My Trip to the ER on Friday was scary...

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by DeborahLynn, Nov 22, 2008.

  1. DeborahLynn

    DeborahLynn Member

    My journal entry about the ER trip:


    I am so very weak right now I need to get back in bed, but as I'm waiting for my meds to feel like they've gone down my esophagus before I lay down, I wanted to describe a little bit about my ER trip, what sent me to the ER, and find out if maybe someone else has experienced it, too.

    Going shopping is something I rarely ever do these days. I just don't have the strength or stamina it takes. But I just wanted to look in one discount store for an hour or so to do a little bit of Christmas shopping. I had planned to pick up two items, and then head home. I wasn't feeling especially stronger than usual, just eager to do a little bit of Christmas shopping.

    Because of the terrible weakness and moderate pain I was having yesterday, I was slowly shuffling in the store taking itty bitty steps using my cane. The store had so many great deals I ignored my discomfort (you know how it is - I kept on seeing just one more deal to check out), and one hour turned into two hours. I was getting weaker, but nothing unusual. I was getting ready to leave when I was hit by a degree of weakness I had never felt before. It was very severe, and my pain was becoming unbearable. I had hit that invisible "brick wall" again, but this time, the reaction was 100 times more severe. I had never experienced it to this degree before, and was totally unprepared for it; I didn't know what to expect.

    What I know now, and didn't know then was that what I was experiencing could be compared to a snowball effect - once the over-expenditure of energy reached a certain point, no amount of sitting and resting would help; I was headed for an intense crash and couldn't stop it.

    I felt an urgency to sit, so I went through the check-out, and sat down. I could feel the intensity of the weakness and pain escalating, and I became worried that I wouldn't be able to make it to my car if I waited any longer, so I shuffled to my car. I have a handicap license plate, but all of the handicap parking spaces were used up, so I had to walk maybe 60 feet to my car. I thought I would collapse before I got there, so I was praying that the Lord would help me. I finally made it, and slumped into the front seat.

    I sat there for a long time, trying to muster up the strength to pull my legs in and shut the door; it was getting quite cold, so somehow I did. My mind was becoming very unclear; I couldn't think straight. I could barely lift the cell phone to my mouth to call my husband. There was no answer. I tried to mumble a message; I was so weak that I couldn't speak loud enough to be heard clearly.

    My daughter had to be picked up at 2p.m. from school. After two or three tries, I found someone who was able to pick her up and take her to their house. The folks I talked to were worried because I sounded so bad. I was relieved to find someone to take care of my daughter. That was an answer to prayer! I called my brother's house, hoping someone was there. By that time, I was so weak I couldn't keep the phone up to my mouth, and I knew I couldn't stand up. My lovely niece was home and she called her Mom at work. Her Mom offered to come, pick me up and take me to the doctor's or the ER. By that time, I knew I couldn't walk and could barely whisper, so I told her that I think I should call 911. Even if she did come, I knew she wouldn't be able to lift me out of the car, and put me into hers.

    I prayed about it, because being taken to the hospital in an ambulance is expensive. But as I sat there, I grew more and more weak; I felt my consciousness slipping away. I felt I should call 911. I did, and shortly, I could hear the sirens coming to the parking lot. I couldn't even wave or open my door or anything to let them know where I was. A firetruck was the first to arrive and found my car quickly. The fireman that came to assess the situation was very kind and considerate. Since I couldn't speak much above a whisper, the fireman bent down to hear me. I couldn't even lift my head to look at them. I don't know what they looked like. I was barely able to tell the fireman my drug allergies, name, etc.

    The ambulance arrived. I couldn't see it but I could hear the sirens. The EMTs came, the firemen told the EMTs my drug allergies, and they assessed my status. When they couldn't hear me, they told me to speak up. When I couldn't, they told me harshly again to speak up. They didn't bend down to try to hear me. They asked the usual questions, and were getting aggravated at me when I couldn't answer some of them. I was beginning to not be able to respond, even though I wanted to and tried very hard to.

    Then they told me to turn around to get my legs out of the car. I said I couldn't. The EMT said, "Well, if you're not going to even try, we'll have to cut the roof of the car off to get you out, is that what you want?" I struggled to say, "I've worked many years as a nurse's aid, and I know two people can lift another one." One EMT said, "Well, we're not nurses or nurse's aids." They came over and tried to lift me up to get me on the stretcher, and one of the EMTs grabbed the back of my pants and pulled up very hard, hurting me badly. I cried and said, "Why are you being so mean to me?" They said, "You think we're being mean? What makes you think we're being mean?" I caught a glimpse of her face, but I couldn't lift my head to look at her, or at the male EMT.

    In the ambulance, the female EMT but a tourniquet on my arm to start an IV; she pulled it extremely tight, and I cried and said, "Ouch." She said, "I have to do that to get a vein." The male EMT was asking me questions, and I started to not be able to respond. I could hear what they were saying, but try as I might, I couldn't answer. He pulled out some "smelling salts" (I know it's not actually salt, but you know what I mean) and put it under my nose. I sputtered and gasped and tried to move my head, but he kept it under my nose for a long time. They were being very, very rough and mean with me. Then I almost lost consciousness again. They took my blood pressure; she said, "She's 94/42."

    After that, they started treating me a little nicer. Out came the "smelling salts" again but this time, he only waved them under my nose a little bit; when I first started sputtering, he stopped. I was able to tell them bits and pieces of the questions they were asking. Then my muscles started spasming wildly and convulsing. It started in my face; I could feel my face contorting and my head rolling. The spasms moved down my body to my neck and arms, then my torso, legs and feet. By the time I got to the hospital, I was coming up off the stretcher. All this was involuntary movement, I couldn't control it. By the time we reached Erlanger, I was finally able to talk. I said, "What's happening to me? I'm so scared!" They said, "We don't know, honey, I've never seen anything like it in my life."

    My vitals had returned to normal, so they weren't worried about me losing my life. They were talking amongst themselves and laughing. They may not have been laughing at me, but I sure felt like they were. I can just imagine what my face must have looked like, and the noises I was making because the spasms/convulsions pushed air through my larynx, and I know I sounded and looked funny. But their laughing made me cry, which made me spasm even more violently

    The female EMT was unhooking me and preparing to leave. As she was doing this and during a spasm, I said, "I'm afraid I'm going to lose control of my bladder." She said, "What can I do about that?" in a curt tone of voice. I said, "I was just letting you know; maybe a bedpan or something?" She just left without doing anything or letting the hospital staff know.

    Throughout this whole ordeal, I was praying, and I knew Heaven was listening. Even though I was scared and was alone, I could feel the Lord with me, keeping me sane, keeping me from panicking and totally losing it. It's scary when you lose control over your body. Add to that the mean treatment of the EMTs.

    The ER was quite busy with car accidents and trauma cases, so the EMTs put me in a room by myself, with no covers or a call button. The one EMT said, "I'm sorry you thought we were being mean, but we had to get certain information from you. You wouldn't want us to give you a drug or something that would kill you." Of course not, but they really could have been much more gentle and kind about the whole thing. I was so scared, and their treatment compounded my fright.

    I stayed in there in that cold room for a long time it seemed, although it was probably only 20 minutes. The spasms slowly quieted down. When the nurse finally came in, she was so sweet and concerned. She didn't laugh or even look like she was going to smile when she saw me trying to talk to her, the whole time my face contorting and my body shaking, my arms flailing. She was super sweet. When she left, I found that every time I tried to use a muscle, it would send it into spasms, so I tried very hard to lie very still.

    My husband arrived, along with his brother. I first saw my husband, and you can imagine the comforting effect that had on me! My face and body were still contorting some, but after he came, the muscle spasms calmed down. He and his brother saw only the tail end of the whole thing, and it was still scary to them.

    They did blood tests, and put some meds in my IV which helped calm the spasms. The blood tests came back normal, except for a low magnesium level. They gave me two little bags of magnesium through the IV. The physicians assistant who saw me said that a low magnesium level could possibly cause muscle spasms. I take two tablets of magnesium regularly, so I was surprised that my magnesium was low. It was 1.5, and it's supposed to be 1.8 to 3.0 mg/dL. We were at the ER for six hours.

    Two or three times since having ME/CFS (Myalgic Encephalitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome) and FMS (fibromyalgia syndrome), I have experienced "spells" of time, lasting 30 min. to an hour, when I would get extremely weak, my muscles would shake and shiver, and my jaw would shake, as if I was shivering cold, and the shaking would get worse if I tried to use my muscles. After this whole ordeal, I'm suspecting that what I had yesterday was the same kind of thing, only much, much more severe.

    I hope and pray that's the last time it happens.

    Although, my Lord will find some way to turn it around to bless someone, of that I'm sure!

    I have had to rest quite a bit while typing this, and I need to go lay down again. I like to journal, and I find it helps a great deal to write my experiences out. I hope you all don't mind that I posted it here. My love to all, mixed with prayers and greetings and such! Debbie
  2. julie1014

    julie1014 New Member

    (((Debbie))) What a horrible experience. I hope this post finds you feeling better today. Blessings, Julie
  3. doxygirl

    doxygirl New Member

    and Iam very upset!

    I do not care what the reason(s) were they were out of line!

    each and everyone of the people that treated you the way they did....we pay our taxes for them to be there to help us they are NOT our judges or dare them act that way to you!

    I do hope that when you are stronger and feeling better you will get your husband to go with you to lodge a complaint...if we just let it pass they will only turn around and keep doing this to others...however if we report if eventually there will be a lengthly paper trail and SOMEONE that can will do something about it!

    Hey...maybe even the newspaper...I do not think they would relish that kind of report on their behavior but it is what they have earned!

    Deb, honey I do hope you are feeling better....and I also hope that if comforts you to know you are not alone...I have had to go to the ER two times last year for similar incidents....

    also I have a handicapped placard and use it just for this reason you are talking about....there are times I have to lean on my autistic son who pretty much goes everywhere I go....because I know how fast these episodes come on and how fast they can take us right down!

    My blood pressure does exactly what yours does when this happens to me....which is something we have discussed on this board more than once....strange how when we have these spells our blood pressure plummets like it does???hmmmm?

    PLEASE write to me Deb and let me know how your doing ok?

    You do have your family with you now right? Because I do not think at this point you should be alone!


  4. Janalynn

    Janalynn New Member

    As I am reading this intently, I got to the point where you asked "why are you being so mean to me?" and my heart broke.
    I'm so sorry you had to endure that - not only the physical incredibly frightening, but how you were treated on top of all of that when what you needed was some comfort. It's not hard to change one's tone.

    I'm glad to hear that there were a few people that didn't make you feel like the whole world was against you! Oh that just makes me angry.

    I hope that you're feeling better. Thank you for taking the time and effort to share your experience with us.
    Will keep you in my thoughts and prayers.

  5. DeborahLynn

    DeborahLynn Member

    Thanks for responding, giving me your ear and your comfort! I was so upset by it all, I just had to write it out and share it, just to see if there were others who understood, maybe went through something similar, or could give a word of comfort. Thank you for taking the time to respond!

    I am feeling better, but I have increased weakness and my muscles are very sore and stiff from all that contracting. My hubby and family are all very understanding, and my wonderful sister-in-law sent over a pancake/fruit compote breakfast, and some friends brought some hot chocolate and popcorn last night. I feel overwhelmed by all the support, which fills my cup full to over-flowing, after having been emptied to the bottom after that whole ER ordeal.

    Thank you again for your care and support! Love, Debbie
  6. DeborahLynn

    DeborahLynn Member

    Thanks for all the words in my defense! I'm running out of energy at the moment, but I just wanted to take a moment to say thanks, and that my hubby and brother-in-law are going to help me see about contacting the ambulance company and lodging a complaint.

    Also, thanks for empathizing with me, but sorry to hear you've gone through similar things!

    I'm going to have to go lay down now, but before I do, I wanted to let you know that I'm doing much, much better than I was on Friday... I'm very, very weak, sore from all the convulsions, and my mind/body connection keeps getting shorted out (ie saying the wrong word, tripping and stumbling, off balance, just plain off...) but I'm going to be o.k. with the help of my dear hubby, family, and my Lord.

    Thanks for sticking up for me! Lots of love, Debbie
  7. DeborahLynn

    DeborahLynn Member

    For the kind words and blessings! I am feeling better than I was Friday, but I think it will take a few days to get back to pre-Friday status. Thanks! Debbie
  8. 3gs

    3gs New Member

    Debbie Iam so sorry for what you went thru. My niece is a paramedic and would be appalled at how you were treated. Shame on them.

    I have had small eposides like yours and they are very scary. Thanks for posting as I thought it was just me.

    Understand totally about the feeling hey Im out let me shop. Only to get blindsided.

    Please take care. I'm glad you had the Lord with you.
  9. DeborahLynn

    DeborahLynn Member

    Thanks for your kind words! You're like me: you're sad someone else has gone through what you've gone through, but relieved that you're not the only one! Thanks, and the Lord be with you, too! Debbie
  10. lrning2cope

    lrning2cope New Member

    I felt just like it was me when I read what happened . I feel enraged about this . How can someone in the medical field be so dense ? To treat ANYONE roughly , no matter what state they are in is an abomination. To treat you like that when you are so weak is just unspeakable.

    I pray this never happens to you agoin. I also pray that those people who treated you so badly will come to realize that they need to learn something about compassion.

  11. findmind

    findmind New Member

    I'm so sorry your experience was almost worse than the terrible crisis episode.

    I think this happens when our muscles are used aerobically; after a short while, we can go into an anerobic state, with lactic acid building up in the muscles, causing spasms, and also in the brain, causing malfunctioning thinking and speaking.

    I don't know the cure, but maybe you could carry some magnesium tablets with you and take them if the symptoms begin. Also, when our BP drops like that and we get cold and shivering, there are two things going wrong, I think. First the hypothalamus is affected by the lactic acid, so it doesn't send the right signals to the body to support its needs. Secondly, you may be having a low blood VOLUME episode, and your brain and muscles are not being supported; for this you need the IVs to increase the volume and thus the BP.

    Thank you for sharing this with us. I hope you recover quickly so you can enjoy Thanksgiving, while we are being thankful you came thru this crisis ok.

    Blessings on you and yours,
  12. jmq

    jmq New Member

    I just read your post. and I want to do bodily harm to those paramedics. What a shame to put you through that when you were already so sick and scared. I too have had those episodes...but they have never lasted that long. I have always made it to a chair or bench...or floor until it passed. Each time wondering if I should call 911. The scariest is the inability to dial a number or even talk. I know exactly how you felt.

    I am now on Lyrica and feeling much better. I only hope and pray it lasts.

    My heart goes out to you and I hope you never have to go through that hell again.

  13. Elisa

    Elisa Member

    Hi Debbie,

    God Bless you for getting through such a tough time - the STRESS - just aweful...

    I have had bad bad episodes very much like you describe with severe weakness. I have also had paramedics that were mean and abusive - so much so that I am afraid to call 911 even when I am in trouble.

    Sadly, many of these unkind people hate their jobs and are bitter hateful people that have no right to be in the caring professions. They don't get reported because people who are sick are afraid of reprecussions - that is the case for me. The paramedics in my town are so very cruel - they have said unmentionable things to me and about my home. One winter they even made fun of my Christmas tree - that I still had it up - little did they know that I was too weak to take it down for months and months after Christmas.

    I think this illness is terrifying and I think the way people treat us (and others) is even more frightening. It is not my way and my heart has a very hard time understanding such behavior.

    Being sick is such a vulnerable feeling and having "help" arrive just to take emotional hits on an already hurting person is incomprehensible.

    God Bless You...and He He gave you strength to survive and you will triump some day!

    [This Message was Edited on 11/25/2008]
  14. gypsysoul

    gypsysoul New Member

    when I read your post.

    I am almost sure you have multiple lawsuits you can pursue. I do not think malpractice is one of them.

    Start with the EMT'S....ambulance company that they work for...the ER people that treated you so badly at the hospital and the hospital itself. It sounds mean, but they were mean to you.
    We can only hope your statement "why are you being so mean to me"? was part of your records.

    Even if it goes no where, it will shake things up, and maybe this will not happen to another.

    Pulling you up by the back of your pants.....

    I would scream..but I am too busy tearing up.
    Jesus be with us.
  15. DeborahLynn

    DeborahLynn Member

    I have an update to post, but I have to go pick up my daughter in a minute, so I'll post it later on tonight; just wanted to say a real quick Thank You so much for your supportive words! Debbie
  16. DeborahLynn

    DeborahLynn Member

    If I remember right, they asked me when I was on the phone with the 911 call, but my mind was so unclear, I may not be remembering right.

    So you're in the Chattanooga area! Have you heard about the FMS and CFS support group that meets every 3rd Tuesday of the month at Bayside Baptist Church at 6p.m.? It's a great group! And another great group meets the 2nd Tuesday of each month at, oops, now I forget the name; I think it's Benchmark Physical Therapy on Old Lee Highway in Ooltewah, next to the middle school, I believe it is, or maybe it's a gradeschool... it's across from the Samaritan Center... I know the Bayside group's next meeting isn't until January, and I think it's the same for the Ooltewah group. I sure do hope you can make it some time! I've met a couple of other people on this message board that are from Chattanooga, and have actually met them at the support groups! It's really neat to meet them in person after getting acquainted on this board!

    I am going to post an update to my trip to the ER both here, and in a new post...

    Thanks for your replies! Love you all, and sending Christmas greetings to all! Debbie
  17. DeborahLynn

    DeborahLynn Member

    Here's an update, if anyone is interested, in hearing what happened after I went to the ER:

    Just a quick note; I am very weak and can't write much today... This is an exerpt (sp?) from a note I wrote to my good friends:

    I went to the ER again on Tuesday night with seizures. This time my husband drove me. After the last episode (with the ambulance ride to the ER), I went to my dr. who sent me to have an EEG done (electro- encephalogram), but before I could see the doctor again, I had another seizure episode.

    I would have a seizure, lasting about three minutes, and it would quit, only to start up again a couple of minutes later. It went on like this for an hour and a half, on the way to the ER and waiting to be seen. I never lost consciousness this time, however. I was prescribed some anti-epileptic meds in the ER... I am recovering now.

    The staff in the ER were so kind, gracious and caring; I had a good experience with them.

    Please continue praying for Gio; he's had a tough week at academy. Other than those things, or even with those things, we are experiencing HUGE blessings from our Lord and Saviour and realizing more and more of the great cost of our salvation...Love and prayers to all, and Christmas Greetings, Debbie
  18. DeborahLynn

    DeborahLynn Member

    My GP doesn't specialize in ME/CFIDS or FMS, but he's willing to learn and treat, and he's an excellent doctor. He treats symptoms, but he also tries to get down to the root of the problem, if one can be found. His name is Dr. C. Michael Orquia, and he practices at Lakeside Medical Center on Highway 58. Pretty soon, he's moving to Ooltewah. He'll be closer to me then; I live in the McDonald area, in Bradley County, between Collegedale and Cleveland.

    I hope I can be of help. I believe you can find my e-mail on my profile, if you would like to e-mail me. I'll keep you in my prayers! Merry Christmas, Debbie
  19. gb66

    gb66 Well-Known Member

    Debbie, Thanks for the doctor info. That's good news that he's moving to Ooltewah. East Brainerd's where I live so that's convenient. I will e-mail you. Merry Christmas to you too! GB66
  20. DeborahLynn

    DeborahLynn Member

    I'll be checking my e-mail. Merry Christmas! Deb