RN as Inpatient, horrible and looong rant

  1. On top of everything I have been unable to log into the site. Here I am , minus a UTERUS!!!! Believe me when I tell you that in my situation it is better to be an ordinary citizen than to be "found out" as I was, as a nurse.

    Deep breath, and sooo happy to tell this story:

    2002, still suffering from heavy periods, cramping, bloating etc. Found a female OBG I could relate to who reassurred me that she would persue every avenue to help me thru this, did a D & C, tried the vivelle patch. I am 48 years old, always been underweight and anemic, no ther health problems. Finally had a bout of break thru bleeding that left me with a low crit, did an US, found numerous fibroids which had imbedded and were close to the cervical os, had hubby in exam room for options, she said a TVH scheduled for the 13th. No ther explaination given. Had a preop appt. on the 12th, she said "you need to come in early for an IV ATB for your CARDIAC INSUFFICIENCY" I said "WHAT?" she said "yes, it was diagnosed back in 2005 during an echo" I was nervous and upset but all systems were a go. Sorry guys, you have no idea what I have been thru....

    So day of surgery, I shower, shave and had done the bowel prep the afternoon before (nasty stuff, don't advise) and packed up to go down the street. Whisked me off right under my husbands nose into the ROOM. The preop nurse says to me as I am following her, "OH! I see that you are a nurse, that makes my job easy! You already know what to expect!" She leads me into a room and says, there is your gown, your teds and sequentials, go ahead and get yourself ready and we will be back to take you to surgery!!!!

    I am SCREAMING inside, I have no idea what to expect but do as I am told, no help even though I am shaking an nervous. Soon the nurse comes back, sits at the bedside and initiates a chat about WHERE I WORK, THE MONEY I MAKE and how I can refer her to a registry!!!! You guys would not believe the bruising on my forearms from when they tried to start the IV, at 1 point the nurse handed me the IV start kit and said, "Well, your a nurse, you can most likely find a vein". I wanted to VOMIT. I kept telling them that I was a patient just like anyone else but I felt like Alice falling thru the rabbit hole.

    By now the anesthetist comes in, repeahs the same thing, shoots me up and the next thing I remember is being in a bed on the unit with 02, IV and FC. Hubby there looking totally flustared and hearing the staffer sya "Good thing your wife is a nurse, you don't need us anymore, see you in the morning!" . I was on an MS drip and so uncomfortable, with a gut like I was 9months pregnant, I could play taps on my abd. That and the floppy FC it was MISERABLE. The nursing staff IGNORED me, my MD has not spoken with me except to poke her head in the door the following day for all of 60 seconds, sent me home with no meds, no F/U UGH.

    Sorry, long rant, hubby grabs a WC , get's me to the car, home, tucked up in bed, my H& H was low per AM RN, I am shivering, running a temp 99.8 per tempadot, not much spotting, aching now I'm off MS, took some advil, taking fluids, scanty urine OP but no pain, hell I've been on MS right?

    Finally the pain begins. I call at 4:30 to my MD, some guy answers, I tell him I need to speak to my doc, HE TELLS ME TO TAKE SOME ADVIL AND CALL BACK TOMORROW!!!! I explain to him exactely what I had done!

    You guys are great! Thanks for hanging in! About 15 minutes later a person from the med group calls to confirm a scrip for vicodin, which my darling picked up within a few hours. So as far as pain issues, I'm OK, however, I did not know that my ovaries would GO INTO SHOCK and I had hot flashes and crying jags at the drop of a hat. I called and spoke with a nurse at this med center who said it was OK to allpy the vivelle patch which has helped.

    Today, I am finally coherent yet not resting, I check my bank account to find that this group took money out of my account in duplicate as a co payment for the procedure!!!! I called the business office and ONLY then did the business manager spend a few minutes on the phone explaining the post op instructions, namely that I am OFF WORK FOR 6 WEEKS!!!! I was breathless with exasperation and totally annoyed at this point when she said " YOUR A NURSE, I THOUGHT YOU WOULD HAVE KNOWN THAT"

    So, here I am in testosterone heaven, my darling husband has no idea how to take care of me, my sister just took off my a much needed vacation in Kauii, Mother and Dad are in Palm Springs, I need some feed back from my beloved peers as to any experiences you have had as an inpatient. I am really concerned about the lack of follow up from this MD, I have gotten a follow up phone call from my dentist when I had a root canal, am I being over sensitive here? I am a bedside RN who does mostly med surg, my original posting is Haunted but I can't log in, your feed back would be appreciated. I may not be able to log back in to reply but I can read if you respond and I value your opinions, as always, Haunted aka Laurie Again, thanks so much for being there.
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    About Haunted

    Joined: Oct '01; Posts: 531; Likes: 85
    Registered Nut
    Specialty: Most of it


  3. by   Ruby Vee
    it sounds really horrible. i'm so sorry!
  4. by   Haunted
    Quote from ruby vee
    it sounds really horrible. i'm so sorry!
    it is, i take this day by day but am still so in the dark about wht to expect during recovery. i was on schedule to go back to work today, can you imageine having to pull a patient up in bed by myself? i was not informed.
  5. by   Multicollinearity
    Haunted, I'm so sorry. I had a somewhat traumatic gyn surgery myself a while back.

    Have you ever seen that William Hurt movie, The Doctor? I think that is the title? Maybe your husband could rent it for you. I think you'd like to see it. Especially now. Yes, you did fall through the rabbit hole. Take care of yourself and rest.
    Last edit by Multicollinearity on Sep 19, '06 : Reason: edited, I got off topic
  6. by   LeahJet
    I, too, am sorry that you had to go through that.

    I learned to keep my RN identity under wraps after I was basically left to take care of myself after a (classic vertical) C-section. One nurse even told me as she flitted in then out of my room, "oh, if that foley starts bothering you, there's a 10cc syringe in that drawer" I emptied my JP drain and changed my bloody sheets. My fault, I know. I didn't want to be one of those "call light people". But I just, for once, wanted to be a patient instead of a nurse.
  7. by   Multicollinearity
    Here's the movie I was talking about:


    I think it's cathartic for healthcare providers who have become traumatized patients!
  8. by   rn/writer
    I've had a bunch of surgeries over the last seven years as well as a couple of medical admits. I ALWAYS tell the hospital staff to forget that I am a nurse unless I bring it up. I tell them that I'm not on duty and I really don't want to think that hard. Besides, I work/have worked in other specialties.

    The thing is, I may be able to process information a little better because I understand the terminology, but I don't want any assumptions made about about what I do or do not know. And I certainly don't want to end up taking care of myself.

    So far, so good.

    HauntedRN, I am so sorry you had such a terrible experience. Please, write a letter to the hospital administration (post here for review, if you want) explaining what you told us. The staff needs to know how their actions (or lack thereof) affected you. I doubt anyone set out to hurt or neglect you, but the fact is, they did. After my hospitalizations, I was a better nurse for having seen hospital care from the other side of the bedrail. Maybe you can help to educate them with your experience.

    At the very least, I hope you get a sincere apology.
  9. by   KScott
    The last surgery I had, I got a satisfaction survey form in the mail a couple weeks after I got home. If they send one to you, you should copy your OP, staple it to the form and send it back to them. Heck, if they don't send you one, write them a letter, anyway. That's absolutely ridiculous. Next time, hopefully there isn't a next time, but you will have to advocate for your patient - yourself - like you would any other patient.

    Hope you feel better soon. I had a hysterectomy 16 years ago. You will need the entire six weeks to recover. After two weeks, you'll think you can do things, but you will tire very easily. Don't overdo it, it is very bad - believe me. Rest now, so you won't be forced to rest longer later.
  10. by   nuangel1
    i am sorry you had such a horrible experience .i hope you feel better soon.
  11. by   weetziebat
    What an awful experience. Sorry you had to go through such 'do it yourself' care.

    Unfortunately, I always have to keep my profession a secret whenever I'm around medical personel, and can pretend I have no medical knowledge. I got yelled at once caused post-op the nurses did not have the drain working. I was in far too much pain to think I had to check on them. So......they got yelled at, I got yelled at, and had to spend an additional 24 hours in hospital. Of course, I was charged for the addtional 24 hours as well.

    I would very definately write a letter to the person as far up the chain as possible. Provide as many details and times as possible. Its not like we are getting free care to nurse ourselves, and deserve to be treated like any other patient.

    Good luck, and hope you feel better soon!
  12. by   TazziRN
    Oh my......you have so many reasons to report things to different people/agencies. My first question: what the hell was the group doing in your bank account???? How did they get access to that?????? That is theft, my dear. Even automatic withdrawals are done ONLY for the amount the account owner specifies when it's set up.

    The surgeon should be reported to the state, the nurses to the BON... gawd!

    Okay, my next question: why did you let yourself be pulled along if you didn't understand what was happening? What to expect should have been taught to you at the pre-op at the very least.
  13. by   Haunted
    I can only say that the shock and trauma of the procedure had me so immobilized at the time that I could only put my trust in this MD and have faith that it would get better. I have never undergone what I know know to be major abdominal surgery and was assured by the MD that is was the only option left.

    As for my card, I provided them with my credit card back in 2002 and it never expires. They withdrew our co payment amount DURING my surgery, despite my husband calling and leaving a credit card number specifically used for such things on the bus managers answering machine the day before. Tonight I got a call from the MD, saved to the answering machine as I was walking my dog stating the usual " Judy said you were unhappy with your follow up care, you know we are here around the clock for you, she didn't check back with you like SHE was supposed to" etc.

    I am aware that hormones go into shock and emotions are deeply tied to this surgery, but I was not made aware of that prior. I can honestly say that had I known what I would be going thru, all alone, day by day, I would have kept this uterus and sought a second opinion.

    The problem is many fold, I am astonished at the recovery process, the things I am unable to do, the things my body is going thru, the limits on my immediate future and the lack of information from the people who have done this. Vicodin does help with the discomfort, walking helps with the gas and posture, I am eating small portions of fruit smoothies with protien but I wish I had this knowledge so I could have put in place a support group to help me. I am otherwise young and healthy and have a wonderful husband but he was left all day and evening post op to get me out of bed, to help change my sheets and chuck pad etc,

    Can you imagine having someone, a doc, tell you a year after it was diagnosed that you had a cardiac issue? She never told me, it would have allowed me to seek a cadio consult, a year later I am dealing wiyj the fallout. I am not someone to complian over every muscle ache and twinge so the fact that everyone in her office as well as post op keeps assuming that "I know what to expect because I am a nurse" just doesn't fly is just wrong. Thanks for your insight and stories, I especially enjoy your personal adventures of recovery regarding a TVH, any tips and tricks would help.

    The worst part for me was not being able to get the heck in here and share the misery!!! This site has been there for me thru many transitions, now I embark on a new journey in many ways. How do you deal with that cute little tummy bulge? The OFFICE MANAGER told me no stretching excercises for at least 8 weeks and I have a fancy function beginning on October. SEE!!!! A million questions. I sooo appreciate you all.
  14. by   MarySunshine
    Haunted, that sounds terrible. I hope the clean up (letter writing, complaint making, post-op education, and money organizing) goes very smoothly!! I wish you the best in your recovery. I'm sure you WILL recover and I'm sorry time may be seeming to go by slowly right now. We nurses always HATE being sick/cooped up more than anyone, especially when we haven't gotten decent medical care.