Wednesday, May 5, 2010

What would you do without me?

I'm not being egotistical, I really want to know HOW someone who hasn't had as much medical experience as me or who doesn't have a mother who is an RN handle major medical situations with lack of instructions???

I'm helping a friend after surgery. Issues so far:
  • Follow up with specialist (one was called into OR): We get told new patients can't be seen for a month, yet there is something that needs treated in a week. It gets resolved and appt. in a week.
  • Discharge instructions state if you have XYZ contact Dr. Green. XYZ occurs but no one knows who Dr. Green is, there is no phone number provided. I looked on hospital's website and no Dr. Green in that specialty. So we called the Dr. to whom we have an appointment with and are told...since you haven't been seen yet, you need to call whoever treated you in OR...HELLO, friend was unconscious in OR so we don't KNOW who was there!!!! Called mom and was told XYZ is normal don't worry. Also called PCP and got a new specialist.
  • No instructions regarding changing bandages, no how to, or how often. Luckily, I've been through this myself and I've watched how my mom cared for me, so I know what to do. I had to call and ask how often, I was asked "how often are you doing it now"...I replied "we haven't because we were waiting to call you".
  • No instructions as to bathing. Typically, instructions state either yes or no.
  • Sent home with binder that does not much for wearing it to reduce swelling.
Once after one of my own surgeries I had to find a medical supply vendor who took my insurance, even with the help of a nurse case manager it was difficult. I called every DME nearby, I refused to send my mom out searching any further than 10 miles. Finally, the nurse found a mail order vendor. But then the NURSE asked me, "wow, how would others be able to do this, elderly aren't as internet savvy as you are."

EXACTLY...what do other people do???

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Cruel and Unusual

Ohio thinks so.

I went for my follow-up endoscopy this morning. I will admit I wasn’t in a good mood from the very beginning. First, the endoscopy was suppose to be two weeks ago but the day before I found out the hospital now expects full deductible the day of service. I offered partial payment, I was told sorry we want more. I wrote an e-mail to complain about my treatment and was fully aware to have money this morning. Second, the hospital layout is confusing and signage sucks. This is a newly acquired hospital but within the same system which I have sought treatment for six years. So even though this was my third visit there in a month I’m still getting lost. So once I made it to registration at 6 AM, I was irritated, hungry, tired and cold.

I finally get registered pay the balance of my deductible and the nurse calls me back to prep area. They do a pregnancy test and tell me change. Oh, you know how nice I thought it was that this hospital had oversized chairs in the waiting area? Well, they did not have a large gown. The nurse had to go over to another department and borrow one. So I change and get in bed. Which was GREAT because for past procedures they have tried to start the IV and then have me wait more until the exam room was ready then want me to change clothes etc with and IV in my arm.

Here’s my IV issue. I have ONE good vein. It’s a very good one, but if you miss it then well I don’t want to think about that. I was told of this “good” vein when I was 11 years old and being tested as a possible bone marrow donor for my sister. The guy who took my blood (probably the first time I had ever had blood drawn) told me “you have a very good vein here, remember to tell people where it is in the future”. And that I have. Today, however, they refused to listen.

My nurse and his assistant could not see or feel the vein. I’m not sure how that is, but they decide to have the anesthesiologist come in and try. Now I have been in the hospital numerous times, had many procedures…my IV access is non-existent except for this 1 vein. Over the years people have tried my hands, feet, even my wrists with no luck. As for my wrists, they are OFF LIMITS. I have let them try once and no success no one gets to try again. It’s a mental thing I know, but it’s pointless for them to try given the emotional trauma this would cause me. During longer hospital stays I’ve required a central line, and I’ve even had a medi-port. But my good vein usually holds up for short procedures like today.

So the anesthesiologist said he does not even want “stick me for no reason” since that vein has a valve and can’t take the catheter. I explain to him that it’s been used for IVs numerous times, to which he then says “exactly” it’s over used and won’t work anymore. WTH? At least try!

So he looks at my hands and wants to try for a vein in my center of my wrist. I say no, and I point out a few other spots that people have been successful in the past, not often but yeah this one time someone got an IV to work there. He looks but doesn’t try. Instead he goes for a vein in my hand right below my thumb.

FAIL. <-- Just as I told him…no one has ever gotten an IV in my hands.

At this point another guy came in and started looking as did two female nurse anesthetists students. So I had a guy search each arm and the nursing students putting tourniquets around my ankles looking for a vein on my foot. I’m trying to show them all the other spots and mention that in the past they’ve had to use my neck.

PSA: Needle sticks are contraindicated for lymphedema affected limbs. Not to mention the tourniquets hurt like at muthaf***.

Given the difficulty I didn’t play the lymphedema card, I let them look. But once again, been there done that. People have tried and failed at starting an IV in my foot.

He tries to start one on the inside of my upper right arm. FAIL

I decide to strike a deal. TRY my “1 good vein” and if that doesn’t work I’ll let you go for my wrist. This is HUGE on my part. Oh I added, and if you do my wrist you need to drug me ASAP.

And still he REFUSED to even TRY. His reply “I know it’s not going to take the IV catheter and I don’t want to stick you for no reason.”

Hello what do you think you’ve been doing the past 2 times???

So then the other guy goes for a vein in my left foot. I cringed from the initial pain, but it was nothing I hadn’t endured before. But then he started “the dig” and I scream “OUCH”, I’m also so emotionally upset by all this I start crying. I scream again from the pain and ask that he please stop if it’s not working. He replies “you have to let me get to the vein”. The students are trying to comfort me as I ask a 2nd and 3rd time that he please STOP since it’s obviously not working…just like it has NEVER worked.

He stops.

Again, I offer my neck. The guy has me turn my head and within minutes the IV is in…finally.

During all this the students were asking me questions. One of them was “have you ever had issues with anesthesia?” My reply “only THIS issue”.

I really do not understand why he would not try the ONE area I told him had a good vein, the area that has work 99% of the time. He said I know you know your body, but I know my job. WHATEVER.

After that, everything was smooth. I had the endoscopy but won’t know the results until I see my surgeon next week.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Perception: Skinny People Aren't Lazy But Overweight People Are

From Medical News Today:

Research at the University of Alberta shows that when a thin person is seen laying down watching television, people assume they're resting. But when people see an overweight person relaxing, it's automatically assumed they're lazy and unmotivated.

Tanya Berry, from the U of A's Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation, says these stereotypes about overweight people need to be addressed. Berry says just because a person is overweight, it doesn't mean they don't exercise, and just because a person is thin, it doesn't mean they are fit and healthy.

Berry had a group of study participants look at a number of pictures that would flash on a computer screen. After each photo a sedentary word such as "lazy" would appear. After the participants looked at each picture they were asked to say the colour of each word. Berry says when a picture of a thin "couch potato" came up, the participants were quick to say the colour of the word that appeared. But when a photo of an overweight person lying down appeared, the study participants paused. Berry concluded that the slow reaction resulted as the stereotyped thoughts automatically set in, with the participant thinking about the person being lazy rather than thinking about the colour of the word.

Berry says the research is important because stereotypes can influence the way people behave. She believes that more awareness of stereotypes can help people counter the effects. For example, if you're aware that you hold a stereotype about a couch potato you're less likely to be negatively influenced by those stereotypes.

Carmen Leibel
University of Alberta

FOX and ABC refuse to air Lane Bryant Ad

The Huffington Post reported:

Lane Bryant Accuses Fox And ABC Of Refusing To Air Plus-Size Lingerie Ad (VIDEO)
First Posted: 04-21-10 11:34 AM
Updated: 04-22-10 09:29 AM

Plus size clothing retailer Lane Bryant criticized Fox and ABC for refusing to air a sexy lingerie commercial, but later deleted an accusatory post on its Inside Curve blog saying the networks embrace a double standard of beauty.

AdWeek still has some of the text of Lane Bryant's post, which read:

"ABC and Fox have made the decision to define beauty for you by denying our new, groundbreaking Cacique commercial from airing freely on their networks."

The post also claims that ABC "restricted our airtime" and refused to air the spot during Dancing With the Stars, while Fox "demanded excessive re-edits and rebuffed it three times before relenting to air it during the final 10 minutes of American Idol, but only after we threatened to pull the ad buy."

The post continues: "Yes, these are the same networks that have scantily-clad housewives so desperate they seduce every man on the block -- and don't forget Bart Simpson, who has shown us the moon more often than NASA, all in what they call "family hour."

"While it's no secret that Victoria's Secret 'The Nakeds' ads are prancing around on major networks leaving little to the imagination, steaming up TV screens and baring nearly everything but their souls, our sultry siren who shows sophisticated sass is somehow deemed inappropriate ... Does this smack of a double standard? Yep. It does to us, too."

What do you think? Let's remember not only do Victoria's Secret commercials air regularly there is also an annual primetime fashion show that airs on CBS.
Here's a comparision:
Lane Bryant

Victoria's Secret  

Perhaps this is just proof that full figured women are sexier than skinny chicks????

Teen Beauty Queen Dies from Stroke

I share this because I had two mini-strokes in my late 20's. I had some risk factors, weight being one of them. This young women didn't seem to have any, unless there was a family history.

Very scary and sad. Grab a tissue before you watch.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Why I waited.

Since 2002 I’ve been in 6 different hospitals in 5 different cities, the total number of admissions I cannot remember. I would guess close to 20. In addition, I have had 4 upper GI’s, 2 colonoscopies, 2 endoscopies, 1 trans-esophageal endoscope, 1 MRI, 5+ Echocardiograms, 6+ CT scans, 1 medi-port placement, 1 medi-port removal, 1 IVC filter placement, 1 IVC filter removal, 2 hernia repairs, 1 PFO (hole in my heart) closure, 3 right to left shunt studies, a bazillion tiny bubbles injected into my veins.

I’m sure I’m missing a few things.

Last year was a “healthy” year. I met only $53 of my yearly deductible, spent 0 days in the hospital for the first time since 2002. For the record, I had NEVER been in the hospital prior to 2002.

So when asked “why did you wait so long to seek treatment?” I can honestly say I didn’t want to go back ‘there’.

I’m not normally one to avoid treatment. Given my medical history I often seek treatment for the things most normal people wouldn’t worry about. When the scale started to creep back up in 2007 I attributed it to stopping the Topamax. When the regain exceeded the amount I had lost while on Topamax I was more concerned, but I had had the tests and been told everything was o.k. inside. I tried to get things under control on my own. When that didn’t seem to be working and I read that my heartburn could be related to a surgery complication and my regain I decided to seek treatment. I saw my PCP first hoping she could do something for me without tossing me back on the medical rollercoaster. Sadly, her response was “that’s not my area, go see the surgeon”.

So I go.

And here we go again…my year of good health was nice while it lasted.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

It's not a love seat.

I accompanied a friend to his CT scan this afternoon. I’ve been to this hospital many times, they have recently remodeled the radiology waiting rooms and it was a nice surprise to notice they had a few oversized chairs to accommodate larger patients.

It was annoying and even comical to see two normal sized people approach it as if it was a two seater. One very slim couple successfully sat together. Another set of normal sized adult sisters tried their best to sit together, if I didn’t have manners I would have taken a picture of them squeezed (one half on, half off) in the chair. Eventually, one moved to the next chair. Perhaps the chair should have a fatty label on it.

“Your ass must be at least this wide --------- in order to sit here”

Thankfully, my ass fit comfortably in the regular chair. But it’s nice to know hospitals are thinking.