERYTHING that is said. The nurses, PCA's etc also talk very loudly across the room about what they are doing. That is how I knew who else was there and why. I was trying to be polite, wait my turn & be respectful for as long as possible but everyone has their limits. Try holding your hand over your head for 5 hours while keeping direct pressure on it and still have blood running down your arm and pooling in your lap as you feel colder, sleepier, more confused & like you are going to throw up and knowing that your nurse is sitting right outside your curtain area talking about her Facebook with a co-worker and acting annoyed when your husband questions the amt of blood and length of time we've been there and shouldn't maybe I have an IV to put the fluids back in. They made us feel like I was being very overdramatic about the blood loss despite the puddles, racing heart & low BP & low temp.

For the person who said that I said the nurse laughed at my low BP -what I actually said was the PCA (not a nurse) SHRUGGED (not laughed) and when the nurse called across to him "did you get 14's vitals" he yelled back "Normal, I will write paper". So normal BP is in the 80s? The last time that happened to me, my kidney specialist hospitalized me for a week. And a normal temp is 96.6 (when I arrived it was 99.9). I had no idea BP and temp could fluctuate so much & be considered normal. :confused: Later, when the PA (physician assistant) came in to sew me up, SHE asked me "I heard you asking that Christopher not be allowed to come in your room, did something upset you?" and I showed her the 16cm cut in my thigh. Her eyes got really big & she said "I' will be right back" and returned with the doctor, another PCA and a camera. She asked if it was OK to take a photo of the cut on my leg. I don't know what that was all about, I just wanted to be done,

Today, i had to go have the surgical area checked again today for infection (the surgeon office is across from ThisHospital. After my check, we went across the street where I requested my medical records, including all that happened that night in that ER. While we were waiting for them to print, two people approached me and asked my name and wanted to know if I was a patient in ThisHospital ER on Sunday May 15th. I told them that I was, showed them my bandaged hand & they asked if I had a few minutes to talk with them about what had happened. (I had not complained or anything at this point, I had just called this morning to find out where to go to pick up my records for my visit on 15 May). They asked me into a conference room and introduced themselves as Chief Nursing Officer & Medical Director of Patient services. They told me that an employee on duty while I was there filed a complaint regarding the care I received on my behalf. They were planning on calling me but had also put a tag in my records to be paged if I came back in, They wanted to know if I was planning on contacting the media or a lawyer and if I was willing to talk with them about what had happened that night. They seemed very concerned, very apologetic and very interested in my side of the story.

When I explained what had happened, they told me my story exactly matched that of the nurse who had filed the complaint as well as another patient in the ER that night that they had also interviewed (he was the one with the thumb tip that was cut-off and it did NOT take 12 hours as my nurse told me, it took them a little over an hour, the reporting nurse said that my nurse exaggerated the time hoping the physcian's assistant would just sew me up instead) They told me that the ER had been unusually slow that evening and that, in fact, there were only 6 total patients there the entire time I was there. I arrived at 5:05pm and was discharged at 10:33pm. They said that there had been a major issue with triage & that the nurse in charge did not indicate anywhere that I was bleeding profusely, she had just written "small laceration right index finger, patient stable" The truth was, the laceration to my finger cut through two arteries, a nerve bundle, nicked a tendon sheath and I lost a significant amount of blood (arrived at 5 with Class I, Discharged Class III - I am reading this from the paper & don't know what it means). The laceration is 10.2 cm which isn't small.

In the end, you may see hyperbole, while what I'm feeling is confusion, pain and stress. Now I have NO idea what is considered an emergency if cutting through a couple arteries, nerves & a tendon, bleeding more than 30% of my blood volume to the point where I was going into shock isn't considered urgent, I guess I don't know what is then.

For those of you who wished me well and didn't automatically think I am making things up and told me that I am right to feel upset, thank you. You are the type of nurse I always hope to have caring for me when I need one and the type of nurse I hope to be one day. I feel 100% confident that what I said happened actually did happen now that I've had the hospital admin. approach me AND the fact that a co-worker of those people saw it was not right and reported her own co-workers, maybe no-one else will ever have to feel terrified, confused & in pain when they seek care for an emergency.

Now I really dont believe you because your follow ups keep contridicting your original post. I wont copy and paste them all but as you can see here you say you used voice test, in your original post (and I copied and pasted) you say, "but currently typing this with one hand do to surgery yesterday (which is how I found this site)." So here I assume you had surgery twice Sunday and Wed?

And yes, I was saying this sounds overly dramatic to me.

PS - there are tons of trolls on this site who make up stories and post them here, in fact, recently an OP eventually admitted to making up the story. It was closed for review, and I believe later deleted.

Edited by Mrs. SnowStormRN

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keikei specializes in public health.

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I was right!!! LAWSUIT. Free money. Hooray!:thankya:

Wow. You are a lovely human being.

I'm glad you are able to have so much fun with my suffering.

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3 Articles; 30,209 Visitors; 2,815 Posts

How did I leave the ER with that much blood lost & no transfusion? You tell me. They never even TOOK blood, no IV, etc. It's the ONLY time I've been in an ER and didn't have an IV started immediately. I questioned that several times & got no response.

It's not standard practice to draw labs and insert a PIV for a finger lac. A finger lac is a low acuity, "fast track" complaint. And, a clean cut with a clean knife does not need antibiotics, particularly when copiously irrigated as you described.

Edited by Anna Flaxis

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Orange Tree specializes in Medical Surgical Orthopedic.

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Goodness, woman! ...just don't pick up a knife by the blade again! Problem solved.

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psu_213 has 6 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Emergency, Telemetry, Transplant.

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About the surgeon walking out of surgery to come see me? Yes, he did. He still had on his scrubs. He told me that he was a resident and that the other surgeon was still working on the other patient and asked him to come down and examine me then to call him IN the OR. He told me they routinely "break scrub" to consult on ER cases because hand surgery is very specialized and that there is always a team ( the main surgeon, residents, etc). I don't know how ER veterans wouldn't know that? :confused:

Surgeons always wear scrubs in the hospital. Just because he was wearing them does not mean he came right from the OR and "broke scrub." There may be a hand surgeon/team on call all the time, but are the always in the hospital..I highly doubt it. You said this was a community hospital--I also doubt that they have a hand surgery resident in house 24/7. Also, is it necessary to insult all ED nurses? If you had a bad experience, that's unfortunate. It is not necessary to call out all ED nurses on here.

You tell me. They never even TOOK blood, no IV, etc. It's the ONLY time I've been in an ER and didn't have an IV started immediately.

Maybe half of our pt's get IVs. I have never seen a finger lac get an IV.

-Nurse & PCA did: got gauze pads, 3 xrays, 2 vital signs checked, 1 percocet, 1 tetanus shot - those all done by the nurse Heidi and the PCA who cut my thigh when he leaned over me to put the BP cuff on my arm.

-ER Doctor: I was checked once by the ER doctor, an older man who poured a bunch of water from a bottle over my finger and said "Oh no, this is way too deep, I'm not comfortable doing this, we need to have a hand surgeon down here to check her". He told me they would be moving me to a different room down the hall so the surgeon could examine me better (they never did).

-The PA sewed my finger up with black thread and talked to me about why she was doing it instead of the MD or the surgeon. She did a nerve block that she said would last about 2-4 hours. She told me it was just temporary to see if we could stop the bleeding long enough for me to get to the surgeon in the morning. She was also the one who requested my vitals be checked AGAIN because she said my skin felt cold/clammy to her and I told her I felt so dizzy and sick. (this happened AFTER the shift change and AFTER the staff had gotten yelled at by head nurse supervisor)

-The surgeon resident came down, did another nerve block (this time he shot the back of my hand around the knuckles & told me it should keep me pain free for about 8 hours, hopefully long enough for me to be seen in their office in the morning. He looked around, told me that I had cut the arteries & veins on the outer part of my right index finger and then the flexor tendon sheath and some nerves. He said he would be right back and went to call his boss,who was still in the OR with the other guy. He came back & said the doctor wanted me to come in at 8am and for me to call the office and tell them I had been seen in the ER that night, they would make room and then he would schedule surgery. He then left.

-PA returned, talked with resident surgeon, he told her the same thing and to just sew me up well enough to stop the bleeding. She came in, did the sewing.

-The PCA came in and cleaned up my cut with water & tried to wipe as much blood as possible. He then wrapped it in gauze and that tan stretchy stuff.

Using names is a really, really bad idea. Near shock and then just "sewed" you up and told you to come to the office in the morning? If the hand surgeons are the heros of this story, whey did they not ask for blood to be drawn or an IV to be started? (or do you want to question their expertice too?)

-the next morning, my husband scheduled a consult with a different surgeon at a different hospital, I went in at 8, he already had the hospital records & was ranting and raving about them allowing me to bleed that long, not putting in an IV, no antibiotics, etc. HE was the one who spoke the words "I hope they have good malpractice insurance, this is criminal" as he was going over my labs that HE took. I was scheduled for surgery, he fixed what he could and told me the arteries were too big of a mess and that he just had to leave them that way.

So now you have told us the names of the folks in the ED and that another doctor said you should sue them. No decent doctor is going to say something like that ("I hope they have good malpractice insurance, this is criminal"). Since he is not on staff at that hospital he has now slandered that institution and that staff there.

A few bad workers shouldn't be allowed to get by with this, what about all of the good people who work at that hospital & would be horrified to hear this ?

Sorry, I'm not going to let you bash all ER nurses like you did earlier in this post then let you turn around in a few paragraphs and try to make nice with a cliche.

Edited by rn/writer
Names of hospital staff removed from quoted sections.

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keikei specializes in public health.

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Now I really dont believe you because your follow ups keep contridicting your original post. I wont copy and paste them all but as you can see here you say you used voice test, in your original post (and I copied and pasted) you say, "but currently typing this with one hand do to surgery yesterday (which is how I found this site)." So here I assume you had surgery twice Sunday and Wed?

And yes, I was saying this sounds overly dramatic to me.

PS - there are tons of trolls on this site who make up stories and post them here, in fact, recently an OP eventually admitted to making up the story. It was closed for review, and I believe later deleted.

ok - fair enough...I made a mistake by saying I was typing it one handed, which was how I had started out until one of my sons told me that I could just use voice to text and it would be easier. So it's a mixture of the two, sometimes voice to text doesn't write the correct word and you have to type it in, which I do with my left hand for now anyway. Any other mistakes I've made that you all would like to point out? I did have general anesthesia & have pain meds in my system so I'm sure this isn't exactly perfect. I had my husband (who was there with me the entire time) and a friend (who works in this ER but was at a wedding last weekend) read over it to make sure I had things right

I do have the names & times. They're on the records they gave me this morning. How is that unusual? I'm also one of those patients that fills out the comment cards that because a nurse friend told me that when those get read at the end of the month, they get rewards & sometimes gift cards or some special thing and I want the people who take good care of me know that I appreciate them. So whatever, if that's weird, troll-like, unbelievable, etc I guess I don't know what to say.

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imintrouble has 16 years experience and specializes in LTC Rehab Med/Surg.

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I do have the names & times. They're on the records they gave me this morning. How is that unusual? I'm also one of those patients that fills out the comment cards that because a nurse friend told me that when those get read at the end of the month, they get rewards & sometimes gift cards or some special thing and I want the people who take good care of me know that I appreciate them. So whatever, if that's weird, troll-like, unbelievable, etc I guess I don't know what to say.

Names and times are not ever included in any records routinely given to pts, such as discharge papers. They would be included in whatever parts of the chart that were requested by the pt. However those requests are made through medical records and can take a day or two.

Not sure why you've posted here, but you are correct in one regard. My posts were mean and sarcastic. For that I apologize. I have no excuse. Please forgive me.

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3 Articles; 30,209 Visitors; 2,815 Posts

I take it back. I think this did happen. I think you cut your finger, it was bloody and scary, you went to the ED expecting a certain sequence of events to occur, and when your expectations weren't met, you got upset.

A finger lac is not a high acuity complaint. It does not require labs to be drawn, nor IV insertion. The typical sequence of events would be that you are triaged, roomed, and seen by a doctor. The doctor will examine the laceration and determine the course of treatment. If it is a clean wound, antibiotics are not necessarily given.

If the doctor determines that specialized intervention is needed (i.e. the hand surgeon), then the doctor calls/pages the specialist. The specialist consults over the phone with the doctor and comes to examine the patient in person if needed.

The specialist determines if immediate intervention is needed, or if the intervention can be done at a later time.

The patient is then discharged or admitted to the hospital, depending upon the specialist's determination.

All of this happened in your case. Five hours start to finish isn't too shabby, really.

I don't believe that you nearly bled out or went into hypovolemic shock. I do believe that your wound continued to ooze, and that this was anxiety provoking to you, that you expected the staff to behave differently than they did, and that was disappointing to you, and that things didn't happen quickly enough for you, and that this was frustrating to you.

But overall, you received appropriate medical treatment.

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keikei specializes in public health.

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Surgeons always wear scrubs in the hospital. Just because he was wearing them does not mean he came right from the OR and "broke scrub." There may be a hand surgeon/team on call all the time, but are the always in the hospital..I highly doubt it. You said this was a community hospital--I also doubt that they have a hand surgery resident in house 24/7. Also, is it necessary to insult all ED nurses? If you had a bad experience, that's unfortunate. It is not necessary to call out all ED nurses on here.

Maybe half of our pt's get IVs. I have never seen a finger lac get an IV.

Using names is a really, really bad idea. Near shock and then just "sewed" you up and told you to come to the office in the morning? If the hand surgeons are the heros of this story, whey did they not ask for blood to be drawn or an IV to be started? (or do you want to question their expertice too?)

So now you have told us the names of the folks in the ED and that another doctor said you should sue them. No decent doctor is going to say something like that ("I hope they have good malpractice insurance, this is criminal"). Since he is not on staff at that hospital he has now slandered that institution and that staff there.

Sorry, I'm not going to let you bash all ER nurses like you did earlier in this post then let you turn around in a few paragraphs and try to make nice with a cliche.

Ok - confused here,,,,,where did I bash anyone other than being REALLY upset with the nurse assigned to me and the others that I could see/hear before the shift changed who weren't working? I know I wasn't the only patient there but I also wasn't the patient who was screaming at everyone either. When my doctor said that, he said it to me and my husband knowing that we are not the type of people to sue over something like this. It was understood by all of us in the room that he was blowing off steam. I've had lots of drs/nurses say things like that if they think someone isn't doing their job. He wasn't telling me to sue them nor did I ever even bring it up.

The names of the workers I gave you are to keep it simple, there are no last names or the hospital. And by community hospital, I meant hospital in my community....I didn't realize we are arguing semantics here.

It is a large hospital and as a matter of fact, they DO have hand/microsurgery specialists on call 24/7, it says it on their website & on the billboards around the city. I'm not sure what that all has to do with anything though - the surgeon was there, doing surgery on another person that arrived when I did but they took him first because he had a different nurse & was processed quicker. As for the IV - I only mentioned it because I have never been to an ER where that wasn't the first thing they did - and whenever I've asked, they said it was so if they had to give fluids, pain meds, etc. it was already started. I'm not a medical professional so I don't know what is standard or not. I just know what I've experienced. If it were just a finger laceration, I would have put a bandage over it and gone to see my regular doctor the next day. This was a cut so deep I sliced the arteries and I was bleeding everywhere for the ENTIRE time I was there. It wasn't my perception, it was reality. My husband took photos of it for me just for that reason - in case a dr or nurse came in and wanted to kinow how much I was bleeding, he could show them the photo and also the bin full of sopping bloody towels. You can believe or not believe, I know what happened, I just lived through it. Once again, my reason for asking about all of this was to learn if what I experienced was standard procedure or out of the norm, that's all.

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