My Latest Medical Hell In The ER

TW/CW: Discussion of medical symptoms, bodily fluids, and ableism, violation of bodily autonomy, disrespect of my humanity.
In my lat blog post, i wrote about a recent scare i had when too much fluid was once again taken off of me at dialysis this past Tuesday. I got so afraid, because i could not eat or drink a thing, a huge painful gas bubble was in my upper abdominal cavity, and my urine was a dark brown color. I was also having slight dizzy spells.
I had my caregiver, Sam, take me to the hospital, to the ER, that evening.
This blog is about the ableism that occured, mainly from the first doctor and the two ER nurses i dealt with while there.
For one, i was greeted with a triage nurse who was not rude, but who wasn’t that friendly either. He took my history, my symptoms, and vitals, and let me know what all my vitals were, except for when he told me my temperature, he said it in metric form, and would not let me know what my temp was in Fahrenheit form. Then a registration person (female-presenting) took my info as well. They were friendly.
When Sam and i went back to the ER area, that was one hot mix of both bad and good. We waited like 35 minutes to be taken back to the ER room.
My first nurse was nice enough. Until later. (More on her in a bit!) But firstly i was put in an ER cubicle that was shared, not one of their many private ER rooms. And there was a woman in the first bed, along with a male presenting person who was standing and holding a 3 year old boy, who was running right into my area, and then crying so loud i could not hear my nurse or doctor. Okay, disclaimer, i love children, but the loud noise of the little boy’s crying was triggering me, as i was already a ball of anxiety and nerves, and i had to leave and get placed into another non-private ER room with two beds.
Okay, while i was still in the first ER room with the crying boy, a doctor, Dr. J., came right in, and upon haring my symptoms, he, without first asking me, reached over, grabbed my t-shirt, pulled it up, and began feeling my entire abdominal area. Then an unneccesary argument ensued when they wanted to put a catheter in me to check my urine, instead of the toilet hat they use for us fat folks that cannot do a conventional urine sample (pee in the cup). I refused the catheter, and they consented to the toilet hat.
I had Sam wheel me into the restroom, but we were unable to get the hospital wheelchair in to the restroom, so, the nurse proceeded, without warning, to lift up my legs, roughly, again, without first asking me, to move the wheelchair’s leg rests off to the side, so i could get out ad walk into the restroom. I reacted instantly by snapping at her to ask me first before just touching me. And let her know she was hurting my legs. I let her know i had lymphedema, and that her roughness could cause leg ulcers to break out on my calves where she was lifting them up.
She was not that friendly either. And she talked too loudly, so that everyone else in that whole area could hear what was going on. Isn’t that a violation of the new HIPPAH laws?
The following are copied and pasted from an actual survey i got in my email this morning from that hospital. Re-edited for clarity.
I dealt with a total of two ER nurses that night…St., and Ch.
Both nurses I dealt with were mostly condescending, and when i explained I am autistic and have certain ways I need for things to be, sensory issues, etc., (my accomodations for my disability of autism) they were both dismissive, and instead were quick to defend the rude nurses I had in a previous stay, over my valid complaints. I felt unheard, and talked down to.
In addition, when my first nurse, St, took me to the restroom, she handled my legs roughly, and without first asking me when helping me to get from the wheelchair to the bathroom.
ALL of ANY hospital’s staff needs to ask us first whenever they need to touch and move us. I believe in treating patients with utter respect and courtesy, and this means respecting our bodily autonomy. ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ASK FIRST! And if we go to tell you things, do not dismiss us, and defend your staff over the feedback we give on them. That too, is dismissive.
I saw two doctors while there in their ER. The first one Dr. J, came right up and pulled the front of my t-shirt up without first asking me, to check (feel around) my abdominal area. This was invasive and a disrespect of me. While I realize he needed to check my abdominal area, he still needed to ask me first. Again, the entire ER staff need to learn to ask patients first, before you touch us. It shows respect and care for us as the human beings we are.
My second doctor, Dr. Sh, showed respect and was kind to me.

The lady dressed in a bright red pantsuit who came to draw blood for my labs was friendly and respectful.

The male-presenting individual who came to do an abdominal ultrasound, was also friendly and cool, and showed me respect.

However, I was only given partial information about my possible condition, and no one has since bothered to follow up with me from your hospital as to the FULL RESULTS of all blood tests, or the ultrasound I had while in your ER.
I was quite impressed with the courtesy and respect that both ultrasound person and person who came to draw my blood showed to me. They even asked me if i wanted the overhead lights kept off, to which i said yes, because bright overhead floursecent lights bother me greatly.

However, none of them would barely talk to, or acknowledge my caregiver and friend, Sam.

The reason I marked very poor for privacy is that I was put in two non-private ER rooms.

I was never visited by a hospital leader.
In addition, both of my nurses, which again, were St and Ch, never bothered to give me the TV Remote/Call Button, until I finally asked for it, and was given it only after I had asked for it, a full two hours after I came to the ER.

I was never offered water to drink, or a blanket, or asked if I wanted the room temperature lowered or raised. I was cold the entire time I was there.
In addition, when nurse Ch came in with Dr. Sh and a second Doctor, nurse Ch reached over and shut my entire TV OFF—–AGAIN, WITHOUT ASKING ME FIRST IF IT WAS OKAY IF THEY COULD HAVE THE TV MUTED so that we could talk. I would have been more than happy to mute the TV myself. It would have shown respect again, for my autonomy and me, as a human being whose feelings mattered to them.
Considering the overall manner I was treated by staff when i visited your ER on April 3, 2019, no, I would not recommend this ER to anyone.

I felt most unwelcomed there, like most of your ER staff that was on that night, just did not care.
—-
In closing, i am writing this, because my local hospital needs to train their staff to do all they can to make each and every visitor feel welcome in that hospital campus. The entire medical field needs to change and realize we who come seek medical help, are human, our bodies our ours, and they need to listen, hear us, and be patient and kind to us. Don’t manhandle our mobility equipment, don’t talk loudly so the whole facility can hear, and give us the choice of whether we are okay with being in a non-private ER room or not. I will wait for the private ER room, because our local hospital has a majority of their ER rooms as private.
It was strongly recommended that i be admitted that evening. But i refused, because of how i was being treated in their ER that evening.
P. S.~~~As for my condition, i recovered the next day. I could once again eat and drink, and my urine has been clear since then too. So it was dialysis related, them taking too much fluid off of me, that caused me to get sick.
Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s