ER trip what I just couldn't believe

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by luvnewcomb, Nov 14, 2006.

  1. luvnewcomb

    luvnewcomb New Member

    To make a long story short - I had been very sick in Oct on antibiotics got better but felt/feel so drained can barely keep eyes open. Way worse than normal exhausted.

    Had regular scheduled rhuem appt yesterday and mentioned my illness, very high fever, shivering, vomiting for a full week without being able to eat anything and barely drink anything, rash, side pain, and few others that are now gone mostly, but can't get any energy at all back. I'm way more exhausted now than when I was so sick.

    As I couldn't take any of my pills - including BP, Potassium, etc. and I explained my symptoms he sent me to ER - I told him no, he then called my husband and told him to bring me and I had to go. He felt I had possibly had a kidney infection, or some other internal organ (gallbladder) infection that went into my bloodstream and I was lucky to still be alive and was furious with me when I hadn't gone to the ER while actively sick. Only other times I'd gone to ER in the past were 2 times with heart problems and was rushed right in and kept for 4 days each time with an angioplasty the last time in 2003. I've been told to go to ER before, but always toughed it out and refused to go. I'm really not the ER/rush to the doctor type... although this experience really made me feel like they felt I am.

    Once at ER we sat for hours before being seen. Once seen the person that I first registered with wrote down only one of my meds, the antibiotic, and had never asked me my health history (which includes heart problems, etc.).

    I made the mistake of telling her when she asked where I hurt I told her my right side and pointed to it, then stupidly laughed and said well, I hurt everywhere from my FM but that's normal (nor have I ever gone to ER for it. She asked what number my pain in my side was and I told her. I told her I'd been to the Dr and was told I HAD to go to ER by him and that's why I was there and explained what had happened in his office. We then were sent back to waiting room.

    Once they took me in the nurse asked if I was there for FM. I got a little PO'd and told her NO, that the FM had nothing to do with why I was there - explained why, and then told her my other drugs I take that I had already given the reception girl the list. My hubby gave the nurse the list and I explained that I only had mentioned it due to her asking about pain. I WILL NEVER make the mistake of mentioning FM if I ever go to ER again.

    They did blood work, and ultrasound of my gall bladder which was enlarged/engorged (their words) and given potassium as it was lower than normal and sent me home with them telling me to see my pc and a GI guy about my gall bladder and to up my potassium for a while.

    I was there for hours while people went in and out and felt so stupid I would have rather died then have to do that again.

    Has anyone else felt this way at ER? I still feel awful, side still hurts, but figure I'll know when/if it gets worse and is ready to burst or something. Then I'll go to ER again.

    A couple other times in my life have had to go to ER for heart/bp problems and never treated so badly, nor felt so embarrased. I also find that I myself don't even know what hurts from FM and what is abnormal and I should have looked at. I've been telling drs about my side for a few months now and it's always (even me) attributed to FM. At least the UltraSound doesn't lie.

    I'm so discusted with the whole fiasco and now don't know what to do. I have an appt with a GI guy in January.

    Please help me to understand this and how, if I ever need to go to ER again, to keep this from happening. Here I was ONLY because DR insisted I go.

    I hope it was only me and you all don't have to suffer such humiliation.


    [This Message was Edited on 11/14/2006]
  2. Catseye

    Catseye Member

    The ER has always been a disappointment. Even before I got cfs, I went there in severe pain and they gave me meds and sent me home. The next day, I told my husband something was bad wrong and not to let them send me home. It turned out my appendix was about ready to burst and they took it out right away.

    When I had cfs I felt like I was dying almost constantly but sometimes it would get so bad I could swear I was feeling my life force starting to slip away from me. Totally unnerving! So I go to the ER and say I have trouble breathing and my heart feels funny, etc. And they do their bloodwork and say there's nothing wrong with me. And this happened twice. They let me suck on some oxygen for awhile and lie there and I guess I felt about 5% better and they sent me home.

    I had gone to an alternative medicine clinic and had acupuncture done and so it was in my records when I went the 3rd time. The doctor, after the usual bloodwork which was normal, sat down with me and told me they couldn't do anything for me. Then he says "I see you've tried acupuncture. I think you should try a psychiatrist". Implying that I'm a nut for trying acupuncture. It actually made me feel better than the ER did! He also told me not to come back unless I had a high fever!

    One thing about this hospital: I once had a lady working for me in my office for just a few weeks. She was really sweet but not too swift. She would put water in the vases with the fake flowers. You know, the fake roses with the thorns and "dew drops" on them. She also couldn't work the phones. The next time I saw her she was working at this hospital doing charts. So much for "medical care". It's more like "medical SCARE". After that, I got over my fear of dying because I always figured my last recourse would be the hospital, that if something happened, they would be able to keep me alive. But, obviously, I could have layed there and died and I guess the cause of death would be unknown because all my lab work was normal! And I still get a bill even when they don't know what's wrong!!! it's nice to unload, karen
  3. joyfully

    joyfully New Member

    ER. When you go to the ER, is not first come-first served. They will take you according to the degree of necessity. Those who are bleeding, etc. will get bumped to the top of the list.

    Have I ever sat for hours in the ER waiting room? YES, and I was in dry heaves every 20 minutes for hours.

    A gallbladder attack is NO fun. I've been in the ER with that too. Our medical situation is frustrating in the US. It seems that the insurance companies dictate to the doctors what they can and can't do.

    Obviously, you ended up in an ER that has the attitude that FM means you are a hypochondriac (spelling??).

    I guess the only way to come out of this with a positive experience is to "chalk it up to" one of those life experiences that you learned what not to say. That doesn't say much for the level of professionalism of our medical community, does it!

  4. marsupialmama

    marsupialmama New Member

    shouldn't he have written a note to the ER doctors telling them of his concerns? even if he didn't disclose it to you so as not to make you too scared etc.

    I don't know what is normal practice in the US or even here (Canada). When I was in UK and a family doc sent me to ER he wrote a note to the ER doc. I think that is what is usually done there (or it used to be).

    Knowing how busy and sometimes "dismissive" ER docs can be, I think I would be certain to get a piece of paper from any doc who told me to go there.
  5. Liz919

    Liz919 New Member

    When I was 13 I started having asthma like attacks. One time one started at around 10pm and then by 12 I couldn't stop coughing and was having a hard time breathing so my mom hauled me to the ER, against my express wishes. Upon seeing the triage nurse (a big burly scary man) he told me I was doing it to myself and I should stop wasting their time. Safe to say I began bawling my eyes out, hiccuping, coughing , still wheezing. He sighed really big and made me go out and wait to see a doctor. When I saw the REAL doctor, she was soo mad at the nurse and said anything that was hurting me was her business and that she didn't think I was faking it at all. A nice nebulized albuterol treatment and I was all better except for a now deeply ingrained fear and aversion to ER's. Was never actually diagnose with asthma but instead "episodes of respiratory distress" and sent home with an inhaler. Apparently the triage nurse was wrong yeah?
  6. luvnewcomb

    luvnewcomb New Member

    I think it's horrible that they act like that. The comment just prior to this reply "treat them and street them" sure hits home. Too bad I got to hang around for 7 1/2 hours from when I left to go there until I got home at 2AM for a 10 minute ride each way to the hospital.

    I admit I'm a Grey's Anademy addict, and it's fun to watch on TV - but, again to agree with the earlier reply. Unless you're empaled by a tree stump, guts hanging out of you, or something "exciting and thrilling" for them they just do not care about you as a person that really MAY NOT want to be there.

    I have heard of some people who instead of going to dr's just go to the ER for every little thing, but I really had a problem with them acting like I was just some "achy old lady who had nothing better to do with her time". They had to take my blood twice and process it, as the first time they drew it threw an IV the red blood cells broke so just about midnight they had to start all over and re-draw my blood to the lab could process it correctly.

    I filled out a records form and requested it today so I could see all their notes and see what labs they ran and the results.

    I've learned a very important lesson. NEVER NEVER tell them you have FM if you want to at least try to be treated fairly, if that's possible in the ER when you're lacking a bone or two sticking out of you, or worse. Also, the note is an excellent idea - or just have the dr call ahead to let them know I'm on my way, and why. I did have my doctor do that once and when I got there I was wisked in ahead of all others and immediately hooked up to machines, etc. That was in early 1998 when I had my first heart problem. They admitted me as they did in summer of 2003 when a similar situation occured - the doctor did not call ahead that time, but they got me in "stat". Both were pre-FM. I got sick in spring of 2004 with FM.

    Thank you all and I hope to hear some of your other stories of ER unfairness if you have any stories - even if you're just looking to vent.

    It helps me to know I'm not alone. Also, how many of you have a difficult time knowing if you need to go to the dr for a true emergency or illness without just figuring it's the FM and they'll chalk every ache, pain, and complaint to the FM. I'm starting to think it's a real problem.

    You can bet your bippy I won't be sharing anything with them but why I'm there and my exact symptoms relating to that - I will not tell them I have FM. Sad, isn't it?

    [This Message was Edited on 11/14/2006]
  7. 69mach1

    69mach1 New Member

    having major pains near my gall bladder area. the stupid military male nurses wanted me up on all fours so they could get a peep at my privates. i asked them why they needed me up in this posistion. they said took look for blood. i swear bethasda hosiptal can kiss my butt.

    preverts there and at other hospitals.

  8. painintheeverywhere

    painintheeverywhere New Member

    and it was just awful. You can check my profile to look for my story if you wish, but I had to file a Grievence, eventhough I felt so awful. The way I was treated was completely unnecessary and the Doctor to be needed to learn a lesson.

    The Fibromyalgia however...will follow me everywhere. It is in my hospital file and Doctor's from any hospital can look up your hospital history. I have come accross two hospital Doc's that absolutely believe FM is a Psychotic Disease and I refuse to be treated by anyone who does understand the disease in the future.

    Sorry for your experience!

  9. wanderingbluedragon

    wanderingbluedragon New Member

    I've been in and out of the ER for varrying things. They always treat you like you're dumb no matter what is wrong with you. And unless you are having a heart attack or your arm is chopped off, they make you sit forever to treat you like you are an imbecile, even when your own Doc has told you that's what you should do. I went to the urgent care today because I partially lost hearing in my left ear, don't know about anyone else but It kind of wigged me out, one minute I was fine, next I felt lopsided cause I couldn't hear correctly. I thought, well I probably have an ear infection, so I went in. Should have gone home and put my feet up instead. I saw the Doc (if that's even what he was, could have been a PA for all I know). He looked in my ear, pushed on my face and asked if I had been congested or coughing. I told him no, that all of a sudden I couldn't hear and it had come back some but not completely, here comes the mistake...I said that my throat was sore and that my glands hurt, but I figured that was my CFS acting up. He looked at me funny and then said that I had a virus and that there was nothing he could do but treat the symptoms and that only people who couldn't handle them would even ask him for could I just not put up with the symptoms or did he need to prescribe me something? I was so pissed that I just said no and left. He totally treated my like I was being a baby. I just wanted to make sure I didn't have an ear infection, as I seem to be having them a lot lately. Jeez. I think anyone with a chronic pain condition that isn't cancer is treated just horribly. Not to offend anyone with cancer, they should be treated well, and it is horribly painful; it's just that the rest of us are treated like hypos or whimps or drug seekers. I get so tired of it. I have a friend with Chronic Regional Pain Syndrome type 1 Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy and she is treated like dirt and told she is an addict all the time. Her Dr. has told her that if her pain gets too bad and her pain meds aren't working to go to the ER to get on top of it (same Doc as mine) and she tells them this every trip. By the way, our Doc is the chief of staff a the local hospital. They still treat her like dirt. I feel for anyone who has to deal with the degrading and humiliating way doctors treat them, and it seems to me that the problem is getting worse. I mourn the days when Doctors cared about the people they treated. CAN WE SAY BEDSIDE MANNERS? Sorry you felt like this. You are definitely not alone. Hope this makes you feel somewhat better and less singled out.
  10. luvnewcomb

    luvnewcomb New Member

    I thank all of you who have responded. I feel a bit less singled out, but still not better... they should not treat ANYONE this way, FM, CFS, ANYTHING.

    I know when I go into my doctor's office - whichever one it is - even though my pc is pretty compasionate and ok - for the time we live in, it's when he has the interns in there learning with him that you see the real compassion and worry on their faces. My dr will have them come in first, then he comes in and finishes up the visit with the intern (he does it a few times a year as we live near a teaching hospital).

    It makes me feel sad that between the early teaching years of the doctors and then into the years they become establishes and hardened that we lose the compassion and bedside manners of the past.

    What really hurt though was here you are nervous, worried about what is going on with you, and obviously feeling sick or concerned enough to actually head to the ER and the end result is my feeling I'd rather have taken a chance on not going an having something burst, or have a heart attack, than go in with anything less "important" and more "exciting" to the doctors so that I won't feel like a fool.

    Thank you again to everyone who helped me understand the system better and to help drive into me "we're all in the same boat" - it's better to swim with friends, than try to go it alone.


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