This post is is own separate post because of length.  It falls right in the middle of the blog: Seek Emergency Medical Attention

This was written for the Nursing Supervisor regarding my lack of care:

Saturday night was one of the scariest events in my life.  The mind of a woman is a dangerous place to tread. I will carefully, and cautiously walk you through it to help you understand what I was feeling.   

Saturday, I had been feeling poorly all afternoon.  My arm was beginning to do what originally brought me into the hospital in the first place.  I proceeded through my time with family accompanying me just resting and waiting. The nurse noted my symptoms and said she would notify the doctor. 

I fell asleep between 8:30 and 9pm and was awoken around 11pm by a severe numbness and pain in my left leg. As I sat up I realized that I was completely numb down my left side. I pressed the nurse call button.  I began to asses myself.  Could I move? “yes” I smiled while feeling my face “Okay it’s not drooping” 

When the nurse came in I began explaining that I was completely numb on the left side but that I could move.  Though my thoughts may not be exact, I will tell you what I remember. I remember that he had me squeeze his fingers. He tested my legs.  I know that to me I felt panicked, I don’t know how I seemed to him.  He left the room saying he would notify the doctor.  

I laid there waiting on a doctor to come. 
I laid there thinking “oh my God I am so glad I didn’t go home against medical advice and that I am here”
I laid there feeling so alone.
I was scared that I had just had a stroke or that one was coming.
I kept doing the neurology tests to myself: arms up reaching for money, did they droop, smiling,  touching my fingers to my thumb.

I called and asked to go to the bathroom.  I knew because I was numb I shouldn’t walk. The tech came and while I was in there I examined myself in the mirror.  Stick out my tongue, raise my eyebrows, smile. Everything looked normal; just numb.

As I sat on the edge of my bed I was trying to pay attention to everything so I could tell the doctor how I felt. Everything on my left side was numb.  I was observing how strange it was to have ½ my tongue numb, my throat, my breathing felt strange like my lung was numb, my breast, my hair on the top of my head felt weird, blinking my eye felt strange. It was so odd.  I knew I wasn’t getting worse.    However, I was scared and alone.  

I called my daughter to explain everything to her while I was still able to.  I didn’t know if I was going to have a major stroke and I wanted her to know what was going on.  I told her that the nurse was letting the doctor know. I told her on a scale of 1-10 that it was an 8 at the time of waking and now I was maybe a 6.  I told her not to come because it was so late.  I said I would call if anything else happened. I got off the phone with her because I thought “surely the doctor will be here soon”

I remember at one point much later that the nurse came in and said “How are you?” and I answered “I’m okay” and I was thinking to myself…just waiting on the doctor. I wish I could go back in time I would have said it aloud. I wish the nurse would have dug in and asked questions.  I sort of equate the scenario to when someone asks you “How are you today?” and you say “fine” and then when the person cares they say “No, how are you REALLY?” and then you spill your guts!  I wish he would have pressed me, even though I know I should have been forth coming.  I was scared, afraid, fearful of the future.  I wondered so many things and all I said was “OK” .  Looking back: I wish I would have pressed the nurse call button repeatedly or called 911.  However, I just kept thinking I am in the hospital, they are coming, maybe someone in the ER is in serious condition, and they will be here soon. 

I could not fall back to sleep. I was scared for my life.  I thought I might have just had a stroke, am about to have a stroke…or worse.  My mind was racing. I evaluated myself again and realized I was still improving.  Still numb but maybe now a 4 on my made up scale of numbness.   

I was disappointed that the nurse did not dig deeper or tell me what was going on with the doctor.  Nothing.  I thought should I call again?  He didn’t seem like this was a big deal and to me it was the biggest deal ever.  

My symptoms were improving though they were still present I figured I better try to do something to stop the crazy thinking.  I went on the internet to check my symptoms.  They matched with a stroke or TIA which I already knew.  But somehow I at least felt like I was doing something.  I checked facebook and tried to decide I needed to write one last status that was encouraging and good in case it was the last status I ever wrote. 

Now it is after 2am and I don’t think I am ever going to go to sleep.  No one was explaining anything to me, I am laying there numb, and apparently no one is coming.   Try to sleep.  I didn’t feel like that was  happening. 

All I could think was that THIS was WAY worse than what happened to me that brought me into the ER when they called a “stroke alert” and now they are doing NOTHING.  Strange?  Here they wanted to keep me for observation and now something major has happened and no one is observing anything. 

At some point after 3am I fell asleep and was awoken by the Tech somewhere around 4 I think I mumbled something to her about being numb.  

God bless the nurse that came in at 7:30am to “check on” me in the morning…I began crying almost immediately explaining how scared I was, that the doctor never came, the nurse didn’t dig…boo hoo hoo…and she immediately said “let me go get the doctor”  

It’s disappointing because I don’t think I will ever come back to this hospital.  On my way to the ER family and friends wanted to know why I was going to Shands. I explained that my doctor was at Shands and that they are leaders in the Neurology field.  They have a specialty center and defended this institution.  Now, I will have to express that I made the wrong decision. 

My time in the ER, my nurses (with the exception of the nurse mentioned here), PCA’s, even the nutrition employee (I believe her name was Akasia{sp}) were awesome.  But to lay in my room waiting for medical attention and to not feel cared for left a bad enough taste in my mouth that no amount of “niceness” can cover.  When I felt like I needed it the most: no one was there. 
I write this in hopes of educating others of the mind of a patient in my situation.  Not to slander, or offer judgment.

To make matters worse, on Sunday evening when my family arrived they were very upset at the lack of response.  They wanted to talk to the Charge Nurse and explain their concerns. We found out that the Charge Nurse for the evening WAS the nurse from the night before-even better.  He can tell us exactly what happened.  However, He never came.  We made the request at 7:15pm my family was here until 9:15pm and in that time: he never came.  To the best of my knowledge…he never came. That’s just unacceptable.  Shoot if he was busy, he could have sent someone to explain that he would be here when he could.  However, it seemed as though we weren’t important and he didn’t have time. OR maybe HE KNEW HE WAS WRONG. Just a broad based assumption. 

The Lord says “blessed are the merciful for they will receive mercy” (matt 5:7) and I am a person that requires a LOT of mercy.  So I extend it.  I am writing this because the only way you can get better is to know what was done wrong. 


Shonni said...

Oh my goodness. You have really had a time!!!!!! I pray that you find the right medical help!!!!!