Thursday, February 26, 2009

Please read this. I don't want this happening to anyone else.

I am very VERY raw in my heart and my head, and I need to get this out in the open. Maybe my story will help someone else in the future, and will encourage hospital workers to turn in their co-workers if they suspect them of being negligent with their patients. (The hospitals names, with the exception of National Institutes of Health, are not mentioned to protect those who work there and care about their patients.)

Let me start with a month before my sister Ginni passed. March of 2005. Before our last trip to National Institutes of Health to continue our stem cell trial, Ginni was suffering from so much bone pain, she needed some relief. I was told to take her up to the closest hospital ER and have them contact NIH. Anyway, I was still at work at the my family took her to (hospital A) and I met them there. When I got there, Ginni was in the waiting room...wearing a mask...around a full room of people with the sniffles. The hospital front desk had already been informed and had her paperwork detailing her illness. (Those who followed our story know that her immune system was zapped to make room for my immune system that she was about to receive.) When I got to (hospital A) and saw Ginni in pain in that waiting room (and had been there for an hour), I took action. I went to the receptionist, and explained that Ginni had cancer, had no immune system, and had to get away from sick people a.s.a.p. The receptionist didn't listen. I took Ginni's scarf off her head and told them to look at her. Still nothing. Then I said to move her NOW. At that time, they immediately took Ginni to a room and away from all of the sick people. There, I sat with her...and we waited another two hours. Ginni was in excruciating pain but needed to go to the bathroom and asked me to help her there. I did. Ginni was there less than 5 minutes. When we got back to the bed, somebody was in her bed!!!! We asked the woman why she was there and she said the nurse had just brought her in there. At that time, Ginni said to take her home. We would make the drive up to NIH the next day. Ginni said that all (hospital A) saw when she arrived was dollar signs.

Fast forward to two weeks ago. For a few months, I had been suffering from heart palpitations. Original diagnosis in November at (hospital B ER) was atrial fibrillation brought on by low potassium. I was put on a beta blocker by ER and given 2 potassium supplements and referred to a cardiologist. Cardiologist said my potassium was still too low and gave me a prescription for 30 days. And to continue taking the other prescriptions I had. My family doctor told me to stay on the beta blocker, so I did. The palpitations steadily starting getting worse....two weeks ago, I suffered chest pain and could barely get out of bed. I didn't want to disturb I stupidly drove myself to ER. (hospital A ER. The same one where Ginni had the horrible experience.) I went to the front desk and there were two women there. Neither one would look up to acknowledge me. I said I need help and I was having chest pains. Still, neither would acknowledge me. I know they heard me. I then said that I was going to sit down because I was in pain. A couple of minutes later, a woman came up and grabbed a pad and started filling it out. A pad that was not on the front desk when I arrived. She took the pad back up to the two women and they gave her a beeper like you'd get if you were waiting for a table at Outback Steakhouse. I went back up to the desk and told them I had been waiting and I needed help. I was having chest pains. One of them finally looked up and said, "You need to let somebody know you're here." I told her I did. And then the two women started fighting over who WASN'T going to help me. Both were way to busy. My chest hurt so bad. I walked out the door and back to my car. I couldn't drive anymore. I called my husband and told him what happened. He came to ER and picked me up and took me to another ER. When I got to (hospital B) ER, my pulse was down to 50 and dropping. My blood pressure was 90/60. After the tests were run, it was the beta blocker that was doing it and the ER doctor said to get off of it immediately and he called my cardiologist.

I am now off the beta blocker and no palpitations at all. The cardiologist ran more test and told me that I am predisposed to low potassium and it's dangerous to get as low as I did. I'm on a potassium rich diet and a higher dose of potassium TFN. I feel so much better.

Anyway, I contacted (hospital A) via email twice and they have not responded to either email. My husband got the names of both women at (hospital A) while I was in (hospital B) ER. There was another woman at the desk of (hospital A) who was aware of what happened with me, and gave him the names and the hot line number. She also told him that those women should not have let me walk out of there...chest pains are always to be taken straight back.

Well, he called the hot line and hasn't heard anything yet either.

I don't want ANYTHING out of this except that NO ONE ever be treated like this again. I am NOT a lawsuit kind of girl. I AM one who protects those with illness, and I'll be damned if I ever see another cancer patient go through what Ginni did. Or a heart patient die because of negligence.

I DO encourage you to share this with your friends and family and those who are health care providers and encourage them to speak up against those who are neglecting patients. It is not my intention to trash the health care industry. It is my desire to do my part to help make it better. It is also my desire to clear my heart of what happened so I can move on. I'm still very raw because of this.

I hope you can all understand.

Thank you for reading.


**Update** (Hospital A) has contacted me via email to say that my original email has been forwarded and I should hear something soon.

***Update #2***: I want to thank the ER Administrator at (hospital A) for contacting me and telling me that strides have been made to improve employee/patient communication in ER. She also told me what should have happened, but did not on that day and did apologize for it. Apology accepted. And what I really wanted has been done. To fix the problem. After the conversation I had with her, I believe she will make sure that happens. I hope to rest better knowing that the next emergency case is going to be taken care of properly. Perhaps I should have taken that matter to the ER administrator when Ginni's care was so poor. But Ginni's health was failing, and she was all I could think about. I didn't have the energy. Anyway, if I can help it, it won't happen to anyone else.

By the way...if you're ever having chest pains, DON'T drive yourself to the hospital. Get someone else, or call an ambulance. Okay? Just don't do it. I did, and that was stupid.

Update #3: I think I need to clarify in light of the two recent comments: My family doctor told me to go to ER and knew I was on the way.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Random thoughts....

This mess is just a plethora of stuff rolling through my head right now. Thought I'd stick 'em here so I'd quit thinking about them and think of other stuff that's more Cheez Whiz. By the way, don't ever put Cheez Whiz in the microwave. That mess is nasty.

1.) Even though the Sarah McLaughlin commercial about animal cruelty really touches my heart and has me crying like a depressed goat, I want to know WHY that commercial is run every other hour on the Spike Channel. The MAN channel???? C'mon! To all those goobers who placed that ad in the worst possible places, I've got news for you! Whenever that commercial runs on Spike, my husband gets up and grabs another beer. I'm sure he's not the only man to take a break...I mean that commercial is as long as an infomercial anyway. That's bathroom time with a magazine in tow. You're wasting your advertising dollars.
And shame on you for running it in the middle of "1000 Ways to Die." That's wrong on so many levels.

2.) Okay....NO!!!!!!! NO!!!!! No, to the HAIL NO!!!!! The guy in Quincy, Mass. who's selling the Casey Anthony doll on Ebay: WHAT IN THE BLANK IS WRONG WITH YOU?

Fox News Story

On the upside, you didn't get any bids...BUT, didn't you even feel the least bit sleazy for doing that? YOU....BIG....DUMMY!

3. I like crayons.

4. To all those folks making fun of White House Press Secretary Robert Gibb's pink neckties: The man is tough enough to wear pink! Go Robert Gibbs! Now, if he said that he was wearing it to raise breast cancer awareness, then I'd be an even bigger fan!

You da man, Robert! Don't let anybody tell you any different!

5. Charlie's Seafood in Virginia Beach makes the best She-Crab soup on the planet. And I'm gonna get me some for dinner!

Okay, that's it. My brain is empty now. No comments from my friends, or I'll tell everybody how many brain cells you guys operate on. It ain't pretty, I swear.

Still thinking out loud,

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Just call me "Shark Bait."

Where did this month go??? Oh yeah, it's a short one...I plumb forgot.

Anyway, it's time for me to update this. I've had 84,000 things go on this month and I don't feel like getting into any of that. Boooooooooring. Whiney........and downright pathetic. So let me just take this time to delve into other people's bidness.

Octo-Mom. I'm sick of hearing about her. Even bad publicity IS publicity and I think she's enjoying any she can get. So I ain't giving her any NO MORE after this. I'm done. She's crazy. Okay, now I'm done.

The Oscars. Boy were THEY crap. I don't even know if the movies were good or not because I hadn't seen any of them. Not even Batman. I don't like Batman. Why wasn't "Nights In Rodanthe" nominated? Oh, that's right. To borrow a phrase from my brother-in-law Emile, "Horses on a beach." I guess that means it was too "chick-ish." I was probably the only one who loved it. Or the only one who admits it.

The Economy. Dang. I wish the media would try to give us a little inkling of hope. I would love to wake up one morning and not hear the word "economy" in every other sentence. I actually read where beer sales and shark attacks are down because of the economy, LIKE THAT'S A BAD THING. Now I ask...what the hell??? Those stories should have had a more positive tone! People are not drinking themselves to death because of the economy. And about that shark attack story. That thing should not have been written. Shark attacks are down because nobody can afford to take a vacation? OMG...I almost wrote a letter to the editor. PLEASE, try to keep "the economy" out of this one, will ya??? Why couldn't it have been explained that more people are aware of shark attacks after the influx of attacks over the last few years, and they are being more careful? No...of COURSE not! A story like that won't sell papers. HEY, I couldn't afford to take a vacation last year either...but I live at the BEACH! What about those of us who live at the beaches, huh? What about me??? Want I should jump in the water and ring a dinner bell or something? "Karen West stimulates the economy by throwing herself to the sharks." Please.

No, I'm not drinking. I can't afford it. Bad economy, ya know.
I'm just thinking out loud.

Til next time,

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

People in the news that I would just love to slap.

Some may not agree with me for what I'm about to rant about, but I have to get it off my chest before I scream.

About the woman in California who just gave birth to Octuplets. Sure, she made news. Thank God all the children were born alive...and I am going to pray every day that these children are taken care of. Why? Because this mother scares the be-heebies out of me. She's making demands? She's charging Oprah 2.2 millions dollars for an interview that Oprah hasn't even asked for yet? She's shopping for book deals, etc.? Yeah, she stands to make a mint for having all of those babies. She is unemployed, single, has other children, and her parents living with her. She had artificial insemination. Where in the Sam Hell did she get the money for that??? Her parents have had to bail her out of financial trouble before. She doesn't sound like she's all together. Those poor babies. :(

Next up on my list of people I would like to slap. Some of the survivors from the United Airlines flight that made the landing in the Hudson River? It's not enough to be grateful to be alive. Some even said that United was too busy patting themselves on the back to do anything for them monetarily.
Let me get this straight. They survived. United started them out with 5000 to replace the baggage they lost, they are working with the insurance companies to pay above and beyond after the investigation is over, and a handful of the passengers are already holding their hands out and complaining??? OH MY GOD!!! COULD YOU GIVE IT SOME TIME??? Find out what's happening with the insurance first! You're looking WAY too greedy! Kiss the family that you almost left behind! Thank God that you were given another chance! Bite your tongue with your complaints and be glad that United is not having to pay for funerals. I agree the passengers deserve fair compensation for what happened, even though the problem was caused by a flock of geese, but these complaints of theirs just make them sound like they are not grateful to be alive. I'm really sick about this. But...we should have known it was going to happen.