I have a mild concussion.
It should be the least of my worries; what with the possibly herniated disc. On Thursday I had really bad back pain and tried to sleep it off; by Friday it was worse. My mom came for a visit on Friday evening. I was incapacitated so we called the nursing hotline. Because I had tingling and numbness and because I’d spent an hour on the floor at some point that day, crying, unable to get up (until I finally did force myself to do it, through the pain, which may have injured my back further but godsdammit I had to pee) the nursing hotline suggested that I get medical attention right away, because otherwise my condition would only get worse.
Now. What exactly my condition is I don’t know, for shortly after the call with the nursing hotline we called the ambulance, because I couldn’t get out to the car to get to the hospital, and the paramedics couldn’t get a gurney through the snow of my backyard or into my hobbit hole of a home, and so they doped me up on laughing gas so I could walk, supported, out into the ambulance. The gas made me sound like Darth Vader at a comedy club. I apparently waltzed past 4 firemen in my underwear and didn’t even notice. Mind you, that sort of meh feeling towards modesty wouldn’t have changed without the laughing gas; if I were sober I merely would have made awesome comments about the situation instead of giggling like a mad fool.
And so I was marched into an ambulance and driven to the emerge. at Nanaimo Gen., where I was wheeled in a very uncomfortable wheelchair into the building and then, shortly, into a treatment room. The doctor did a brief brusque physical exam and decided it was muscle strain before instructing a nurse to shoot me up with some painkillers.
I tried to tell him, as did my mother, that I have 15 years of chronic back pain and it’s possible it’s more than just a muscle strain; that we’d like more tests run. Nothing doing. He wouldn’t even listen.
I ended up lying down on the table in the treatment room, dozing, trying to forget the pain (which the painkillers had only dulled) while my mom sat in the chair and dozed herself. At some point I knew I had to get up and get to the bathroom or I’d pee myself. The bathroom was only a few feet away from the treatment room and so mom helped me up and helped me walk to the bathroom door…
…at which point my back seized up and I could go no further, and the pain started gripping me harshly, and mom started calling for help and we were steadily ignored until I started screaming, because the pain was so bad, and then a nurse was grabbing me on the underside of my upper arm, on the bat wing, harshly — so harshly I felt sure he would rip off a chunk of my flesh or at least leave a bruise — telling me to shut up because there were other patients.
I don’t know what happened after that, because the next thing I knew I was on the floor, with a major ache in my skull and people all around me yelling.
It is terrifying to wake up and not know who you are, where you are, how you came to be there, or anything else except people are yelling at you about something and your throat is very, very raw and you have the vague memory of someone screaming.
That’s exactly what happened to me that night. I fainted and cracked my head on the floor — the acts thereof I don’t remember, but the aftermath I do. The screaming apparently didn’t stop until right before I woke up.
The hospital staff that helped me up and into a wheelchair didn’t check out my obvious concussion. They made accusatory statements of “what was she doing up in the first place?” and they shot me full of morphine, ostensibly to shut me up.
I got sat in the TV room, where I vomited seven times and pissed myself. Mom tried to get us admitted, only to be informed that we’d been discharged over two hours ago. Finally she decided to go home and get the car so she could take me to Coquitlam, across the water, to stay bedridden in my grandparents’ old apartment that has elevators, wheelchairs, a shower with a chair, and a hot tub if wanted. Much safer than my place or mom’s.
A little while before she came back a nurse came and wheeled me out of the TV room, where it was calm enough for me to subdue my nausea, making some comments about how my mom should have been back already and what was she doing that was taking so long? While I responded about the snow (“All the snow’s gone!” “Not in Harewood,”) he wheeled me out into the main waiting room, where two TV screens and people chatting started the nausea flare up again. Mom arrived just in time and got me to a bathroom before our long journey to Coquit.
So now I am lying flat on my stomach in my late Oma’s bed, typing this blog entry. I am lying flat and typing because I cannot sit, or type in any other lying down position that I’ve found works for me. I am on three different prescriptions — two heavy-duty painkillers and one heavy-duty muscle relaxant — that are supposed to help my body fix itself. Needless to say I am seeking a second opinion from a doctor who’s more competent and who also will not treat me like a hysterical fat girl seeking attention, which is the attitude I got from the doctor and nurses at Nanaimo Gen.
I may be fat, but I’m not hysterical or a girl and I get quite enough attention already, thank you very much. I have real, chronic back pain, and the pain went from an 11 at home to a 16 right before I fainted (for the second time in my entire life). And, surprisingly enough, getting treated like subhuman by the medical establishment doesn’t actually do anything towards solving my health issues.
As I said. I’m mildly concussed and it should be the least of my worries. But it’s not. Because now my head is so foggy I sometimes forget the most basic of basics — names, places, whos hows whens wheres whats and whys — and I’ve got ringing and partial deafness in my left ear and a massive, tender bump on the back of my head.
And I’ve had precisely zero medical attention paid to this concussion. This concussion that I sustained while being treated like a “hysterical female” in a medical establishment.
So, as it is, I’m most pissed off about the concussion. Because being ignored in cases of extreme pain is sort of the norm for me now; I’m used to the medical est. ignoring everything a fat person says because zie’s fat. But the concussion happened on their watch and it is fucking up my ability to think and speak and write — and being as incapacitated as I am, that’s all I have fucking left. Is my brain and the internet.
And now one is broken, which makes it vastly difficult to use the other one.