compassion, life, mental health, mental illness

No Compassion in Healthcare, My ER experience

In my follow up visit to my primary care physician, something disturbing was confirmed to me, that I had already suspected.

When I went to the Emergency Room, on June 12, for a severe kidney infection, they should have hospitalized me.

I knew this on June 12. In fact, I knew on June 10 and June 11, that I needed to be hospitalized. I was so sick in the wee hours of the night / morning of June 11, that I actually tried three times to take myself to the hospital.

I was shivering with chills, and fighting against fatigue that nearly dropped me to the floor. I barely made it to the bathroom about 4 am that morning, only to dry heave for ten minutes because there was no food in my stomach to vomit up.

I had not been able to eat anything for two days. But the urge to vomit still left me dry heaving with my head in the toilet.

I drug myself back to my room and began trying to pack a few necessary things, in case they admitted me to the hospital.

Earlier that evening I had somehow driven myself to the grocery store to buy a few days worth of frozen dinners, canned soups, bottles of juice, and other foods my kids would be able to prepare for themselves.

I was in fear of going through what I had gone through on April 26, 27 and 28, when I was admitted to the hospital suddenly and unexpectedly for a life threatening colitis / diverticulitis ( intestinal infection. )

I was remembering lying in the hospital bed sobbing, because there was not any food that the kids could make themselves. My texts to their father and grandmother, from the hospital bed had been ignored.

Finally my ex sister in law came to the hospital to get 40 dollars, which I luckily had in cash in my purse. She took a list from me and picked up groceries for my kids.

That is the reason I did not take myself to the hospital on June 10, because I had not been able to get myself to the store from being so sick.

So, about 4:30 am, on the 12th, I got up from the bed, holding onto the walls and made it to the kitchen to attempt to put on my shoes. I just sat in the chair, too week to move.

I couldn’t put my shoes on, so I just went to lay back down for fifteen minutes. I fell onto the bed.

Fifteen minutes later, I knew I had to go. I had been getting more and more dehydrated. Even though I had been drinking gatorades, I could not get in enough.

My fear was overcoming me about the dehydration because in April I had gotten so dehydrated at the ER, while they were refusing me fluids, that my blood pressure dropped to 69 / 42. I almost died from dehydration and low blood pressure which could have shut my body down.

So, I was battling between this fear of my blood pressure dropping and the extreme need to just lay in the bed.

Finally, after three tries of getting up and trying to get my shoes on, failing and falling back into the bed, I finally got down to my car.

I sat there in the car and almost passed out, before I forced myself to drive the short distance across the street to the ER.

Once in the ER, they made me drink this contrast dye stuff for the CT scan. After being on my back for a few minutes going , being sent in and out of the CT machine, I nearly vomited on the guy doing the scan. He grabbed something for me to vomit all that clear liquid that they made me drink, into.

So, after two hours of being hooked to IV tubes etc, the ER dr. told me I had a huge amount of bacteria in the left kidney and wrote out a script for antibiotics.

Then they told me to go drive myself home. I was confused because I still had a temperature of 101, extreme pain in my abdomen and back and I could hardly lift myself off of the gurney.

But “go home and pick up your antibiotics at the drug store on your way” was the instruction.

Why, you ask? My primary care dr. was wondering the same thing. She said she has had patients with less bacteria count in their kidneys and she admitted them to the hospital.

She said I should have been on IV meds and IV fluids for three days.

So, why did they send me home too sick to drive? Why did they risk my not getting enough fluids because I was too week to get out of bed and get myself drinks?

The answer of course, is money.

I had been in the hospital in April for four days, on Charity Care. They were not willing to put someone with no health insurance in the hospital, again.

Sad? Yes.

Was my dr. upset? She was horrified and disgusted. She just shook her head and told me she was very sorry for me. She wished I had been seen by her, rather than the ER, because she would have sent me to the hospital and called ahead for them to admit me.

Healthcare is a business. It is all about the money.

What else is sad? This is a non-profit Catholic Hospital that is designed for taking people with no insurance.

6 thoughts on “No Compassion in Healthcare, My ER experience”

  1. I am glad you’ve got a good doctor who cares and will help you though, but it’s a shame that when services become free, service providers start seeing us as “nuisances” rather than “valued human beings.” This sounds like an average day living with the British NHS. Only, over here, people with lots of money waste the NHS resources because EVERYONE, no matter how wealthy, is entitled to free NHS care, and hardly anyone takes out private insurance (and usually it only covers things you can’t get on the NHS) so all the money that could be used to help people who really need it is wasted on millionaires who get free prescriptions for life once they hit 60. And that’s why “free healthcare for everyone” is also a terrible idea. Somewhere, some country must have come up with a solution to this that doesn’t marginalize the poor because the only benefit in the UK of having the NHS is that very rich people save loads of money, then bypass the waiting lists when they really need to with their money, while lower income people who need care and help are just left for dead because they don’t have the resources to get to appointments or chase up referrals.

    Like

    1. Oh, I did not know how the system was there. You are right, neither of our systems are quite right.
      The poor people suffer no matter what.
      Thank you for taking the time to connect with me.
      Have a good day 🙂
      Annie

      Liked by 1 person

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