Terrifying Experience

By Gemm Latest Reply 2011-09-10 23:03:24 -0500
Started 2011-09-09 15:09:44 -0500

Hey y'all
Just got home from the hospital and wanted to let y'all know what was going on. I went to see my doctor on Wednesday because of several extremely difficult breathing episodes over the last couple of weeks. He did an exam and some testing (x-ray to rule out lung infection, EKG because he heard something in my heart he didn't like). One look at the EKG and he handed me an aspirin and told me to chew it thoroughly before swallowing then turned to his nurse and told her to call my insurance for a precertification number cause I was going inpatient. Within 2 hrs of walking into his office I was in a room at our local hospital and already getting blood work and an IV put in. Talk about being scared half to death - my husband was too, as he was with me at the docs. They took blood from me about every 15 minutes for the first couple of hours I was there. Can anyone say "feels like a pin cushion"?

Well the blood work did show that I had NOT had a heart attack as he had feared from the EKG. He also sent me for a pulmonary function test. That showed that there has been a 20% decrease in my lung function since my last test about 1 1/2 years ago. Up to now all I have been on was a rescue inhaler. Now he has added theophyline daily (2xs daily).

I go back to see him in 1 1/2 weeks for a checkup and he did give me a list of things to watch out for such as side effects that I am to go straight to the ER if I have any of these or just call him if I see a few others. I also look any new med up on-line and he did give me a full list of side effects that I need to be concerned with. I am so grateful to have a doc like this who cares enough to do that with any med he prescribes, any time not just this time.

One other thing he wants me to do is try to reduce stress in my life. ROTFLMAO I asked him to tell my how with the situation we are in here. Most of my stress comes from having to deal with the after effects of my husband's stroke last year not from problems between us. Those effects aren't going to go away but actually probably keep getting worse. One thing that can reduce my level of stress is if the 22 yr old who is still here would do the chores he is supposed to do without needed constant reminders. I came home to dishes still in the sink that were there when I left for the doctor's office on Wed. I talked to my husband about it and told him that from now on he will be talking to my step-son about these things. I will mention it 1 time to my husband and that is all. I figure he was the one that let the kid get away with stuff like this all his life so now I'm giving him back the responsibility to make sure the kid does the chores that we have asked him to do in return for allowing him to still live here without paying rent.

At intake all my allergies were put into my patient computer file as were all my medicines and the times and amounts I am supposed to have. Well long story short, they were all screwed up. I was also supposed to be on a low-sodium, diabetic diet - all white (high carb) breads rather than whole grain ones (they have them cause they offer them in the cafe for staff meals), sugar rather than other sweetener other than 1 meal and then got the 2 sweeteners I am allergic to rather than the 1 I can use which they have, and didn't even get 2 of my meds the whole time I was in there. Was in for COPD right? Well I also have a severe allergy/asthmatic reaction to ALL perfumes/scented products and all that was in the computer too. My personal care nurse yesterday I had to have changed as the 1st one came in so loaded with perfume it gagged my husband who normally isn't bothered by them.

I did have a talk with my doctor about all of that and he did talk to the staff about some of it, what he could try to change or at least bring to their attention. I know he talked to them about being better with meds and with a patients allergies especially with COPD patients and breathing triggers like perfumes. My husband and I were both very vocal with other nurses and staff about this as well as we both believe that the more people realize what bothers the patients the better because hopefully that will be a change they will make to prevent someone else - or even me another time - from having to have the same problems.

I will be getting a survey soon to fill out about how my visit was and usually don't bother with them but you can bet I will this time. I WILL be letting them know that I consider this a very poor stay overall as far as my patient care and meals were concerned , though there were some notable exceptions. So help me if I have to go back to our local hospital again I will be taking ALL of my own medicines and will be having my husband bring me my meals. One of my doctor's orders is to try to relieve all the stress in my life and then I have to put up with what I consider sub-standard care at the one place that is supposed to be there to help me?! WTF is up with that? Anyway guess I'm done with the rant now LOL


5 replies

Raeguerney 2011-09-09 17:26:34 -0500 Report

Am so very glad that you are going to take that hospital stay survey! PVs and prayers headed your way for stress relief.


jayabee52 2011-09-09 17:16:03 -0500 Report

Sorry Gemm, that they botched up your hospital stay. Where was that again? If you bring your medicines to show them, it would be encouraged but if you are bringing them to consume them it is not recommended. If you need a particular medication, you or your husband must speak up.

My Jem had that problem too with hospitals messing with her meds. She empowered me to act as her helper in that. I needed to tell the ER and the Hospital Docs which meds she absolutely needed because she was a heart patient, and see to it that she got them.

Sometimes I think that even if a patient is in the hospital for different problem the Docs' thinking is "well she is not doing well with what she is on now — so let's change her meds to see if that would be better. In my Jem's case, we had carefully and painstakingly come to what worked best for HER and since it was not her heart which was giving her a problem there was no need to change her heart meds.

I know how terrifying going to the hospital can be.

Blesings to you


Gemm 2011-09-09 19:18:25 -0500 Report

We live in W TN about 100 miles NE of Memphis so it's kind of a small rural hospital. I've been there before without problems but this one was a nightmare. The meds I was supposed to get but they didn't give me someone had written in my chart that I would use my own when I didn't have them with me only a card that I always carry that has ALL meds listed and the doses my doc has me on as well as any out or the ordinary dosing times. I keep a very detailed listing of them with me just so there wouldn't be this kind of mix-up. Even when I did say something it didn't really help much though one nurse did go get the 2 meds that were listed as my using my own for me; none of the others would do it. They just said I should call my husband to bring them to me but he isn't well either and shouldn't have to make an extra trip to the hospital late as night to bring me something that I should have been given there.

I asked my doc about using my own at any time and he said all I would need to do is let him know and he would just not put any on my file unless he was adding one or changing a dosage. He did admit that on one he had made the mistake of putting PRN rather than my regular dosing schedule. He said that is how he usually prescribes that particular pain med for most but does have a few that he has on a regular schedule like I am on because of my pain levels and to keep me from having to go the next step to the harder narcotic drugs.

I had a really bad experience some years ago with a doctor taking one of my meds and throwing it away (not the one that gave it to me either) and said I didn't need it. So ever since then all I carry with me is my list because I had to pay to get that med back cause my insurance wasn't going to pay for it again as soon as I needed to refill it. That experience was enough to keep me from taking my med bag with me ever again unless someone actually needs to see the bottles to verify dosing. So far I haven't had but 1 of those since using my list and that was back in 2007.

This wasn't a change of meds of any kind as, up until now, I had not been on any meds for my COPD other than a rescue inhaler. My husband is on file at this hospital to be allowed to make any complaints or other power of attorney details for me at any time and he is very vocal as well, He went to the cafeteria this morning and discussed the food problems I had. I was going to do it yesterday once they let me out of bed to walk but was not able to walk that far and it wasn't all that far from my room - maybe the length of 1 football field from goal to goal. My breathing has gotten that bad. I'm just glad my husband was with me so he could go get me a chair to rest on then helped me back to my room. He even had to leave me at one point and go get my mask as there were visitors in the hallway loaded down with perfume and that is a huge trigger for my breathing problems. Doc gave me a big long technical name for it but to make it easy COPD - sub-defined as asthma with emphysema with a chemical/scent allergy.

Thanks for the reply and suggestions. :)

jayabee52 2011-09-09 19:27:56 -0500 Report

My Jem had COPD also, so I know what that's about.

Most of my experiences in hospitals were in larger cities. I don't know what hospitals in smaller communities are like, especially with reference to having medications on hand.

stormz 2011-09-10 23:03:24 -0500 Report

As a diabetic and someone who stresses out when I am in the hospital, I can understand what you went through. I always carry with a card listing all my medications and dosages. This way there can be no mistakes on what I take or how much of it or when. Since I have panic attack I take valuim you might want to look into that for yourself, it can be helpful in stressful situations. I know it works great for me. I can't even get on a plane without taking one anymore, not since 9/11. But for right now always carry a list of your medications with the dosages along with your insurance card. It will save you a lot of stress. In all the other replies no one mentioned this which surprised me. I think you will find this very helpful. When they bring you your medications if you don't reconize a pill ask them what it is. You will be surprised at how many mistakes they make and give you the wrong medicine. Another stress safer. I hope this helps you out. I also hope you are feeling much better!!!