CW: Detailed discussion of medical ableism in an emergency room hospital setting.
The following is a review I wrote on my local hospital’s Facebook page last night which got hidden for some unknown reason, so I am posting this in my blog so it does not get lost.
Although they do happen to shine in most other departments, and even their ER can be an awesome experience, I do not recommend going to Marian Regional Medical Center Santa Maria’s ER due to the awesome-turned-horrific experience I endured last Thursday, 2/17 to have my chest catheter exchanged for dialysis because I was unable to get an appointment for the cath lab to do it. And it needed to be done ASAP so I could continue my dialysis without interruption.
I went without eating or drinking a full 18 hours so I could get this procedure done.
In the cath lab, I am well taken care of, listened to, and they always remember me. They treat me like the valid human being I am. They take the time to even warm up my blankets before giving them to me. And when I come out of surgery, they make sure I have delicious food to drink and either a Sprite or Coke with ice to go with my sandwich.
In the ER Thursday, I had an almost 4 hour long wait, was even triaged promptly, and when I finally got a room, room 6, everyone was super friendly and I was treated very well, that is, up until the last, after my procedure was done and I came back from my surgery. And they saw that my friend had left for a break.
The nurses I had this ER visit were Melissa, who was consistently sweet, and Makayla and her trainee, Caitlyn. There was also a tall young man, also sweet, and my ER Doctor was Dr. Harmon.
When my friend who I asked to accompany me, left to take a break after my cath surgery, your nurses, both Caitlyn and Makayla, got downright rude….refusing to answer my call button—and on my end I saw NO evidence they were looking for food and something I could drink after surgery. Not even a warm blanket.
They wanted me to stay another long two hours without food or drink to get antibiotics via IV—yet no one seemed concerned that I was suffering from acute thirst and hunger and that me, a Type-2 pre-diabetic, was experiencing low blood sugar.
They were very unconcerned about my comfort and well-being.
I kept pressing my call button because I really needed to eat and drink something. And I got ignored……and then after a long wait while they literally sat outside my door giggling and gossiping—they would finally come in.
But still no move to secure me even a damn cup of water.
My experience in the OR that afternoon went great, and the surgical team all even remembered me and had my alternative rock playing.
But afterwards? Makayla and Caitlyn treated me like I was a mere sack of potatoes.
Also, when I got out of surgery, Melissa was nowhere to be found, even though I kept requesting her.
Both me and my friend kept reminding them I had gone without ZERO anything to eat or drink since the night before.
But I was still beyond hungry and parched from thirst.
I am Autistic, which is a Disability that also comes with accommodations under the Americans With Disabilities Act due to sensory issues, triggers, plus CPTSD, and it cannot be treated with behaviorism, fixed and scolded away.
I made it very clear to every staff member I encountered there of this fact. I always do this for my self-protection. They all seemed to get it, and me. Until my friend took a small break.
The sudden ignoring, giggling at me and giving me dirty looks from right outside of my door., taking their time to answer my call button, their sudden snottiness and snippiness and ableistic remarks…..caused me to become afraid to stay in that room any longer.
When I was starting to become upset due to not eating and acute thirst, and suddenly being treated as Less-Than I was dismissed and told cruelly…Makayla’s exact words:
“I think you need to spend some time thinking really hard about growing up, really, you should try it. It’ll make life better for you, otherwise, you are going to just fail in life.”
Judging others when you don’t know them is all levels of wrong and unacceptable. Maybe I’m not the one who needs to grow up.
It was at this point, I was like “Fine! I’m done!” I asked to have them call my friend back in. I requested to sign an AMA so I could just get the hecky damn outta there.
I only got a bit over an hour of my two hour antibiotic regimen.
Caitlyn then proceeded to throw the barest minimum of discharge papers at me, plus my AMA, without a clipboard, I had to ask for a clipboard—all I got was just my post-op instructions, with no paper record of who my doctors were on this visit, and what meds I was given—like I always get when in the cath lab.
Makayla then went onto told my friend when she came back that she did go all over the hospital to try to find me a good ham sandwich, like the ones I got at my last cath lab visit that were so delicious—- because I cannot handle turkey—yet, I saw no evidence or indication that this was being done.
I am afraid to ever use your ER again. Next time, I will have my cell phone with me.
Thank you for the added trauma. you have added to my already traumatized life.
You need to once and for all fix your still pathetic ER. Or take “Humankindness” out of your name and motto.
Y’all can see my full review on Marian’s Yelp page, as I tried to re-edit the one I wrote to MMRC’s Facebook page, and FB glitched on me and wouldn’t let me re-do it at all.
The above post was hidden, however MRMC did comment, so here is my response to their comment:
I need to know why my post was hidden from your page, please.
In addition, I definitely plan to follow up on this because my ER experience gone *no good horribly bad*, only added to a 62 years long lifetime of real C-PTSD trauma for me that I am unfortunately still processing. Today.
I had to do the AMA because I was frightened to stay any longer after your nurses began being rude and neglectful. This caused me to not receive hour two of my two hour antibiotic regimen that was prescribed me post-surgery.
I have responded to your Messenger message. In addition, I did complete and submit my survey on my phone where it was considerably harder for me to write out the comments I wanted to write. So I kept referring to my Yelp post, as I found this above post to be hidden from your page.
The removal of my valid post silences my valid complaint as a human being who was gravely wronged by staff of your public medical facility. I was not even allowed to post this in a review on your page, so I had no choice but to to post this in your Community tab.
I am an Autistic / Disability Activist Writer / Blogger, so I do happen to write about ALL matters related to our rights and dignity as human beings who just want the same equal freedoms / accessibilities in life just like non-disabled folks enjoy.
That’s not a huge ask.
So many of us with hidden disabilities are treated this way, Othered, gaslit, and treated as Less Than, and by my speaking out, I am helping not just myself, but my fellow Disabled friends in the Autistic /Disability Community here on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.
You CAN fix this, Marian. It needs to be fixed.