Saturday, November 1, 2008

Still Hospibloggiing

We're back. About 1 1/2 hours after the last post, we were discharged. The showdown with the doctor was not pretty. Even though she knew that Daniel's gall bladder was bad, she had never intended to admit us. I told her we could have used that information 10 hours ago. Here is how the conversation went:

Me: What does she (the nurse) mean? Our family doctor sent us here because even to him it was and emergency situation.
Her: Well, I know he's in pain but since his gall bladder is not blocked, it's not an emergent situation.
Me: So being in pain for 2 1/2 weeks and barely being able to stand, much less work is not an emergency situation?
Her: Well, he doesn't have an infection and his lab results were good. He's not jaundiced. He's not throwing up much. He'll be okay to wait.
Me: So what, you only treat people who are having extreme amounts of pain due to an identified problem or if they are getting infections? Could you even do surgery if he had a severe infection? You know the problem but you want it to get even worse before you are willing to treat him. Do you think we came here for fun?
Her: Look, I know that this isn't what you wanted to hear. I can write him a note for work.
Me: Are you kidding? I want to hear that you are going to do what's best for my husband. He can't go to work on the pain killers. He can't miss two weeks waiting for the consultation and then who knows how many more weeks waiting for the surgery. Is he supposed to be in pain that long?
Her: It's not life threatening. This is an emergency room. I don't know what else you expect me to do.
Me: (By now, the steam is coming out of my ears and my eyes are red from lack of sleep and people are looking, but I don't care because Daniel is not getting the treatment that he needs.) This is nuts. You had no intention of admitting him to have this taken care of. The test results were back 4-5 hours ago. Why didn't we go through this then?
Her: I'm sorry, there is nothing more that I can do.
I loved coming to Greenville Memorial when I was pregnant. Lord willing, I'll come here when I have my next child. But I know better than to come to Greenville ER with anything less than open bleeding wounds.

After our hallway chat, she tries to come in the room to reason with a very drugged Daniel. Bless his heart, he gave her hell also. Not only was I mad because Daniel was not getting the treatment he needed, but I was sick of being treated like a number. I don't doubt that the doctor has a very hard job.

While we were at the hospital, we witnessed an episode with a drug addict, heard talk about a stabbing victim and many other rough things. A few people were cuffed. One lady looked like the victim of abuse. Her nose was busted and she had that far away stare that comes dealing with that.

On the other hand, we were in a room next to a woman with strep who had been at the hospital for 8 or so hours waiting for the results. The person in the room next to us had been in the ER for 11 hours before being taking to a room. Then, he was brought back because an IV was improperly inserted into his arm. They couldn't take him to his room. The guys wife started raising cane. (I wasn't the only ticked off wife in the ER last night.) After the "moving" nurse fixed the guys line and got him settled in his room, she came back and chewed out our nurse for not making sure the line was set up properly. The drugs he was required to take could have sent him into a coma if they had been administered in the faulty line.

I know the doctors in the ER preform wonderful miracles. But it didn't seem as if they were treating the patient. They were more or less treating a number in a room. Her job was to get in the room and out as fast as she could. Then run a few tests and come back with the results and get you out the door. Or in our case, try to have the nurse discharge us without coming in to speak with us herself. I caught her in the hall where we had our discussion. Maybe I'm being too hard on her. Maybe not. Right not I've just got to be happy that Daniel is a room on the surgical floor waiting to be seen by the surgeon.

I guess you are wondering how we got back here 10 hours later... Our family doctor called this morning to see what happened and could not believe we were released without seeing a surgeon. He got on the phone and within a hour we were set to come back to the hospital and be admitted. Dr. G. is wonderful and so far the staff on the surgical floor has been great. The doctor is making rounds and should be in here soon. I'll keep you updated.

In the meantime, pray for Daniel. This thing has been really hard on him. He's the sole breadwinner for our family and having this problem has prevented him from doing some of the extra tutoring that we need in order to pay bills. Plus, he's missing some of his masters classes. At the moment, stress is not his friend.

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