What Was this Doctor Thinking????


     A couple of months after the hospital visit in Indianapolis I got really sick again.  I’m 5’6″ and got down to 110 pounds.  On my large frame it looked terrible.  I was having a pancreatitis flare-up and I was throwing up so much.  My poor husband said I looked like I was wasting away, and told me I really needed to get back to the hospital.  I knew it but was trying to avoid it.  It was time.

     I didn’t go to my usual hospital, I couldn’t deal with the 10 mile drive as sick as i was feeling so I went to the one right down the road from me.  They were bought by another hospital and I was starting to hear good things about them.  I should have known better.

     When I got there the nurse was one that I knew and was very kind.  I told her what had been going on with me and gave her my updated med list.  The doctor came in very quickly and asked me about the dilaudid and morphine, he wanted to know if I had the bottles with me in my purse.  I told him they were at home in a lock box and should I have someone bring them in.  He said not to bother that he would just verify with the pharmacy.  No problem though I thought it was unusual given that it had never happened before.  I also gave him my history and one of the things I mentioned was that when I was on antiflamatories before I got a GI bleed so severe that it put me in a coma and when I arrived at that very hospital my blood pressure was 40/20.  Easily verified because it was at the same hospial.

     He ordered phenergan for the nausea and torodol for pain.  Torodol is an antinflamatory which I refused due to the high risk of GI bleeding.  Then he hurt me.  He ordered a shot of nubain which is a narcotic with an opiate blocker, though I didn’t know that at the time.  He knew and verified with my pharmacy that I was on daily narcotics, the dilaudid and the morphine.  Anytime one is on daily narcotics they develops a tolerance to them and going off of them abruptly will cause physical withdrawal symptoms.  The pain medicine he gave me put me in instant withdrawal thereby making me sicker.  It took a good 6 hours to wear off and at that point I really did want someone to bring in my dilaudid and morphine.  I looked up the nubain when I came home and the manufacturer clearly states that it is not to be used with someone who is on daily opiate/narcotic maintenance, due to the risk of withdrawal symptoms.

     I’m so angry, why on earth did that doctor do that to me?  What was he thinking?  As a patient I have the right to appropriate pain management and that is not what I got.  How could I address this in the future?  I feel like anything I do or say is only going to make me appear “drug seeking.”  I wasn’t seeking drugs I have them at home.  I was however looking for pain relief and that is not what I got.  I feel like the doctor saw my med list and made judgements based on that.  The lab work supported that I was sick and in fact was admitted to the ICU.  The doctor making rounds in the morning would not change the ordered meds and I can only wonder if this is the hospital culture, to avoid the use of effective pain medicine.  I gave them my pain managements number and urged them to call him.  Of course that did not happen.  Please comment and hospitals workers please chime in.  Should I avoid this hospital al together?  That’s what I’m thinking now.

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3 thoughts on “What Was this Doctor Thinking????

  1. DO NOT go there again! That is piss poor customer service. They must have a patient’s rights advocate that you need to contact and don’t be nice. After mom had her stroke I was constantly on them about errors they made. I ended up going to the Vice President of the hospital. She came on the unit and clearly saw the significant errors being made. I was actually called in to the Nurse Manager’s office to talk about my attitude. I pointed out that my mother wouldn’t have made progress if it weren’t for my attitude. Not only that but I already KNOW I have an attitude. So that backfired on her. Next you need to figure out who you report them to at a State level. That was a med error and that Doctor needs to be disciplined for it. It’s your body and you have rights. You can’t just lay down and believe what they say. Wish you were closer so I could help you! Love you!

  2. Sounds like a difficult interaction, to say the least. The complicated and chronic nature of your illness demands that you navigate your condition by effectively collaborating with a primary care physician. Of course hindsight is 20/20, but would things have turned out differently if you would have proceeded to the hospital where your PCP is on staff?

    • It’s hard to say, my pcp’s hospital is close to 60 miles away. I’ve never had a problem with the hospitalist calling my pcp and working with him. At my follow-up we decided not to go to that hospital again and just stick to the one that’s a few miles further down the road. On a good note, I’m feeling much better than I have in a long time, I managed to put on 20lbs and don’t feel like a hospital trip in imminent.
      Thank you for your comment

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