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Not medically related and a little long but a week later I'm laughing that I almost caused a brawl in recovery.

Helen321's picture
Helen321
Posts: 721
Joined: May 2012

So I warned everyone over and over that I don't do well with anasthesia.  I said it to everyone who would listen.  I feel like I'm drowning when I wake up.  Well I had never had a five hour surgery and they give you a lot of anasthesia so when I "woke up" I told everyone around me to GET OUT!  Can't you see I'm in pain, help me here.  Why are you all just sitting around when I'm in pain.  I kicked my family out except my sister proxy.  The nurse came to help me and I was in pain and just kept repeating, I"M IN PAIN< I"M IN PAIN I"M IN PAIN.  The nurse said she was trying to help me and I just needed to calm down.  To which I replied, calm down, are you an idiot!  Why don't you go get me someone who is not an idiot, knows what she's doing and has a brain because obviously you have no brain.  At this point my mom came in and joined my sister.  My mom was very upset that I was in that much pain.  My sister, who is my proxy, felt she should back me up to the fullest and told the nurse that she would like someone else to treat me as I am visibly upset and not taking to her at all.  The nurse got very offended and said that she was perfectly capable of helping me and would not step down.  I did not like this and so I said I'm in pain, GET ME SOMEONE WHO CAN HELP ME NOW.  So the nurse called in a patient liasion which is protocol. 

The liasion told my family that I could not have another nurse and that I needed to calm down.  My sister and mom both began arguing with her really hard which is very our of character of them but I was so irrate, they felt they needed to back me up.  I started screaming at the top of my lungs at the liasion that this hospital is full of idiots and I'm in pain and no one is helping me and what kind of crackerjack stand is this anyway.  The liasion became very offended and told my mother that she felt I needed mental help and was going to call the doctor and get me put onto Halidol (sp?) which is some kind of mental illness drug.  My whole family at some point ended up arguing on my behalf, my mother who is 74 was so offended by the Halidol comment that she started screaming at the liasion.

So I wake up in the bed at midnight to a permanent colostomy, alone in my room, upset that my family is not there and no one had the decency to stay around and tell me.  I start to cry.  I hit the button for the nurse.  I'm crying and in really serious pain in the abs and also I'm stuck lying on my left hip which has a very bad bruise on it from the surgery.  The bed is an automatic bed and even when I get comfortable, it moves to even out your body (the bed was hard as a rock).  So I call the nurse and tell her what's going on and she responds  very nastily at some point you jut had surgery, what do you want me to do.  So I said well first of all I'm 43 and just woke up to a colostomy so talking to me nicely would be nice and second HELP ME, I'm in pain.  So she calls in this guy named Glenn and he says you just had surgery it's going to hurt.  I'm so hysterical at this point from the pain and the surprise. Five times that night I called them in and five times they said I was overreacting and they had other patients.

Fast forward to the next morning.  My sister calls and says after that display in the recovery room I'm not surprised how poorly they treated you last night.  And I say what display?  And says what do you mean, the screaming in the recovery room.  To which I said well who was screaming and why? She tells me the whole story. Well wasn't she shocked to find out I had no clue what had gone on in the recovery room because I had been asleep the whole time!!!! lol  I was talking in my sleep, screaming at people, causing my 74 year old mother wanting to knock out a liasion and had absolutely no clue that I had been doing any of it. 

So the morning staff comes in and I tell nurse Annmarie, hey I'm in so much pain, no one would listen to me last night, this can't be right.  It turns out the first medication they had me on was not working.  I had in my chart that I was allergic to oxymorphine (which I am, but only because it makes me think my hand is three feet long) so they gave me an altnerative drug that was not working.  Annmarie was kind enough to listen when I said I was in pain and take action.  She asked if I wanted to try morphine, got it approved and I was SO much better after that.  Then this guy Juan comes in and I'm laughing at this point from what my sister has told me and he says what's so funny and I told him the recovery room story and he says  . . .ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh  so YOU"RE THE COO COO IN THE RECOVERY ROOM!  I heard about you!  Oh my gosh, I just burst out laughing.  During my visit, I was officially going to be known as the coo coo in the recovery room and I can't even remember any of it!  lol  The staff had been warned about me before I even arrived on the floor which is probably why they kept telling me I was overreacting (This is the only part I actually have an issue with and will discuss with the hospital because I was in serious pain and awake when on the floor).  I TOLD THEM I didn't handle anasthesia well, maybe now they'll listen!  lol  I only wish someone had recorded me, because I can't believe I did all that!

Trubrit's picture
Trubrit
Posts: 1323
Joined: Jan 2013

And you seem such a quite person here on the boards. 

What an expeirence for you, and all those around you. 

I don't handle that 'make you loopy' stuff they give you before surgery, and beofe one surgery told my French anaesthetist how much the English (I'm Enlgish) hated the French. I'm surprised I made it back into the recovery room, he was so offended. 

Still, I'm sorry you were in so much pain after surgery. Morphine really is a wonderful bed buddy after surgery. 

Helen321's picture
Helen321
Posts: 721
Joined: May 2012

I'm glad he still gave you anasthesia after that.  So I'm not the only one.  I can't believe I don't have a clue I did any of it, I was so shocked to hear it.  I would never in a million years call someone an idiot and insult her ability to do her job while awake, at least not out loud! I guess it's safe to say I should never do recreational drugs.

Brenda Bricco's picture
Brenda Bricco
Posts: 549
Joined: Aug 2011

LOL! You had me rolling! My favorite part is about the haldol. hehe

My sister is the same way when she comes out of surgery, her family draws straws to see who has to be there when she "wakes up".

Helen321's picture
Helen321
Posts: 721
Joined: May 2012

My poor sister.  She's so reserved and she felt so good to be backing me up since I felt so strongly and I wasn't even awake!  lol  Not only that but now she has to live with the memory and was embarrassed by the whole incident and I have no idea what happened.  I remember waking up, seeing everyone I love for about 10 seconds and knocking right back out.

wolfen's picture
wolfen
Posts: 1173
Joined: Apr 2009

I have no problem insulting an incompetent nurse or calling one an idiot when they act like one. Your body was obviouly telling you and them that you were in pain. And that crack about "we have other patients". Remember that line when you get the bill. Maybe, they would like to hit up some of the other patients for payments before they feel it is necessary to bill you.

Can you tell that it makes me really mad to see a patient mistreated? LOL

Hope you are feeling much better.

As for Haldol, some idiot incompetent doctor prescribed that for my 3 yr. old hyperactive son. The poor kid fell asleep and fell off his chair at nursery school and almost bit his tongue off. Really not a drug to mess with, especially for young children.

Off my soapbox now.

Luv,

Wolfen

Helen321's picture
Helen321
Posts: 721
Joined: May 2012

Thanks Wolfen for having my back, my sister could have used you! I'm actually sending an email about the woman who wouldn't help me and said she had other patients.  I was polite but firm with her then (considering my state) but that's because I immediately intended to send an email about it to her boss.  That part was not okay. 

Coloncancerblows's picture
Coloncancerblows
Posts: 296
Joined: Feb 2013

love your comment about the bill!  When I got out of surgery, I needed help from the nurse and she kept ignoring me. My husband was there with me and I said "I don't like my nurse, she's mean" and she was right there and said she could hear me. I said I wanted her to! lol

Lovekitties's picture
Lovekitties
Posts: 2893
Joined: Jan 2010

Where the heck was your surgeon when all that was going on in recovery?

The staff there should be repremanded for sure.  One does not assume that an irate patient is just being difficult.  So what that you just had surgery...you should not have been in pain...period!

Also any medical person who can't tell when a patient is asleep and being incoherant versus being awake needs additional training.

It was also bad of the floor staff to not make their own assessment of your condition, rather than just going on what the recovery folks had to say.  Certainly info of your condition needed to be passed along, but they should have also done their own assessment.  And then on top of that to suggest that you be druged with Halidol is outrageous.  It took way too long for someone to get the bright idea that the pain meds they were giving you weren't working!

I hope you have some serious conversation with the hospital administration regarding this. 

Tell sis not to be embarassed...she was doing her job...looking out for her sis.

Hugs,

Marie who loves kitties

Helen321's picture
Helen321
Posts: 721
Joined: May 2012

100% going to happen Marie!  I am not happy that I could have been put on Halidol, not happy that I spent a night in very serious pain and actually not happy that I spent more nights in pain because the hospital has this "push button" system, where when you're in pain, you push the button.  Okay but I'm sleeping, how do I push the button?  So I often woke up in excruciating pain and then hit the button. Mostly the one that I will write about is the woman who told me she had other things to do. I was however entertained by my rather reserved family's reaction.  For the first time in my life, my sister got angry and loud!  lol She never gets louds.  Literally, not ever.  All because of me and I slept through the whole thing.  And my mom is 74, 5-2 and 100 pounds soaking wet so her ready to brawl is hysterical. I wish there was a video tape.  It's good to know that if you ever need your family in a rumble, they've got your back.  Now if I didn't hate pain so much and wasn't completely exhausted, I might one day consider being in one. 

dmj101's picture
dmj101
Posts: 521
Joined: Nov 2011

It is really hard to believe this is the way they handled you at SK.. that is where you were right?

I am not surprised you don't remember recovery.. I was in recovery for almost 2 days when I had my surgery ... no beds they said - I was at st barnabas in NJ. I was not happy I was crying.. but I don't really remember pain too much.. but then again I knew what I was getting so the surprise factor was not there.

Nurses are undervalued and treated so badly most of the time but that was not your intention.. you were lookiing for help... don't feel badly they should be used to it. They didn't handle it well from their side as I see it..

When Marie says "where was your surgeon?" that was my question too while reading this posting..Where was he?  Really Where?

Well now that this part of the recovery has past.. how are you doing.. are you getting along with the colostomy... is it a temp or permanent.. Please don't be afraid to ask questions. I have one too..  I was 47 2 yrs ago when I got mine so I can relate to the issues you may be having. (i had found a support group here in jersey but they were mosted retired senior citizens who had different reasons for their ostomies and definitely differenct issues)So I may be a good resource if you need one.

<<Hugs>>

Donna

Helen321's picture
Helen321
Posts: 721
Joined: May 2012

Hey Donna.  What I have learned is that Sloan is overrated.  I'm going to stay alive and so I'm greatful but I do realize, the way they treat people is to give the maximum dosage of chemo and rad just in case.  Many people don't even need it.  I've heard 3 people now say they had chemo and rad due to a scan, just to find out they never had anything beyond stage I cancer.  It's better than my other doctor I guess who said well I'm not sure, so we'll just do nothing but surgery and let the cards fall where they may.  You're really screwed by either outlook. It all seems to be a big guessing game. One takes the precaution road and one takes the let's not take chances road.

Colostomy is permanent.  I'm very confused by that part and so I'll heal and then go March 4 and find out what happened. The doctor said at least 5 times it was reversible and then during surgery, it wasn't.  No point in me worrying about it now, it's not going to change and I'm trying to deal with getting my colon functioning again.  Not doing so great in that department.  Lots of constipation.  Don't know what to eat.  Stool softenors aren't getting things out and so every few days I pop one exlax, go through the pain for two hours but it all clears out in masses.

Lovekitties's picture
Lovekitties
Posts: 2893
Joined: Jan 2010

There is a secret to how the pain pump works.  It is programed for a maximum amount to be delivered within a specific time frame.  By pushing the button you are requesting a part of that max.  The secret to it is, if you push the button and have already reached the max, you don't get any more...however it does track how many times you request more meds after max is reached.  The nursing staff are supposed to note these "extra" requests and either up the max if allowable on the chart or contact the doc for further instructions.

My nurses said to be sure to push it as many times as I needed pain help so that it would be noted and could be adjusted.

I was on morphine this way for most of my hospital stay.  I have also had delaudid for pain and that worked well for me.  Neither drug is one you want to take unnecessarily.

Hope you get some kind of reasonable response from the hospital.

Hugs,

Marie who loves kitties

Coloncancerblows's picture
Coloncancerblows
Posts: 296
Joined: Feb 2013

Your story cracked me up!

marbleotis's picture
marbleotis
Posts: 475
Joined: Mar 2012

Don't feel bad you did warn them and this was major for you. 

annalexandria's picture
annalexandria
Posts: 2182
Joined: Oct 2011

why didn't you "just calm down", like the nurse wanted you to??  Then everything would have been just fine!  I have to say that most of the nurses I've met over the last few years have been wonderful, caring people, but every now and then you get one of these...and it always seems to happen when you're at your most vulnerable (for me, it was always during the night, when my anxiety would start to go sky-high...is it my imagination or is the night crew not always the A team?).  I also like the way your story got passed around the hospital...I suppose gossip is always going to happen, but it might be better not to tell us that we've become famous in that way!  I hope you never have to go through this again, but if you do, I'll bet they won't make this mistake twice.  You've probably got a little special symbol by your name in your chart.  I'm confident that I do.  Hugs~AA

Varmint5's picture
Varmint5
Posts: 371
Joined: Feb 2012

What a horrible experience, Helen! I am a nurse and I'm horrified. I react exactly the same way to anesthesia and one time I had a breast biopsy and came awake screaming and crying and yelling that I was in pain. Fortunately for me, the nurse gave me something for the pain kind of knocked me back out and let me come around gently and without being in pain.

This nurse liaison was a joke. Nurse liaisons are supposed to advocate for the patient, not take the nurse's side against you, which is what she did. And your complaint was PAIN after a huge surgery - they should have addressed your pain. Haldol is an antipsychotic - you were not psychotic, you were in pain and your reaction was aggravated by the effect of coming out of the anesthesia.

So many nurses just want to label patients as "difficult" instead of trying to help them. The quality of some nurses these days is horrible. When my daughter is in the hospital there is somebody staying with her all the time, especially when she's vulnerable - sick or in pain, just out of surgery, etc.

The nurse liaison was WAY out of line in saying you needed mental health meds instead of advocating for you for relief of your pain. I would turn them all in. And I would turn them in to the state board of nursing in your state.

I know nurses are overworked, ect., but that is no excuse for the bad care that is everywhere. You have to stand up for yourself or you are at their mercy. There is no excuse for a patient suffering, whether it is because of a reaction to anesthesia, pain, whatever. You were obviously in distress. What a mess. Hope you are not too traumatized!

Sandy

Helen321's picture
Helen321
Posts: 721
Joined: May 2012

Thanks all!  Sandy, that's just the joke, I wasn't even awake.  I have no recollection of any of it.  I'm a little surprised that they didn't just give me something to knock me right back out, or maybe they did but it appeared that I stayed awake. I have no idea!!  Heck, use a mallet!  My understanding is that the liaison was reacting to my sister and mom backing me up.  There was a lot of yelling.  For my sister and my mom to yell, it had to have been pretty bad.  My sister was so proud of how she "backed me up".  lol  Poor thing. I did thank her and tell her that at least I know she has my back, asleep or awake.

Now the nurse that was rude to me when I got upstairs, I clearly remember and that one is not getting off the hook.  I do tend to agree that the day staff at Sloan is better and more proactive than the night staff.  It's as if they work at night because they are tired with dealing with people.  The pain system at Sloan definitely gets a zero in my book.  I spent the entire 5 days there in serious pain and I have an extremely high tolerance for pain.

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