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Jun 30, 2011

0 ER Monstrosity, Complaint

It all started with my fiancee having stomach pains and needing to use the restroom around 2:30am on June 30th. She went downstairs to use the restroom and discovered that the toilet water was filled with maroon/bright red blood from her rectum. It looked serious to myself and my uncle, who checked with her, to see how much blood that she had lost and the color; she has never had this quantity of blood lost before. She has had previous rectal bleeding, what, typically, a hemorrhoid would normally do, but nothing this extreme. It has been off and on for about 4 months.

Afterwords, we debated on going for pure financial concerns and contemplated about the severity of the condition, but at last: we aren't doctors; we wanted to be safe, so, we took her into the emergency room.

She was in considerable amounts of pain throughout her stomach/ovaries and was very concern about her rectal bleeding; we were directed towards the first window to have the information about our visit gathered; the man taking the information was polite and sensible, and wished my fiancee her best: that she would get better. Also, he tagged her wrist with an informational band (her name, information, and so on...)

We went to sit in the waiting area of the emergency room for about 5 minutes, before the nurse came out to see my fiancee. My fiancee wanted me to go with her, because she distastes hospitals and wanted moral support: so, I went with her into the emergency room. Her assigned nurse directed her to wait in room: 4, of the emergency ward (The emergency ward looked abandoned, almost).

The nurse asked my fiancee about her medical information and seemed to listen to her; although, she isn't writing anything down but her name, and date, and other non-medical information at this point. As I watched her take down the information, I noticed at the end: there was, but, two measly lines of medical data on the form. Then, the nurse states that she will leave a container to collect a pee sample for her, in case she uses the restroom, and she will be back to collect it. And, this is when/where the trouble erupts.

10 minutes later, my fiancee needs to use the restroom and pees into the container (the nurse never offered her any pleasantries/necessities like: napkins/towelettes for her hands afterwords.) And then, we waited for a considerable amount of time; such a prolong amount of time that, my fiancee jokingly comments about: “the pee is going to ferment since it's been there for so long” (by this time, it's been, maybe, 45 minutes to an hour).

Someone was at the door again, it was the doctor. The doctor asked her about her condition (vaguely); it was: “what seems to be the problem,” then: “oh, that sounds like constipation...” He never asked her any detailed oriented questions about the rectal bleeding. He never tried to discover the cause through a prognosis methodology. But, he did enjoy asking her about her financial information and sexual activity (more than once). No, he just told her/assumed that it wasn't anything dangerous based on age and went with that assumption throughout the examination (if you would call it that). He manhandles/prods at her stomach with considerable force with his hands: by, pressing down on where she just described/stated her pain was. He then, proceeds to tell her that it is just constipation, but, he will give her some tests.

By this time, we were unhappy with how things was going, and, talking with ourselves about the need for them to take the pee, the next time they come back.

After another prolonged period of, maybe 30 minutes or so, the nurse comes back to collect the pee, and take it down to the lab. Then, she comes back to do the blood-work for her. This is where the torment begins. My fiancee has veins that likes to hide, she told them this from the beginning. She told them which arm that they usually used to draw blood; but, instead of taking blood from where she suggested, she took blood from a totally different arm and area altogether... And, it went like this:

She stuck her with a needle in her left arm (bottom-upper vein) and nothing came out. Then, she preceded to move the needle in 90 degree rotations, going in and out, trying to catch a vein to draw blood from. After about 30 minutes of prodding, there was a small amount of blood dripping down her arm- not into the needle. She wiped the blood with the needle still in her, acted like she got something (when it was obvious that she hadn't) and told her that she was going to flush it. So, she takes this device that looks like an air pump, and pumps pressure into her; no doubt, this was no fun for my fiancee. Then, when she didn't get anything, she says something, lightly, about her going for help and, never returns again; Instead, another nurse (or, so I would hope) comes in to help her. This is how it went:

He comes in like a bat out of hell, doesn't mention anything to my fiancee, but: you look familiar, have I taken your blood before... Then, he proceeds to wheel the bed around, cracks up the bed to an abnormal amount of height (5 feet or so) for someone to take blood, and starts manhandling her arm (he wasn't that tall). He pokes her with the needle, very apathetically, and gets no where (then, he does it again- without any luck). At this point, I mention to him that she usually get's her blood drawn from the top of her arm on her right. He acts very rude, like he is upset with my suggestion, and vaguely looks at the veins in her hands and where I mentioned. Then, without saying a word, pulls up the rail at the side of the bed (so, she won't fall off) and storms out of the room. And afterwords, another nurse comes in (this time, the supervisor of the nurses on duty in the ER.) This is how it went:

“I heard that you were being abused in here”, chuckle- not a promising introduction, to say the least... Then, she starts to ask her all these personal questions, as to form a rapport with her for their bad service... Then, She acts like she found a good vein (obviously she hadn't) and pokes and prods it to death. She continues to talk with her like they are friends (but, it was obviously an act). By this time, 20 more minutes had past. She, then, proceeds to ask her about her reason for being here, and on her condition (she acts like they will get to the bottom of it). Seeing how much pain my fiancee is in, I tell her about what my fiancee initially said, that they normally use the top veins. She, hesitantly, takes a look, feels around, and says that the vein is stiff in that area from her past draws. Nevertheless, she sticks her right there, instead of finding another vein around the area (which was painful for my fiancee) and still gets no blood. She tells my fiancee to blame this one on me, because she took my advice; She tells her that she never sticks anyone more than twice, and leaves (informs us that she will get a lab tech to take her blood-work).

Throughout all of these sticks, they always tried to tape up the insertion area with Latex tape, which she is allergic to; instead of asking her, like you would think they would do, if she was allergic, my fiancee and I had to mention it 5+ times already to the nurses.

A lab tech finally arrives and takes her blood-work. She draws the blood from the surrounding areas, just like my fiancee had always said, and it goes a lot smoother. Her blood coagulates because of the size of the needle, and the lab tech takes blood from another area. The lab tech gets just enough blood from her, and leaves to do the testing.

Note, that no one had offered her any medication for the pain, all during this time... When they knew she was hurting, that she rated the pain at 7 (at best) on their scale. They never took her pain seriously, or condition seriously, and brought her even more pain and torment...

Oh yea, another note, they were doing generator drills throughout this visit. The power would, without any notification, go on and off, on and off, every 30 minutes or so. How fun! And, they act like she is crazy for being scared by it...

And yet another note, the supervisor nurse comes back for a small time-period, to give my fiancee two plush animals (since my fiancee had plush animals with her, to comfort her). They obviously knew that they were doing her wrong, and probably would continue to do her wrong: so, they offered her a bribe... After that, we never seen the supervisor nurse again, never checked up on her, never seen how she was doing, nothing...

A while later, another nurse comes into the room, says that they are going to give her a pelvic examination: and that, I should leave. Then, she changes it to: leave or stay, or whatever I want (notice the mentality of these people that are suppose to help you); All the while, my fiancee and I are of the utmost manners. A little bit later, she cranks my fiancee up, spreads her legs, and sets her up for the examination (without the curtains drawn, without the doors fully shut, without any respect...) And this goes on throughout the examination (entering and exiting without modesty).

The doctor arrives, doesn't tell her what is going to happen, doesn't tell her what he is going to do, doesn't tell her what to expect, doesn't even acknowledge her. What he does do, is comical at best, if it wasn't so serious... This is how it went:

Sticks in a device that spreads her open, with a light attacked to it. Now, here is where the fun begins... Proceeds to have the device fall apart, doesn't know how to put it back together, asks the nurse how it works, and fumbles and drops things (exactly what I was thinking). Once he got situated, I kid you not, this is something that would come out of a deranged writer's mind: says, “Cervix, what is this popping out and moving, take a look, oh...” Now, if that doesn't inspire the greatest confidence and respect for a doctor, I don't know what will...

Then, he takes these long Q-tips (how fun) and jabs them into her for samples... Yes, shoves and jabs... What fun? And manhandles her down there. She is in agonizing pain (she's been diagnosed with painful periods: which she told them about) and they don't even bat an eye-lash, ask what is wrong, or show any gentlemen attributes; all along, the nurse looks at her with disgust and acts like she is crazy. Yes, the nurse actually watches her in pain, and says nothing. And, what's even more comical, afterwords, asks: “what now doctor?” If you think that trained monkeys could do a better job at this, you would be correct. It was like a demented circus: a cross between a Stephen King's novel and the Rocky Horror Show... If you seen the movie, you know exactly what I mean.

Then, if that wasn't enough, he was like: well, while we are done here, why don't we take a look at her anal region (Yes, the very anal region where the problem was actually located.) So, he shoves her body upward (when she told them that she had a pain in her tailbone) and shoved a device into her ass (which I was unaware was unlubed) Sigh, yes, you heard me correctly. Can it get any funner you may ask...Yes, yes it can...

After about 5 seconds, says that there was no blood, there was nothing wrong, and that she may have hemorrhoids. Oh yea, did I mention that he looked at his watch during the examination (someone needed to get off soon). Then, they set her back to normal and left the room in a fast fashion.

By this time, my fiancee is just almost in tears, and leaning to her side, feeling almost violated, and all I could do was comfort her. How sad, I know.

Later on, the doctor came back, said that she had no Std's (Doesn't take a rocket science to know that, or does it? She already told him that she was sexually inactive) And that, after looking at her, he can find nothing wrong with her, but the fact she might have a fissure or hemorrhoids... But, this is the part you had to be their to appreciate. He said it in such a half-assed, apathetic way, without concern or remorse, without a clue, that you have to wonder if he is even a real doctor, or, perhaps, a drunk on the streets... And, as you would imagine, he did it with shrugs (I knew you would enjoy that one.)

Not only were we unhappy with the diagnosis (if you can call it that), but he didn't even know what he was doing; and, was halfway out the door. Did I mention earlier that, he didn't even know what Etodolac was? What type of doctor doesn't know what Etodolac is... In any event, I had to ask him more about her problems. So, I said, “Would hemorrhoids cause such maroon colored blood, and in those quantities?” His response was: “I don't know, I don't know how much blood there was...” YES, you heard me correctly; the very questions that he was suppose to ask from the beginning, he still didn't know answers to (or even thought about). The very information that we gave to all of those nurses that drew the blood... So, he begins to bombard me with about 40 questions in less then 2 minutes about her condition (Yes me, not her) and, very testily, says, “Why don't we just call it hemorrhoids and call it a day”. Yes, you heard me yet again, that was said. So, I asked him again, “Couldn't the colon be a cause- I read that online?” He was like: “sure, could be, we would have to do a test to se...Wait, she doesn't have an IV, so...” Yes, you heard me right yet again...

Then, in the next moments to come, he said: why don't I come back when you reach a decision about what you want to do; Then, comes in and out of the room 5 different times in less than 1 minute (asking various questions about her condition). And, then, says, “this has been going on for 4 months? That isn't good, she needs to get seen by a stomach doctor; so, that is what we are going to do.”

Then, the nurse comes back with paperwork for her to sign, paperwork stating that she has hemorrhoids and that she needs to follow up with a stomach doctor (one that she has no money to pay, and has to find herself). I asked the nurse about her pain (that she needs something, at least in pill form) She goes, talks to the doctor, prescribes her something that she can't afford (doesn't give her anything there) and sends us on our way. Yes, sent without any medication...

While she is getting dressed, she says, “I need more plush animals than this...”

Then, on our way out, not that the horror was even over yet, we have to give information for billing to the front desk. By this time, there was someone else there, a very rude woman, that was apathetic and cold. She told her to sit down, but my fiancee couldn't sit because of the pain (and torture that they did to her). She said she had lots of information for her to give to her. She asked about insurance and all that. Then, asked about a phone number to reach us; we have no money, no jobs, and I am disabled: so, we stated that we had no phone (it was the truth). She scuffed at us, and said: what about for an emergency, what about this and that. I said, “this isn't my phone, but you can leave messages on it for emergencies and medical diagnosis.” She took it, and said: that's all, looked away, and didn't give us a second thought. Of course, they are probably going to use the phone number for collection purposes (not medical), not emergencies which I gave it under.

And, to end such a sad state of affairs, after 5 hours of being there, she had to walk home because there was no phone to use to call for a rid...

Do you think what they did was malicious? I hope so... Now, she is going to owe thousands of dollars unless something is done, and she will be unable to pay it. When she asked the lady before exiting about financial help: she just scuffed again, and said some half-assed response. When is our medical system doing to get back on track (if it ever was) and start treating people with respect and like human beings? Perhaps, if you are a dog, you would have great medical (if your owners have the money, that is).

Then, the icing on the cake, she went into the bathroom, wiped her anal region, and long behold: she was still bleeding... The very opposite diagnosis of the doctor.

We went through all this suffering, torment, and for nothing. If anything, her pelvic was even more inflamed (20 times worst), her back hurts 10 times worst, and she was even more worried. I contemplated while at home with my uncle: “what if she/or someone has something very serious, gets sent home, and wouldn't be able to go anywhere to get help...”

I leave this to you, as: food for thought...