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Not A Dream

You have pain and you can not handle it.

It is too much, so you say “I need to go to the Emergency Room.” Already regretting giving in and thinking of going because you know it will lead to nothing.

It’s overwhelming. You get there and you can barely make it in.

You can’t breath because you’re in so much pain.

As you make your way in, you’re struggling, moving very slowly.

You’re hoping someone offers a wheelchair but instead they sit there and watch you grab one yourself.

They then finally get up to push you to the registrar desk because otherwise you’re stuck where the chair sits.

They ask what you are there for as they move about and grab papers.

You tell them. It’s hard to say everything you’re feeling but it spills out like a plea for help.

You’re told to “Breathe,” You’re told to “slow down.”

“Can you repeat that?” So you try again.

It’s so difficult to speak through the pain, you’re doubled over and trying to brace yourself gripping onto the wheelchair.

You finally say everything again.

They tag you with your medical number but they don’t place a vital red band.

The Allergy Band.

They left the allergy band off but they KNOW you’re allergic to Benedryl and another med. You just told them after they asked “are you allergic to anything, any medicine?” and they read it in your file but they didn’t red band you.

That’s definitely nerve wrecking.

They push you to the next nurse who does your vitals and asks you all the same questions. You repeat in pain and you ask them for a red band. They say “sure,” move you aside and then time passes and they haven’t come back with it.

Another nurse comes up handing you a cup and toxic waste baggie walking away faster than you can say “where am I placing this when I’m done?”

You finish that and place it in a public bin full of other urine cups. Gross.

Oh and you forgot to ask for a red band again.

The “runner” nurse calls your name saying it wrong but whatever.

They grab your chair so fast and practically race you down the halls as if they just want to pass you off to the next person.

Hitting every floor divider on the way, they walk so fast your cold from the breeze and hurting from all the wheel bumping.

In a labyrinth of halls you loose your sense of direction.

While with the X-ray tech they ask you all the same questions and you’re again explaining while trying to change. At least they try to conversate but to be honest it feels so unoriginal you can tell they have the same conversations with all patients but I guess their effort is there.

After taken to radiology, they brought you back to a side waiting room. You’re waiting hours for them to be read. One doctor comes in and says everything looks fine but you know you don’t feel fine. You’re begging them to help you saying “Something isn’t right.”

After finally convincing the doctor to run another test, more time has passed and they finally send you off to get an MRI, then bringing you back to the side waiting room. After more time, they finally wheel you to a room full of curtains and beds so close together the six foot rule has never applied.

Every nurse you’ve encountered this far has been different.

Still no allergy band.

You can hear chatter from other patients and their families.

The staff running up and down and saying medical terms to each other.

You can see a few nurses chatting like they have thee best gossip.

People are crying, complaining and laughing all while the intercoms go off and beeping from monitors are playing in the back ground.

The doctor finally walks in again and after hours and hours of sitting around in pain and traveling every inch of the hospital, they say “so your labs looks good, everything came back negative, I see nothing wrong here, we can go ahead and get you home.”

You immediately break down.

What The!!! You have got to be kidding me?

You’re thinking, Then why am I in so much pain?

You say it, out loud this time.

“Then why am I in so much pain, something isn’t right?”

The doctor gives his explanation as if he’s reciting a text book 3 sentence explanation and very monotone too by the way.

You get no empathy. No compassion. No real advice.

You’re trying to ask questions but the pain makes you keep doubling over, still gripping the chair.

You begin to get more frustrated because they don’t believe you. They now see you as crazy.

They don’t want to believe you.

They didn’t even want to test you, you had to beg them.

The doctor stares and says “Well, I suggest you follow up with your doctor...”

As if that’s real sound medical advice.

They say it so confidently, you’d think it was the best advice possible.

So you’re broken. You say nothing. You accept the “diagnosis” of no diagnosis they have slapped on you.

You’ve given up.

“Let me get your paperwork and then you can be on your way.”

Like they are being so helpful now.

You sit there tired, drained, fed up.

Tears. Lots of quite tears at this point.

Now what.

Why don’t they just believe you?

You think to yourself..”now what?”

See what’s alarming is this Isn’t A Dream.

What’s sad is this happens almost every time I go the emergency room.

What’s scary is this is my real life and what happens to way too many people.

As a patient, I’m told “when it gets worse or when you get these symptoms, go in.” Yet the moment I show up at the doors of the emergency department they are already standing there with a sign that says “go home.”

The Chronically Ill are not welcome in Emergency Departments. The Chronically ill are dismissed as if we are the very reason we are ill. We are abused, neglected and left to suffer. If we can’t turn to our primaries or specialists because they say “turn to the ER” and if we can’t turn to the hospital as they point you back to your team, where do we go when our ailments are more than we can handle?

Trust and believe we don’t want to be there.

Trust and believe we don’t want our tests to come back inconclusive. This isn’t the Dream Life or a life someone imagines for themselves. This is sad and triggering when someone likes me is in so much pain I’m forced to “try” the emergency room knowing it won’t be any help in the end.

Turns out I need a Laminectomy done on my L5-S1. So much for “labs looking good and everything came back negative.”

Sounds like more of a Nightmare if you ask me.💔

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