When you’re chronically ill and frequent medical offices often, you learn very quickly to pick up on when you’re getting what I call “The Number Treatment.” From the moment you walk in to a clinic/hospital/office and let the front desk know you’ve arrived, you’re no longer a person, you’re a mix of various medical ID numbers that get’s passed along from person/place to person/place, following orders, among a bunch of other people ‘just like you’. An assembly line of patients getting poked, prodded, put together, taken a part and everything in between. Everything is supposed to run smoothly because hey, as long as they have your number correct, nothing can go wrong, right?
Yesterday’s procedure is exact proof that The Number Treatment can be a recipe for disaster for those of us who aren’t exactly put together like the rest of em. Reading repetitively my full name, birth date and medical ID and the fact that I have no known pharmaceutical allergies isn’t exactly going to ensure proper care. It’s just what’s legally required….so they ya know, don’t lose me among the masses, not at all so I come out on the other end OK.
I lost count how many times my requests were ignored (knowing what the sedatives were ahead of time, getting to talk to the doctor before hand about concerns, is my tortuous/loopy colon going to be treated different etc) or brushed off, how many times ‘it’s not policy’ (starting the IV more than 15 minutes before the procedure….more than 14 hours since last sip of water the night before, being able to look at my charts), how many times their words didn’t add up (while Mr. Mango was still there signing forms to be my DD I was told I would be out for the procedure, then it was I would be heavily sedated and probably asleep, then I’ll be awake but forget it all, then told “well some people are coherent the whole thing and feel mild discomfort”). At the time it felt like the staff were just having a bad day, maybe not usually on day surgery rotation so some of em weren’t up on the sedatives or the procedures themselves, but after the fact I’m more convinced than ever that from the beginning its a way to get the ‘numbers’ from the front of the line to the end as fast as possible with as little trouble on their part.
By the time I was getting my IV and almost ready to go (layered with 20 pre-warmed sheets for my nerve pain that was going bonkers due to the cold and the dehydration) I finally got the information from the nurse on the medications I was to be given. 2mg of Midazolam and 25 mg of Fentanyl….Fuck. I had already been over THREE TIMES there and once with the GI dude in his office that twilight sedation fuckery does not work on me, I stay conscious and alert and about 2 hours later I get tired….really tired, but it doesn’t MAKE me sleep, not even then. A lot of good that’s gonna do me when they’re ripping my innards apart within 30 seconds of loading me up on the stuff. As for the fentanyl, again another thing if they would have looked/listened, they’d have already learned that I’m already having trouble with opiod pain medications not working, at least not in smallish doses. All they cared about was making sure that I didn’t take yesterdays dose of em at home before hand. Oh God I wish I had… On second thought, no, I just wish I never got up out of bed in the morning.
Despite asking to talk to the doctor, nurse, anesthesiologist (of which there isn’t one, that’s why the so low dose of meds, they legally can proceed without the need for one, who cares if the patient suffers right? It saves some time and saves some cash) I got wheeled into the OR, flipped on my side, my right leg (the one with SI dysfunction, yes it was in my charts, I snuck a peak) yanked forward and up, the doc walks in, two medications get added to the IV quickly and right after a big gush of air up the ass and then….
About 10 minutes of me screaming in pain, held down by two very hefty nurses and they finally gave in and gave up, I think, only due to the noise at that point might have unsettled the ‘numbers’ next in line. One nurse spent the time, roughly telling me to breath, the other looking away saying nothing, she was doing her job but couldn’t even watch. My doctor? Not one word, during or afterwards (until an hour later by accident…). After the tube was out there was some small initial relief, no more ripping, but the residual sensitivity I could feel the whole length they had gotten was still immense, add that to the air that had not been gently added, I was like a party balloon (one of those thin ones that isn’t meant to blow up into a ball). I was told it was just gas and if I would pass it I would feel fine, that I should have just relaxed and it all would have gone perfect. The ripping pain didn’t stop so before they wheeled me out to the recovery room they shot me up with another 25 mg of fentanyl, gee you didn’t think of that earlier….did it help? No not really, though my feet felt a bit better.
In recovery room (with 11 other full cots) I was told again to pass the gas and that it would all go away, oh and by the way if I could make sure and keep the pain noises down that would be great, no need to upset the other ‘numbers’. Gas was passed and yes the cramping in my upper abdomen that they hadn’t gotten the scope to, did go away (I know what gas pain feels like, its a common problem when your body doesn’t digest and instead ferments foods right there in your gut) but that really was the least of my worries. I mean, that was the pain and discomfort I WAS expecting.
Slowly I was able to get myself together, not because I was OK or because I was over it, but because I wanted to get the HELL out of there. At that point, I was again treated like any other ‘number’, I got given my lack of immediate results (incomplete, swelling and inflammation, no polyps so far and didn’t even get to first biopsy site), given a sheet of after care instructions, a cup of crap coffee and a couple stale digestive biscuits (even Little Dude spit them out….those must be some bad, ass tasting cookies) and told I’ll be contacted for a rescheduled appointment where they will put me out instead. When I inquired with a second nurse about what that means she said, they will double the Midazolam… not the same fucking thing.
On my way down the hallway at this point the drugs starting to make me a little groggy (an hour and a half later) I run into Dr. Asshole. I ask if next time an anesthesiologist will be there and if I will actually be sedated before the procedure. His answer “I don’t know, I hope next time it goes better. Now you know what to expect.”
What the fuck….