Monday, December 26, 2016

Updates and all that rot

I know I haven't been on here for a while. I actually did have my surgery on the Monday after Thanksgiving. The result of that was I haven't been on my computer in ages. Sitting at my desk was definitely a no-go and even the weight of the laptop on my lap was too much pressure and caused too much pain. I was limited to what I could do on my phone. If you follow this blog and not my Facebook page, you can hop over there and see some updates in the interim.

The surgery went well, apparently. I personally was out cold so I don't remember it. My OB/GYN-surgeon had to really go hunting, the result of my never carrying a child past 11 weeks and my pelvic girdle being very concave. My uterus and ovaries were buried very deep, apparently. She ended up needing to make an 8-inch incision in my lower abdomen and then go spelunking. It took 24 staples to close me up again. Yeah, I'm still trying to not think about that too hard.

I was in the hospital overnight and we found out the hard way that I am one of the few people for whom morphine doesn't work. I was groggy and in terrible pain and had the added frustration of trying to explain to the nurse why all my meds were necessary. She finally got permission to give me the clonazepam and gabapenin, but I never got my Seroquel XR. The orders said no sleeping pills because they wanted me lucid if possible and the medical staff didn't know the difference between regular Seroquel, which is for insomnia, and Seroquel XR, which is an antipsychotic.

Which brings me to the the major takeaway from my surgery: The lack of acknowledgment that mental illnesses REALLY need to be addressed any time a patient is in the hospital or under a doctor's care.

Starting with the pre-admit paperwork and all the way to my leaving the hospital, I had to repeat over and over to each and every person that I have major mental illnesses that get worse when I am in a stressful environment like a hospital. My admit nurse didn't know what schizoeffective disorder was. I had to explain 3 times that yes, I really needed my anxiety meds before going to the hospital for surgery. I only had to tell one person about my allergies and it was flagged in red on my wrist band, but I had to tell every single nurse, CNA, doctor, anesthesiologist, surgical assistant ... everyone ... that I was schizophrenic and the stress and anesthesia had the potential to cause hallucinations, delusions, or a dissociative state. None of them understood that it was a major issue, just as important as any of my drug allergies.

As soon as I am feeling a bit better and can spend more time on the computer, I will be writing a very in-depth letter detailing the importance of integrating physical and mental health in a hospital setting. And I will be sending it to the hospital administrator, the Health Care Group administrator and anyone else I can think of. Things really need to change.