As avid readers of my Sickle Cell blog, you all know that I talk a lot about food that I have tried and tested over time. And I also talk about my experiences when I am sick or go to hospital because I am not writing this from a place of ‘I too know’. I am writing from a place of I have passed through this too and I survived and can write about it and let you ‘my extended family’ from the world of Sickle Cell know about it.
A while back, I went to the pain clinic because of persistent pains in my left upper arm and shoulder. I had been managing the pain for over six months and after a while, I thought, ‘Tola, go seek help’; because that particular day the pain was so severe.
I went in and they gave me 15 mg of Morphine injection; their protocol at that hospital is to give the patient another shot an hour later. As the nurse wanted to give me the 2nd shot, I felt my tummy rumbling in a not nice way and I knew what it meant. I then stopped the nurse and told her that they had not given me any anti-sickness injection, since I arrived and could not take another Morphine injection with them administering the anti-sickness.
I also told her to reduce the 15 mg Morphine injection to 10 mg but she told me that she had already prepared 15 mg. I didn’t have any strength to argue with this woman and so left it.
She gave me IV anti-sickness and it took like forever (actually maybe about 30 mins or a bit more, can’t remember…). When it finished, she came to give me the injection for Morphine. A few minutes after taking it, I asked for a bowl because I knew I was going to throw up.
I was in the pain clinic from after 11 am till after 7 pm because I kept throwing up on the hour and less than the hour. It was horrible. I hated myself!
As if the drama was not enough, this nurse had me connected to their machine to monitor my heart, pulse etc… After a while, she kept telling me that my oxygen level was low and the monitor was beeping fast and stating ‘very low’. I started to panic and the nurse would tell me ‘breath in and out’. I kept doing what she said and it would go back up to normal and after a short while, the monitor would start bleeping again. This went on for over an hour. Later on, as I was panicking, I thought, ‘Tola, you are in hospital, if anything is going to happen, this is the best place to be and not at home’; with that consolation, I stopped panicking.
I look back as I am writing this down and blame the nurse who would not listen to me when I told her ‘give me 10 mg and not 15 mg’. Next time, I will have to insist that whoever the nurse is, listens to me, the patient and give me what I am asking for. I mean, it is easy to become aggressive, when in pain, and one is not being listened to.
Eventually both myself and the medical team let each other go because the monitor will start, I will breath in and out, it will stop and within a few minutes, it will start again. The drama in that room was too much and so I was released to go home. Hurray!
The following day, I went back because I did not sleep a wink overnight due to pain.
This time, I had a ‘charge nurse’ looking after me; this woman was the best. I had good care, she had read about all what had happened the day before and so had thought of alternatives for me. I was given the Morphine injection and they started at 10 mg and after she gave me a new anti-sickness injection, that seems to be in alignment with my organs. By that, I mean I did not throw up.
After, she gave me a pain relieving patch for the area where I was having the pain in my shoulder and she told me it would numb the tissue and was a 12 hours slow release pain.
When I left, I was happy and wondered why is it that with all things to do with human beings, whether they are in the medical profession or not, it depends on who/whom you meet?. Who you meet will determine the type of experience that you will have in any given situation.
As you can see, I live to tell the tale and laugh over it, even though at the time, no body was laughing and we were all tearing our hairs out.
I rest my case and until next time, do take care of yourself.