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Friday, August 24, 2012

Emergency Hospital Stay

I just got back from a four day stay at the hospital.  I went in by ambulance on Monday and they admitted me and I stayed, trying to get my pain and my bowels under control.  It was hell.

I was in the ER for 12 hours before I got a room.  They did however, give me pain meds stronger than what I usually take which haven’t worked for six months.  But the pain doc, who I didn’t know (my regular one didn’t come in to my room until Wednesday…but he’s a consultant there, which was why he couldn’t come in earlier.)   The other pain doc took me off my methadone too damn fast and the next day I was in full blown withdrawal.  I was on the ledge like never before, crying uncontrollably and calling everyone I know to try and find a home for Oliver, who has been my buddy (cat) for 15 years.  I was totally zoned.  They called in a clergy to speak with me (non denominational) and kept asking if I was planning on hurting myself. They were the ones who put me on that ledge!!!

So they got me back on methadone on much lower doses than I was used to, but I have the fentanyl patch as well.  They will slowly increase that while dropping the methadone, and I’ll still have my breakthrough med, Diladid.  But it was another three hours from the time they ordered the methadone until they gave it to me, and it was two doses before I started to come down.  It was about as ugly as you can imagine.

The constipation was horrific, and the day before I left I begged my pain doc for the shot (there’s a shot for people with constipation due to narcotics) and they finally did.   It worked in FIVE EFFING MINUTES.  A complete cleanout.  And it kept working for a few hours.  No details necessary, but the nurses could not have been happy about me.  I’m sure they had fun making fun of me and my mood swings.  Thanking them profusely one minute and screaming the next.

Hospitals are very scary places.  If I didn’t know my own body as well as I do, I don’t know what would have happened.  They screwed up the times for my meds every day.  And getting the nurses to listen is difficult.  They are very nice, but it was an Oncology ward and they had never seen anyone with NF and I’m sure were wondering why I was in the kind of torture I was in, even when I explained it.   You need a doctors order for a Qtip….it takes HOURS from the time they SAY they’ll call the doctor; get the order, order the med, get it up from pharmacy, give it to me.  They come in the room tell me they’ll be “right back” and it’s literally an hour or two before you see the whites of their eyes again.  But they are very nice and cheerful at least

They could not wait to get rid of me.  I had an IV for the diladid and the last day I took it orally because that’s what I’ll be doing at home.  That morning, the pain “team” came in and said I could leave if I felt up to it.  That was at 9:30.  I got out at 5.

A doctor once told me that if the FAA made as many mistakes as medical personnel, a jumbo jet with 600 on board would crash daily.  Fun thought.

And I called my pharmacy to see if they have the fentanyl…they didn’t, but I dropped off the script and will have it today, which is a good thing because today is the day I change it.
BUT, I have to stay on top of re-ordering it because you can’t refill it and it will take time to get the order, etc., etc.  Hopefully, they will just mail it to me like they did with the methadone.

That’s my war story.  What’s yours?

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