January 29 – February 4 – Antelope Valley Hospital, Lancaster California. Second Floor East.
This is the hardest part to write for me. It will be in 3 parts. There will be no pictures, and words will be chosen wisely as to not add to my humiliation or anyone else’s that may have gone through something of this nature. This is the part of my hospital stay that humiliated me to my core. This is the part that took something from me. I’m not a ‘weak’ minded person. I’m not someone who embarrasses easily or feels fear. So this whole experience was an awakening of sorts for me. An awakening I did not need, want, nor ask for.
Again, my words will be chosen wisely and carefully. This was the most dehumanizing experience I, personally, have ever experienced in my almost 46 [March 12] years of life. Some may ask the why tell it? My answer; For those without a voice, for those afraid to speak up on wrongdoings, for those who may feel alone.
This is my story. I will be telling it in the third person. I feel it will be easier this way.
The yelling, whining patients [due to the fact no one came when they needed help], the constant IV issues, this was not starting out well. Things seemed to settle for the first few days. MRIs and Xrays, basic procedures. The only real issues were the call button and getting help in a timely manner. She would call for her room mates as they would call for her to get notice. Does not seem right, but what could they do?
She has Progressive MS which makes it hard to move her legs. Sometimes getting in the bed she needed help getting her legs up. Her first negative encounter with ‘S’ was small. [first night] Some comment about, she [S] could lift her legs up on the bed. hmmmm, then get someone to help, right? All Tracy needed was her legs slid up and back on the mattress. At home her 13 year old daughter does this with ease. Fine, whatever, she got her legs up herself.
Tuesday was the first ‘not so fun’ procedure, Cystoscopy. Her MS has caused incontinence issues and her bladder needed looking in to. Literally! 😛
The preparation for this was to cleanse the colon, or as her hubby says, do a Colon Blow! She’s gotta love him!
The previous night she had to drink a very citrusy type drink for the cleansing process. Not being able to move quickly, a bedside commode was brought in for her to use. Basically she sat on this literally falling asleep on it with her head on the bed for over 2 hours. [she kept time ck on her cell before and after procedures] Surprised a nurse did not awaken her and her get her back into bed at some point, [supposed hourly checks] she asked her ‘neighbor’ to hit the call button as she could not reach hers. By now her legs were almost purple, asleep, and a sense a fear set into her being. She cleaned herself with wipes brought in for her by her husband. She got her adult pull-ups on by herself and waited for someone to empty the commode and help get her legs into the bed.
By this time, sitting for so long in a humped position, her back was on fire. She was finally helped into the bed and got a pain ‘shot’ and slept for about 2 hours.
The Cystoscopy went off without a hitch. She was relieved and felt a bit better about her night of commode pain.
Little did she know the other shoe was waiting to be dropped, or in this case kicked!!
***to be continued***
Blessings and Hope!