Thursday, July 31, 2008

Prednisone tastes like.....well, it just tastes really bad.

I'm on steroids again, for my shoulder this time.

For those not in the know, I had a head on collision with a semi a few years ago, and one of the (many, many) injuries I sustained was a dislocated shoulder.

It still dislocates. Recently, it comes out frequently. Not all the way every time, sometimes the humeral head just slips out enough to where it sits on the cusp of the labrum and causes me enough pain to go seeking help to put it back in. I've got so I can reduce it myself most of the time, but occasionally I need help.

Like yesterday. I slipped on the stairs and put my hand out to grab the bannister...and my body weight was enough to yank my shoulder out. All the way out. I managed to reduce it mostly back in, but not all the way. So, I had to go to the ER.

I hate the ER I went to. I've had occasion to deliver patients to or do clinical rotations through all of my local hospitals, and the one my insurance covers me to go to is the worst. It's not the worst hospital, just the worst ER. The nursing staff there, for the most part, think that their fecal matter isn't malodorous and that if you're not at LEAST an RN, you don't know shite. Heh. Whatever. The staff at the worst ER in the area have more compassion in their pinky toe than any of these bitches I'm talking about. Yeah, I called them bitches. Most of them are.

So, I show up, and whilst it takes them 20 minutes to get a triage nurse to see me, when I AM triaged I'm placed in a room within 8 minutes. I know what my issue is, the nurse agrees that yeah, it's not all the way in and needs reduced, so I'm thinking that it's going to be an easy in-and-out again visit.

30 minutes later I'm still sitting in a room in the ER. No nurse, tech, no doctor.....not a single person has stuck their head around the door or even so much as acknkowledged my presence. Now, I'm not in excruciating pain....I'm not screaming or fainting, but I'm hurting. Like puking because it hurts so bad...and I know from experience that the longer this arm is out, the harder it's going to be to get back in and the longer it's going to be painful for after the fact.

Eventually a PA comes in, refuses to help me reduce it (I literally begged), asks me what I want for pain (umm....are you for real? I'm not a doc, I don't know, but I'll take whatever the fuck you want to give me at this point) and says I need an x-ray. Wow. You think? 5 minutes later, here comes the X-ray tech, and I'm still without pain meds. So, I said that I wasn't going. She said she didn't blame me.

20 minutes later after I got IV pain and nausea meds, I reduced the shoulder myself as I was manipulating it for the x-rays. An hour after that, I was signing my discharge papers.

I shouldn't have sat unattended in a room in the ER for over half an hour without someone - ANYone - coming to let me know the score. They weren't busy, there weren't any codes running, and when I went by the nurses station to go to radiology, there were 5 RN's sitting around talking about who had their hair done and by whom. The treatment I received there yesterday was unsat, period. All it would have taken was for someone to have come down, stuck their head around the door and said 'hey, we know you're here. We've got a code/emergency/we're a doc short/swamped/overflowing with patients/have a major malfunction and we're running slow, but we DO know you're here and shout if you really need something'.

That didn't happen. That SHOULD have happened. Because it SHOULD have happened but didn't, I've been in contact with the patient advocate. I have no shame when it comes to stuff like this; I know how patients should be treated. Put it this way: had I been working there yesterday and had a patient complain because they were treated the way I was treated.....I'd say the complaint was warranted and justified.

Gah. I hate that ER.

I have to see the orthopedic surgeon on Monday night. I don't know what the solution to this is, but I'm sick of being in pain, in a sling, in the ER and I'm REALLY sick of not being able to trust my shoulder.

Oh, and by the way....I don't get the vicodin addiction that my pharmacist blogging compadres talk about. All it did for me was make me hurl. One doesn't cut it pain wise, and two make me puke.....I took two at 6am today, and I'm STILL yakking.


No comments: