emergency roomSo after being treated like scum and being actively accused of being a drug addict, on Monday I ventured back to the hospital to get my records. What I saw was horrifying. The lack of attention to the important stuff, and the lack of medical information in my file was disturbing.

Scrutinizing the records I found that the following medical conditions were nowhere to be found within my file:

Diabetes, hypothyroidism, clotting disorder, and bipolar.

Also, my medications were not listed, and there was no record of the panic and anxiety attacks I had, all three of them. What I did find was the doctor stating that I was “dramatically” (underlined twice) rolling around in the bed screaming in pain, unable to say more than two or three words before screaming again in pain. Wow. Yes it was dramatic because it hurt worse than childbirth – I told them so!

As I read the doctors notes further, I notice that he goes on to write that he told me of the benefits of toradol when a kidney stone is present and I was hysterical, refusing the medication. He never had a conversation with me that did not consist of him badgering me with his feelings of disbelief in everything I had to say. He also states that I screamed for five solid minutes straight for dilauded – an outright lie.

I was screaming hysterically because he just pounded on my back pretty hard where I was already feeling excruciating pain. His action caused me to begin vomiting from the pain alone. I was screaming in pain, asking if there was something else I could be given, begging my stepmother to help me. I knew from my previous experience how toradol does not control that level of severe pain. I was suffering a severe panic attack because of PTSD from my previous experience.

Reading further in my record, I did not find anything about us pleading for him to give me a drug test, call my regular doctor, please do anything but discharge me. Instead it was noted that we were aggressive, threatening him, and violently demanding a supervisor because he refused me dilauded. The events were twisted to make us look like crazy monsters. We were hysterical because of how he was acting and because he refused to treat me, not because of a medication.

The allergies to medications were incorrect, I have 3 allergies and 6 were listed, acetaminophen being one of them. If I were allergic to acetominophen I would not be able take vicodin which I have a current prescription for at home. I never would have stated that.

The doctor also states that he calmly came to ask me why percocet does not work for me, and I got aggressive, began screaming at him and was demanding dilauded. This did not happen. If he would have asked why percocet doesn’t work, I would have simply told him it closes my throat up. There would have been no need for me to get aggressive. Not to mention if he had actually read anything in my history he would have known that percocet is my first and number one allergy causing anaphylaxis. Instead, he had marched into the room condescending and arrogant, with his “young lady, why don’t you tell me how you know so much about pain medication? What so terrible has happened to you to give you such extensive knowledge of narcotics?”

Of course that will send me into more hysterics and even further aggravate my current emotional distress. I knew he was accusing me of being a “drug addict” and it pissed me off. The feelings of abandonment, abuse, paranoia, anxiety, and severe distress just elevated in the way he approached me and the way he questioned me with such a horrible approach, without even gathering my history first.

He never came in and tried to discuss anything with me, he never tried to find out the real reasons I was having such severe attacks of anxiety. No one tried to understand why I was hyperventilating to the point of my lips turning blue. No one did anything to help me.

I had every “classic” sign of a drug seeker, yes.  Rather than just believing a set of guidelines they are given to identify a drug seeker, it would have made more sense to find out why I was experiencing what I was experiencing, as a patient who had never been to that ER before. I was not a “frequent flyer” and offered them my doctor’s information and even asked them to drug test me. I never refused treatment, and I never tried to get a prescription for anything. I just wanted them to take the horrible pain away.

After sitting in the ER waiting room for 20 minutes, and then in the exam room for another 30 before the doctor came in, of course I was an emotional mess and begging for them to do something. It wasn’t like they rushed in immediately and tried to help me, they made me wait. They had it in their heads from the moment I walked in that door that I was there for one reason only. The doctor had labelled me a drug seeker before even setting his eyes on me because I was hysterical in pain, “claimed” to be from out of town (which my driver’s lenience and out of state medical insurance proved true), and “claimed” it was kidney pain.

Three days later – I was still having anxiety and panic attacks with severe chest pain over the ordeal. I just can’t come to terms with any of it.

There is one question I have that still plagues me with anxiety today:

I have known many addicts in my life. None of them have ever given a crap about their health – all their money goes to drugs. So, I am actively under the care of a psychiatrist, endocrinologist, and my family doctor. I have prescriptions to better my mental health, control my diabetes, and to control the hypothyroidism.

How many drug addicts are out there seeking narcotics in the ER, while actively taking such good care of themselves and their health?

My personal opinion – None!

What do you think?

Photo by Taber Andrew Bain, available under a Creative Commons attribution license.