Sunday, August 2, 2009

The bi-polar and the operation

I recently had a surgery that was far more extensive than I had thought it would be. It wasn't done the way I expected, nor was I ready for the recovery time that came with it. I'm quite disappointed in myself for allowing the surgery to be done the old fashioned way, being cut open like a Thanksgiving pie.

But because of the urgency of pain, I guess I agreed to something I didn't really know about. And now I find myself two months later, still dissatisfied with the situation, and feeling the emotional trauma that went along with all of the nonsense.

Knowing that I seem to react to every medication I ever take, I carry around the whole document about what not to give me.

I listed all my ailments, my current prescriptions, my allergies, side effects, because I want to make sure the medical types are getting all the information they need.

But they don't seem to understand it.

I put a highlighted warning on my paperwork: I do not react well to anesthesia.

When I checked in for surgery, the nurse, said, don't worry, we will take care of you.

I told her I'm not worried about me, I'm worried about you.

After what happened, I'm sure nobody took it seriously.

Fortunately for the whole crew, I was cut like a pig, and unable to really move to get to them.

And what they don't realize is that I'm blacked out and have no idea what is going on. No impulse control, no control.

Thus began one of the worst hospital experiences I have ever had. Trust me, I have had some doozies, because nurses and doctors don't realize that the bi-polar is sensitive to medications.

And since medications have replaced the healing arts, its hard to argue about it.

Hours after my surgery, I was yelling, coming in and out of consciousness, and in major pain.

The moment I saw the huge cut, which I did not expect, I was freaked out.

Then the staff went to work. They made phone calls to the 20 people on my list entitled: you're going to need help, call them.

Completely stupefied by my reactions to everything and given I had the title going in of being bi-polar, when I complained I couldn't breath they told me I was hyperventilating.

I explained through the sticky phlegm keeping me from taking a deep breath, that hyperventilation is associated with lots of oxygen and generally a tingling.

They waited almost a half hour before they brought in the breathing treatment. (Now would they been quicker if they hadn't suddenly become psychiatrists and diagnosed my breathing problem as a panic attack? You bet.)

When they cut your abdominal wall, its not favorable to coughing, and it took two hours, with the breathing treatment to finally be able to breath.

But that didn't end anything except for the comfort of breathing properly again.

Now, I feel a fullness, and pain in my abdomen. The nurse comes in and tells me I'm being a baby, what do I expect, I just had surgery.

Little did she know I didn't expect this surgery, something much smaller was what I had pictured.

She left and came back and saw that the pain I had been complaining of may have been the fact that my catheter was filled all the way. So, she picks the thing up, moving the liquid around, inside me and the damn tube.

I yelled at her, absolutely. And I pissed air for more than a week after the incident. I don't know what the hell happened, I have never had a catheter before.

But things were only getting better as they next decided to overdose me.

I brought in all my bottles of medicine, with the labels, paperwork about the medicines, and yet they just couldn't manage the three prescriptions.

One of the medicines I have been on for the last 5 years is a benzodiazapine, called Ativan. Because of insomnia, anxiety, mania with rage, I began taking it, and it was effective more so than other prescriptions thrown at me.

Well, after five years, and a newly balanced thyroid (we will be going thoroughly into what the thyroid can do to the bi-polar or even people who don't have it, its an altering chemical) I have been decreasing my medication.

This hospital decided first not to give me my dosage and the way I take it. So, we had an argument.

The nurses would only come in threes by this time as there was strength in numbers. And they brought me the wrong strength.

I was told I would be given 20 milligrams of Ativan, 10 milligrams at a time. I laughed and said really, where did you come up with that?

They didn't think it was funny. I told them I would pick out my dose take that, and they could go on their way.

They then told me if I didn't take the whole 10 milligrams, I would then get nothing. This is a very addictive drug, and coming off of it takes years when you're body becomes dependent, so messing with the dose could cause many problems.
(we will discuss this drug more. It has its use, but not on a regular basis.)

I grabbed the cup of pills and poured them in my mouth and chewed them up angrily. They asked me if I wanted water and I just shook my head.

The adrenaline surged from being forced to take this medicine and it had little or no effect on me.

An hour later, the nurses peaked in on me expecting me to be sleeping like a little baby.


They left and came back, and said, "there's been a mistake."

I yelled, you're damn right there has!

But would they listen to me, no.

Then they tried to give me a different kind of thyroid, and I had to go through the whole thyroid supplement talk with them. This was the drug I didn't want them messing with, yet they tried.

After the Ativan overdose the worst thing that could have happened, happened. My blood pressure dropped along with my heart rate.

So, now they couldn't give me any pain medication. That's where the action started. As the pain gained control of me, the bi-polar rage began to surge.

We argued for eight hours while I writhed in pain. They just avoided me so as not to hear it.

Finally, I yelled for a patient advocate or to call my doctor or something, but nothing happened.

Pain makes you tired, so I gave up, cried for while, and rolled over onto my side trying to get as comfortable as I could get.

I asked my babysitter, they had a person watching me, to turn out the lights, which she did.

An hour later, I was just about asleep, when some woman, who was not a patient advocate came in my room, flipped on the lights and yelled, "what's going on in here?"

I thought what an idiot. I didn't move and acted like I was asleep so she would go away. But she did not.

She came over and leaned in to look at me, and I yelled as loud as I could at her, "what are you doing coming into my room and yelling at me."

She jumped back three feet. I tried to tell her what was going on and she really didn't care. I went through my whole list of ailments and the current situation.

I asked her if she knew what eight cranial nerve damage and oscillopsia was. She said, "of course."

Then I laughed and called her on it, "what is it?"

She took a good five minutes to give me the wrong answer and I sent her packing.

Next day, same problem, low blood pressure and heart rate, so no pain killer. I asked for a Tylenol or something.

They told me it was not ordered for me. It was a nightmare.

After more hours of yelling and arguing, they brought in mental health. I give them credit, because they actually helped me.

Ten minutes later I had the pain killer and was asleep from the exhaustion of arguing with them.

After five days of this, I practically ran from the hospital. It hurt but I jumped in my brother's truck before he could get out and open the door for me.

I'm bi-polar and that is what happened. And what happened was that they didn't know anything about bi-polar. But like I said, we're all going to learn.

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