Monday, July 11, 2011
Has this happened to you?
Going to the emergency room in the middle of the night is NO FUN for anyone, but so much worse for those of us that suffer with chronic pain or any illness that causes pain. I thought I would pass on one of my ER stories that I will never forget. I was reminded of this story after my fall on July 4, 2011 that took me to the ER to rule out broken bones. On the 4th, I was waiting for over 5 grueling hours, and not one doctor ever asked me what medications I was on or if I needed any pain meds for the plate size bruise on my hip. I did NOT have any broken bones and since I had meds at home, I just blew off their oversight. Unfortunately, nothing has changed since 2006 when my ER trip was again in the middle of the night, but back then I did not have a prescription for muscle relaxers or anti-inflammatories. I was in severe pain from what was determined two weeks later to be 2 additional herniated disks in my back. This second pair of herniated disks led to my degenerative disk disease diagnosis and had me file for disability finally. So it was April 2006, I am in excruciating pain, and was forced to wait almost 3 hours just to be taken back to wait for another hour to finally be seen by a doctor who looked like he could be my kid brother. He was nice enough until he asked why I couldn't sit down. I told him it was probably another pinched nerve or sciatica cause the pain was running down my legs. Naturally he wanted the back story on how I could possibly try to diagnose myself. I told him about the emergency surgery in 1996 and how my right leg had gone completely numb so surgery was set in 72 hours to prevent me from being in a wheelchair if it was possible. The doc listened and gradually a broad smile came to his face as I was finishing the back story. Now you need to know this little smile really pissed me off. I was in severe pain, talking about other severe pains I had experienced in my life, and this butthead's smile only seemed to be getting bigger and bigger. I finished the story and asked him why he would smile at my pain. With the smile still on his face, he basically said that no matter what I told him he would not help some jumpy drug seeking person who couldn't even sit. I need you to know that I lost it here. I was standing up already while this guy sits comfortably and spins back and forth on his little stool with not a care in the world and obviously never suffered with back pain or scaitica himself. I stepped towards this guy (not gonna even respect him by calling him a doc now) and told him that if he lived with my pain even one day, it would kill him and he would be glad to be dead and away from this pain. He stood up, and put his head down, and literally covered his genitals with his hands as he took the rest of my tirade. Understand, I did not notice any of his reactions, because I was still going on about how I was the last thing from a drug seeker and the reason I couldn't sit was pinched nerves in my back. Needlesstosay, those of you who know me, know that being quiet is not in my nature and when I get upset, I just get louder. I never cussed at him, nor threatened him at all, but he took my tirade that way, because he sent hospital security to escort me out. Luckily, Jason could foresee this and had me ready to go and we were already walking out when the security guards walked up. I have never been back to that hospital and I have never missed an opportunity to bad mouth them to anyone who would listen over the years since then. It was in the car on the way home, when Jason (my hubby of 18 yrs) told me about the body language that screamed I was intimidating and threatening even though I was just telling that doc the truth. Its been a source of laughter as time has passed for me and my family. Yes, this story is famous and gets brought up at family gatherings occasionally. I am not proud of the fact that I scared this doc, but I am proud of the fact that he will NEVER forget what its like to accuse someone in pain of being a drugseeker. Who knows if it changed the way he dealt with other patients, but, in my heart, I hope he is still at least slightly afraid of smiling at anyone's pain.