Thursday, September 17, 2015

Bleeding Out

Enjoy your future digs, Mom and Dad.

My extended family used to have a policy that no family member spent a night in a hospital without another person there to advocate for them should it become necessary. Such is either no longer official protocol or it applies to everyone but me. I don't really know which is the case and don't particularly care all that much.

I needed a tranfusion this afternoon. I may need another one or may not depending upon how things go. Usually I get blood from family members when I need it, but there were no family members around to donate this time, so I took my chances with the mass blood supply available. They check it better than they used to, so chances are that I won''t end up with hepatitis C or HIV or whatever, but even if such were to end up being the case, c'est la vie. We all know that life doesn't invariably have happy endings.

My colon is bleeding. It is to be cauterized the first thing in the morning unless the gastrowoman ends up with more important procedures that must completed first She'll essentially be treating the indigent and med school students, because she's neither skilled nor important enough to treat anyone else.  I'll continue to bleed until everyone  else is taken care of. The gastroenterologist and I are fighting about the need for anesthesia for this prodecure. I've had it done without anything for the pain, so I know how uncomfortable the procedure is without anesthesia. The gatroenterologist has never had the procedure -- with or without anesthesia -- but she's apparently quite the expert on how much pain a body should be able to tolerate without pain management. It also seems I have no choice as to gastroenterologists. We med students are at the bottom end of the food chain.  We get whichever of the dregs of humanity they pull out of the sewer to provide medical care for us.

Were I to check out of the hospital against medical advice and to go elsewhere, my medical care would  ultimately be covered by insurance, as I'm essentially triple covered between my mom's job, my dad's , and my student policy, but sometimes multiple coverage is a curse. The insurance carriers all fight over whose responsibility it is to pay while one's credit rating goes to hell.

My parents are gietting ready for a trip to Bora Bora or some similarly exotic locale. They're busy tying up loose ends so that they'll be ready to leave on Tuesday. They don't have time for my petty problems. Matthew had  birthday party to attend, which trumped any obligation he had to me. A friend of mind was kind enough to take my key and to bring my violin to me. I had her push me onto the balcony so that I could play without bothering anyone. Even though I really didn't feel strong enough to play it, playing it made me feel better. I tried hard to play quietly even though I was outside the doors of the hospital.Still, I must have bothered someone because the charge nurse came out onto the balcony and told me to cut it the hell out. I considered asking my friend to push me in my wheelchair to the sidewalk between the parking structure and the hospital, as it's public property, and no one could have done a damned thing about my playing my violin there as long as it wasn't loud enough to be technically considered disturbing the peace, but decided it was too far from any bathrooms to be safe. My friend took my violin back to my condo and safely stored it away.

On the way back to my room, I asked my friend o stop at the fourth floor grand piano, which bears a sign reading, "Please do not play  . . . unless you know how to play the piano." I started to play, but another Nurse Ratchet or Nurse Diesel or whichever nightmare nurse from Hell it was appeared and told me to leave the piano alone. I wasn't even playing it loudly.

Patient care in this hospital is a joke. Perhaps it'something they do deliberately to med school students so that we'll know what it's like to receive substandard care and will do better ourselves when the time comes for us to be the ones providing the care. Then again, perhaps this hospital totally sucks. I'm leaning toward the latter possibility.

Other than my friend who brought my violin, I'm not sure where any of my supposed "friends" are. They're presumably attending the same party at which my brother is right now. (I would like to think he'd have called it quits and might have gone home by now, but we must be realistic. This is Matthew about whom we are talking.) If he, or any of his friends, for that matter,  ends up with a hangover to beat all hangovers since the big bang, I haven't the slightest degree of sympathy for any of them. They had best find a place besides my condo to empty the content of their gastric systems. I'm asking my friend to inspect the place tomorrow morning.  If my condo is any less pristine than the condition in which I left it, a very meticulous housekeeping service is on speed-dial. My parents can foot the bill unless they can find a way to extort the payment from Mathew.

The Nazi war camp trainees who call themselves nurses in this place have put an alarm on my bed because they don't want me getting out of it without their knowledge.  This would be fine and dandy if they were prompt when I pushed the call button, except that they're anything but prompt, and they've giving me a solution to cleanse my colon, which means that when i need to get up, I NEED TO GET UP. I ignore their draconian alarm system and get up whenever I feel the urge to do so. They've finally sent in the charge nurse, who is threatening to use restraints to keep me in my bed. I happen to know that such cannot be done without the consent of my next of kin if I'm not lucid, and not without my consent if I happen to be lucid, which I most certainly am. Beyond that, even if they persuade some judge that I'm a few marbles short of a truckload, I wish them all the luck in the word in getting my parents to answer the phone at this hour. If the sadists attempt to apply any restraints whatsoever, I'll sue the bastards for so much that the fact that they kick me out of their medical school will be little more than a blip on my financial radar screen

I apologize for my incredible negativity. I don't know how to be anything other than negative right now. I'm nauseated, my gut feels as though I'm being knifed on a continual basis, I'm exhausted, I'm being treated worse by staff than as though I were on Death Row, and I have to visit the bathroom roughly every three minutes. Furthermore, I have a delightful medical procedure to which to look forward the first thing in the morning IF I'm lucky.

Thanks to all of you for your kind words of sympathy. Mom and Dad, you need to hope and pray that Matthew doesn't do something stupid, resulting in his demise before you're in need of a nursing home, because if I'm the one to choose the facility for you, you can count o some sort of old's folks' version of a composite between those featured in "Don't Look in the Basement," Mel Brooks "High Anxiety," "One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest," and "Harvey," the old play that was made into a movie featuring Jimmy Stewart. I'd say, "See you there," except that I'm not sure I have any serious intention of visiting you. 

I have no clue as to whether my actual scan looks anything like this  because no one has offered to let me look at it.


  1. :( I'm sorry, Alexis. It sounds like you're having a terrible time of it. That sounds like a horrible hospital, too. I think if it were me and I could manage it, I'd get the hell out of there and go somewhere better.

    1. I don't even have my car here or enough cash to pay for a cab.

    2. Is this a hospital on campus or something?

    3. it's adjacent to the campus.It's not the university's main hospital, though.

  2. Oh no! Sorry you're going through intestinal hell. What's your blood type? Is it one of the less common ones?

  3. Also, if you need sedation, fight for it. I know at the moment with bleeding like you're having you probably shouldn't avoid having the procedure, however it can't be worth it to the acting physician to do a procedure on a patient who is able to feel and respond to pain.

    PS; if you need someone to vent to, call me. I'll be home all day tomorrow. :)

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  5. I'm so sorry you're going through this. Your blog has been such a joy to read! I feel like I know you, and I care. Laperla