Brave

You can be amazing
You can turn a phrase into a weapon or a drug
You can be the outcast
Or be the backlash of somebody’s lack of love
Or you can start speaking up
~ Sara Bareilles, Brave

I’ve found that I’m scared of the medical profession. This is not a good thing given my situation. In January, the hospital pulled some pretty fast moves on me. I went in with a clear issue, openly visible, and very visible on x-ray. I already knew what the problem was, but the only way to get it fixed was to go the the wickets of the ER. The next thing I know, there’s a guard outside my door, a psychiatrist has been summoned, and a “doctor” claimed she was afraid for her safety.

I shut down. That’s what happens when I get overwhelmed. PTSD kicks in and I’m out for the count. One of my triggers is losing control of my body, as in how am I treated. This visit didn’t pass the test. It did not feel right. I’m am extremely fortunate that right as this visit hit the point of no return, my spouse showed up. He called all the right people and got the situation sorted out. The hospital still says I left against medical advice.

The great part about this story is the level of denial and the closing of ranks. I have received three letters in response to my grievance. Guess what all three say? The hospital did nothing wrong. The day before, I had a feeding tube change. Sometimes, feeding tubes that are supposed to be in one part of the body flip and end up in the stomach. It can easily be fixed in Radiology. So, Monday they put in the tube. Tuesday we told them it had flipped and that was why we went to the ER. Wednesday, they replaced the faulty tube.

Yesterday, I received a visit from what is essentially social services wearing a different hat. They wanted to connect me with community resources so I wouldn’t go to the ER. It’s been almost 3 months and this is still coming at me. The ER staff also flagged my record. I am now terrified that if I have to go in, bad things will happen.

So, brave. We talk about all kinds of people who survive their medical situations as brave. We really have to. When you are up against the monolith of healthcare, coming out alive is a badge of honor to be worn proudly. I want to be brave. I also want to be treated as a person and not a medical record.

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