Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The storm (Part 3 to pregnancy #3)

Television, movies, and books portray the time after giving birth as one of pure joy. Proud fathers pass out cigars to their family and buddies, women spend time holding, caressing, and bonding with the baby that was once kicking, squirming, causing indigestion and heartburn. Phone calls are made to family members and friends. Pictures are taken in abundance. Flowers and balloons are delivered stating “it’s a boy” or “it’s a girl”. Grandparents meet their precious grandchildren for the first time. There are tears of joy, smiles, laughter, hugs, and kisses to go around all to welcome the new member of the family.

For me after giving birth to Gabrielle, the Hollywood picture was cut short hours after giving birth. I wanted the Hollywood memories, joy, and smiles. This was supposed to be my time to shine. This was supposed to be a proud mom and dad smiling and bonding with their new baby girl. We had already walked out of this hospital once with empty arms, a funeral to plan, dreams shattered and hearts broken.

At my last appointment with Dr. Geller we established a plan for the removal of the stent. The plan was he gave me a phone number to his secretary. I was to call her with any updates as far as induction. He in turn would know that I was at the hospital giving birth. I was to keep my epidural in place. They would use the epidural in the morning for the stent removal. Dr. G felt that because the stent had been in place for so long that it would be hard to remove and it would be encrusted. He planned on having me go into an OR room and having the stent removed under Laser Lithotripsy. He would contact me after I gave birth and finally this stent would be no longer.

I gave birth to Gabby at 2:32pm. I told the team of nurses and doctor’s everything that was happening with the stent. I did keep my epidural in place. I called Dr. G’s secretary several times starting with when I had the amniocentesis to determine if I was going to be at the hospital with an earlier induction. When I found that the lungs were not mature I again called the secretary to tell her this. I then called a third time when we had determined a date that I would go in for the induction. I trusted my doctor and never had any bad feelings that our plan was not going to work out.

The following describes the remainder of my hospital stay.

2:32pm Gabrielle Grace was born

Had a little bit of the “Hollywood” movie. My parents, sister, Father in law, and father in laws girlfriend were all at the hospital to meet their new granddaughter and niece. Pictures were taken, tears were shed for Samantha and Sydney, and bonding with Gabby began.

1720 (5:20pm) I arrived on the postpartum floor. Visitors had left by now and Jeff and I were with Gabby for a while loving her and taking pictures. Jeff bought us both something to eat. Jeff sent some e-mails to family and friends telling of the new arrival and thanking everyone for prayers and support through the pregnancy.

1920 (7:20 pm) the nurse provided me with teaching packets. At this point I still had the epidural in place and had yet to see anyone from urology.

2130 (9:30pm) A breast pump was brought into my room. Still no one from urology. I asked to see someone on call to get the ball rolling on this.

2220 (10:20pm) A man walks into my room. I remember thinking to myself wow; did he run to get here? He walked in sweating; I mean beads of sweat are falling from his face. He says hi and walks straight over to my sink and begins wetting paper towels to place of his forehead. I explain to him everything about the stent, my plan with Dr.G, the fact that the epidural is still in place. He proceeds to tell me that they do not remove stents in a hospital and that this is something I will have to go to Dr. G’s office for. No I tell him. Dr. G feels that it is encrusted. It has to be removed under laser. I ask to have him page Dr. G and talk to him on the phone have Dr. G explain our plan. He blows me off. It is obvious that there will be no stent removal first thing in the morning. I ask to have the epidural removed from my back, because now it is causing pain and becoming very uncomfortable.

2230 (10:30pm) Jeff has left by now. The anesthesiologist comes in to remove the epidural. I call Jeff very upset about what this doctor tells me. I ask for some pain medication and try to fall asleep. I ask for Gabrielle to be taken to the nursery for the night.

Because I have my medical records I am able to read everything that was written by these doctors. What I have stated to them about the plan with Dr. G is all in quotes like they are mocking me. There is nothing about paging or even calling Dr.G. It is all about them trying to take over and handle the stent themselves. There is no regard for the patient or the plan.
These are direct quotes “Patient states Dr. Geller was to remove stent after delivery and get a “cat scan” to determine cause of “hydro”. Pt. with stent discomfort, but no worse.
This is his care plan:

“Stable and stent to be removed in the office”
“Ok to D/C epidural”
“F/U with Dr. M”
Then there is another doctor who sees this and comes along and writes “Agree with D/C stent at office”

I give the nurses credit. There are many times where they have written in their notes add to Dr. G. The problem though is that Dr. G himself is not coming. I am getting all of Dr. G’s colleagues.
Again I go to bed on the 26th exhausted from delivery and the events of the day. Knowing that in the morning after some sleep I will be in a better frame of mind to get this whole stent problem resolved. So I think.

June 27th 2005

At 0945 Dr. F (a.k.a Dr. Jerk) walks into the room. Imagine a very young cocky son of a gun. A resident who thinks he is God’s gift to medicine and no matter what you say you are wrong, you are beneath him, you are dirt and he has the power to make you concrete. Funny, but not so funny that I had seen him before on the ICU floors and was praying to God that I did not look familiar to him in any way. I got the same old song and dance from this dr. I was crazy, they do not remove stents in the OR, and this was a procedure to be done in the office once I went to go see Dr. G. I was done now. I started to get angry and stating call Dr. Gellar. Why is no one listening to me? Why is this time that is supposed to be joyous turning into a nightmare? Why do I still have this piece of crap stent in place when I was promised it would be out as soon as the baby was delivered? I wanted answers. I called Dr. G’s office, spoke to his secretary, but got nowhere closer to talking to Dr.G.

Jeff came to the hospital. He began getting upset. He also tried to get answers from the nurses and was coming up as dumbfounded as I was that there seems to be no communication at this hospital. I felt like they were protecting Dr. G and just not calling him for some reason. He and I had a really good patient doctor relationship. We joked around, he was always empathetic to my needs, and he was supportive about my concerns of losing the baby after the loss of Sam and Syd. I did not feel like he would treat me like this and it just felt very clear that he was in the dark about what was occurring.

I had had the nurses keep in my IV and hep lock it for when I was to go down for the removal. It looked like the removal of Mr. Stent was not happening. The order had been written prior for it to be removed. I wanted to go take a long hot shower so I had the nurses pull the IV before I went into the shower.

Dr. Jerk’s note dos state that he “will discuss RX plan with Dr. Geller.” At 1440 while I was in the shower he came into the room. He had a consent for me to sign and was willing to take me to have the stent removed. Not in an OR, not with lithotripsy, just take me to a L&D room where stirrups are available to have the stent removed. I agreed. I signed my name to the paper thinking finally get this thing out of me. Let this pain stop. Let me enjoy being a new mom again. Let me get out of this hospital pain free. Let me go pee pee on the potty without seeing blood in my urine. Let me get on with my life with my family.

1500 I am taken to the L&D floor. I walked there following behind Dr. Jerk with Jeff at my side. I was taken into a room with stirrups and laid back on the table. The room was small. There were nurses in the room. A lot of laughing was coming from the nurses. Other nurses were coming into the room because this was something they had never seen before. There was no IV in place any more. Nothing was given for pain prior to the removal. It was just Jeff and I ready to get this over with. I got rid of my modesty and just went along with what was occurring around me. Embarrassed that I knew there was blood coming from my vaginal area because of giving birth and also embarrassed that my whole bottom half was in view for anyone who wanted a peek. Again I tried my best not to be modest or think about it. The only thing I was thinking of ways that Mr. Stent was going to be Mr. GONE!!

I should have taken cues from my thoughts that things were not right. I heard Dr. Jerk say something about not having sterile gloves nor having beta dine. He even asked a nurse if he should use beta dine. I remember thinking “hello dummy, you are going into a sterile organ” yes, sterile would be a good thing!!! He did get all the necessary sterile equipment necessary. He cleaned the area and started pulling on the string that the stent was attached. Suddenly the room got quiet, the jokes stopped, happy faces got very serious, and a patient was in the most pain EVER!! I began crying out. My husband yelled “can someone get her something?” A nurse came running into the room and injecting me with Morphine given IM. (Intramuscularly) Dr. Jerk finally spoke and told us that the stent was encrusted. If he kept pulling at it he would tear my urethra and that the stent is now hanging half way out. He then tells me that putting in a Foley catheter would be a good idea and that he was going to now call Dr. G. Yes, friends he finally admitted maybe not knowingly that Dr. G had NEVER been called. I would have to be taken to the OR where lithotripsy would need to be used to have the stent removed.
1600 I am taken back to my postpartum room. This time I am wheeled in a wheel chair. Now instead of having no stent I return with a partial intact stent and a Foley catheter. I am not a happy camper.

Phone calls were made and I tried to get some rest. Pain meds were given as well as something for nausea. Another IV was now inserted back into my arm.
I was told that in the morning I would be heading to the OR for removal of the stent with lithotripsy. I was also going to be NPO at midnight for my upcoming removal.

1945 (7:45pm) my mom and dad, aunt and uncle and Jeff were all visiting. Gabrielle was in her cute little outfit having her hospital pictures taken. My phone rang and I answered my phone to hear the voice of one of the Urology doctors. He was at a totally different hospital calling to tell me that my stent removal in the morning was now postponed and would be rescheduled in the following days.

I was beside myself. I was seeing RED. I was so mad. The “f” bomb starting coming from my mouth. I am normally not someone to say the “f” word. I was taking no precautions to the fact that I had visitors in my room. I kept thinking are you kidding me? Is this a really bad dream? There is no way that any man would be walking around with a stent hanging half way out of his penis and a Foley catheter also in place. Why was I being treated this way? Why are my pregnancies always so difficult and why oh why can I just not enjoy having a breathing baby girl after the loss of Samantha and Sydney?

My dad was around for everything that was transpiring. He walked out to the nurse’s station and asked to have the doctor paged. The same doctor that called my room and just spoke to me.

2010 “Patient and patient’s family upset about procedure being cancelled”. “Emotional reassurance given.” “Dr. Memo paged to speak with family and answer families’ questions.”

2030 Dr. Memo speaking with family

2035 Spoke with Dr. Memo, patient to be NPO at midnight!!!!! Whatever my dad said worked. I was now going back in in the morning for the procedure!!!!!

June 28th 2005

0612 Patient transferred on cart to go down for procedure

1100 Patient transferred back to room after procedure

I was transferred back to the room with get this ANOTHER stent!!! I was not happy when I heard that news. This one was taped to my leg! I was to go into Dr.G’s office a few days later to have it removed and then be done with it. It was to dilate the kidney and make sure that after the first stent was removed that there was no more obstruction.

June 29th

I was discharged home! Thank goodness.

June 30th

Went to Dr. G’s office. Stent was removed. No pain, very easy removal.

7-15-2008

As of today, I have these symptoms with kidneys, bladder, etc. I have to go potty frequently. I know where all the bathrooms are at grocery stores, Target, Wal-Mart, and the malls. I maybe should go see Dr. G to see if this is normal, but I am not going back there. I do still have lower back pain as well. It is nothing like when I had the stent, but is now just a part of my everyday life. I know that it is there and just try to ignore it. I have three pregnancies. All three very different. I have experienced emotional pain and physical pain. I can say that the emotional pain never goes away and the physical pain was temporary. Jeff and I were blessed with four kids. We still wish all four kids were here on earth in our home, but have come to realize that was not part of the plan. Gad has a bigger plan for us. We may never understand his plans. I do not understand why I never had a normal pregnancy. The Hollywood pregnancy. The glowing and happy pregnancy. Mine were all very terrifying, filled with anxiety, worry, and distress. Needless to say Jeff had a vasectomy and there will be no more babies coming from my body. That saddens me, but I also know that it is probably for the best. We would like more children, but at the same time we are now enjoying being diaper free, bottle free, and a happy family of 4 (6).

6 comments:

Good & Crazy said...

Okay, took me a while, but I read through all of that...

I'm missing the previous whys on the stent business...but sheesh. Awful.

I am such a killer patient advocate...when it's not for me. For my kids, I'm the devil, for my husband, everyone WATCH out. But when it's myself, I'm a wimp.

And yay for potty training!

Jaime said...

My stomach is in knots and my body tense reading this. What a NIGHTMARE!! It angers me just reading it.
I am so sorry you had to deal with this. Some doctors/nurses are such jerks!

Tracy said...

holy cow - I'm really speechless. people have been sued for lesser things. and what a shame that it had to damper such a joyous occasion.
it's crazy what we go through - physically.

Yes, my name is Arizona said...

You've got to be f***ing kidding me. I have been known to use the f word (too much) and omg it would have been flying. You've had such awful "health care". Ha! If you can call it health care. Its a miracle you're sane! Have you ever seen Michael Moore's movie Sicko? It made me so angry. Its mostly about the insurance companies, but he does talk about the crap doctors do, too. Dr. Jerk makes me think of that movie....

angie said...

There are no words........

Kim said...

omg you poor thing...i'm so sorry you had to deal with such a nightmare. I'm glad you got out of it okay and hopefully won't have to ever deal with that group of drs/nurses again.

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