Good morning to all. I havent been here in such a long time but have a bit of good news from my last visit to the ER. This is going to be long so grab a cuppa!
Several weeks ago I fell while bringing in some groceries. Of course the first thing I did when I realized I was laying on the ground was to look around to see who might have seen such an ungracious landing-lol. I then stood up and realized I hadnt even dropped my grocery bags.
When I came in the house I assessed 'the damage'. My back was already starting to throb and my left arm hurt as well. I put away the groceries and then decided to ice/heat. Two hours later and both my arm and back were in agony. I couldnt decide which was worse. As much as I hate going to the ER for pain I couldnt imagine a whole night ahead of me like this. (I was not taking presrcription pain meds at this time--only enbrel, and occasionally tylenol #2 with codeine when I have them)
When I got to the ER I could see the waiting room was full-standing room only. I checked in 'slip and fall' I said and waited for triage.
Once triaged the nurse was shocked that my blood pressure was so high. I'm in agony I said--I have a bad back. It took only moments after that to get to an examining room.
I was lucky that it was my family Dr. on call that night and he sent me to x-ray for the arm. Well the radiologist was so rude!!! He didnt even offer to help carry my jacket, purse or anything. Just barked orders from his cubicle.
All of a sudden his demeanor changed and he came out and took my stuff and gently escorted me back to the examining room. I then heard the family dr. on the phone to a neighboring hospital. I overheard that I needed immediate surgery and would require both an orthopedic surgeon and a neurosurgeon and they would be transporting me by ambulance.
The nurse came in and gave me a shot and told me they were going to stabilize my arm. So I was wheeled to the cast
room and my family dr. came in-along with the nurse and the ambulance driver who would transport me.
My family dr. stated I had a severe fracture of the arm -
my understanding it wasnt the length but rather it was wide.
It was at this point that he asked"why I had waited so long to come to the er. TA DA!!!!! Here was my opportuniy and my audience to explain about chronic back pain.
I said that my back always hurts as bad as my arm. I had to
weigh the options of the 'looks+comments' from these staff
members had I just come in stating I needed something for
my back. I talked to him for 20 min. about chronic pain and
the impacts on people and how it is grossly undertreated by
the medical professionals in general.
Anyway fast forward--I had surgery on the arm--they needed
to graft bone from my hip because of the width of the break.
I spent 3 nights and 4 full days in the hospital. Yuck!
When it was time for the staple removal (14 of them) the nurse told me the dr. would like to speak with me.
BEST visit ever for me and hopefully many other chronic pain sufferers out there. He informed me that my case had been reviewed at the monthly mtg. He felt it was gross
negligence that I had chosed to wait so long at home in
obvious terrible pain because I felt I wouldnt be treated
He stated that on that night he and his nurses agreed that
many have become desensitized to people with chronic pain.
He also gave me a script for 300 percocet. I could fill 100
at a time and to come back when I needed another script. He promised that he and the er were going to be more aware
and diligent about care and diagnosing of chronic pain patients--especially back pain.
Gee I wouldnt have broken my arm by myself years ago if I
knew thats all it would take to get treatment. LOL-kidding
Thanks for reading this long winded book--I truly hope that iit helps at least one person to get the treatment they
deserve and lesses the 'stigma' attached to using the ER