Thursday, May 20, 2010

I've Been Sprung!

I was released from the hospital this morning due to my fast recovery, also "as usual".  lol   My surgery went well, and it was in fact a stone blocking the entrance to the appendix.  Total fluke thing - not related to my health or lack thereof.   They caught it early before the appendix was completely blocked off and started to swell.  I was very anxious to get home because of the substandard care I received, a few items detailed below:

  • I was in my room over 6 hours before getting an IV AND pain medicine.  I had been NOP (nothing by mouth) all day and very dehydrated, so my veins were not cooperating.  Why no one cared for 6+ hours that I was in appendicitis pain, none of us know.
  • Once the IV was placed after 6 painful tries, I was NOT given a bag of fluids.  This proved to be a problem when I got down to surgery.  (I was just THAT much more dehydrated.)
  • Some meds that were ordered by the doctors were not given to me.
  • I had noted with the staff that I do NOT ever take Levaquin, as it is black boxed for nerve damage and I have plenty of nerve damage, thank you very much.  So how unhappy was I when I learned that Wednesday night while I was sleeping, I was given Levaquin by IV?? The fact that I should NOT have received it was documented all over my chart.
  • You know how the hospitals refuse to allow you to take your own regular meds?  Well, I was in this hospital from Tuesday afternoon to Thursday morning, and I was give ONE DOSE of my "home meds" and that was last night (Wednesday) night at midnight..  Needless to say, if I hadn't taken my own meds, there would have definitely been a medical crisis.  Nurses knew I was doing this but ddn't mind because they couldn't figure out what to do with my chart.
  • When I was in Post-Op, I was so under-treated for pain that I cried hysterically for 1.5 hours until a nurse yelled at someone on the phone long enough to get me appropriate levels of pain medication.
  • When I came back from surgery with those leg compression things to prevent blood clots, NO one plugged them in or turned them on.  Well, I take that back, my nurse last night brought some news ones to put on me and turn on, but was shocked to see I had been wearing the first pair all this time.  I was completely out of it Wednesday, sleeping all day, so was not aware that they had been plugged in.
  • Although my pain was decreased actually in the Post-Op room via IV meds, once I got to my room, the nurses tried to figure out what to do based on my whacky chart.  They ended up putting a long-acting patch on my arm, a patch that slowly releases meds for 72 hours.  On the manufacturer's literature, it states to NEVER use that patch for acute surgery pain.  
  • Every single nurse just stared at my chart as they come on shift, having no idea what to make of it.  Nothing made sense, orders that looked like a doc put in were either not fulfilled or not detailed that they were, several starting points didn't have an ending.  It took 2 nurses last night to sit down on the couch in my room and slowly turn page to page to try to figure out what all had happened.  My release was even delayed because my chart had entirely disappeared and the head charge nurse was even running around trying to find it.
Needless to say, I wanted out of there and am feel so much safer now that I am home.  I am pursuing legal advice for this visit plus the one from December, 2008, which was so upsetting I won't even repeat the details.  I didn't act then out of PTSD and shock, and honestly thought how I was treated then was a fluke.  It was not.  This hospital and staff have no idea what to do with chronic pain patients.  At the very least, I will demand they provide sensitivity training to their nurses and education for the physicians who don't know any better regarding the patches.  For those regular folks, giving the patch to me was like spraying your tummy with lidocaine after surgery and hoping you feel better.  

But I'm home now, safe and sound, and trying to be good and not overdo.  

Thanks for all the well-wishes and prayers!


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