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Get Annoyed With Medical Personnel

This entry is part [part not set] of 19 in the series What CFers Do

©2007-2010 ~turkeza

Here’s another classic: you’re in the ER and the doctor finally saunters in after you’ve been there for hours, and one of the first things he asks you is, “how long have you had CF?”

I want another doctor. Now!

I’ve watched my doses from the home health pharmacy come in with a Tobra dose for a 75kg person. Who told them I was 75kg? I was 43 or so at the time.

I’ve left the pharmacy with one box of Pulmozyme when my Rx is for twice a day (60 vials/month) and had to go back to get my full amount, not once, but twice.

Growing up in a small town in Ohio, I’m sure we put the pharmacist’s kids into every one of their cars and through college with our own supplies. In a town of 40,000, I was likely the only person there who had CF – we had to drive an hour to our CF center in Toledo.

I’ve had nurses access my port with a 1″ needle… crooked! They’ve not made sure the connections were all tight in the tubing and have bled out all over my street clothes in clinic. I’ve been told that I can’t eat or drink any number of ridiculous things in the ER or hospital because no one has a clue what CF is. One time a nurse woke me up at 1am concerned with the lines/wrinkles on my arm and shoulder. The arm and shoulder I was sleeping on! They’re called “sleep marks” and everyone gets them, you freak of nursing. How did you get your RN license?

There are enough CF patients in and out of a CF center’s wing every week that an RN can be assigned to a CF patient to learn rather than assume they know everything about nursing, because CFers are not the same as everyone else.

We are independent, mostly intelligent, and very well-schooled in our care. We will know if you screw up, and there are enough of us that will let you or your supervisor know how much you suck.

I had the distinct pleasure of hearing my CF doctor reaming the head floor nurse one time over refusing to give me an enema when I had an intestinal blockage. “What harm will it do?! His history shows that it works and the man is asking for a tube shoved up his [butt] for medical reasons!” That was when I really started to like my doctor.

And respiratory techs… how annoying can you be to tell me how to do an aerosol? Did you even bother to check my chart to see that I’ve been doing more aerosols than you’ve given in your career?

What are your medical staff stories of nightmares?

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  1. Dan Smith says

    I have to admit, there isn't anything technically wrong with our staff. In fact, the doc is almost mechanically perfect. The only thing wrong is that he's unforgiving. My wife and misunderstood one of my daughter's symptoms once and she was almost admitted. I felt sick, my wife was crying, and the doctor was very, very, upset.

    The worst thing is that he still hasn't let us live it down. Not at her most recent quarterly, but the one prior, he brought it back up…over a year from the incident. I understand that I need to learn from my mistakes, but stop making me feel like an idiot.

  2. Wow! He sounds like he's got the personal vendetta against illness that
    “Hawkeye” Pierce from M*A*S*H did, only he's transferring responsibility to
    you. I'd have to say you need to stand up to that bad bedside manner or ask
    if there is another Dr. available to see at visits. We have 2 doctors, and
    Toledo had 3-4 when I was growing up.

    That's just unacceptable. CFers get sick, and blaming the parents at an
    early age isn't going to be helpful. That level of perfection is an
    admirable quality… if reigned in by compassion and common sense about the
    disease and the patient's situation.

  3. I have one from when Rachel was in the hospital. Her IV infiltrated during the night and the resident wanted to wake her up and start a new one. Glad I was there to stop that!

    And then the first time you needed an enema (something like 1st or 2nd grade), the resident came in with an attachment on the end of the tube that looked like it was for bovine use only. The nurse's eyes about popped out of her skull when she saw it. I told him that there was no way I'd let him try to force that thing up your kazoo. I made him go find something more your size. As he left to go get the proper equipment, the nurse heaved a huge sigh of relief. 😉

    If you can't train 'em, block 'em. 😉

  4. I'm dang good at blocking now, and I have a sneaking suspicion Beautiful will be all over stupid nurses like white on rice if anything kept me from being able to decide something on my own. She can smell them now and may even possibly be more annoyed with them than I am when she's the one to sniff out first.

  5. I'm dang good at blocking now, and I have a sneaking suspicion Beautiful will be all over stupid nurses like white on rice if anything kept me from being able to decide something on my own. She can smell them now and may even possibly be more annoyed with them than I am when she's the one to sniff out first.

  6. Erin Taylor says

    Before I got my port placed, I was admitted to the hospital to have my appendix removed. It was one of the first times I had ever been in the hospital, and I had NO idea what was going on. Needless to say, I am a pro now, and no one gets away with anything – but at this time, I was a complete newbie. However, I am not stupid. They put in an IV and all was fine. I started getting fluids right away. After some pain meds I fell asleep only to wake up with a stinging in my arm. I knew something was wrong with the IV. I called the nurse. After waiting 30 minutes for her to arrive, I explained to her that it was sorta burning. She looked at it, said that sometimes pushing pain meds burns a little (that has since proved false – at least for me), and so I went with it and just figured oh well. A little while later I noticed that my gown and sheets were soaked and that there was liquid running down my arm. I called her again and showed her my IV was leaking from somewhere. She changed the connector, assuming IT was leaking and left. I fell back asleep sometime later to wake up with a throbbing in my IV arm. I looked down and my arm was 3 times the size of the other!! It was HUGE! I started FREAKIN out and called the nurse. She came in took one look at my arm and called for the head nurse. she came in and immediately looked at the site. The IV was halfway out of my arm. She looked at me and asked, wasn’t this burning? This couldn’t have felt right. I looked at her with my jaw dropped then turned at GLARED at the other nurse. I told her of course it hurt! it was even drippin down my arm at one point. I pointed to the other nurse and said shes been in here THREE times now because I kept complaining about it! I thought I was just bein a baby!! The head nurse just looked at the other nurse for a sec then turned to me and said I’ll be right back to put a new line in. We’ll hafta put it in the other arm though this one is too swollen. I never did find out what was said to the other nurse, but I never saw her again after that. The head nurse handled everything for me from then on. I learned very quickly that I would have to make things happen for myself when I got stuck in the hospital…some of these people just ain’t got it.

    • Let that be a lesson to you! 😉 j/k

      Back in the day they used to give me little peripheral IVs for home IVs.
      After 3-4 days, I had burned out veins. Once we left it in until my vein was
      so calcified that I had a lump on the back of my forearm round the vein for
      1/4″ for 3 YEARS!

      We bring ALL of my meds to the ER and procedures that we think may cause for
      an overnight stay for any reason. They’ve given my xopenex aerosols without
      telling me, too. Ridiculous.

  7. Mariah Hanley says

    Same thing with the RTs. Also nursing students. I go to a children’s hospital, and because I’m rational, able to explain to the nursing students how I’m feeling and won’t go crazy when they screw up, I’m the guinea pig. A lot. By one nursing student, I had blood thinners injected into muscle, had vitals take close to half an hour, and was told that “Hopefully I’d be cured before I left the hospital.” And that was when I told the nurse that if that student came into my room again I was about to go from a pleasant teenage girl to the stereotypical bratty teenage girl and that no one wanted to see that.