Friday, September 17, 2010

Long night. EMS and a RIDICULOUS doctor

It has been a bit of a surreal experience. I was at work at got a call from Shel to come home immediately. I knew something was wrong so I walked out right away and started home. As I was driving home I got a call from a 911 operator asking for directions to my house. She had received a call from our house and Shel didn't know the land location but knew my cell number. I gave directions and sped up. That is a scary call to get!
I called our neighbour and friend and told her what had happened and she left immediately to the house - she was closer than everyone. When I got home she was outside with the boys, she said Shel was bleeding and puking and just wanted to get the boys out of the house. She took the boys to her house.
I went into the house and into the bathroom. Shel was white as a sheet and the bathtub was FULL of blood. Blood clots and clumps of tissue like I have never seen before filled the bottom of the tub. Another neighbour arrived - a nurse - and helped Shel for a few minutes until the paramedics arrived. The paramedics took her vitals and loaded her up to take her into the hospital. I packed up some stuff and followed them into town.
Our small town has four doctors. Each of the doctors takes a turn to work the outpatients in the evenings. Tonight was Doctor A and a student. He is not our family doctor and we have not had any good experiences with him. Our experience tonight tops them all and I am so disgusted I am seriously considering making a complaint about him and his treatment of Shel. He came in shortly after I arrived. He looked up Shel's nose and said something to his student. He at NO time addressed either of us or asked us any questions. He walked over and took out a long q-tip and came back to Shel and stuck it up her nose. Her head jerked back and her eyes welled over with tears and she said "stop! STOP! What are you doing?" He pulled the thing out of her nose and said he was cauterizing her nose with silver nitrate to stop the bleeding. HELLO!
Could you talk to us? Ask us what has happened? Tell us what possible courses of treatment are? Tell us you would like to cauterize it but it may sting... SAY SOMETHING TO THE PATIENT! He was VISIBLY angered by her reaction to his cauterizing and IMMEDIATELY got defensive with every question we tried to ask. Shel asked at least, AT LEAST five times, if he had any theories for why her nose would bleed like that. He never answered her once. The student looks at me and says - "There are many reasons for a nosebleed - maybe she was picking her nose."
Even with the silver nitrate her nose has not stopped bleeding. We still have no idea why her nose was bleeding.
The visit with the doctor went on for a few minutes. he got increasingly angry and started to say he would not stand there arguing with us. We weren't arguing, we were simply asking questions and wanting answers. Shel lost a LOT of blood. Enough blood that the paramedics felt it was in her best interest to go to the hospital and get checked out. Enough blood that they were concerned she was going to lose consciousness from all the loss. The doctor never asked how long she was bleeding, what precipitated the bleed, he got absolutely NO history at all and he does not know us.
I have never met a more egotistical and rude doctor. I've said it before and I'll say it again. I cannot comprehend how people in a "helping" profession cannot find it within themselves to HELP people in need.
This was one of the worst experiences of our lives and it was compounded by the fact that the doctor offered no assistance at all and simply further complicated the situation.
I have left out much of the conversation. It is simply too frustrating to recount here. I will only say that we eventually left the hospital and went home - without being assisted in ANY way. Shel's nose continued to bleed for the night but thankfully the throwing up stopped. we both think the silver nitrate has done more damage than good. Overall we are flabbergasted by the treatment we received.
so would you believe that out of the whole experience we can find a silver lining? Our community - our friends and neighbours rallied to our support fully and without hesitation. Our boys were cared for, we were supported, and we have realized how truly blessed our lives are for the gift of these dear people.


Dan Schwent said...

That's one horrible doctor. Is Shel doing okay today?

Teena in Toronto said...

OMG ... I hope Shel is okay. Sounds like you have great neighbours.