Finally I go to the Emergency Room.....

February 2007 I arrived at Jupiter Medical Center around 5 pm. Needless to say when I got there I was in horrible pain, bleeding and without sleep for at least a week and a half, I WAS A MESS. When I sat down with the nurse who was doing intakes I told her my entire story. I wanted to make sure they had all the information necessary to help me. The response I got shocked me, “This is an Emergency Room not a place for diagnosis you really shouldn’t be here”. This is exactly why I hadn’t come to the ER weeks ago. Everyone told me I was just fine, don’t worry, relax, stop acting crazy. At this point I didn’t care if I was crazy, over-dramatic or whatever else people thought. Whatever the problem was I couldn’t take it anymore. I believed I was weak, a baby, overdramatic, all the things other people thought about me but I was no longer embarrassed about it.

Because of the type of pain I had described, sharp radiating pain on my left side that started right below my chest and went all the way down to my left toe, they had to do a CT scan. Needless to say the nurses and doctor were annoyed with me. Now I forgot to mention in my last blog that the OBGYN had prescribed me something called Metronidizol. This is a super strong antibiotic that is suppose to clear someone of almost anything, not cancer though. This Devil Juice was making me even more sick than I was before. I threw up all day long, couldn’t keep a thing down. So, I wasn’t shocked when I threw up all the chalk stuff I had to drink for the CT scan. I was in a room by myself, hooked up to some stuff. I knew I was going to throw up but couldn’t move and I called for a nurse who just ignored me. Too bad for them because I ended up throwing up all over the floor.

I was wheeled into the CT scan room. I was surprised when I heard someone say my name, “hey Meaghan is that you”. The man who was operating the CT was a good friend of my Ex’s. We said our weird hellos and how have you beens, couldn’t have been more awkward! When was I going to wake up from this fricking nightmare. When the CT was finally over I was brought back to my little room in the ER to await the results. I was told it would be about 45 minutes but three hours went by. The same doctor who told me he was not here to give me a diagnosis, “I shouldn’t be in the ER” (yes the nurse did first and then this doctor) began to tell me I was seriously ill. I remember that moment so well. My feelings were a mix of fear, sadness and triumph. I wanted to scream out: “I TOLD YOU SO I TOLD YOU SO I TOLD YOU SO” I wanted the entire world to hear me. But I couldn’t, all I could do was sit there and listen.

The doctor told me the CT scan showed a very large tumor. The tumor was crushing my ureters, both my kidneys had hydronephrosis in both my kidneys and atrophy in my left one (distention and dilation of the renal pelvis and calyces, usually caused by obstruction of the free flow of urine from the kidney, leading to progressive atrophy of the kidney). My left kidney had ripped and my abdomen was filled with the fluid that it was suppose to contain. This doctor was pretty sure I had very advanced cervical cancer. I was admitted immediately and my fabulous (sarcastic tone) OBGYN was called. By this time it was around 2 am.

I was given a bed in the ICU. I remember being so happy. Finally I wasn’t alone, finally someone believed me, and finally I was going to be fixed. This is when I was told for the first time, “no food or drink because we may need to operate”. My “doctors” at the OBGYN had ordered I be put on an IV of the Devil Juice. This made me so sick. No food, no water but I was still throwing up. All night, all the next day throwing up nothing but bile. My sister and friend came to the hospital when I was moved to a room. At this point I was on IV pain medication, Diloted. This helped my pain significantly! I was still throwing up though. When I was brought to have another ultra sound I through up on the elevator, in the hall it was continuous. I felt like I was dying, maybe because I was.

The hospital ultra sound was horrific. The woman was in way over her head. She couldn’t tell what she was seeing and left the device inside of me while she went off looking for a doctor. The pain was excruciating! Why the hell were they doing an ultra sound when they had already discovered I had a tumor? There was no mystery about that the CT was pretty clear. I was told my OBGYN doctors had ordered it!?! Finally the hospital doctor took control and had me taken off the Metronidizol and finally I stopped throwing up. My poor body was trying to keep me alive and all that devil juice was doing was making it harder. Did these doctors want me to die?? I distinctly remember the doctor saying, “I don’t know why these doctors have you on antibiotics but if you keep throwing up it’s going to kill you”. Remember, I couldn’t eat or drink because the doctors just didn’t know what to do or when they would need to do it. So, I had been throwing up constantly for almost 48 hours with no food or drink. Yes, I was on IV stuff to keep me alive but I was just throwing it all up.

I was in the Jupiter hospital for about a week. It was terrible and they didn’t do a thing to fix me. I was on pain medication but that was about it. My friends from law school all came to visit me and bring me cards, flowers and present to cheer me up. I was manic at this point. I talked and talked and talked, my friends must have thought I was crazy! My kidney issue had not been addressed, I had received no treatment for my advanced cancer nothing had changed except the pain medication. My mother came down from Mass. and was in the hospital as well. The doctors told her they were happy my friends came to visit because I didn’t have much time, something like that. They had me for dead! Fish hands was a nickname we gave for one of my OBGYN doctors. He was telling me, my family and friends that I was going to die and he couldn’t even give a decent handshake!

To make a long and painful story a bit shorter I received a couple pints of blood and was allowed to leave after about a week at the hospital in Jupiter. My mother flew with me back up to Mass. to meet with doctors at Dana Farber Cancer Institute. Up to this point absolutely nothing had been done to help me! But once I arrived at Dana Farber things would change…..


Unknown said...

Wow to not only have to overcome the cancer but the incompetent medical staff is truly tragic. I guess its just more of a testament to your strength through all of this.

Anonymous said...

oh my god..i really thought, before reading the blog , when i saw the headline "ok, she finally went there and they helped her"..but this blog is again sooo unbelievable..they wasted SOOOO much time..and right in that situation it was (and always is) soooo important to DO anything ..TO GET RID OF THAT HELP!
and they just gave u painkillers...gosh...
I am soooo sorry to hear that...i know my "sorry" won't make this whole story better..and i know that a "i am so sorry" has been something I COULDN'T hear anymore after i have been need to say sorry..give me a kick in my butt to tell me not to give up..thats what i thought ongoing...
..but you have been SO TOUGH!!! wow!

Screaming Meme said...

Thank goodness! By the way did you have any signs throughout the years that there was something wrong? Bad pap smears or HPV?

University of Iowa Meg said...

I hope you sued these people.

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