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Best wishes for Oriah

griffggriff Posts: 488
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:25 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hi all,
This is kind of off topic but I know that you'd all want to know. Oriah had to go to the hospital for emergency gall bladder surgery. I spoke with her today and she's home now and recovering but she had quite the ordeal.

I know all of you would like to send her your wishes for a speedy recovery...she's a great gal and a good pal to me.

I hope she'll feel well enough to post soon and tell you the story...and it's quite a story!

Hugs to Oriah!



  • hope you're doing well Oriah!!!! get better
  • Hope you're feeling better and up and about soon.

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  • From sunny California! ;)) Take care my dear.
    Jan 2009 L5-S1 ALIF
    May 2017 ALIF L4-L5 with PLF rods added L4-L5-S1
  • Good luck with your surgery tomorrow Oriah....
  • Thank you all for your support and well wishes, Griff your friendship has really helped me come back from some very emotional moments. I know I have a lot of work to do! I have to get back to some quality of life and back to my country roots. Taking one day at a time and hopefully working towards my goal of getting out of Las Vegas.

    I know this is a very long post but I needed to purge what happened and give a little background. It might be useful for me in case I need to get a lawyer and as my mind clears help me look at how to deal with things still happening. The time- lines are to the best of my memory and from my cell phone call logs.

    Maybe this might help someone else going through a difficult situation. Again I’m sorry its so long, I even left a lot of things out.

    I work graveyard hours, Sun - Thurs 10 pm - 6:30am and most days I don’t leave until 9 or 10 am because of being so short staffed and a few co-workers that never put in the effort. I gave over a months notice for a leave of absence to have the SCS permanent implant surgery and recovery, My NS wanted me out for at least 3 to 6 months because of the extensive surgery he would need to do and recovering time. So I applied for FMLA and was approved for short term disability. I had that surgery 8/12/08 with a very rough start to recovery because of excess pain, swelling and SCS not being turned on for over two weeks. I also received a very bad tooth infection that needed to be treated at the beginning of September. Towards mid-September my non existent eating, nausea and pain was out of control. I was referred to a GI doctor and he did a EGD and ordered a hida-scan. I went to Gyn for abdominal pain and PMS she ordered mammogram, pelvic and abdominal sonograms.
    At the end of October all tests were back showing abnormalities in all areas from another benign lesion in mammogram, fibroids, gallstones and 18% fracture rate on gallbladder (anything below 35% is considered to need medical attention). Gyn doctor suggested I strongly think about a total Hysterectomy. GI doctor said I was fine and just need to shake it off and make some lifestyle changes, he basically accused me of having unnecessary surgeries and being over medicated. My PM doctor had already weaned me off the Fentanyl Patch and most of my BT meds before I even saw this doctor. So they sent me back to work and I let them because it was the last day I was guaranteed to get my job back and I knew that my very stressful and physically challenging (BLT) job would be at a crossroads. My employer, although a national based medical laboratory is not set up in Las Vegas to operate with any ethical standards as I understand the rest of the laboratories across the U.S. and abroad follow. Just bad supervisors and local management that hide from corporate behind “Everything is up to supervisor discretion” to “Business needs come first”.
    So I continue to go into work and am expected to work overtime and change from my original hire schedule and work weekends as well. The stress and my pain levels are now really out of control even with my SCS implant.
    I left work after another 10 hour shift on 12/4/08 and I went home to change for PT. When I got home I was in total distress from pain and called to cancel PT (which I have never done before). I explained to PT what was going on and she suggested I call my PM doctor. My PM told me to go to the ER immediately as he knows my history and test results, etc. I am by myself and did not want to call an ambulance so I drove to the nearest hospital less than 2 miles away.
    I arrive at ER at 10:30 am and they take me back immediately and run test on me, blood work, sonogram, EKG and finally gave me some pain meds about two hours later. I never asked for pain meds I continually asked for nausea meds for the dry heaves and explained my spinal problems and GI test results ect. At this point they left me in an ER room for over another hour in distress even though they did give me a pain injection with nausea med earlier. Finally around 3 pm and ER doctor came in and said “Since your blood count came back OK we don’t consider you emergent, you only have a gallstone- but I certainly can find a surgeon who will be happy to take your gallbladder out”.

    Fifteen minutes later a Surgeon comes in and sees that I’m still in pain and tells me that he can possibly take out my gallbladder in the morning and says I will be admitted. I told him that my pain level and nausea is out of control and whatever they gave me earlier triggered a severe migraine. (history of migraines and craniotomy for brain aneurysms)
    Now they sent me upstairs to a hospital room (around 4pm) one guy came in to do the admitting paperwork and a girl came in to hook up a portable heart monitor (it had electrodes and a heavy battery pack she laid on my chest) I expressed to both of them I needed something for nausea and my migraine is totally out of control, I’m in total breakdown (uncontrollable tears and pain) He said a nurse would be right in. From approximately 4:30 until after 7:00 the nurses would not answer the call button. I finally got a hold of someone over the call button and told him that I was in pain and I needed someone to come I’ve been laying here for hours in pain. He told me that this is the first he heard of it and would call for doctors orders, he did not come into the room. I waited for another half hour, no one came into the room so I got up and got dressed and was going back down to the ER with three people chasing behind me and one girl pushed me in the back telling me to hold on a minute. I was at that point really agitated and in tears and told her to keep her hands off me. She pushed me again in the back, she was trying to turn me around to go back into the room. I told her something to the effect if she put her hands on me again I was going to flatten her. I got turned around in the hospital but finally found the ER. They refused to page a doctor for me or tell me who I should talk to. The only doctors name I had was the surgeon who came in who gave me his card. I used the ER phone and called his answer service leaving my cell number. The doctor called me back on my cell and told me “I’m not doing your surgery tonight, maybe he could get me on his schedule in the morning and I needed to talk with the admitting doctor.” I told him I asked and nobody will give me his name or help me. He told me he was not responsible for me but wanted me to go back up to my room. While I was on the phone with him an ER nurse? Took the phone from me and was talking with him. The only part of the conversation I understood was her telling him “That’s not going to happen”. She then hung up the phone and handed it back to me and asked me to go back up to the room with her and she would call for doctors orders. I was back up in the room by 7:40pm and I waited….and waited some more. I did not get undressed, but laid there in total breakdown.
    A nurse finally came in and I asked what the doctors orders were and the name of the doctor who admitted me. I told her that my migraine and nausea is out of control she then smarted off to me and said maybe I can get you some Tylenol. I said what do you mean, what are the doctors orders, she told me she didn’t look up the doctors orders because she didn’t know that I was staying. This was almost 9:00pm.
    This time when I left and got to the elevator some girl was telling me how I couldn’t leave with the IV in me because it was hospital property. I bluntly told her to get out of my face twice and nobody is going to lay a hand on me. I would take the IV out myself if I had to. I finally made it to my car and sat there for a few minutes before I drove home. The scariest part, I don’t remember driving home even though I had no narcotics in me since early that afternoon in the ER. My eyes were almost swollen shut and I was so light and sound sensitive because of the migraine and doubled over in pain from the gallbladder attack, someone else was driving.
    Out of everything that happened I am so disappointed in myself for not having been in the right mind of calling a cab or making a choice not to drive even though it was just around the corner.
    When I got home I still couldn’t reach any family (out of town) or friends so I called my PM doctor. I don’t remember what all I said to him. He wanted me to go back to the hospital and asked for a patient advocate or something or go to the hospital across town where I had all my spine surgeries done. I remember him making me promise I would go to the hospital as soon as I found a ride and have them call him regarding my treatment.
    I must have passed out for at least an hour because it was now after midnight and still in pain and dry heaves. I got a hold of one of my friends who was at work and asked her for a ride to the hospital. She called her roommate to come get me and he took me to the hospital ER across town.

    ER #2, The guy at this desk immediately saw that I had an IV in me and was yelling to the nurse in the next room that I was an AMA. I later figured out that it meant “Leaving against Medical Advice.” I was trying to explain to this guy I left because nobody would help me he got a real attitude with me. The nurse from the next triage room came in and said something to him. He took my medical cards, typed in the information and then told me to follow him. I can barely walk at this point and the other nurse took my arm to help me to an ER room. I was admitted and in a hospital room in a little more than an hour around 2:30-3:00. More tests, blood work but this time they did help me manage the nausea and pain. Almost everybody from then on treated me OK with the exception of one doctor who didn’t read the medical chart and was confused because the surgeon from the other ER must have updated notes stating he was going to take out my gallbladder in the morning. I explained who this surgeon from the other hospital was. So he went out of the room and came back to give me a choice of being released and contacting this doctor who still would like to do my surgery in his clinic or another surgeon would take out my gallbladder there in the morning. I told him that I didn’t feel comfortable having this surgeon operate on me because “I am not his responsibility” and explained that I am in too much pain to wait or go through a “day surgery”. He went out of the room again and when he returned he said Dr. B is a good surgeon and she would be glad to take on my case, she would be coming by that afternoon to see me. When Dr. B came in she took some medical history and asked me why my original GI doctor didn’t take care of this when the test results came back abnormal at the end of October. ??? All of this could have been avoided if that doctor would have looked at facts instead of his assumptions just because I was referred by a PM doctor.
    I had a real hard time in recovery, woke up in excruciating pain in upper abdominal, back and chest. I was having a hard time catching my breath because the pain was so bad. The recovery nurse said she had already given me morphine and I needed to be transported back to my room. I told her something was wrong! The recovery doctor then came over and I told him I shouldn’t be in this much pain and my chest and back was hurting as well. I don’t know what he gave me but it calmed the pain in a couple of minutes. I was suppose to be released that day but had to stay in the hospital for 2 days after the surgery.

    Dr. B took out my staples today 12/15 in her office and gave me the pictures of my “humongous” gallbladder. Told me the reason she stapled me, excessive bruising, still experiencing a lot of discomfort and the incisions were bigger than normal was because I was a “hard case”. She wanted me not to go back to work before the end of the year because of all the trauma and healing I need to do.

    I am still dealing with the after effects and here are some of the issues that I still need to address:
    When I turned my SCS off for the surgery something happened to the programming? - I get coverage in my tailbone and legs but not in my lower right or left back. If the SCS is turned up to a medium or high pulse the vibration goes into my ribs and causes pain. PM doctor is trying to get a rep to look at reprogramming. He does not think that the Leeds have migrated but does want full x-rays as well.
    My employment is being threatened because I am not protected under FMLA only short term disability. Local HR has been sending e-mails to my disability rep in corporate to have me replaced if I don’t get back to work soon.
    Short tem disability Insurance has not approved this claim yet or sent the paperwork to the surgeons office to be filled out. When I saw Dr. B the only thing she gave me was a return to work date. I asked my PM doctor to be another signer for STD because I can’t afford to lose my health insurance at this point and I don’t know if I’m going to be terminated.
    I received a certified letter from the first hospital for some type of an appeal regarding my discharge. (me leaving) I don’t know what this is all about yet.

    After all of this I still feel like there is something wrong even though I can now eat (except dairy, spicy, fats) which I went for over a week without anything. My PM doctor has been great, I had thoughts at one point where I figured he was going to be like all the rest and give up on me. He was very reluctant to put me back on the Patch but has been very understanding about everything I’ve been through. He has worked very hard for me getting my SCS through so quickly and working with me through medication changes. How can I thank him for not giving up on me and believing that I’m not a drug seeker. I do understand his concerns about me going back on the Patch, he says it’s for acute patients. How can I explain to him my chronic pain is acute when I’m in such an uncontrolled stressful environment that includes other medical conditions, stressful work and family relations. I think he must understand because he is giving me time to get things calmed down before lowering my dosage and returning back to work.

    My doctors say I am not disabled and expect me to return to work with limited medication. I have the SCS and without it I probably would still be bedridden but it does not cover my pain levels by itself. Everyday tasks are still a challenge and I don’t know how to overcome this vicious cycle. Even if I found a less challenging job I don’t think I could tolerate sitting behind a desk for 8 hours a day. I love the work I do not only because its interesting but I feel I make a difference in patient care even though its behind the scenes. I am a Cytology Specimen Processor, I make microscopic slides from patient specimens to be reviewed by Cytotechs and Pathologists who screen them for cancer and other ailments. The job requires a lot of repetitive motion, BLT, sitting and standing. The continual stress from management and being severely short staffed has created a hostile work environment, nobody cares and patient results are being compromised.

    So I’m trying to recuperate mentally and physically while waiting to hear if I still have a job and wondering if Short Term Disability has been approved.

    At least it snowed for a little while yesterday, reminded me of Christmas.
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  • You are in my thoughts, and wow what an experience you have been through. Makes the aneurysm look easy, eh?

    Please take a few days to decompress and I certainly hope you make some complaints on hosptial #1. However please rest and get some days behind you.
    Please keep in touch, i have missed our chat's, but boy you have been through the wringer.

    You are in my thoughts and prayers....
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