The Idiot’s Guide To Everyday Life

Breathe in. Breathe out. Repeat as necessary.
3.Mar.07, 10:10 am
Filed under: Rants, Tidbits About My Life

A week ago I woke up feeling fine. About 10:30am I had a coughing fit that came out of nowhere and left me feeling like I’d swallowed broken glass. After that, my asthma was bothering me all day. The next day, I woke up unable to breathe at all when laying on my right side, and my inhaler and nebulizer wouldn’t help it. I finally just gave up and went to the ER.

A chest x-ray and 2 breathing treatments later, I was told I had pneumonia and was admitted to MMC for treatment. The nurse in the ER put ran an IV and gave me a dose of steroids and hung a bag of antibiotics on the way up the elevator to my room. After about an hour, the IV site still hurt and I knew something was wrong, there was no way the injection would still be hurting me. I called the nurses and told them something was wrong, but they said it was just the Zithromax. They turned the drip down to 15 and said we’d just run it REALLY slow.

The next day, the pain was unbearable. I told them something was definitely wrong, I’d never had an IV feel like that. They assured me it was ok, just the meds. Finally, at 5:30pm, I couldn’t take it anymore and turned off the IV myself and buzzed the nurses. A Nursing Aide said, “She’ll be right in.” I waited an hour and buzzed again. “She’ll be right in”. I waited another hour. By this time my IV site had swollen up to twice its normal size and was rock hard. I was also turning purple like I had road rash around it. Finally at 7:30pm the nurse decided to come in and admitted to me that YES, the IV had infiltrated my arm. Basically, the nurse who put it in the night before had gone completely THROUGH the vein and the medicine was going directly into my arm instead of into my blood stream. They took it out and told me to rest my arm for a while before they tried to run another line. About 2 hours later, the “Quality Risk Management Director” came in with some IV supplies and said, “I’m the Director and they asked me to stop in and see if I could run a new IV for you.” Even he couldn’t get my vein. Nice.

Finally, another nurse came in around 10:30pm and got it on the first try. I was so pissed off and had been struggling to breathe all day so I was tired and asked for a sleeping pill so I could get some rest. The next morning the Dr had ordered a chest x-ray and some blood work, and had said I’d probably be able to go home, so I was happy.

5am, the nurses come in and wake me up to take blood work. Why in the hell do they wake people up at 5am for bloodwork? The lab will still be there in 3 hours. My arm will still be there in 3 hours. Not only this, but the nurse attempted to use my IV site to get the blood out instead of doing another stick, and ruined the IV. They ended up having to move it to another location all over again just because SHE didn’t want to have to try to stick me. UGH. Send me a fucking vampire who knows what they’re doing, PLEASE!

8am, the radiology tech came to get me and wheeled me down for my chest x-ray. Cool, that was over and done with. I go back upstairs, have breakfast, and was still exhausted so I took a short nap. By noon the dr still hasn’t come in to tell me what’s going on, but he’d come around 7:30 the night before, so I figured he’s probably making rounds at another hospital or something. 7:30pm came and went…. no dr. 9pm came around. No dr. I called the nurse, and she said, “Oh, he was here this morning, I’ve got the results of your x-ray, he’s not coming back tonight.” Lovely.

I was pissed off. I’d waited 13 hours for the results of my x-ray and to be released, or just for some word from my dr, and all I get is a bitchy nurse who tells me he won’t be in, like it’s an afterthought. She called the Floor Supervisor, my favorite nurse in the world, Bryan, and he came in to talk to me about the situation. We ended up chatting for about 20 minutes, him telling me really obscene jokes to cheer me up, and he wrote an email to his DON and the DOM there at the hospital, who then called the dr and told him off. He’d apparently done the same thing to the woman across the hall from me. Her husband had looked out in the hall when the dr was there that morning and said, “Good morning, DR,” and the dr had apparently said, “Oh, good morning,” and just kept walking down the hall. Bastard.

Wednesday, the dr came in at 5:30am for all of 5 minutes, and finally told me that the chest x-ray from the day before had still been very congested, so he’d decided not to release me. Fine, that’s all I’d needed to hear, I just needed to HEAR it. He told me he wanted me put on an oral antibiotic so I could get up and around and would probably be released on Thursday. Never happened.

Finally, Wednesday night, I was sick of it all. The bitchiest nurse of all of them came in, Earlene, who looked like she should have been a truck stop waitress instead of a nurse with all the damn smoke-lines in her face. I said, “Fuck this, take the needle out of my arm, and let me out of here.” The dr wasn’t coming back in that evening, and I was tired of waiting for things to be done that he had no intention of doing. The nurse said, ‘Well, if you leave AMA your insurance will not pay for this hospital stay.” I told her, ‘No, but I’m sure my lawsuit will cover it.” She said, ‘Do you have a problem with your treatment here?” I said, ‘I sure do.” and she went to get the night’s Floor Supervisor. He took out my IV and I left. End of story.

I’m still having trouble breathing, but I’m doing better now that I’m home and can sleep in my own bed. I got a refill on my nebulizer meds and have been doing breathing treatments every 4 hours just like the RT’s in the hospital. I’ve actually improved more here than in the hospital as far as how I’m feeling. Because of all of the steroids I was on I’m so swollen that even my teeth hurt. (Feels like wearing a retainer or something.) I’m sure it’ll go away in a few days.

All in all….. I hate pneumonia. But if I get this crap again, or if I relapse, I’m going to Deaconess or Baptist Hospital. Never again will I go to MMC if I know there’s a chance I could be admitted.


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Oh Boy, does all that sound familiar! I recently was hospitalized in Italy for 3 weeks. I had a ruptured appendix and then I had complications on my lungs. It took me a while to convince the nurses that were was something wrong with my lungs when I started to not be able to breathe properly….And the IV thing that happened to you, happened to me a few times. It’s a tough thing to go through.

Comment by chandij

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