HOSPITAL DROPS THE BALL FOR ACUTE PAIN EPISODE IN OPIOID DEPEND. PATIENT!
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Dec. '08 I experience my 1st kidney stone attack from hell! Went to my hometown ER, (which most of my Dr's are out of area) as the pain was so bad, and I didn't know what it was at the time. After the DX., and pain let up some, I was discharged home with "motrin" and told to use my pain meds that I have on hand for my back as needed for the kidney stone flare up. ***I have been on opioid pain control-Fentyl patch-75mgs. every 48 hrs., oxy. 40mgs twice day and Fentanyl transmucusal (sucker) prn for breakthrough pain for app. 12 yrs. I see my pain control Dr. monthly. Haven't been hospitalized in 12 yrs., only been to the ER one other time-when I was rearended, and again told "use your pain meds, you have plenty!"
Well, motrin is like candy (excuse the sloppy talk) to someone who uses Fentanyl for pain. What a joke! Motrin doesn't even help my headache! Don't they get it?
Back to my story...went to different hospital-out of area for Lithrotripsy in attempt to break up large stone. Told to stop taking all my pain meds. Came out of surgery in SEVERE pain. Moaning, crying and couldn't even communicate the pain was so bad. The response was: we can't give you anything more b/c we're afraid you'l stop breathing! I'm thinking...I'm going to stop breathing, IF YOU DON'T GIVE ME SOMETHING FOR PAIN-DANG IT! Left hospital at 8-9 level of pain-hospital didn't care, at least I was breathing! Dr. perscribed Darvocet for pain! Yippee, a friend for my Motrin! Month later back to hospital for exact repeat for another Lipot. as the 1st didn't do a thing. This time when I was discharged, I told them to keep the Darvocet, I still had leftovers! Repeat from 1st surgery!
Dr. decided to watch stone, as it was in difficult spot of kidney and not causing pain. Would X-Ray again in 6 months. Fine. June 22nd. Woke up to SEVERE pain on left side this time. WOOPEE! I knew what this was. ****. Double ****. Back to ER-admitted, I'm now a wuss. I was in the ER for 1 HOUR b/f I even saw a Dr. No ****! Oh, they knew I was there-they HEARD me! They also knew my history-did they assume I was another 'drug seeker' or did they think I could wait? I have no clue, BUT...when they did get their sorry butts around to seeing if I was "still breathing" ha ha-A cute little IV was started, and a poke of Dilaudid was given, enough to kill an ant, but it didn't touch my pain. I guess some Dr., just don't have a clue when it comes to managing patient's who are on opioid's for chronic pain, and come through the ER for an acute purpose. Don't they understand tolerance/dependence/etc? Don't they know that we need MORE meds than the average JOE BLOW to manage pain because of the maintence medication taken daily. We need over and above not under and below. And you never take their maintence meds away, give them your little cocktail, and expect that to do the trick. What about withdrawal? Oh my Lord. You have no idea what I went through those 4 days. For 48 hrs straight I sat up in that bed and cried, my body stiff as a board-when I could get a word out-yelled for help. Got none. After 2 days they started me on "Tramadel?" No PCA-they came in every 3 hrs. and gave me 2 of Dilaudid. That's it folks. And never gave me my maintence meds the whole time I was there. How's that for a true story?
It gets worse. 2 1/2 wks later I returned to have the stent removed, and it was a repeat from hell. I can't even put into words, the pain I went through b/c of a hospital's lack of understanding in this area. An anesthesiologist even walked by my bed, in recovery as I sat up holding my stomach crying-the nurse asking him about giving me more for pain, adding "she had alot in surgery, and has a Fentanyl patch on, and I'm afraid of respiratory distress" He shook his head in the no direction and walked away. I insisted that they let me go home, and made it clear that my pain was at a 7-8-9 whatever they wanted to write down. But, there was no use staying there. I left clenching my stomach in pain. (as soon as I got in my car, I grabbed one of my emergency Fentanyl suckers, and voyla!) No, it really didn't help, as I was too far behind.
I have made a complaint to the hospital, although I don't expect it to go very far, as nothing does these days. As far as my Dr is concerned-it's really not so much his fault, as I never really discussed in detail my chronic pain issues with him from the get go. I figured that the kidney stone problem would be a one time deal and cleared up. Well it wasn't. I did go into his office-unannounced first thing Mon AM, not expecting him to see me, but he did. He gave me app 10 min of his time-I spoke quickly-but enough to get in whether we could work together or not on this issue. Whether he was comfortable managing my pain on this level. And, it won't be on the level it was b/f-I hope I made that clear enough. But, oh my Lord-what a nightmare. How can the medical world be so lost/misconstrued in this area. It's nuts.
I am so sorry to hear what you have had to go through. I just had several bouts of pain thanks to a 6-7mm kidney stone. It was my 5th stone. Yes I finally passed it. And hurt was not the word for it. There has to be a stronger word than hurt for kidney stones. They said I never would pass the stone as it was too large but than I've always done things they say I could never do. I had two ten pound baby boys and that pain pales in comparison to kidney stones.
My opiates are not at the level that yours are and they did give me lots of IV Morphine (allergic to dilaudid). I don't know how much as they just kept pumping it in me until I said stop. And than my husband carried me out of the hospital so I could treat myself at home. Next time I might suggest that you do the same.
Medical professionals are so afraid of ending up in litigation that they will withhold medication to avoid it. It has happened to me in the past in other situations. I suggest that you do just what you began with your PCP. Develop a plan of care as to how your acute pain will be treated when and if it should ever happen again.
Thanks for sharing your story. We learn from one another every day. I hope everyone will consider what would occur in a medical setting should this happen to them...and plan accordingly. None of us know if or when we may be faced with a kidney stone or another similar acute severe episode of pain.
Again thank you. I hope this will not happen to you in the future. Please let us know how you are doing. I will be very interested in hearing from you again.
Thanks, Tuck-it was a lesson for me. I guess I thought that if I ever needed to be hospitalized, it would be for my back, and my neurosurgeon would handle that appropriately, as he's always done. I've not needed anything else, and not prepared for. The other issue is, I live in a small town area where our hospitals here are not up to par with the larger inner city hospital's, Dr.'s, specialists, etc.,-so if you need a good Dr., you have to go into the city, say an hour or so. I've been doing this for my back, gyn appts, and also found my urologist there, too. That way, the larger, better hospitals, are there. But, my personal, family Dr. remains here where I live. So, it gets confusing. I think I am going to try to find an internal specialist Dr. downriver, as I am age 50, and would benefit anyway, and that way would have a good Dr. in that area for my main care, in case any of this type of thing should happen again. And most likely, it will. If not with the kidney stones, something else. I'm glad you passed your stones. How long did you suffer with them?
I'm so so sorry to hear about your ER visits from H$ll as well as your stay in the hosp. and I'm sorry to say I know just what you mean from personal experience. I seem to find myself in the ER rather frequently, I think because my GP is a dud who gets scared and send me there whenever he can't figure out why my body is doing what it is doing. ( Muscular dystonia twice, face swelled up and couldn't urinate another time, severe stomache pain and spasms another, etc.) well anyway I always come right out and tell the attending to check my records as I've been there before, I show a list of what I'm on. I let them know that I have insurance therefore this ER visit will cost me at least $250.00, I give them the names and numbers of all my doctors, and I tell them that 1 - 2 mgs of dilauded will do nothing so they shouln't even bother. just fix me up so I can go home and take my own meds.
Unfortunately that is only useful if you are going to be in and out within a day. I don't know why they think some of us are drug seekers when it is way way cheaper and easier to get drugs anywhere but an ER. I also love when they tell me my white cell count is normal and I have to tell them that because of the meds I'm on that basically stop my white cell production, If my white cell count is normal it is actually very high... then I get the.... " hang on a minute I have to talk with blah blah blah... LOL so I have to do their job for them too. I know the idea of an ER is to treat and street but come on, we deserve a better quality of care!
We should be given the benefit of the doubt. Heck, I'll sign away my right for my family to sue if I go into respatory arrest due to pain medication you know? but that will never matter. Why do doctors and especially nurses, judgemental nurses! think everyone isout to scam them out of drugs? I know it happens but .... okay okay if I don't stop now I never will. I'm sorry to go off on a rant on your post. I just know how miserable your experiences were and it makes me so mad that you have to deal with all that pain becuase some people scam hospitals. and some doctors are cluless when it comes to pain management. I'd love to see them be treated as poorly as they treat us sometime and see how well they deal with a motrin for kidney stone pain!!! pathetic.
I really really hope you are feeling better please post again and let me know how you are.
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