Monday, September 20, 2010

Insult to Injury

I am having a bad day. Or night. Whatver.
I had been doing very well with walking and getting around. It took a lot of pain medication to get that done. I was in a LOT of pain after surgery, the little ball of abdominal pain meds and the pump weren't doing it for me. If I asked for more medication the first reaction was "Did you hit (or have you been hitting) your pain pump?" Umm-yes- that's why I am asking for more. It took 2 days a total bitch nurse and a very understanding Nurse Assistant to finally get my pain under control. I think there was some difficulty because I had been taking painkiller before I had the surgery and possibly gotten a tolerance to it. I was in pain around my stomach area.
That sucks- but it didn't take away from the fact that I was still hurting BAD after surgery NOW.
So we figured it out, so it was taken care of, I was getting up and walking and doing weights with the OT.
I was getting 2 doses of the something extra every 2 hours. Was doing great until late morning when my nurse said he was sorried about me becoming addicted to the pain meds and it was his job as a nurse to try to keep that from happening. Okay- I totally understand that and I respect it. I said "Contact my Dr's line for the weekend and let's see if we can get a different drug for the same purpose." I didn't have a problem with that. I thought we could get some pills since Dr.Sardi said I could do solids. The dosage was 4mg every 4 hours, but we had broken it down to 2 mg every 2 hours- my nurse wanted to try the 4 mg and go 4 hours. Personally- I didn't want to have a major high and a major low and wait, in pain for the 4 hours to be up. I thought maybe trying 1mg every 2 hours and wait to see what the Physician's Assistant said. In the meantime my sister had asked for a neti pot because I had been trying to blow my nose- but to do that hurts like hell after surgery (note the time-2pm) asked for it again an hour later. We were told that it would have to be perscribed by the PA, he hadn't called her yet. I had gotten the 1mg dose at 1pm and 3pm. My siser and mother left about 3:15.
5:00 rolls around- I would be getting another dose (1mg) I'm feeling especially sore. 5:20 my nurse comes in and says "Oh, I'll come right back with your dose." I say, "Okay- could you please bring the saline nose wash when you get a chance?".
6:20 comes around. My nurse says "Well the pharmacy is backed up so it will be a while." Okay- could you get the neti pot in the meantime please?" he said that he was the charge nurse all day and had forgotten about it. I totally understand if that is actually the case. But it didn't seem like the case. it seemed to me that he was ignoring me and NOT getting the things I asked for because of the "We think she's getting addicted- she doesn't need these drugs. We don't like her." I felt like he he hated me and wasn't going to help me and was just waiting till shift change at 7:30 to dump me off on someone else.
I finally got up the nerve to contact the PA on duty. they paged her and said that if she doesn't call me, to call them back and they would page agaiin.
I had waited to go to the bathroom because I was sore and had been going for walks and bathroom after the breakthrough drug because it hurt a LOT less to do it. At 6:40 I still hadn't gotten the 5:00 dose. I really had to go at this point, so I go the bathroom, I will give you one guess as to who shows up at the door with a syringe since I'm not out there to get it... Oh, he'll be right back with the dose when I'm done in the bathroom....I'm done right away- fifteen minutes later- he shows up with it. Gee thanks.
I called the answering service again and it paged the PA again. She called me, I just missed the call so I called her back- I told her that I was upset (at this point, I was in tears and you know- it hurts like hell to cry after abdominal surgery) and asked her first if my nurse had contacted her at all today. "No, no one has called about you."
WTH? He said at NOON that he would contact her! So I told her about the whole situation. But I didn't want her calling the nurses and addressing it because I don't need a whole floor of nurses HATING me. I knew if she took it up with my nurse NOW that he would just tell the next nurse that I was a dumb bitch and so on.
Well, she called them and talked to them- reassigned my dose to 1-2mg every 2-3 hours. I was talking to her (it was 6:55) when he came in and haded me saline nasal spray. "Have a good evening" he says.

I don't think I'll take any more pain medication through a syringe, I don't even know if I will do pills. I'll suck it up. My stomach hurts- but I'll stick with my pain pump that I can't tell is even doing anything.
When anyone asks- my pain level is 3-5, no higher even if it is MORE.
Oh and to prove I'm evidently disliked- my nurse from Friday night and Saturday night had an issue with the doseage on Friday night was was giving me doseage Saturday night without issue. Okay, that's fine, well at the end of her shift this morning, I asked her if she worked again tonight. She said, "No not until Monday." Guess who was sitting at the nurse's desk a couple of hours ago?
Okay-maybe she got called in.

So I had to go to the nurse's desk to ask for a dumb favor. I am feeling a cold sore coming on...
The LAST friggin' thing I need is a damned COLD SORE!!!
I have to be MORE of a pain their asses but I need some Valtrex.. like right now. It was 1:30am and they've gotta wake the PA to get her to perscribe it for me. Great- now everybody hates me. Everyone except the Nurse's Aid that did some braid cornrows in my hair for fun last night. She was genuinely nice and sweet. But I don't think she's heard the "Story about me."
So I have taken Valtrex and will try not to add more insult to injury. Waiting on this bad mamma-jamma of a cold sore to take over my face. Good times.

edit: The nurse also told the PA that he'd never mentioned me becoming dependent/addicted to the drug. It must have been a miscommunication.
and my overnight nurse was here as little as possible, not very talkitive and though I would've said "No" to any more breakthrough drugs if she'd offered- she didn't offer once. My PCA pump ran out at 6am- that means I was only getting the painkiller in my stomach- I was HURTING. I thought I'd see if she'd offer anything more than what I had. She asked me my pain level "Seven or eight" I said. She said "Oh, ok."

I must be Blacklisted on the 7th Floor. I am going to be a good girl until I leave because it just gets passed along about "The girl in room Blah, blah, blah." Being a drug-seeking, demanding, will tell on you to the PA- patient. and I don't need any more people NOT on my side.

Ohio University Medical Center had a crappy surgeon- well, let me rephrase that: OSU Medical Center- The James- Had a Surgeon who was good at surgery- but not good at sharing or learning information to send patients where they REALLY need to go. And had a Crap personality. But the Nursing Staff there was TOP NOTCH. I sit here and WISH, WISH, WISH, I was recovering on the 9th floor of Doan Hall.

Here- Dr Sardi is top notch- and I believe he has a good team with him. But the nursing staff is less than great. A few are wonderful- but I would really love to take a walk around the floor for exercise with my ass hanging out so the crap nurses can kiss it.


  1. I'm sorry the nursing staff aren't up to DOING THEIR JOBS. Sucks to be on the receiving end of it. I hope you get to go home soon so you won't have to deal with them anymore.

  2. Rachel I think you should complain louder. I mean it. I work as a hospital pharmacist and it is NOT the nurse's job to determine whether ornot a patient needs pain meds. They are not qualified to make that determination. Its none ofmy business but that fucking sucks. I would callthe nurse's administrator and report the male nurse and request a new nurse. Your treatment is an abomination.

  3. Awwww Rachel, I'm so so sad to read this!! Can I come be your nurse!? We can sit and chat about breastfeeding woes and I'll find you a sunny-side private room even! ;o) And MOST DEFINITELY not let you stay in pain... :(

    I see where you are coming from, not wanting to seem like the "problem patient", but with all honesty, you DESERVE to be comfortable and you need to DEMAND it girl! Respectfully, of course. I know nurses can get hung up on feeling like 'drug pushers', but your comfort after surgery is far more concerning than becoming "addicted" to narcotics. Trust me. Don't let this continue...even if you don't want to seem like a pain in the deserve to be comfortable so please don't try to be superwoman, ask for the pain meds--you need them! Also, my bit of advice is to ask to speak with the nurse manager and tell her your situation. Don't worry about 'tattling' on anybody. Maybe nurses on that floor are just strung too thin and the nurse manager needs to hear some complaints in order to realize that the current nurse to patient ratio is negatively affecting patient care. :) Or it might be that your nurses really are crappy (!) and perhaps she needs to address them. ;)

    Hope things improve Rachel! You deserve better!

  4. I belong to your Dec 2008 birth board and don't comment much, but your treatment upsets me greatly.
    I agree that the nurses should be giving you the medication as prescribed ( I am an ER nurse). I wonder if anesthesia does pain control at that hospital (they usually are in charge of the PCA). If you are going through all your breakthroughs, you need more pain medication. You should not be in pain.

    Good luck to you,

  5. Rachel - I spent a significant amount of time at the OSU medical center and had some issues with my stay and the doctors. I learned from that stay that they had a department where you could address issues with your stay. I'm sure your hosptial there has a similar department.

  6. Hey Rachel, you can ask for a patient advocate... We have had to do that before for Nathan. Most hospitals have them and they will get the right people involved. You deserve all of the pain meds you need! So sorry, this is by far the LAST thing you should be worrying or thinking about. Hugs to you.

  7. I am with Brandi Rachel! Ask for a patient advocate, ask for the Nursing Supervisor and tell them the entire situation. It is NOT the nurses job to JUDGE whether THEY think the patient is drug seeking or not. They are there to give the meds, take the vitals, and report any changes and/or details to the physician. The physician has the final say. You just had a huge surgery for fucks sake!!! What the hell do they think...that a Tylenol will cover it?? And your abdominal muscles do so much more than you ever think of (sneezing, eating, blowing your nose, laughing, etc.). I would love to punch that nurse in the stomach so fucking hard about 20 times and then say, "oh, here is a Vitamin C for you because I can tell you are just seeking narcotics!"