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Thread: Emergency Room

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    San Francicsco Bay Area
    Posts
    127

    Emergency Room

    I had Harrington Rod surgery several years ago and now have severe degeneration below my fusion. I'm in a county health system (public health) for the poor. I had to go the the Emergency Room for the second time in a week today for pain. None of my opiates are working. A week ago my pain increased and never went back down...the nerve pain in the middle of my spine is a constant throbbing, it feels like I'm going paralyized there or something. And then there's the pain in my lumbar, unfused part of my spine. It is a relentless, bone rubbing against bone, ache. I also have pain my my thoracic area. I was hoping they would admit me and give me an MRI as I know something is horribly wrong. I am afraid that I have hurt myself and caused some sort of permanant damage as I live alone and have no one to help me lift things, etc. But no, two visits to the ER and they still wouldn't send me for an MRI. The last one I had was in January.

    Last week I took an ambulance and it was the ROUGHEST ride of my life! If you had had recent spinal surgery a ride like that would have put you back in the operating room. The drivers tried to avoid the potholes, but I screamed the whole way. This time, I had a friend drive me and that was also a mistake as they took me into the waiting room in a wheelchair (not where they take the ambulance patients in) I could not sit for the two hour wait so I asked for a gurney. Sitting is so painful. Nurses refused...said they had none to spare. So, I laid down on the waiting room floor. The other patients were outraged that the nurses wouldn't help me. I lay for two hours on a cold linoleum floor. They refused to give me a blanket or a pillow for my back. Sheriffs walked past, hospital executives, tons of nurses and the only people to stop were other patients. Finally, a young man and his girlfriend went up to their hospital room and brought me down a blanket. They looked like gang members...and yet, they were kind. The sheriff told them not to let the nurses see that they had given me a blanket. A while later the charge nurse came running down the hallway and said, "This looks terrible! It doesn't look good to have you lying here like this!" and finally I was taken in. After that the charge nurse took good care of me and I convinced the doctor to inject me with lidocaine and toradol, and he ordered an MRI at my request. But when the charge nurse left I was given one of those truly evil nurses, rarely have I seen someone give me a look of such hatred. She tried to send me and my friend away without an MRI appointment. I had to fight and battle her...as well as battle the doctor for pain meds that wouldn't make me sick. It was an eight hour ordeal and I still didn't get diagnosed or an MRI.

    I just needed to unload on people that I knew would understand the physical spinal pain I am in. Thanks for listening.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia
    Posts
    3,261
    O M G.

    I am horrified but have no idea what you could do about it. Here, in Australia, we could go to our local Member of Parliament and tell our story and it would be investigated. Do you have anything like that system? What would happen if you went to the papers with your story, or local TV station? I know you're unlikely to want to do any of these things, but this needs to be exposed.

    Is your pain continuing?
    Surgery March 3, 2009 at almost 58, now 63.
    Dr. Askin, Brisbane, Australia
    T4-Pelvis, Posterior only
    Osteotomies and Laminectomies
    Was 68 degrees, now 22 and pain free

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    345
    I agree with Jennifer!! I have was in that kind of pain after my third revision spinal surgery(post op. About 6mo.). So I know what emergency pain is about! You need to report this to some Medical Board or something. These are heartless people that don't have a clue what pain is all about. Too many people are in the medical business for the bucks without any compassion what so ever. Please accept my prayers for you to get some help. Warmly, Linda
    Linda Brozik~~60 yrs. old at time of Lenke's first surgery. 62 now!
    Surgery 2006 L3/4 L4/5 double fusion/ instumentation/ With 2 cages
    This started adult onset scoliosis
    July 1st, 2010/ surgery ~~fused T10 to pelvis (long rods/ screws)
    Oct.20th 2010, extended rods to T4 / did osteotomy at L3
    Oct. 29th 2012 Dr. Lenke St. Louis Mo. T4 to sacrum osteotomy anterior cage L3/4 titanium rods
    May 30th 2013 revision
    May 8th cervicle surgery 2016
    May 31st Dr. Gupta revision 2017

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    2,755
    I'm so sorry you had to endure this, too! How awful! Thankfully, my few trips to the ER for spine pain were treated immediately. It sounds like you went to a big inner city hospital. They can be the best and they can be the worst. I would definitely make a complaint. Maybe start with hospital administration? I hope your pain is under control now. IV lidocaine? I've heard of it being used. I get really loopy just getting too many shots containing the stuff. I can't imagine what it would do intravenously. Toradol does nothing for me AT ALL. I'm glad it helps you. Please know you are being heard. You've come to the right place to vent.
    Be happy!
    We don't know what tomorrow brings,
    but we are alive today!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Yacolt, WA
    Posts
    1,527
    Quote Originally Posted by Tableone View Post
    I had Harrington Rod surgery several years ago and now have severe degeneration below my fusion. I'm in a county health system (public health) for the poor. I had to go the the Emergency Room for the second time in a week today for pain. None of my opiates are working. A week ago my pain increased and never went back down...the nerve pain in the middle of my spine is a constant throbbing, it feels like I'm going paralyized there or something. And then there's the pain in my lumbar, unfused part of my spine. It is a relentless, bone rubbing against bone, ache. I also have pain my my thoracic area. I was hoping they would admit me and give me an MRI as I know something is horribly wrong. I am afraid that I have hurt myself and caused some sort of permanant damage as I live alone and have no one to help me lift things, etc. But no, two visits to the ER and they still wouldn't send me for an MRI. The last one I had was in January.

    Last week I took an ambulance and it was the ROUGHEST ride of my life! If you had had recent spinal surgery a ride like that would have put you back in the operating room. The drivers tried to avoid the potholes, but I screamed the whole way. This time, I had a friend drive me and that was also a mistake as they took me into the waiting room in a wheelchair (not where they take the ambulance patients in) I could not sit for the two hour wait so I asked for a gurney. Sitting is so painful. Nurses refused...said they had none to spare. So, I laid down on the waiting room floor. The other patients were outraged that the nurses wouldn't help me. I lay for two hours on a cold linoleum floor. They refused to give me a blanket or a pillow for my back. Sheriffs walked past, hospital executives, tons of nurses and the only people to stop were other patients. Finally, a young man and his girlfriend went up to their hospital room and brought me down a blanket. They looked like gang members...and yet, they were kind. The sheriff told them not to let the nurses see that they had given me a blanket. A while later the charge nurse came running down the hallway and said, "This looks terrible! It doesn't look good to have you lying here like this!" and finally I was taken in. After that the charge nurse took good care of me and I convinced the doctor to inject me with lidocaine and toradol, and he ordered an MRI at my request. But when the charge nurse left I was given one of those truly evil nurses, rarely have I seen someone give me a look of such hatred. She tried to send me and my friend away without an MRI appointment. I had to fight and battle her...as well as battle the doctor for pain meds that wouldn't make me sick. It was an eight hour ordeal and I still didn't get diagnosed or an MRI.

    I just needed to unload on people that I knew would understand the physical spinal pain I am in. Thanks for listening.
    I am confused and maybe I am confusing you with someone else. Your entry says that you had surgery a few years ago, and I thought that you said that you had surgery 25 years ago on another thread. Maybe I misread the other entry, but are you the same person?

    Sorry that you had such a difficult time in the Emergency Room. Where do you live? Do you have someone that went with you to the ER? I suggest that you might want to get out your notebook and write down the names of the people who refuse you reasonable service. Ask them how to spell their names so you get them down correctly. Ask for the supervisor and ask if laying on the floor is their usual standard of care. When the "hospital executives" walked by, did you get their names? Is your hospital accredited?

    When I took my mom to the hospital for abdominal pain, since she was too cheap to call an ambulance....she was 87, I put her in a wheelchair and then informed the nurse that she needed to find some sort of bed for her to lie down on. The nurse said that she did not have a bed right then and I told her that it was unacceptable for mom to sit while she waits and asked for a supervisor. Needless to say the nurse did find a bed, and long story short, mom had a bowel obstruction and ended up having surgery about 10 hours later. If you don't feel well enough, have someone else advocate for you.

    Do you have an MD that specializes in spinal surgery? I would think that he/she would be a better person to order and follow up on an MRI than an ER where care is episodic with little continuity.
    Susan
    Last edited by susancook; 11-12-2013 at 11:10 PM.
    Adult Onset Degenerative Scoliosis @65, 25* T & 36* L w/ 11.2 cm coronal balance; T kyphosis 90*; Severe disc degen T & L stenosis

    2013: T3- S1 Fusion w/ ALIF L4-S1/XLIF L2-4, PSF T4-S1 in 2 surgeries
    2014: Hernia @ ALIF repaired; Emergency screw removal surgery for Spinal Cord Injury at T4,5 sec to PJK
    2015: Revision Broken Bil T & L rods and no fusion: 2 revision surgeries; hardware P. Acnes infection
    2016: Ant/Lat Lumbar diskectomy w/ 4 cages + BMP + harvested bone + prayer

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    30
    I am so sorry to read about this. Since you say you are in a county/public health system for the low-income, you probably had to go to a county hospital and had no choice to go anywhere else. I believe that you can't choose your doctors in a county health program, either. You also said you live alone, so maybe you didn't have anyone to go with you to the hospital. This is tough. Most people on this site have private insurance and know little about county hospitals. I hear they are not good. I hope you feel better soon!

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