So I’ve been in the ER for 13 hours, and was only just moved up into the hospital after having been technically admitted 8 hours ago.
So here I am, lying in the bed I’m going to spend tonight in, already bored out of my mind. But at least I’m out of the ER. Those nurses don’t like me.
As Sounder said, I am not winning any awards for Patient of the Year.
But I wasn’t being obstinate or anything. When I first got there late last night, I couldn’t breathe and was hyperventilating (and absolutely 100% sure I was going to die, and seriously pissed off about that. But there was still that part of me that was thinking, “well, at least I won’t have to deal with turning 30.” Silver linings, right?). They had to sedate me and give me steroids to get me to the point that I could function and all the cramping in my hands and feet went away.
And once I regained control, I noticed the annoying alarm of the monitor I’d been hooked up to, because my blood pressure was 184/113 (higher than it’s ever been in my life. I had to take a picture of it, it was crazy). But they’d unplugged the cuff so it couldn’t test again. The alarm was just going off forever and ever.
I still couldn’t really walk, but Kazander was with me, so I told him to shut the alarm off, and told him how.
They weren’t happy about that, but I wasn’t happy with the alarm. Wanna guess whose happiness I cared more about?
And then Kazander went home to relieve the sitter, and I waited. And waited.
No one came to talk to me until about 7 am, saying that they were going to admit me. The cardiologist stopped by and told me the tests he wanted to do, then left. I got a chest Xray, a CAT scan, an EKG, and a cardiac ultrasound. No doctor or nurse came in to talk to me or check on me.
I hadn’t eaten anything in 16 hours. I was starving, and pissed off, because I’m apparently a raging bitch when I’m hungry. I asked the phlebotamist and the respiratory therapist to ask to get a nurse, and nothing. So I called Kazander and had him bring me some food.
I was sitting up, eating my sandwich, when a nurse walked by and saw me. “You know you’re not supposed to eat or drink anything, right?”
“Nope. Sure didn’t.”
“The doctor didn’t tell you?”
“Well you’re not supposed to eat anything.”
I shrugged. “Too late now,” I said, shoving another bite of my sandwich in my mouth to make my point.
She lectured me a bit more and mentioned a stress test, and I shook my head. “The cardiologist said he wasn’t doing a stress test.”
“That’s not what your file says.”
I shrugged again. “I guess he lied, then.”
“Well, let me go double check.”
It turns out, my file hadn’t been updated since the original admission order 5 hours prior, and no, there was no reason to have withheld breakfast and lunch.
But even if there was an order, how was I supposed to know about it? Isn’t that one of the things health-care providers are supposed to do? Communicate with the patient? Yes?
Nah, I’m not going to take responsibility for potentially fucking up their tests. If it was that big of a deal, they shouldve told me.
Kazander went back home, and another three hours passed with the only human interaction being with Sounder, through my phone.
I had to pee. Once again, I asked the techs for a nurse to unplug me from the monitor so I could go to the bathroom. Half an hour passed and I was done waiting.
Those monitors are not difficult to figure out. I got up and unplugged all four of them, laying them neatly on the bed, and went to the bathroom. My nurse saw me walking around and asked what was wrong. She got mad when I told her I had to pee.
“You should really wait for one of us to come help you.”
I told her that I hadn’t seen her for hours, and she fed me some stream of bullshit about her being responsible for me, and how I need to not tamper with the monitoring equipment.
I was going to plug it all back in. I didn’t think it was that big of a deal.
But I was beyond ready to get out of the ER, and they were beyond ready to get rid of me. God forbid someone acts with the tiniest hint of autonomy. Geez.
The IMC nurses are so much better. Like night and day. So, while I didn’t love the whole suffocation thing (and I’m not ashamed to admit it was the most painful, most terrifying, most exhausting thing I’ve ever experienced), this isn’t a super-hateful vacation.