Thursday, February 18, 2010

There's a hole in the bucket, dear Liza

As you may or may not know, I went in Monday for a hysterectomy and pelvic floor repair, among other things. I was very excited to finally have my year's worth of problems and pain solved. It did not go at all as I had hoped.

This is what happened, give or take a few catheter insertions:

On the way to surgery (i.e. rolling down the hall towards the OR), I was quite chatty with the nurse. She commented in the OR that I must be on some good drugs for being so open and talkative. I stated that I had not yet received anything, and that I was just a talker. The nurses looked to the anesthesiologist in surprise and confusion, as I should have gotten some sedation before being wheeled to the OR. He was embarassed and quickly sputtered "well now she has it" and pushed some painful meds into my iv super fast, which caused my arm to burn.
Shortly after, I got the general anesthesia and was out.

When I woke up 3 hrs later, I had excruciating pain in my bladder. At this point, I was still in the OR, waiting for a room to open in recovery. I felt like I had to pee, but times a million. My bladder was so distended, I was screaming from the pain, begging somebody to help me pee. The new anesthesiologist pushed fentanyl and said that I was cathed, and that my bladder was emptying just fine. I pleaded repeatedly for him or the nurse to help me, but they either ignored me or pushed more fentanyl (which didn't help my bladder) until the fentanyl ran out. After I continued to cry, sob, and beg for relief, the dr got tired of my antics and pushed atavan to "calm me down." My blood pressure dropped to (approx) 70/40 from the shock of the pain I was experiencing.

One hour later, a room in recovery opened up and I was transported.
In recovery, I continued to sob, pleading for help with my bladder. The wonderful nurse there took pity on me, and decided she would check the catheter, thinking maybe the balloon holding it in was in a bad place, hurting me. When she got down to inspect, I heard her exclaim "oh my god!" I asked her what was wrong, and she responded that I didn't want to know. I asked again, and this time she said that she shouldn't even tell me. I told her that I wanted to know, and she informed me that my catheter was in the wrong hole. She later got the story, and told me that the supposed 175 ml of urine I expelled into the bag actually came out of me on the table, and that somebody in OB shoved a cath in me after. Nobody checked to see that it was in the right place, or that I was draining.
My bladder had been filling up the whole time (from iv fluids) and had no way to get out. The nurse re-cathed me and I immediately felt relief from the pressure, but was still in horrible pain from my bladder distention.
This amazing nurse, LeeAnn B., advocated for me, and helped me get pain meds that I needed, such as dilauded and morphine. She also kept an eye on that cath.

I was so upset and in pain at this point, I wanted badly to see my bf, who was waiting for me just a few rooms away. The drs and nurses wouldn't let him come back to see me, since they were trying to figure out this clusterf*ck that had happened to me. Since I was STILL in pain, one resident decided that they must have left packing in me, and proceeded to stick her hand up my vagina (horribly sore from surgery) and root around looking for gauze. She thought she found some, but I'm not certain whether any came out or not. Her answer to my pain was to remove the newly placed urinary catheter, and just let me "go" on my own.
The kind nurse finally got Keith on the phone to talk to me, since I was getting MORE than upset again about not being able to see my family. We spoke for a minute, then they made me hang up.

After about another hour, I was transferred to a room. I once again had horrible pressure and pain in my bladder, and tried to pee on my own. I tried for over 30 minutes, but to no avail. I asked the nurse to straight cath me, and she refused. By now I was desperate for help, since my bladder was overfilled again, and already super sore from the previous distention. I asked for more pain meds, and was refused again. They only gave me at first 1 percocet every two hours, and one "high dose" motrin every alternating hour. This, following major surgery. Amazing. I again asked to be cathed, and was again denied. I was told they didn't want to risk introducing infection. I asked for more pain control, and was again denied. They said that they couldn't give me higher pain meds without keeping me on a monitor, and that the room/floor i was in wasn't equipped for that. I asked to be moved to a new room to be monitored, and was denied.
I complained again about the bladder pain, and was again searched for packing. Finally an angry nurse straight cathed me and drained about 350 ml from my bladder. FTR, my post-prolapse bladder only holds 250-300 ml fluid. I know this from pre-surgical urodynamics testing.

For the next few hours, we did the dance of me asking for more meds, them repeatedly denying me. I was given atavan once again to "calm me down" when I got upset due to my shoddy care.

I hadn't slept all night, and I was in terrible pain. The nurse then came in to let me know I was being discharged. I was surprised (to say the least) because I was still unable to pee on my own. I asked to see my doctor again, and was again denied. I got mad and said that either they were going to page him, or I was going to walk myself up to the OB wing and find him myself to let him know what was going on. They paged him.
In the meantime, I still had to pee and was about to pass out from the pain, so I took it upon myself to go out into the halls to find a dr on rounds, and beg him, crying, to find somebody to help me pee. He looked at me like I was crazy, but he sent somebody. If he hadn't, Keith and I were going to walk out and find another hospital's ER to help me.
When my Dr. came down, he looked very very uncomfortable even talking to me. I think because he finally got wind of everything that had happened up to this point. Previous to this moment, we had an excellent relationship, and I trusted him completely.
He suggested that since I still couldn't pee, that I should be foley cathed, and sent home to let my bladder heal up a bit. Then he left. The nurse joked that she had already cathed me 3 times that morning (ha ha) and inserted the new cath into my bladder. When it was inserted, she blew up the balloon to hold the cath in place, and accidentally overfilled the balloon, popping it in my bladder. It sounded like a gunshot, but coming from inside my body. It was awful. When she tried again, I was in so much pain, Keith had to leave the room because he couldn't handle seeing me like that. It was too upsetting.

And so I was sent home. With a catheter in me, vague instructions on how to empty and change the bag, and some percocet. Keith asked if I needed antibiotics, the nurse replied "well, it isn't written, so I guess not."
We left.

notice the size of the catheter they repeatedly inserted. ouch.

leg bag. no instructions on proper hygiene or care

big overnight collection bag that i have to change myself

Wednesday morning I woke with pain so awful, I didn't want to be awake/alive to deal with it. The pain was all coming from my lower abdomen/bladder/vagina. We immediately went to the cleveland clinic er, where I was treated with amazing care, and was given the news that I had an infection in my bladder. I was given heavy pain meds and a script for Cipro, and told to follow up with my dr on thursday, but also urged to make an appt with cleve clinic urology asap.
It turns out that with all this trauma to my bladder, from the distention to the repeated catheterizations, the inside of my bladder is completely raw, so every time a drop of urine enters the bladder, i am in complete and utter pain.

And I get to stay like this until somebody figures out how to fix it.


  1. Holy shit. What a mother-f-ing nightmare!!! Wrong hole??? Seriously? Did these people even go to anatomy 101? And what a surprise about the infection! Holy hell my bladder hurts just reading this story. I'm glad you finally got the care you need and deserved days ago and I hope you poor little bladder feels better soon. And start preparing for a law suit too! Hugs xo

  2. OMG. This is horrifying. Karen is absolutely right - you have a lawsuit on your hands. I would contact an attorney asap. I'm so sorry you had to go through all that, and still suffering. F-ing awful!

  3. coming from the daughter of an attorney...sue the fuckers. this is the most horrifying story. i'm shocked, disgusted and amazed at the way this hospital effed up on so many levels.
    i'm so sorry for all your pain and suffering. get yourself to a different doc or a different hospital before a horrible infection sets in!!
    saying feel better sounds so inappropriate and lame but...feel better!!

  4. Holy crap. Tough read during breakfast. You should sue the hell out of them. Totally unprofessional, joking about something like this and ignoring you as you had concerns. Totally uncool.

  5. Wow. Just wow. I am sooo sorry!! That is absolutely horrid. You should definitely sue.

  6. I'm so sorry you had to go through all of this! Oh it's so hard to read without feeling sick I can't imagine how it must be for you. I really hope things start to improve for you.
    I think you should ask for a copy of the medical records and make sure that everything that happened is properly documented. It does sound like lot of things went wrong that shouldn't have if you had had proper care, which you deserve.
    Hang in there.. big hugs

  7. oh hunny, my heart aches for you. i HATE that you had to endure this.... but i especially HATE that you had to go through it practically alone. this is so wrong on so many levels. i love you and i hope you are now receiving the care you need and deserve to begin to recover.

  8. That is too bad that you had this experience. Perhaps your insurance only allowed this to be a day procedure and that is why they had to release you? I think it is a shame that people's response is "sue the bastards.". Without this surgery, what would have happened? Speedy recovery!

  9. ^^^^^WHAT. Sorry. But you don't get to excuse shitty care from hospital staff by blaming it on the insurance company. And for the record, I would consider a lawsuit as well. Make sure you have everything documented and that your boyfriend can attest to all the shit "care" you received.

    My sister has tweeted about you a few times, so I decided to come see what was happening, and I'm horrified. I'm completely horrified. I'm so sorry this happened to you.

  10. Honey,
    You know that I am close if there is anything you need I am here.

  11. Horrific. You must have been so frightened! It's terrible to cry for help and not be heard; that is the most demoralizing thing.

    Please rest now and heal, save the anger for later.

  12. Wow I am a nurse and thus story makes my
    blood boil.

  13. I'm so sorry this happened to you. There's no excuse for this treatment! I hope you are now on the road to recovery. My thoughts and prayers are with you. xxoo

  14. I'm just flabbergasted at all of this. My mom had a hyst and pelvic floor repiar (prolapsed bladder) about a year ago and she was in the hospital for 3 days - standard procedure. I cannot belive that they shoved you out the door so quickly, even without the complications. The fact that they sent you home in horrible pain and an infection they refused to look for is inexcusable. And they had to cath you so many times and screwed up such a basic procedure so many times is just wrong wrong wrong.

    Glad to hear you got some good care at the CC - if you need any assitance getting a CC Urology Doc give me a shout and I'll see if I can help.

  15. This is an effing nightmare honey. I am so sorry. You did the right thing my being an advocate for yourself. This is horrible, but I swear sometimes when people our age have surgery, some nurses act like we are drug seeking. One OB Nurse made that mistake after my C-Section and she was never in my room again. Huh.
    The only think you need for a lawsuit is proof that "your level of care was compromised." So that's in black and white. Everyone starting screaming SUE after my ankle exploded from my first surgery.
    But you don't worry about any of that now. Just focus on getting you better. Getting back to your BF and C-lo. I know Clevland clinics are amazing and they staff their hospitals that way. I hope they remedy this quickly and control the pain for you.
    Fight for what you think is right. FIGHT for yourself seriously Sarah, don't let go until someone helps you. I am so sorry you are going through this. I wish I could hold your pee for you.
    Love you mama.

  16. And sorry SARA. I always add that H b/c my BFF is Sarah. I love you w/out the H. Hee hee.

  17. I hurt for you just reading this. O. M. G. That hospital needs to be sued BIG TIME. This sounds like something out of a horror movie. I am so, so sorry that you've had to go through all of this. What callous, awful nurses those were. You know you're in pain, so why didn't they respond and find out what was going on? I hope that when you have some time to heal, that you are able to find these people and go back there and tell them exactly how they screwed up. I know you trusted this doctor, but he is equally as culpable for not checking in with you when he heard about the complications. Someone will have to pay for this and I am so sorry that it has been you. I hope that everything heals up quickly and that you get some good rest these next few days so that you can allow your body to recover from this terrible trauma. Hugs and love and support and I wish I could come and help you. You should give us the name of the doctor/hospital and we could all write and get attention for this awful treatment. Let us know how we might help.

    We love you. Hang in there. You are so brave.
    Tricia xoxoxox

  18. omg. i am so sorry that you went thru this. i'm glad you put your story out here...and that it's being RT as well. (that's how i came across it). lots of healing wishes for you.

  19. Unreal. Good to know incompetence is alive and well and you trying to advocate for yourself leads to medical staff sedating you. That's all sorts of special.
    I'm so sorry that you're having to endure this.
    Lots of hugs.

  20. This makes me want to cry. It is fucking awful that you had to go through this. I have been cathed many a time (including after my hysterectomy, and I had to be cathed after one surgery cause I had more than 1000ml of fluid in my bladder.) and that is NOT something you want done once, let alone a bazillion times with a sore cooter and a raw bladder.

  21. Oh, Sara, this just makes me sick. No one should be treated the way you were treated. It is just disgusting the things you were put through. I hope, beyond hope that either you doctor or the new doc at the cleveland clinic is able to figure out a way to fix all this fast.

    I'm thing about you often and sending healing vibes your way.

  22. This is freaking horrible. I'm so sorry.

  23. Oh my god. This makes my blood boil. I'm *so* sorry you had to endure this, love. You're in my thoughts. <3

  24. I am so very angry for you, sweetie. I seriously want to kick someone's ass really, really hard with very pointy-toed shoes and then use my baseball bat on their head.

    I hope the urology gets you in right away and I am so glad the second ER gave you better care and meds. Seriously, I know you know a lawyer. I would file suit against the hospital. Just to make sure they don't treat anyone else like this.

  25. Oh god... even reading this, I am lightheaded. I can't imagine what you are going through. I really hope somebody gets this right. You are indeed superhuman to be able to deal with this. AND WRITE ABOUT IT!

  26. This is an absolutely horrible story. Heal first, then get yourself to a lawyer. Find out what the statute of limitations are for medical malpractice lawsuits in your area and see a lawyer a few months before time runs out (i.e. if statute of limitations is 1 year, see a lawyer at around 6 months). Don't rush to sue until you have an idea of what long-term effects (hopefully non long-term!) this has on you. Document the crap out of everything. Any communications should be through letters and emails, not a bunch of phone calls. This will help the lawyer with your case. You could also try having bf consult with a lawyer now of how to go about documenting everything, but actually not take action until after a few months have passed.

  27. I am so sorry. I know you are beyond tired and in horrible pain, but keep advocating for yourself. Have your friends and family help you raise hell. This is awful.

  28. I went and threw up after reading this. Horrific. It should have never happened. They screwed up so many times in so many different ways.
    While I had a hard time after my TAH and had some bowel repair done, I definitely did not suffer like this. My bladder was damaged during my last csection at really no fault of anyone but Fate itself and I can remember the horrible pain and being unable to pee. I am shocked they do not have you on a better pain management regimen.
    Hugs, love and prayers from Bama. I wish I could be there to help take care of you.

  29. Oh sweetie. I am soo sorry...It hurts me they treated you like that. Nothing is more painful then having to pee and not being able too. I am glad you got some good meds finally and I pray you can find a dr to fix you up the right way. Thinking about you and sending you a big (hug).. xoxoxoxo

  30. OMFG! Please tell me you're consulting a lawyer to sue their asses off! That is insane!

    I'm so so sorry that you are having to deal with this and I hope you get the care that you deserve to resolve these issues.

    You are in my thoughts and SUPER BIG HUGS to you Sweetie! XoXo

  31. JESUS CHRIST, woman. I am so sorry. :(

  32. I'm really not that lawsuit-happy, but I'd seriously consider some malpractice stuff on this.

  33. OH MY GOD. I live in California, and it sounds totally label-ish of me, but you need to sue. That is rediculous on so many levels.

  34. Thank you everyone for your comments. I love all of your support and concern. It is helping me get through this with a semi smile =)

  35. Oh my god. I'm so so sorry this has happened, and is happening, to you. Please get a lawyer and get the proper care for yourself. You deserve it.

  36. First, get a new doctor ... STAT!
    Second, get a lawyer ... SUE!
    Third, get better ... FAST!

    I am in pain just reading this. I am so so so so so sorry that you are going through this and wish I could take some of it away from you. Hang in there. It will get better ... it has to! *HUGS*

  37. I am hyperventilating just reading this, I can't imagine how you are able to even be coherent.

    I hope that you make a miraculously fast recovery and find some healthcare workers who will shut up and LISTEN to you.

  38. Oh, I know you've got too much to going on to even comprehend but get copies of your medical records from your surgery and hospital stay and the ER visit and then get copies as you go.

    Getting them now will prevent them going to "storage" and taking a loooong time to find and things getting lost. Have someone help and advocate for you.

    OMG I am so sorry you are experiencing this.

  39. Green in OC - thank you. Also, my very next step is going to be requesting copies of my entire medical chart/records from that hospital. I'm going to give one copy to my new doctors, keep a copy for myself, and turn the third over to a good medical malpractice lawyer.
    I appreciate your advice and concern. =)


  40. OMG I hate these people for what they did to you. It is hard to believe that any one person could treat another human so badly but it's like they have a whole hospital of assholes.

  41. GAH. I had no idea. So sorry hun. XO

  42. I'm not big on lawsuits, either. But the fact that you were ignored, over and over again, when it was OBVIOUS that something was wrong... ugh. THAT is malpractice. Mistakes happen, but that is negligent, they did nothing but make it worse. I am SO sorry. I am SO sorry you received such horrible care, and that nobody would listen to you.

  43. What a nightmare. To be denied pain medication, not to mention everything else. It's your body. Your care. I'm so angry for you right now, I can't even type straight!