Finding a doctor who could diagnose my illness is one of the biggest problems I had when my illness first presented itself. The first doctor wasn’t sure so he sent me to a specialist. The first specialist gave it a name, gave me some medicine, and sent me on my way; without explaining the seriousness of my condition.
Then, I ended up seriously ill and began going to the ER because of the pain. Every time, they would fill me with IV fluids, pain killers, and send me home. The specialist that took over my case at the new hospital never read the test results from the first test which gave a different diagnosis that the original doctor said. So there I am being treated for something I’m not sure if I had or not.
Then after months of going to the ER and being released I went in and when they tried to release me I said “I’m not leaving, I want new doctors, new tests, and an answer!” I was admitted and within three days they determined that my colon was dieing and they removed it within ten days. It’s important to not take no for an answer and don’t let the doctors send you home if your not ready say so because you have rights to not be pushed out.
I had spent months being treated like a drug seeker because I would go in to the doctor or ER and say I am in pain but they couldn’t seem to figure out why. I don’t understand how this can happen. I can only imagine if I had let them release me that day. I would have gone home and died in my parent’s home in excruciating pain.
I’ve had so many different traumatic experiences at the hospital that I have to have my mother with me during the times when I can not physically get out of bed. There have been times when we have pushed the call light and watched the nurses turn it off over and over for 45 minutes. Then, a nurse came in and said “your nurse lost a patient so she’s dealing with that.” This is the excuse the nurse gave for ignoring a call light. What if I had been dieing?
So many people have stories about how the medical system, the employment system, and many other systems discriminate against patients. It’s as if the minute you become a patient you are given a prison number and you are no longer considered a person. You’re just another car in the shop to be tuned up.
I can only hope that as we move forward with health care in this country that we learn to respect patients. We need to stop putting patients in a private room along, loaded with pain medication, and left alone. This seems to be the way patients are treated and I am one of the rare few who have family to help me through this.
One hospital actually attempted to have my husband removed from my room at night. I had a meltdown. The doctor had to come in and tell the guards to let him stay because I was going to leave with him if they forced him to leave. The hospital is no place to be left alone when you are in delicate condition.