Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The Stigma of the uneducated Medical Profession.

This post #3 of 3. For those of you who want to read it, Please drop down to post #1 and read up. I have lived for 26 years now with Chronic Pain in my lower back and nerve damage due to a new procedure and an inexperienced Surgeon. I am sure that some of you may be asking why in, the hell I am writing about an abdominal surgery.

1. Opiods can in fact cause abdominal problems because one of the side effects of most of them is constipation which can lead to blockage in the small intestine.

2. Because of the stigma associated with people in Chronic Pain, you can be mis-diagnosed by many idiot surgeons who think they are "little gods". Not all Surgeons are that way but many are. If you take any kind of pain medication for chronic pain, you are a drug addict. That's just the way it is and I DON'T HAVE ANY HOPE OF IT CHANGING ANY TIME SOON.

2. next thing that will happen is you will be treated and talked to like a dog.

I still find it hard to believe that you actually pay someone to treat you like I was treated. I had planned to wait until the next day to go back to the hospital day, but it was a good thing that I didn't. I had a high fever and my kidneys were failing. They had to put me on an IV. for 3 days to get my kidneys functioning again. As said before 2 of the 3 doctors refused to operate on me because they said I was a DRUG ADDICT and that was what was causing my problem.
One of the doctors even yelled at me in front of about 10 nurses that I was nothing but a "damn drug addict". When she left 2 of the nurses were very angry and asked me if I wanted to speak to the Patient advocate in the hospital. When I told her what had happened she covered her face with her hands. That doctor regrets what she said, because she had to go before the vice-president of the hospital and apologize to me.

The one Doctor who was so nice to me said that taking opiods had nothing to do with my problem. He did say since nothing showed up on the test he would have to go in and do exploratory surgery. He said he would have to pull every bit of the small intestine out and inspect it an it was a risky surgery. He told me the small intestine was approximately 23 feet long. I couldn't believe it.

I agreed and the next morning I was in surgery. What he found surprised even him. A large ulcer just like the kind you have on your lip had some how gotten down into the intestine had grown for a while leaving a growth inside the intestine blocking it to smaller than a pencil. He took a photo of the section he cut out. I will forever be grateful for this one mans experience and compassion.

It has been a painful 2 months on top of my chronic back pain but I have recovered from that.

Now why did a man with debilating back pain write about this surgery.

Because there is even more of a stigma against chronic pain people than even I ever dreamed after 26 years. Sooner or later you are going to find yourself in this situation. If you are on strong pain medication, you will be treated like dirt and I mean by the doctors. Don't hesitate to ask for a second opinion. Don't be afraid to ask to talk to the patient advocate. Every hospital has one and that is what they are paid to do. I hope this helps someone.

Friday, December 12, 2008

4 trips to the Emergency room in one month

POST # 2 OF 3.
I decided to break this down into 3 posts because to tell the whole story would be to long, and I couldn't sit here that long. Everything I am writing is true and happened to me just 6 weeks ago. In order to under to understand the whole story, please drop down and read post #1 first.

One Sunday in September. I started getting sick at my stomach and as the day wore on it got worse. Finally I was so nauseous that I did what we all have done at some time in our life. I walked in the bathroom, stuck my finger in my mouth and started vomiting. I wasn't prepared for what happened next. The first couple of times it was the contents of my stomach. But after that I couldn't figure what was going on except I knew that I was very sick. Then it dawned on me, I was throwing up my own BODY WASTE OR BILE.

My wife rushed me to the emergency room of the largest room in Pensacola, Florida where we live. We sat in the emergency room for 7 hours waiting for a bed to come available. Finally we got to see a Doctor in the emergency room. I was trying to drink all of the water that I could because I was becoming dehydrated fast. The Doctor said I had a blockage in my small intestine, so the started running tests. The best test they have for this is drinking a big jug of contrast material, and have a CT scan. I kept at he contrast in my stomach just long enough for them to get a couple of pictures before I threw that up also. After what seemed an eternity the doctor came back in and said that nothing showed up on the scan to indicate a blockage, that it had probably worked its self free. The Son-of-a-bitch said they needed the bed for other patients and discharged me. My wife and I could not believe our ears. By stomach was starting to swell and I was in a lot of pain. After a very heated exchange I signed the papers and left.

All day the next day was a living hell for me. By this time You could place your hand on by abdomen and feel the intestines Turing and twisting in my stomach.

That afternoon I was back at the emergency room for the same thing. This time I saw a different doctor and after seeing the shape I was in and reviewing my chart he said you need to be in the hospital, so he had me transferred. The next day they were doing more of the same type tests they had done in the emergency room and came up with the same conclusion. After staying in the hospital and taking tests for a week, they discharged me and told me to try it for a few days. The same damn identical thing happened. There were 3 specialists working with me. The chief of surgery was a very nice and compassionate man. He told me that since nothing showed up on the test he needed to go in and do exploratory surgery and take all of the small intestine out, which by the way is 23 feet long, and inspect every bit of it.

The other 2 doctors thought they were little gods and were cruel as hell. By this time they had looked over my medical records and they had the answer, they thought.
Because of the narcotics I was taking (their words) It was putting my bowels to sleep. Bullshit I said, I don't have any problem going to the bath room I told them.

I ran both of them out of my room after one of the called me a drug addict. The next day the nice doctor who was Chief of Surgery told me that if I wanted him to go in and do the exploratory surgery that he would. He said if I wanted to go home for a few days and think about I could. I agreed but I should have stayed in the hospital then and let him do it, because it almost cost me my life.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

My recent month of hell in the hospital

#1 of 3 Articles on this subject Start here and read up Please.

As you can tell from my last entry it has been quiet a while since my last post and to be honest with you, I wasn't sure I ever would. I am doing this because what I have to say is important, especially to those of you who suffer from chronic pain as I do. I get so angry when I start writing about it, it is hard to keep going. but I promised myself that I would make this post if it took me a week.

For those of you like myself who have suffered from chronic pain, especially any length of time, also suffer from depression. Of course this comes under the heading of MENTAL ILLNESS. TO THE UNEDUCATED, THIS IS IS A SCARY WORD. I knew the stigma that used to be attached to mental illness, but since my focus has been on the spine which is my problem, I had paid very little attention to mental illness in the last few years. I have a great phyciatrist that I have been
seeing for 15 years. I have panic attacks also even though I don't have any phobias. He has me on xanax and paxil. I see him every 3 months he writes my prescriptions and I leave his office. No big deal, Right. !!! WRONG!!!!!!

Because of trying to deal and live with my spinal problems, I had never given much thought to mental illness and the digestive system. Some of the things that I have to say are going to be a little unpleasant to read but they are important because I just finished going through every bit of it to.

In mid-September I started having severe burning in my lower abdomen and I noticed that it was starting to swell. Next came the worst nausea I have ever experienced. I finally became so sick I walked into the bathroom, got over the commode an stuck my finger in my mouth, thats all I had to do. I wasn't prepared for what happened next.

While opiates are the answer to prayer for so many of us, there is one thing that people who take them like me should be keenly aware of and that is what they will do to your digestive system. Yes I am talking about constipation. I just finished a month of hell in the hospital and have a 14 inch scar down the center of my abdomen. As I was vomiting I wasn't ready for what I saw next. I was throwing up my own body waste or bile. I was in and out of the hospital 4 times in a period of 5 weeks. I was not prepared for what I had to go through in the hospital, but more than that I wasn't prepared for the way I was treated by the Doctors and some of the nurses.

I will get into it more in my next post.