Emergency Rooms. My 2 least favorite words.
I like to call myself a professional patient. So trips to the emergency room are a frequent occurrence for me. Through my many emergency room visits I have found that emergency departments aren’t equipped to help those with chronic illnesses or chronic pain. The doctors don’t seem to understand that we know our bodies best and we know how things run in the emergency department. We know what meds we need, what scans need to be run, what needs to happen to help us out the most. Doctors don’t seem to get this and seem to think they know what is best for us. I was recently in the ER for a chronic migraine and I was telling them what meds work best for my migraines and what meds my body can’t handle. They would not listen to me and believed they knew what meds I needed. We argued about what the best plan of action was for treatment. After debating back and forth for what seemed like forever, they finally listened to me and found out I was right the entire time.
Another issue I have is they don’t seem to take my illnesses and pain seriously. It’s like I have to prove to them that I am actually sick and in pain. They don’t seem to believe me when I tell them my pain level is an 8 or 9, but to them I look fine. I have become so used to being in pain that I hide it pretty well, but that doesn’t mean that I am not in a massive amount of pain. During this most recent hospital visit, it took them 8 hours to get me pain meds, I was in the ER for a total of 9 hours and the last hour they finally gave me pain meds. This was after stating what pain meds would actually work for my migraine.
Things get really frustrating when you end up the ER and get stuck with a doctor who has no clue about your illness (which is most of the time), and you are stuck instructing them on what it is and how its treated. Being in the ER is stressful enough, it becomes even more stressful when you get stuck with a doctor who doesn’t understand a thing about your medical history. In a perfect world doctors would know everything about all the chronic illnesses out there. That won’t happen anytime soon, but I still hold out hope. My hope is that one day those who battle chronic illnesses and chronic pain, will be able to go into an emergency department and the doctors and nurses will be able to help them without having to explain what their illnesses are. All of you out there who have had this battle, you aren’t alone.