Yesterday I felt trapped in an impersonal hospital room. I was miffed at being ignored. Sure, the hospitalists are busy, but ordering lab tests and looking at consult notes without ever seeing the patient doesn’t seem like the best of care to me. Having nurses and techs who don’t respond to alarms and call lights, and don’t respond to requests for medicine, is miserable.
Fortunately I have my cell phone. I phoned my family physician’s office to cancel my biopsy appointment. My family physician follows his own patients in the hospital and doesn’t use hospitalists, so the receptionist told me that my doctor would be by to see me. Later a nurse popped her head in to say that my doctor would be in after he was done seeing all his patients in clinic. He didn’t make it, but I felt more hopeful just knowing that he knew I was here.
This morning he came to see me. It is so nice to have someone in charge of my care who knows me and can coordinate everything. When he came in, I told him that I think I would’ve preferred the biopsy to this. He grinned back and said he’d been thinking that this was a pretty extreme way to avoid having a biopsy.
He asked me questions, did an exam, and explained what the tests have shown so far. When he learned that I requested more pain medicine at 3:00, but didn’t get any until after 7:00, he was not happy about it and wrote new orders. Now the nurse is supposed to give meds regularly whether I ask or not, and can give extra if I need more before then. That is a much better system.
My doctor told me I’ll be here at least a few more days. Even though the CT showed tons of gallstones, the EGD didn’t find any stuck anywhere and my liver function tests look good, so the gastroenterologist believes that my sulfasalzine is responsible for the pancreatitis. This is a bit of a problem for me, since last time my rheumatologist took me off ssz I could barely walk. My family physician will talk with my rheumatologist and figure out what to do long-term. Everyone else has been pretty vague, and I love finally getting some straight answers and feeling like I have someone looking out for me.
Thanks for reading.
I appreciate your support!