Livid

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There comes a point when you reach your limit and you just want to throw your hands up in the air and give up. Or full out punch someone in the throat.

I am absolutely fed up with medical doctors that DON’T LISTEN to their patients or brush them off as med-seeking, or worse, uneducated.

I hope to God it’s just a problem I’m having locally, and not endemic to the entire medical community, but I will admit, I’m doubtful.

Today my husband was scheduled for an MRI. He hates them. He needs to be heavily sedated in order to make the entire endeavor worthwhile. Otherwise, he full out panics, or moves and the images collected are worthless, and we have a huge bill with nothing useful to show for it.

He has never been sick before. This injury has plagued him for 2 fucking years, and before that we shelled out THOUSANDS of dollars over more than 10 years for insurance coverage for the “just in case” scenarios, and now that we are in one, it is of no fucking use.

I told the nurse. I told the doctor. He needs to be HEAVILY sedated to make the MRI an even worthwhile event. So when we were at the imaging center, and got news that the open MRI was down, and he’d have to be stuck in that small tube, and the 4mg of valium did NOTHING to help him, I called the doctor. We were already at the hospital, and his office was at one end of the complex. And the hospital has a pharmacy. How hard could it be to get a little more meds so that an entire morning (and another sleep deprived night for both of us), wouldn’t go wasted?

Apparently I was asking the impossible. The doctor was in surgery, and no one in the office would help, and by the way, the hospital pharmacy won’t fill scripts for out-patient procedures. What. The. Fuck. So my husband, in complete control of his faculties, stormed out of the hospital, mumbling about how all anybody wants is money.

This didn’t have to happen. We should have had an extra pill or two as back up. Somewhere along the line, someone should have heard me impress that he needs heavy sedation or we’d all be wasting our time. But no one listened. No one advocated.

I am still not at a point in my education where I can competently question dosing on certain pharmaceuticals, otherwise I wouldn’t have walked out that day with only two 2mg pills of valium. Had I known better, I would have given him both the pills at once, taking into account what I know of my husband and peak times. Had I known better, I would have insisted on having something else as back up. But I chose to trust this new doctor. And I’m sick about not taking the initiative to make my own judgment using the resources I had available to me. I will NOT make that mistake again.

In school we are taught to advocate for our patients. In reality, I have yet to see it, outside of the two Lyme doctors I am working with. It’s hard enough to get anyone to LISTEN, never mind actually advocate for you.

I get the frustrations and obstacles MDs face on some level. I know they are over worked and that insurance companies have their hands tied in many cases. But with that in mind, they forget that patients and doctors are on the same team. We ALL want the same thing: better treatment for patients. But I see the rat race that medicine has become lose sight of this big picture, and at some point a change is going to come, and it’s going to be a painful process. For everyone. But until then, the big losers are the patients. And I am really sick of it.

In the meantime, weeks and days will pass and he will continue to function in pain. And his resentment will grow. And mine will grow.

And then my determination will grow. Because one day I will have prescription privileges, and a caseload of patients of my own, and you can bet your ass I’m going to be different. I’m not in this for the money. I’m not in it for the prestige, or the degrees or the titles. I just want to be able to give people better treatment than I’ve gotten. And considering how bad some of the treatment I’ve received in the past has been, it’s not too high a bar to reach. First step is the easiest: LISTEN.

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Faith. Hope. Flares.

I’m having a bad flare up of my symptoms today. Yesterday, I had my first clinical day at our hospital location, and it was incredibly intense. It’s every bit as physical a job as I have imagined, and by the end of the evening, and even now, my body continues to scream at me, protesting against everything I ask it to do.

Having a chronic illness and trying to get through nursing school has its unique challenges.

Before I was diagnosed, and subsequently began treatment, I was merely existing. I was fatigued. I wanted to sleep all day and when I tried to sleep at night, I was restless. I ached all over. Every step I took hurt everywhere, and nothing helped the pain subside.

When I finally had a doctor begin to investigate what was the cause of my symptoms I began to have hope. And that hope has been a theme in my life ever since.

I had hope I was finally going to get relief. I had faith that my doctor was listening and I’d be healed. And if not healed, at least I’d find remission.

And when the invitation came to join that doctor’s practice as a Nurse Practitioner, all I asked of her was that she make me well enough to make it through school, and I’d happily become part of her team helping patients like myself.

When I began clinical rotations at a local nursing home last semester, I prayed I would have the strength to meet the physical demands, and continued to hope that with each passing day I would recover just a little bit more. This semester is no different, besides the new location, growing responsibilities, and increased physical demands.

Positivity is what gets me through. Even today, when I’m tired and my cognitive abilities haven’t quite recovered from the evening before, I just keep telling myself it will get better. I tell myself that each step I take will make me stronger, and that eventually I’ll adjust and adapt.

But sometimes, like today, the set back is so bad that I question if I’ll ever really be able to handle a full time RN position. I know that part of my issue is that I have yet to learn how to keep myself from depleting all of my emotional resources caring for my patients. I was drained after we finished up last night, and I woke up so achy that I wanted to cry. Instead, I was short tempered with my husband. And this morning, when I was hoping to get some paperwork done, my mind just wouldn’t engage. So instead I did mindless activities like dishes and laundry and dinner preparations, all of which had to get done anyway.

Even this blog entry isn’t what I wanted it to be. I had a different direction for it, but I can’t seem to recall it, because when I finally did feel up to writing, I had school work to focus on. As a result, this entry feels as empty as I do now. Mindless and lacking direction.

I’m aware enough to realize that emotions are fleeting, and ever changing. So I know these feelings will dissipate, and I’ll feel more like my positive, hopeful self.

And my first hope? I hope that I quickly learn how to provide for my patients without losing myself in the process.