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?! Appendicitis August Part 3 ?!

Welcome back fellow bloggers, readers and anyone who suffers from any unseen or invisible illnesses, lets bring you back into the story of the blurred month of August. In my last post I had just described my journey from the clinical decisions unit (CDU) to the short stay unit, to eventually getting to a CDu2 surgical ward after three days of fighting with doctors and nurses.

So lets take it back a little, so I can give you some  more insight into what I endured over that week. It was 11pm when a ward person had come to collect me from (CDU) and transfer me into the Short Stay Ward which was still another part of emergency,once I was settled I sent mum home because it was late. I remember laying there for half an hour uneasy to sleep because I was running back and forth to the toilet whilst trying to wheel a drip with me and not dirty my cloths at the same time. Once I was finally able to stay in my bed for longer then five minutes, I remember calling the nurse for my night time meds because I take amitriptyline (Endep) for my nerve illness. (This medication is used to treat mental/mood problems such as depression. It may help improve mood and feelings of well-being, relieve anxiety and tension, help you sleep better, and increase your energy level. This medication belongs to a class of medications called tricyclic antidepressants. It works by affecting the balance of certain natural chemicals (neurotransmitters such as serotonin) in the brain. Or Nerve Pain. )

The nurse answered and said she would be right with me, when unfortunately her time was suddenly obtained by a woman next to me who seem to be suffering from a fainting spell or was unconscious, I wasn’t too sure what was going on I could only make out bits and pieces of the sounds coming from behind the curtain that came between me and this other patient. I felt sorry for her, I thought yes I am in extreme pain but I also felt sorry for this woman who had only now come back into consciousness and was told she wouldn’t be going home to see her family anymore only for her safety.

I was suddenly interrupted from this hospital daze when a doctor, the young woman gynecologist who was the first person to see me was standing at my door (hospital curtain) She looked at me and said “Frankly I’m surprised you’re still here”  I was still in a shocking amount of pain and she could see it, so I kind of just dismissed her comment because it was late and I was sick of arguing. She did the same external test she had done on me two days prior and same results, she then opted for an internal examination, which as a patient you have to give consent, I was willing to do anything at this point to find out what was wrong with me. She then went away, I had finally just been given my night time medication when another woman appeared, a doctor, a different one. She was a general surgeon she had introduced herself I can’t really remember her name but apparently she remembered me. She said that she had read my hospital files and had found an extensive report that she had written about me back before my nerve problem was diagnosed. She had such a strong female presence about her, she did the same as every other nurse and doctor that had been to see me, I started to sound like a broken record 10/10, yes, excruciating etc and then after a quick examination she said the best words that I have ever heard in my life.

She said “So all that psych stuff is bullshit right?”

It was the first time I had smiled throughout this whole journey and I said yes it is. She said right let me just make a few calls and have a conversation with my boss and I’ll get back to you. I said thank you as she left the room.

By now it was like 12:30/ 1 am, my hospital television was on in the background, I could feel my eyes start to close, I was in an out of a sleep daze, my eyes were closed but I could still hear the different beeps and weird noises that came from each hospital bed. Just before I hit full rem sleep at about 1:30 AM, I was woken up by the same young gynecologist woman who was wearing blue scrubs, a bald Indian man, clothed in black scrubs was standing with her. She introduced him as her boss, he then introduced himself as the head consultant gynecologist at the hospital. She stood behind him at the end of my bed as he listened to my story, I don’t know if she was having a crappy day or if she just didn’t like me but you could tell she didn’t really want to be there as she rolled her eyes as I continued to tell her boss the same story I had been telling.  He then asked me if he could do the same external examination that everyone else had done I said yes. He saw how much pain I was in, constantly crying out when people touched me and even when they didn’t, when they pushed down and when they let go.

He then stood at the foot of my hospital bed and said here is the plan;

“We are going to admit you up into the CDu2 Ward (Surgical Ward), We will keep you up there and try and manage your pain by giving you different strong medications more regularly instead of like here in ED where you only get it when you ask for it, and we hope that by managing your pain it will still get better. You will then be attended to by the doctors on the morning rounds does that sound good?”

I nodded my head yes, I was happy to finally be admitted to a ward, so even though it was such a small win, it was a win after fighting with doctors for three days straight. They left. I then went back to sleep for what literally felt like 2 minutes before a wardy came to collect me. They wheeled me up to a room and I was sharing with an elderly woman who was sound asleep because it was now 2am in the morning. The ward nurses came to see me did my usual obs told me how to use the tv/ computer to order food and to watch tv. They left and I sent mum a message to let her know where about’s in this giant hospital I was now located and I finally went to sleep for that night.

 

This was such a long journey/ month which is why there will be 4 parts, in part 4 I will tell you everything that happened to get to my positive outcome. Please I encourage you all, if you have a story of invisible or unseen illnesses I would love to be able to tell it, share it on this blog. You know your body the best and sometimes you need to fight, believe in yourself, back yourself and together we can educate health professionals and the world.

Lauren x

 

 

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?!Appendicitis August Part 2 ?!

Hello fellow bloggers and readers welcome back to what was a whirl wind month of August 2k16. In my previous post I started telling the story of my unbearable abdominal pain, which involved a lovely trip to the Gold Coast University Hospital, where I was poked and prodded, dosed up on pain medication that didn’t seem to be helping the pain at all. So I was transferred to CDU (Clinical Decisions Unit) the place where you go to wait to see if you will be transferred to a proper ward for further investigations or sent back into short stay just to manage pain. (Kind of like the cycle of emergency or not)

 

(The following events transpired over the 16th and 17th of August, It was very fast and much of it is a blur.)

On the 16th of August very very early in the morning I was seen by two young female gynecologists, they asked me similar questions to what the ED doctor had asked? Where is the pain? How bad is it out of 10? Does it feel worse if I push on it? To which majority of my answers were YES and Excruciating and 20/ 10. They didn’t stay for long and just told me that they didn’t believe that it was gynecological related and because of the pelvic ultrasounds I had done whilst under the ED team and there were no clear results they left.

I was told I wasn’t allowed to eat all day in case I had to go and have more tests, I ended up having to go for another X-Ray and when the results came back they said they couldn’t see anything except that I was heavily constipated and my bowel gas was blocking visuals of anything else. So the only treatment plan I had in place was to manage pain and to give me movical and an enema to help loosen my bowels.

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This day is all a bit of a blur with so many nurses and doctors walking in and out of my room and my pain still not dulling at all, I was exhausted because I hadn’t been able to sleep and to make it worse there was no TV in my room to help distract me, I was bored and I felt like I was going insane with pain.

I had already been fighting for my patient rights for one night and I remember one of  the nurses on change over , she had to do my regular obs,blood pressure, temp,heart rate and she asked me the same question “How is your pain level out of 10?”

and when I replied with 10 she said “no your not, you would be screaming and crying if you were”, just because I didn’t have any tears left in my eyes from crying the day before I was dehydrated. This comment didn’t sit well with me, because I thought how would she know? She is not experiencing my pain and everyone’s pain tolerance is different. I had been dealing with pain since I was 16 so I had to have some sort of coping mechanism to deal with the pain right? So I asked her as I burst into tears, so much so that I was no longer able to speak for myself and mum now had to step in and speak for me. She explained to the nurse that I was just fed up and incredibly frustrated because I have had to fight and face comments like that all my life. The nurse then became very sympathetic because she could see how upset I was and she had not wished to upset me. The nurse and mum then tried to explain to me it was the chart used to help the nurses to help me so what I thought was a 10 may have been an 8 so they could provide me with the proper dose of medication and that she did not mean it in a way that my pain was any less then I had been describing. I now understood she was just doing her job which I respected and felt sorry for her that I was being such a pain. I was now physically and emotionally exhausted so I tried to sleep.

I was in and out of sleep when suddenly I awoke with the horrible pain again, I sat up in my bed crying and clutching my stomach, it seemed like there was no one around now, mum had gone to the food court to get some dinner. I felt like I was in so much pain and the halls were empty when suddenly a doctor/ surgeon or someone pointed at me and said she may have a kidney stone as well so get her a test done. I waited and waited and nothing….

it was almost 7pm at night now when I was seen to by a gynecologist, he seemed above the level of the two girls I had seen earlier, he had a feel of my stomach and went through the same questions again. “How is your pain out of 10?” Does it feel worse if I push on it?” “Is it a sharp or dull pain?” “Where does it hurt the most?” I answered with all the same answers as before yes, it’s excruciating, the pain isn’t getting better. To which he then turned around to me and said ” Look I don’t think it is Gynecological related, all I can do is either discharge you from here because I do not see the need for further investigation or put you into short stay and let the morning doctors discharge you.”  This made me furious I had already been fighting for a few days, I yelled at him and said the surgeon before wanted to check my kidneys and no one did that, I am in agony, the pain meds haven’t been working, I haven’t eaten in three days, and my GP wrote me an emergency referral to come into  hospital because when I was at Robina they wanted me to get a laparoscopy done. To which this surgeon basically tuned around and told mum and I that because of the money, and the stupid public system they would not do the diagnostic surgery unless I was physically dying and because all my test results were clear they couldn’t do anything. I argued and said if bowel gas is in the way how do you know something isn’t wrong if you do not look?

He replied “I’m sorry, that’s just the way it is, I can help with the bowels but I can not promise that you will not be discharged tonight.”

I was sobbing now and hyperventilating, I couldn’t breath, I was so upset, I thought I’m not getting sent home just to come back again tomorrow to go through the same thing. Mum was furious she got on the phone to her private gynecologist told him the situation and he asked to speak to the public doctor and basically told them that they were idiots for not checking everything. The public doctor just said the same thing he said to us that there is only a certain amount of money allotted to the public system to perform operations. Now all he was saying was that he would transfer me back to short stay and under the care of the ED doctors again. I was overwhelmed by the generous amount of support from Facebook and people offering to pay for my private health if the public system refused to give me tests.

It was now  11 pm at night, I had been given some more movical and another enema and once that kicked in things started to flow like a fire hydrant, It would suck because I would be in bed, then I would feel this horrible flushed feeling on top of the pain and would have to rush around the corner to the toilet, this happened five or six times within the space of 10 minutes to the point where mum just said stay down there, I also now had another hydro lite/ saline drip to keep me from being dehydrated because I hadn’t eaten all day.

When I finally got back to my bed, I found that there was a wardy there waiting to transfer me to short stay in ED, I remember asking him if my bed was next to a toilet, luckily it was. Once I was transferred I was allowed to eat something, not that I really felt like eating because I had been so sick, I now had a TV in short stay and had finally been given my night time meds, I started to get settled in and it was really late so I sent mum home. There must have been a conversation between mums private gynecologist and someone up high at the public Gold Coast Hospital because within an hour of my getting transported to short stay the head consultant of the gynecology team was at my bed and had decided to speak with me. He did the same tests as everyone and then said they would be transferring me to CDu2 which is the surgical ward just to manage my pain on a more regular basis. It was 2am by the time I was transferred to the ward, so I fell asleep pretty much straight away.

In my next post i will continue this story and my journey and fight to not give up on my body and to always believe in myself.

Lauren x