Reasons You Shouldn’t Fuck Kids

Reason #258: Silenced in a Hospital
September 16, 2011, 12:40 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

On Tuesday, August 30th, I woke up in a great deal of physical pain.  I told the huz/wife I think I needed to go to the ER.  He took me.  I screamed in pain the whole way there in the car.  G-d bless him for getting me there safely.  They admitted me and gave me a shot of morphine for the pain.

 It turned out I had a gall stone lodged in the common bile duct between my liver and my gall bladder.  They decided to put a stent in to get the stone out.  They put the stent in, surgically.  Apparently, the dye they used caused my pancreas to get an infection called pancreatitis.  Plus, I had a reaction to the stent.  So they put me in the ICU.  Then they decided to take the stent out.  But I already had the pancreatitis, and my lungs were under water already.  They took the stent out. 
They gave me a lot of drugs to counter the pain I was in.  The drugs caused my heart to work too hard and they thought my heart stopped.  A lot of men suddenly ran into my room and put an oxygen mask on me.  I was confused and scared and I kept removing the man’s hands off of me and the mask off of me.  They kept yelling at me.  I yelled back at them. They put me back in the ICU, and the nurses there said I was worst patient they had ever seen.  They yelled at me for screaming in pain.  At this point they stopped all the drugs they were giving me for pain, and I was still in a shitload of pain from the pancreatitis.
I was in the hospital for a total of 11 days, against my will most of that time, though I do understand it was medically necessary.  I will never understand the medical model of not working WITH a patient to try to save her life though.  I would have liked to have been an ally in my own treatment.  For instance, they could have said “Your heart is showing signs of working too hard, and this is an oxygen mask we are putting on your face to help your heart.”  Instead they yelled “Stop removing the oxygen mask!”  again and again without ever telling me why these men kept putting their hands on my face.
I felt powerless and horrible and voiceless and silenced by their reaction to my reaction to physical pain.  By the end of the hospital visit, I was showing signs of being institutionalized.  I was depressed and traumatized by this whole experience.
They blamed me for being in pain, blamed me for the heart thing.  One nurse actually said to me “You worked yourself up to having a heart attack!!”  She made me feel like such a piece of shit. It turned out I never had a heart attack, but my heart rate did slow in reaction to the drugs they had given me for pain. 
I am barely mobile now.  Every task is Herculean, and today (almost a week since I was released from the hospital) is the first day I feel well enough to sit at my laptop (thank you G-d).  I cry whenever I think about the hospitalization, and I tremble in fear at the thought of having to go back.  It was like being a powerless silenced child all over again.
I am sure the nurses and doctors couldn’t have known that I am Butterfly, author of Reasons You Shouldn’t Fuck Kids.  They had no idea that I have had three molesters in my life, at different ages in my childhood, and that I now have strong feelings about choice and control and my body, and that I would have a PTSD reaction to having men suddenly run into the room and put their hands over my mouth, literally silencing me.”
They couldn’t have known, but they SHOULD have acted as though every single patient in their care has the possibility of having already been traumatized.  Surely there should be some training in the medical community, something in the Universal Precautions, something that actually allows you people to heal us when we come to you with our physical ailments.  Instead, I was literally left in pain, blamed for my illness, blamed for my pain, blamed for my physical and emotional reactions to my pain, and then given little to no help towards healing. 
Any healing that has happened has begun since I got home.  I am grateful to be alive, but I am still too scared to even breathe. 
Holy shit.

18 Comments so far
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I know how hard being hospitalized is, especially when the staff do not explain things and are general assholes. I am also a sexual abuse survivor, so I understand how triggering that is. I hope you can start to feel safe again soon. Sending you support.

Comment by Rainbow Riot

Dear Butterfly,

I am so sorry that you got sick and that they treated you in this inexcusable manner. I’m so sorry. I don’t think that there is any excuse for the way you were treated, especially the blaming. Everyone knows people get sick and they are not to blame and not to blame for being in pain. And not to blame when the meds cause their heart to slowl down. This is definitely something that doctors and nurses are supposed to be trained for. Meds can do all kinds of things and it is their job to figure it out.

I’m glad that you are home and away from them. I hope that you don’t have to see any of them ever again. I am sending you some good and healing thoughts to you dear.


Comment by kate1975

Oh my God. That is completely outrageous! They should not be treating anyone like that – it’s traumatising in itself. For someone with pre-existing traumas…gah, you poor thing. ‘Dreadful’ doesn’t even come close to how itust have beenfor you.

Me being me, my first furious reaction to this was, “COMPLAIN!“. However, I know from personal experience that complaints are stressful, and oftentimes they just find ways to cover their own backsides anyway.

So…don’t put any additional stress on yourself; you’ve been through a horrible experience. Be kind to yourself and take it easy. I can only hope that you find a way to deal with this horrible experience somehow.

Sending you warm wishes, and hoping for some peace for you.

Take care

Pan x

Comment by Pandora

Oh my God Butterfly. You were completely mistreated. It sounds like the staff at the hospital was a bunch of (fill in the blank with something particularly derogatory and nasty). How could they call you “the worst patient ever”? And how could they yell at you for crying out in pain? What were you supposed to do, stoically suffer in silence even though you were in agonizing pain just so you wouldn’t annoy the nurses?

I am ticked on your behalf. I would say complain also, except I agree that complaining can be very stressful and can get you nowhere, which would be another blow.

Feel better. We’re all rooting for you.

Comment by Prozac

Prozac and Pandora – THANK YOU. Thank you so much. The independent validation of what I have been through means so much to me, I can’t even tell you. It is a terrible thing that when people say nasty things, I believe them. So I truly believed that I was the shithead in this scenario, and hearing you guys stick up for me means the world to me. Thank you. From the bottom of my heart, thank you for saying this.

Comment by butterflysblog

Kate, my sweet friend – thank you so much for the support. It means so much to me. G-d bless you.

Comment by butterflysblog

Rainbow – thank you so much for the well wishes; you are so sweet.

Comment by butterflysblog

Hey Butterfly. I’m so sorry this happened!!! I’m guessing the hospital workers didn’t know (or care) that you have a severe panic disorder, which would increase your pain levels a lot, and of course they should have picked up that you were fearful and not trying to be ‘difficult’. I wish you amd I lived closer so I could have come and sat with you. I am picturing you with the shawl on and sending you ‘ healthy, safe, loved, connected’

Comment by sworddancewarrior

Hi Warrior, I too wish we lived closer to each other. I think we’d get along famously. 🙂
– Butterfly

Comment by butterflysblog

Hi Butterfly, my name is Kerri. I haven’t posted many comments on your blogs in the past but am an avid reader of your site. Ironically, I don’t tend to comment on what you write because many a time you’ve hit so close to home for me with your writing, I’ve found it a bit overwhelming. But this time I’d love to contribute, as I feel I have a specific perspective on your recent hospitalization, as I worked as a nurse in a major hospital for ten years.
Your experience was disgraceful, and the behaviour of the staff towards you was incredibly unprofessional, let alone rude, insensitive and cruel. I have personally nursed dozens of patients with gall stones in my time and about half a dozen patients with acute pancreatitis. And let me say, acute pancreatitis can cause SEVERE abdominal pain, that can require morphine, and level the strongest of patients. Not only is it a serious condition that needs to be monitored closely, but a lot of patient education is required to include the patient into the specifics of their care. Never in the ten years I nursed did I ever judge a patient because of their unique pain levels, for everyone truly experiences pain differently. A wise nurse on a cancer ward once taught me, you never judge your patients when they ask for pain relief because you are not inside THEIR body and will never know what THEY feel. Also no one SCREAMS for morphine for “attention”. I have also never put an oxygen mask on a patient’s face without explaining exactly what I was doing and why. Even in emergencies I’ve always talked to my patients calmly and explained everything I was doing, whilst at the same time being very mindful to act fast in critical situations. For I have found that if you don’t, patients get terrified and that is when they will fight you and panic and that just makes everything worse.
These medical staff sound terrible, and I just wanted to let you know from a professional in this field, that you did nothing wrong. The fact that they berated you over your pain just shows they had no clue how to do their jobs properly at all. I’m just sorry you had to go through this. I hope your healing will be much less traumatic now you are home. But remember it will be quite a while before you will feel a hundred percent, so take it easy, and don’t let anyone tell you you should feel any differently than you do. You are the only one inhabiting your body so you alone are the expert on your pain levels, energy levels, and so on. Good luck, and take it easy.

Comment by kerri0002

Jesus H. Christ– did ANY of those so-called ‘professionals’ take the Hippocratic Oath? You know, the one where the FIRST FRICKIN’ ITEM is to “first, do no harm”???

I mean, I just… Gah! Those people have no business working in a hospital. Seriously.

If/when you feel up to it, you would be well within your rights to write a letter of complaint, both to the hospital and to whatever professional organization oversees/licenses the nurses/medical workers who (mis)treated you.

I wish I could send you a snuggly blanket and some flowers, Butterfly. And also, that I could go find these morons and have some very stern words with them about basic compassion, professionalism, and patient-care.

Comment by pajanguin

Kerri – I truly can’t thank you enough for this ‘insider’ perspective. I have to admit, since my hospital stay, I have been questioning the kind of human being that I am, since no one (except the doctors) in that hospital seemed to like me at all. It was frightening, but also humbling in a uniquely terrible way. I tend to be such a people pleaser in real life, and generally everyone usually goes on and on about how kind I am, and that is because I follow a personal rule of ‘try to always be kind’. Yet the hospital staff really seemed to dislike me, especially due to my reaction to pain. I truly truly appreciate your unique perspective on this issue, as it makes me feel like less of a fucking asshole.

With deep gratitude,

Comment by butterflysblog

Hi Pajanguin,

I have thought about sending a letter. I guess it is fear that is stopping me. Well, that and I am still in overwhelming pain. I will definitely continue to contemplate the letter though, and thank you for your kind words. I appreciate it.
– Butterfly

Comment by butterflysblog

I am so sorry this happened, I am flabbergasted that staff incan ICU would behave this way. I strongly encourage you to call the main # of the hospital and find out who the patient liason is, the person that would handle patient complaints. Telling them what happened to you is not only a way to vent, it is a learning opportunity for them…..

So sorry you went through this, umm why didn’t the husband/wife clue them in on your PTSD?!!?!

Comment by PhoenixAscending

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