Put In A Corner

Ok I am on serious whine mode, not like me, but I’ve had the shittiest medical service that I have ever experienced to date.

Wednesday night my flu had taken a huge change and now my ear was painful, to the point it had me crying and buckling to my knees. 

First the walk in doctor says “oh I don’t think its infected I’m not going to give you any antibiotics, but these are the things I want you to pick (OTC ear pain, Otrivin and Tylenol Sinus).” Came home did as was instructed, made my ear worse! So my Boyfriend says we are going to the hospital.

We get there and check in Registration, now usually to see Triage is fairly quick, I waited about 30 to 40 minutes and that was with reminding her that I had not been spoken to yet! The nurse there says “oh yes, just a sec” Well “just a sec” turned into another 15 mins! My boyfriend and I were watching to see if maybe an accident had come in, or something else was ongoing prior to our arrival, nothing that we could see indicated anything.

Finally see the Triage nurse, and she asks if I’ve taken anything, I said 2 500mg at 930pm and nothing has improved. So she asks if I want to try Advil? I said well is it going to help? I mean I just said that OTC didn’t work! She said well you can try… so I took them and as expected, nothing changed. Tick Tock Tick Tock, people that came after us were going in before myself and I was getting annoyed. So I ask the Triage nurse what’s going on, she tells me that they are waiting for the room that has the Ear, Nose and Throat doctor and he is in there at the moment with a patient. I said “ok” I felt better because at least I had some headway, or so I thought……

Time keeps moving forward and now the pain has just tripled in severity and I am now in tears and rocking back and forth. My boyfriend, bless his heart, extends his hands and I hold them. I then got up and saw the nurse and she said “its gotten worse?” I said yes! She said, ok let me see what I can do. Do you know she never did come back!

Now I’m all for structure and routine according to protocol but when you have a patient who is clearly in severe pain, and there is a possibility of an allergic reaction to the ear drops, you would think they would find a way to put you in sooner, versus all the hours I was waiting. I had patients in front of me, asking me if they had given me anything, one had said she would wait to be seen if it meant I could get something stronger!

I think I was called in about 230am, we are now in this small piddly room! Not one with a typical bed, this one had 2 chairs! That was it! I was also across from a toddler who was clearly not well, and he had been screaming off and on for hours. I knew he had a very high temperature, and it upset me that the parents were too busy arguing versus trying to calm their child. I was tempted to grab him and try to soothe him.  As it happened to be, the more this child screamed, I had to get up and walk away. The scream was piercing my ear even more, and it gave the feeling of an echo in my ear and it was beyond painful at this point! It didn’t matter whether I was rocking back and forth, to laying my head on my boyfriend’s lap. Nothing worked. I did grab a towel and make a warm compress, hoping it would soothe the area.

330am The doctor FINALLY comes in and says “your ear is badly infected and you have a sinus infection!” I said can I please have something stronger than over the counter for the pain? He said “yes, I will get you something right now”.  The nurse came back with two of the pain meds, antibiotics and prescription. She also gave me 6 tablets of the pain medication.  So from 1030pm to 415am Thursday morning, I sat in agony, yet had been told one thing, only to find out after I was in the E/R area, that there never was an ENT doctor. I had told the head nurse that I had been told that was why I had been waiting as long as I had. She looked at me and said “nope, just who is here this evening is all that anyone will be seeing”. 

I kept saying to my boyfriend that I feel like I have been put in the corner and deemed to be a necessity.

My answer to that feeling was simple: “Really”, so how do explain my ear drum bursting? How do you explain the 3 or 4 times I asked politely if I could have something for the pain that was stronger than the Advil at 10:30?

If there was a major accident, or something requiring the medical team to solely focus on that, I completely understand, however, when you are told by reception that they are waiting for the ENT’s room before I can see someone and then when I got back there, the nurse said “nope, there is no ENT, its just this team!” How can I not feel the feelings I do? 

Talk about feeling frustrated and lied to. 

So give me your thoughts on this, what would you do? Would you file a complaint with the hospital? Would you go to the media and share your case with them? What are you hoping to achieve?