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Saturday, August 29, 2009

Home from Hospital Hell

It all started last Saturday, when my left foot was badly scalded by hot coffee. Then it became infected. Thursday morning I went to my doctor for a follow-up, and she sent me to Mountains Community Hospital for IV antibiotics. They did okay, but they did poke a needle completely through my vein and fill up my arm with fluid. That still hurts.

Then the real nightmare began. Mountains Community transferred me by ambulance to Arrowhead Regional Medical Center in Colton, California. I was supposed to go directly to the burn care unit, but Arrowhead stuck me in the emergency room. I complained four times that I had severe nausea and I was going to vomit. Two staff members ignored my complaint. The other two promised to come right back with a barf bag and then disappeared and never came back.

Five different staff members asked me about drug and alcohol abuse, and the fifth one grilled me relentlessly, refusing to believe that I do not abuse drugs and alcohol. The cognitive dissonance was palpable when they insisted that they had to inject me with pain medication, even though Mountains Community had already done so. I strongly protested and refused the pain medication.

One of the staff members - I cannot tell you who they were, since none of them told me their names or positions. Most of them appeared to be technicians, and the only nurse name tag that I saw was pinned to a woman who was merely gawking at my open wounds, not treating me. You see, one of the staff members removed the sterile dressing from my foot, leaving my open wounds exposed to various patients and staff members who were walking by within inches.

After having my wound unwrapped for about 20 minutes, I sat up and replaced the used gauze wrap that they had left on the gurney beside my foot. I couldn't stop at the desk to check out because I had to go outside to vomit, since I still didn't have a barf bag.

Suddenly, five staff members ran outside shouting, "Stop fleeing! You can't leave!" (As if I were a convict escaping from prison.) At that point, I might have gone back inside to check out properly, since I had finished vomiting, but they threatened to physically drag me back inside. I stood my ground and told them I know my rights, and they were not going to treat me because they are incompetent, and that I was going to another hospital. They started talking about 5150, which is code for a danger to self or others. I was not a danger, and I knew that they could not make a case for that. I started shouting verbal abuse at them, calling them incompetent idiots and stating repeatedly that I was going to another hospital. I was surrounded by more than half a dozen staff members, including security.

The standoff lasted some time, but eventually they gave up. I have never done anything like that. Standing up to authority is very difficult for me. But my foot was at stake.

When they finally gave up, my family came and gave me a ride to St. Bernadine Hospital in San Bernardino, where I got excellent treatment. They are competent and caring.

My escape from hospital hell was an epic.

I am SO glad to be home! And I still have my foot.



kathy said...

To those who have never been to Hell.... Like Tessa said... Just one trip to Arrowhead Regional Medical Center (ARMC) will open your eyes. My daughter and my new baby grand-daughter were finally paroled from Satan's Lair on Aug. 28th. I have never in my life seen a more disconnected group of idiots, masquerading as either Attending Physicians, Residents or Idiots in training, as I saw at ARMC. When we insisted on receiving a copy of the "Patient Rights" that are posted all over the hospital walls, we were greeted by a social worker, named Kendra M. Flores, who needs her anal probe removed. We too just wanted to be discharged to the care of a different hospital, or at least ANYWHERE but there, but were treated as if we were street trash and questioned about drug or alcohol abuse. My daughter realized she better tell them what they wanted to hear including a phony address of residence *he he he*, or she might never have her sentence overturned. We reside in the San Bernardino Mountains and have for 30 years. We have a small Community Hospital where we live but they do not deliver babies any longer (btw neither does the small hospital in Lake Arrowhead any longer). Wish we had gone to St. B's or Redlands Community or anywhere other than ARMC. Beware... You have no rights. If you choose to deliver your baby at ARMC. You have no rights. You canot escape them. You will be treated as a second class individual as if you just crawled over the border. We will NEVER, and I mean NEVER step one foot inside that god forsaken place again. My daughter informed the witch aka "social worker", that she too is a college grad with two college degrees and not some 16 year old hooker on drugs that got knocked up. My daughter waited 28 years to have a baby that was planned and wanted more than anything. She saw her Dr. every week, bought all the books, watched the many programs regarding babies. Trust me.... My daughter was certainly better informed than the staff at ARMC.
Just for FYI.. There does not seem to be any policy regarding the number of small children or family members that are allowed in the rooms in the Pediatric Unit where there are MANY sick children and where women are moved after delivery and PostPartum and squeezed into a rom with 2 other women with babies. My dauughter had a cesarean and a raging infection and we were in a room with women whom had had NO complications and were ambulatory. We could barely fit between the other patients to gain access to the bathroom and my daughter had an IV that she had to drag with her. We complained about these concerns and were finally given a private room after I threatened to get my attorney involved so she could nurse her baby, which by the time this happened was now losing weight. This was due to the fact that the staff would not leave her alone long enough to nurse the baby. No consideration of quiet time to nurse is made.
All I can tell you is to be wary of the people that look like sheep but are really wolves. After 9 days of a living hell there was one.... and I mean just ONE DR. named "Narsis Golkarieh" that pardoned my daughter and new grand daughters sentence and was finally released. We liked her alot.We promised to be back in two days. GUESS WHAT? We Lied! We will seek out a decent Pediatrician in the high desert or here locally. We have many good Drs. here. They just dont deliver babies.
Dont go to ARMC uninformed. You have no rights. If this is the healthcare that the new Presidential Admin. is talking about... They can keep it. Id to see Baracks children treated in the same fashion. Perhaps then we could receive decent care.
WE are Americans. WE come from a long line of people that came to this country legally and have fought in the many wars and haved served this country. We all work and pay our taxes so that those who should not even be here receive medical care.
All I can tell you is Good Luck if you end up at ARMC. Be sure to make a will out befor you go. You may never be seen again!

tuffy777 said...

Kathy, I am SO sorry for what happened to your daughter and her baby. You must be stressed to the maximum and beyond! Luckily for me, I was able to walk out, and I knew that I had the right to do so.

BTW, I live in the San Bernardino Mountains, too, in beautiful downtown Crestline.

Anonymous said...

Black Iron Prison, anyone?

tuffy777 said...

very good point, guy

government health care is very likely to turn into a black iron prison

and it wouldn't hurt to check out the Alex Jones site,


Republibot 3.0 said...

I'm horrified by your story, but thank God you were able to get out of there. Seriously.

Anonymous said...

When I burned my arm the ER staff absolutely refused to believe that I hadn't been freebasing when it happened. My crime? Hair past my shoulders. How dare I?

Burns SUCK! Mine were 2nd degree, over 70% of my left arm. Hope yours doesn't hurt like that!

tuffy777 said...

Michael, they seem to get their jollies out of mistreating anybody who is different.

my crime is not being a fat couch potato. 5'4" and 110 pounds, with a very fine bone structure -- not unhealthy, but I would like to put on about ten pounds

I still think that the best bet is always a Catholic hospital. Even if they think you do drugs, they do not think it is an excuse to abuse you

Anonymous said...

Mrs. Tessa Dick ,

I wish that experience had *not* happened to you .

Some nurses I've noticed get a weird , uppitty attitude. That is not to say , all do there are many other nurses that are nice meek people, but the weird , hot to trot ones are insidious .

I know cause my maternal grandfather who Iwas caregiver for (and I love far more than my own life) died recently this past April of complications of sepsis afflicting the condition of emphysema . There were good nurses, but then there were also other ones who were the uppitty, brusque, hot to trot , nose- in- the air , weird, frumpy sophisticate types, that were distasteful .

Earnestly hope that all your pain and discomfort goes away completely .

May Jesus bless you , ma'am .

Sincerely ,

Jason L .

tuffy777 said...

What really makes me angry is that nobody will do anything about the abuse that goes on in hospitals. I am one of the lucky victims because I was able to walk out.

Bruce Duensing said...

In memory of Mr Dick

tuffy777 said...

Bruce, thanx for the link
-- interesting