Saturday, May 11, 2013

Old Irish blessing: If you lift a glass of spirits to your mouth to enjoy a bit of craic, "Go n-ithe an cat thú, is go n-ithe an diabhal an cat"



Hello fledging buddies, blessed with creative minds, neural synapses communicating sporadically in “unique” ways” within your areas of grey matter; you, young friends who have taught me a whole new language, style of dress and culture, and abnormal food combos, you my tweaky, freaky, methyodical,  pilloconnosieurs, drug quality inspectors and green thumbers; young, middle aged and a little more maturely aged; female, male and whatever: from all over this wonderful country – I won’t be assplelonking much – too tired. 

But, let me squelch garbage that might have floated through the bowels of some heads and set up some stinking thinking.  Did you get the memo?  I mean it true, love you.

I had my sixth asthma attack this week.  They  “allowed” me to have my RESCUE inhaler in my room by my bed finally – about two days ago, when I smilingly suggested I could die walking up those halls to find the nurse to get it for me.  One or two of the nice nurses helped with talking to the Doctors, the powerful peoples.

 My blood pressure had been getting progressively and seriously high the last three years, the upper, not so much the lower number suddenly became seriously low when I got it taken on Sunday, my second day.  I thought they would check it every day several times to monitor as a matter of medical care, given I was running around and between 137 to 160 over 70-95, which is seriously high blood pressure.  I wasn't weighed, but they did ask my weight and height.

I  have Barrett’s esophaghus.  I am supposed to eat five small meals a day, not eat two hours before bed, and not exercise within an hour of eating and not do exercises like bending over or laying low across my legs…like you do in Yoga.  I told staff (med and others) all of this.  Yet, breakfast is at 8 a.m. and you are expected to be out at Yoga at 8:30 a.m. regardless.

I am allergic to dust, mold, mildew and pollen.  I took it upon myself, cause I couldn’t get what I needed, to disassemble my air conditioning unit, and wash each part as best I could, not having the most perfect cleaning materials for these things and ripping out what big clumps of matted dust I could. This after waking up my 2nd night choking, coughin and having an asthma attack.  Staff knew, med staff knew, the Doctor told me to have the filter checked and changed if needed, they said it didn't need to be.  I took it apart and it was full of dust, dirt and hair and I proceeded to clean what I could of it.
This morning after being told to go to Yoga, on a full stomach; I did as little as I could, having also just being given more valium. As soon as I came back in, the bigun told me to go mop my bedroom. I got a mop, figured out how to use the wringer thing and worked on it and had an asthma attack. Did my rescue inhaler, but still dizzy. Had been telling the nurse/dr. all week that I think they needed to cut down on my heart blood pressure medicine as when they measured it, 4 times, it was 96/54; 121/60 ; 100/70 and 127/70. HUGE DROP, and dangerous.
  I'd told every nurse and both doctors the complications the asthma, barrets esophaghus, and the valium was having on my energy level, my GERD level, feeling dazed and confused and Wednesday I cried and cried cause I felt so sick and tired in my room. I washed and clean and polished every inch of the room to get rid of the disgusting dust, hair and spills all over and under and behind the bed that day.
Christie took me to the nurse station, but of course, there wasn't much they could do. They said. They told me to let them know if I developed edema or swelling in my ankles on Sunday. Quess what? I did on Wednesday. They looked, poked and it was clearly evident and the Doctor said something like well, my finger can sink in and it doesn't leave an impression, so we'll see.
I was just too tired. Sad sometimes, but in fields such as these, mental illness and corrections some staff become hardened skeptics and treat everyone the same and don't really trust or believe what a client is saying and consider it just yet another "symptom" of a mental illness, a drug/alcohol addiction or withdrawal, or a criminal personality. Sadly, that's why some people die, "inexplicably" in places like that. I did everyting they told me, but it didn't make a difference.
My low blood pressure, low oxygen levels, increasing tiredness and inability to stay awake, edema, loss of appetite, increased thirst, increased urinationation, feeling chilled, and on and on should have prompted more monitoring, an exam, something, but it didn't. I was told I was probably just experiencing some post alcohol detox something or other and it was most likely normal and not to worry in time it would pass.

I offered to give them my MD’s phone number and a release so they could discuss with her, but they said, not necessary. I needed singulair, took a day for a script to be written, a day for someone to be allowed to get it, she brought it back that same day. That night the nurse said she didn’t get it and no one gave it to her.
I was told to find the worker and went all the way back down the hall and she said she gave it to the nurse, and I said, well could you please call her or something cause she says you didn't and I really need to take it for my breathing. She said I will go there with you. By that time, three other people were in line so we stood and waited.
The worker showed her it was and nurse then easily found it. She said the Doctor must have been too busy and didn’t initial my chart, so she couldn't give it to me tonight anyway.
Friday, This morning, they checked my oxygen levels and they were dangerously low, in the 80’s, sometimes in the low 90’s, it would then get up to about 96…they’d stop the oxygen and it would drop down again, they oxygenated me three times and couldn’t stabilize me, so then they put me on a nebulizer.

The Doctor said, “There is nothing more we can do for you here, sorry, but we will have to call an ambulance and send you to the hospital”. I kept nodding off and breathing shallowly and getting confused, I told them that and the Doctor said, “Do you mean you’re hallucinating.” “No, I’m not, I feel confused, I see staff and clients coming in and out and I’m half in and out of sleep and sometimes I think they are talking to me and I look up and they are not.”

The ambulance came. I wanted to take my books and work but the Dr. said no, it would get in the way. I said I needed my insurance card and ID and she said someone would take care of getting that there. I was given a vitals check by the ambulance people who were nice, and they put an oxygen mask on me in the ambulance, but not before I asked them “Am I dying or something?” The man smiled and said absolutely not. I believed him. Wish someone had reassured me at the clinic. The ambulance guy asked me if I wanted to be left on the stretcher buckled in in the public lobby near the TV or if I would prefer the wheelchair. I opted for the wheelchair. He talked to the people at the desk and returned to tell me a doctor would call and see me soon. They left.

I kept waiting for someone from RS to come; I though they said someone would, but no one showed up or called to check on me. I arrived at 10:15 a.m. I asked Dr. before I left to please call my husband. They called him alright, at 12:59….and said that I had just left for the hospital about 20 minutes ago and was having an asthma problem.

The Doctor I met with, as well as the ER Nurse, put me in fast track ER as I didn’t have a bullet wound or a heart attack and knew I had a low oxygen levels they collected from the readings from the ambulance man, I’m not sure wjat records RS provided. When I explained my blood pressure history and recent low blood pressure and sleepiness they were disturbed. I was brought to another area in the ER, not in an intensive area and a nice nurse let me be have a cot and told me I could lie down if I wanted.
A few minutes later, another nurse came to get my insurance information and I told them that the staff at RS has it, and maybe they were in the waiting room. She showed me a sheet they faxed her, or perhaps had given to ambulance man, a one page cover sheet which essentially gave my name, age, my emergency contact numbers and the name of my insurance company – no provider numbers, no contact number for the insurance company, no group number, health history or anything. I suggested she call them. She apologized nicely for bothering me, and I again worried more as there were lots of little things that happened that week that were ringing bells for me. I provided her my husband;s number as we also had TRICARE as back up which for some reason they neglected to have on the RS form.

I was due to get my phone this day. I began to become afraid they wouldn’t give it to me; that they would say I’d been too ill. It was about 12:30 now, I was bored out of my skull, and of course didn’t have any reading material because they wouldn’t let me take any and the hospital just had like sports stuff and Time and national geog. Ugh.

The nice front desk nurse talked to me and I asked if I could lie down and she said of course and I was asleep in seconds, at some point someone covered me with a blanket, I was exhausted. The doctor told me earlier I was exhausted due to the low levels of oxygen in my blood and the valiums I’d been given contributed and I was probably also dehydrated. He was writing me a letter for light duty at the house as he felt I wasn’t in physical shape to be mopping floors and doing all the activities I was told to be involved in at this time.

I awoke and swung my legs over the cot about 1:30 and went to the bathroom . Upon returning, I talked to the nurse for a while. I asked when I’d be discharged. She said technically, I was discharged hours ago, as my vitals were fine, after the ambulance people stabilized me. She asked if I was going back to the RS. I asked if I was supposed to walk back, had anyone called to ask about me or to pick me up or is there any standard protocol and she said no. She let me use her phone as I was afraid and wanted to talk to my husband. As I said, he had just found out I was even hospitalized and hadn’t been told everything. I told him I was afraid and other things and wanted out and he told me he wanted me in Tucson under care, where he could know what was going on and be there a.s.a.p. He was not at all happy, as they’d never filled him in on the problems I’d been having.

He said he’d wrap right up, it was 2 p.m. and he picked me up by 3:30 p.m. When I got back, the evening staff seemed shocked to see me, and even more so when I said I just got back from the hospital and needed to get my things and go. They asked how I got back, and were ever more shocked to see my husband and asked if he drove me back. My husband informed him he was taking me home to my own doctor and asked to assist me in packing and Santos said to let him talk to his supervisor. We just followed and I told him I am sick, I am leaving, and I need to be somewhere where they are able to attend to medical needs, where my husband can be there and be advised immediately when I am ill. I was pleasant but assertive. They did allow him to help me pack, but said it would take a while to get all my medications together.

We finished backing and came out. Richard came out of the med room, having just thrown all my bottles of meds in a plastic bag and actually said it was just too many pills to count, and he didn’t have the time….

Jenny C. came and said I heard you are leaving, may I ask why, I replied, “because I am sick and need medical attention and am going home to see my own doctor for medical care and I want to be near to my husband so if anything happens he is timely informed and available. She lifted the corners of her lips, nodded and left.

I was given 6 bleeping forms to read/sign, tired as I was and unsteady, and I just initialed everything, told them I didn’t need my suntan lotion or anything, that I’d donate it and my hair spray, but they wanted me to take and initial it. The best thing that they gave me to initial, the poor staff, should have been done by the Doctor and the executive staff Niles /Jenny and the Doctor on duty (Not Plum, the other one).

The Doctor came out and said, “Why are you leaving may I inquire”; I essentially repeated the same as what I told Jenny. She stared at me and didn’t crack a smile or say a word and literally twirled on her heels in what I would call a huff, however, at this point I am sick of the whole drama and the way I am treated at this point….so WGAF.

Anyway, this form they have me initial, halfway down the sheet actually says:

Patient left AMA (AGAINST MEDICAL ADVICE ). Ha, Ha. Now that is the funniest thing ever.

I have no idea as against whose medical advice she is referring to. She, Doctor (not Plumb, the other one) never bothered to talk to me when I returned. At 10 a.m., this RS Doctor said “there is nothing more we can do for you here”. She said sorry, but we’ll have to call an ambulance and sent you to a hospital. This after a terribly grueling 15 minutes of putting an oxygen meter on and off my finger and reading the reading, putting an oxygen mask on me and off me three times and applying a nebulizer once and yelling at me a couple of times to breathe more deeply, as I kept nodding off. I guess it must have been grueling for them, fighting that life and death struggle is so hard for the professional medical doctor, I don’t know how they do it day in and day out, every hour of the day.

Doctor sent me off in an ambulance with no Identification or insurance card, no books, papers or pens and I was dropped off alone at a strange hospital without a companion, anything to read or occupy myself. RS didn’t check on me, failed to even communicate to the evening staff that I was in the ER, and there were no preparations made to pick me up. I know that cause I was discharged at 11 a.m. and when my husband got there at 3:30 p.m. I was still there, no word from RS, sitting on a cot, and the nurses, everyone I asked, hadn’t heard anything from them.

The CASA Grande Hospital actually discharged me about 11 a.m. ish but I didn’t know that until I asked them about 1 p.m. I think, feeling sorry for me (I guess - but I often think people do things for me because they feel sorry for me, hmmm Fruedian thing I need to examine) even offered me lunch – though technically not a patient, gave me a cot near their nurses Quick Start ER place, a pen and paper to write on, let me sleep, covered me with a bankie, offered me water and soda, and let me sleep; talked to me and gave me referrals and information, and let me use their phone to call my husband. They did everything they could to help me.

And I’d only just met them. If anything, they treated me like a homeless person or a friend they wanted to help and assist, as well as treat, comfort, feed and shelter. I will be eternally grateful for the incredible kindness they extended to me. I am so sad to have been treated the way I was by the medical staff at RS, especially at the end.

I moved my own bed across the floor to find behind it and under it, clumps of hair, dust and  spilled yellow fluid and got on my hands and knees to clean it.  I have found that I do ask for help with things, more and more when I am told things like you should ask or you should have asked for help, but, its always been, we’re a little busy now, we’re short on staff, I’m checking now, I can’t find this thing, I’m trying for you now, I’ll have to check with so and so and on and on and then nothing happens or rarely happens.  When I say I don't know how to do this, find this, take care of this, get this, they say; well, you should go to med, you should ask to have your pressue taken, you should ask such and such person, you should go here and there, as if I even knew at the time where the here and there was and who the person they were talking about was.  They said they had a schedule for daytime, but I never got one.  They said it's right on the front desk.  I said I looked up there and saw no such thing.  They dragged me down there and damned if they couldn't find one.  The staff there said, oh, I guess we ran out, I'll make some copies.  A couple of hours later, I gave up going back to find one, they still weren't there, I asked and they said they been busy.  At the end of the night a client let me know there were copies up there so I grabbed one.

I have found than when I have asked to speak to Niles about a serious issue he took it serious and promptly addressed it and found a solution and involved the other individual and there was no blaming, recrimination, yelling crying, name calling or anything, all handled very professionally by him.  I found several staff there to have kind hearts.  I found some to be a pleasure and joke and be teased in turn.  I will miss people and people there have taught me much in a little amount of time.  The cooks are wonderful and kind.  My career counselor gave me an invaluable idea that will help me every day of my life.  My counselor, who I worked out a problem with, gave  some information and tools about trauma that astounded me;that I know will be of help.  I have enjoyed some of the staff’s lectures and as loud and quick talking as one of those big guys are that shall remain unnamed, I must say I was always wide awake and listening when he talked.  How could anyone nod off with the power of his enthusiasm.There are some awesome line staff and worker bees.  They are almost too funny.  I’m sure they don’t get paid enough. 
The ladies, what can I say, the passion they have for the people there is  palpable; they are amongst the most honest people I've met. 
I do so like that Chrystle, who had to go buy me my singulair, after consultation with her supervisor agreed to buy me bobbypins.  I asked for blonde ones and she said WHAT, BLONDE….They don’t make blonde bobbies.  I’ll get black ones, or is brown okay? I told her, my hair is blonde and they really make blonde pins now.  Bless her little heart, she came back with a pack of bobbies, half blonde and half a lovely pretty shade of pale copper I’ve never seen.  And she was so proud, she got them on sale, a girl after my own heart.  You go girl. 
My favoriate little blonde nurse in the whole world is there and clearly loves her job and is quite efficient.  The nurse who had to wake me up at the ungodly hour of 3 a.m. from a dead sleep by  slamming her little body into my door, room 203, hopefully fixed by now, it doesn’t shut well and if shut is really hard to open, felt horrible and always apologized for waking me to give me a pill to sleep. 
I'm not sure if this was funny or scary to me, it was just my first day, but like my 5th interview.  But you might like it for laughs.  A  nurse who shall remain nameless asked if I'd had any surgeries and I said yes, I had a full hysterectomy, they removed my uterus and everything.  The next question was, do you still get your period? Duh uh.  I explained, and I did feel quilty for a while but this nurse didn't get the slightly sarcastic humour, "well, when they remove your uterus and all your female parts which include your tubes and such in a full hysterectomy, it is impossible to bleed cause if you don't have a uterus, it doesn't shed."  If said nurse had shown one squich of humour or interest during any part of the long tedious and repetitive inventory, and hadn't been continually yawning, I'd have felt bad...but it went over said nurses little head anyway. 
I have low tolerance for drugs like valium.  I was told it was my job to find a nurse to request blood pressure readings.  I found this out my second day so did, when the door was open, when they weren’t busy.  I didn’t get my vitamins bag Saturday, I don’t know why, I guess I was supposed to know who to go to to ask.  The other day I didn’t get it either as I was trying to get to all of the groups and activities and meetings with counselors et al they wanted me to go to and showed up to the med place at 8:10 and told they don’t do it after 8 p.m.  Did I know that? No.  But, I was shown a sign, one of many outside the med clinic that did note no IVs after 8 p.m.  To their credit, they seem to be the only ones that actually try to post signs.  But let me not go on and on, not importante.

                I thanked the RS line staff and asked them to tell you and other staff I love you and wish you well.  I learned a lot this week about myself, the affects of trauma, sexual molestation and alcoholism, the tools that are available, the treatment  medications that are dangerous if not used and monitored properly and hot damn, I am one strong 59 year old chick, that was the best ever.  I bench pressed Rowland without breaking a sweat. 

On the bright side, I am understanding the steps, I’ve read the book before, but never had workbooks and such to help me apply things better to myself.  Though my counselor tried to have me sign something saying I was an in denial, verbally and physically violent, had a long term criminal record and said she couldn’t omit it cause “it’s a template”, (cause she didn’t know how to OMIT those things which is weird,} when we did get that straightened out, she showed me some things and shared stuff that was valuable.  Some of it is frightening and I need to process  it, but it explains a lot. 

I have 7 days now and absolutely no cravings.  Monday I will get an emergency appointment with my MD.  I will make a good thing of this experience  and use it to start to define a new mission to continue to try to make this world a little bit betterer. 

You are awesomely, brilliant people and deserve to live the lives you aspire to.  Believe me when I say I know it is hard.  I will design a new blog in time.  Right now, my mind isn’t clear enough do the design and conception.  I am tired.  It will reflect the Pat you’ve gotten to sort of know.  I’m careful here, cause sometimes relatives from around the world read this and I scare them enough already.

To your Higher Power, to you, and to getting out of your own fucking…I mean big head….take a look around and see what the other guy might need and forget yourself for a while – help him or her, even just show them where the damned bounce sheets are.  I didn’t know for three days.  It’s amazing how much it will help you buckaroos.

Buonanotte    (Italiano);      Oíche  mhaith   (Irish);      Buenas  noches  (Spanish);      Nos  da   (Welsh);       Gute Nacht  (German):

Bonne nuit (French);    God nat (Danish);    Boa noite (Portugese);   Nighty Night (American): Lights out  (American Jails, Prisons, Military barracks, Military schools);  Good Night John Boy (Prarie Families);    Damn Wilbur did you lock the barn door, Nellie’s out there humping the tractor again (Farmer good night);      Make sure you put the lid on that moonshine good and tight, pumpkin – my baby girl is going having the best wedding this side of the BJ’s hog and saddle place (Redneck nighty night);     Darling, take my precious sugar out for her nightlies and heavens be sure to wipe her little booboos and wash your hands; I don’t want any unmentionables on my new white fur sheets, now be an angel won’t you dearie)  American diva out of touch housewife farewell for the evening;       Shut that goddamn rap quack shit off, you can’t even understand a word that idiot is saying, try listening to some Bing Crosby, you know he spoke English.  (Grandpa’s good night)     MAAAAAAAHHHHHHH, I can’t find my shirt, you know, that one, you said you were going to iron it, I can’t sleep now, I’m going to die, Eddie and me are paired for that science experiment, I have nothing else to wear, I will just die, you never listen to me, ever, what am I going to do? MAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHH ARE YOU LISTENING?)     Good night from your loving teenybopper.  Alright.  (Goodnight from your bubbly, chatty teenage son)

*TRANSLATION: May your Cat eat you and the devil eat the cat.                          MEOW.......................................

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