I hate the Emergency room. HATE IT ! I find every way I can to avoid it.
This week I wasn’t so lucky.
I was and have been sick for a few months. I say a few months because I have been fighting an infection for four months. FOUR MONTHS!
Each time it comes back it takes an eternity to get the medication needed to treat it. First is the doctor’s appointment. Then the possibility of test to confirm the diagnosis. Medication goes through an authorization process. Then, the pharmacy usually doesn’t stock the required medication due to the price tag attached to it. This requires that it be specially ordered.
This wouldn’t be a big deal… Except that each day without medication, means that infection is growing. This process has taking up to a week. Resulting in the infection being too much for a 10 day antibiotic to cover. So we end up back to square one.
Four months later we are still back at square one.
This time I couldn’t handle the pain. ME.. not handle PAIN!! I know.. shocking. According to my CVSr.. Becasue I have brown eyes and am female, my pain tolerance is higher. Add to that, that I have been in pain my whole life.. It means that my level of pain tolerance is much higher, than the average person anyway.
That means, when I choose to go to the Emergency room, there is a reason.
However, I didn’t choose it.
I had gone to the Urgent Care to AVOID the ER. Urgent Care decided that I was “Too SICK,” for them to handle. They called an ambulance to take me to the ER.
I have had bad experiences in the ER before. This one wasn’t terrible. I have by far had worse. But, if I were an animal, my treatment would have been considered inhumane.
Does that mean that this one is considered Inhuman?
It felt like it.
It starts as you are wheeled into the ER via the Ambulance entrance. You are no longer a person. You are a patient. A number. Not a person.
Everyone around starts talking about you like you aren’t even there. You’re sitting right there. But you no longer exist. You’re a chart. A number. A patient, not a person.
Even after the hand off from ambulance crew to the nursing staff has occurred.
I was put in a room and instructed, not asked to disrobe and put in a scrap of cloth.. that won’t cover a good portion of me. Being 5’10” there is a lot of me to cover. This little cltoh doesn’t’ even meet in the back. Even with my 25 pound weight loss and I am not a large woman. Just a tall one.. and this reaches to the mid to upper thigh. The bed I am provided does not even have a pillow.
The nurse is rude and uncaring when I tell him that the IV is not sitting right and is painful. “It pulls fine,” is his response as he gathers up the debris and leaves anyway.
As you sit for hours waiting for them to do anything.. you pass the time listening to the nursing staff talk. They laugh about the patients and their dilemmas. Which I find rude. They don’t refer to them by name.. but room number. So if you are ambulatory, you could walk by and see. Or glimpse on your way to a test. So really Privacy is being violated. As I felt mine was because not only do they stand in the hall and blurt out your entire history of anything even remotely wrong with you, if there is any CDC related things.. You are now treated like you have the plague.
This is completely understandable, as a caregiver of a chronically ill child… I am a known Germ-a-phobe. However, being that we are in and out of medical facilities that HOUSE a very LARGE percentage of the nastiest germs known to mankind… we are exposed to them. We are also immune compromised. Which also makes us susceptible to them.
This is where the the most inhuman part comes in. Becasue you are or have been compromised by these diseases or infections.. You are no longer treated as a human.
If you have to use the bathroom. You can only use a bedside commode in plain view of ANYONE. Anyone can walk in and DOES with no care for your privacy or personal feelings. YOU, are no longer a human being. Becasue you had the bad misfortune to contract a disease or infection caring for someone else. Do your feelings matter? Not anymore.
Does your pain matter? No.
You are tossed into a room with a place to use the bathroom and forgotten about.
Does this picture I have painted sound (look) familiar? It sounds like any caged animal that you have ever seen treated abominably . I wasn’t given any food or water and I was there for the entire day. I was given an IV initially. But once they got a urine sample no more was “required.”
I was there waiting for help for hours. Which is pretty standard for an ER. However, my last test was at 3:30 and at 8:30 I signed myself out of the hospital. That seemed a bit excessive even to me. I was never helped. I found no relief for my pain. I got no answers that day.
But, the worst part.. was my treatment. I was no longer a person. No longer human. I’m my condition. I’m what’s wrong with me. I no longer deserve to be treated with respect and dignity because I felt awful enough to seek emergency help.
I won’t even call it CARE. Becasue if they cared.. they would have brought me a pillow.