Friday, March 28, 2014


I identified another one of those pesky little situations that triggers me being instantly distrustful and annoyed.
When doctors, or medical professionals, appear to have not read my chart.

Now, I got plenty of that with my last hospital stay and all the little baby docs who wandered in, having been told to "make rounds" while having no clue the specifics of my medical condition or treatment.  But, sadly, I didn't really put my finger on just how much it annoys me until yesterday.

Yesterday, I had a perfectly horrible, terrifying, stressful procedure at radiology.  But, to start everything on a sour note, they kept asking me questions that seemed to indicate they didn't really understand my unique needs/situation.

I talked to the radiology tech on the phone the day before.  I explained the arthritis as well as the wound vac and other issues impairing my mobility.  Then, when they get me into the x-ray room, one of the assistants asks me "now, why are we doing this procedure today?"  I asked her why she didn't already know, had she not read my chart?  The come back was something about making sure I understood the necessity of the test.  Well, then phrase it in a way that isn't so condescending.

Then, they got me up on the x-ray table, which was a feat . . . it was too high for me to comfortably climb up on, and there was nothing to grasp onto to allow me to pull myself up/over.  Then, just being completely flat on a hard surface compounded my discomfort.  They all disappeared for several minutes, adding to my anxiety.  Then, the tech I'd spoken to the day before comes whisking in and asks "what surgery did you have last month?"  Well, I understand that there are some procedures that are so routine that they have a name.  What happened with me was complex and doesn't have a name.  I admit, I was less that pleasant in responding.  Partly because I was very uncomfortable and becoming distressed but mostly because I felt like this was stuff they should have known, or been able to look up.

Then, they started the procedure. . . . which demanded that I roll over to a position that went beyond discomfort to pain.  Remember, there was nothing to grip or hold on to for leverage.  Part of the requirements of the procedure added an "extreme" factor to my discomfort/pain.  At this point, the doctor felt I should be able to roll over even more.  I could not.  He saw this less as a factor of the wound vac and more a factor of me being uncooperative.  We had several minutes of a very heated exchange, during which my discomfort grew and, yes, I admit, for emphasis, I used profanity.  When I was asked to roll over again, and I held on to the one thing in my reach that appeared to be a handle, he yelled at me (again) to not touch the equipment.  He also yelled at me for breathing heavily because I was in discomfort and pain.

Why do medical professionals think that telling a patient that is obviously stressed and in a high level of discomfort to "calm down" will actually result in actual "calming down?"

Part of me thinks he was unaware of the specific factors that limited my mobility.  But, most of me is outraged that he would treat a patient in the inhumane and vicious way that he did.  I have never reacted to a medical procedure the way I reacted to this one.  Part of it was the unique situation I find myself in, physically.  But I believe that the way I was treated pushed me far beyond what was reasonable.

But, what I hate the most is that although I know I was treated badly, I'm left wondering what I did wrong.

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