Once again, my health has failed me. A week ago, I became ill with a virus my brother brought home. He got well in three days, I have sick for a week now. Whatever the virus was that began my recent problems, it morphed into a horrible case of bronchitis.
I decided yesterday (Wednesday, May 23, 2019) to go to the emergency room because I was having difficulty catching my breath due to coughing fits where I would croop for over an hour. When I arrived, the staff led me back a room immediately and were very respectful and helpful. That all changed when they called and got my information from the clinic I normally use for my medical needs.
I immediately noticed an attitude change but blew it off at first because, I thought, I’m sick and bound to notice things that are not there. However, my thoughts were soon vindicated when the actual doctor came into my room. He examined me and listened to my chest all while asking me repeatedly if I smoke or have ever smoked. I told him no, I have never smoked. He then began asking me why I took the three psyche meds I am currently on and asked who had prescribed them. I told him my psychiatrists name, and he recognized it immediately.
He then got me to x-ray for a chest image then the nurse took six vials of blood.
I thought to myself that it must have been my illness after all and that we would soon get to the bottom of what was making my chest hurt so badly.
I arrived at the hospital at 8am and waited, and waited, then waited some more before finally I rang to ask what was going on. This was noon. Two hours later the doctor strolls in, tells me there is nothing wrong and he is releasing me.
I was dumbfounded.
I asked him what on earth was going on because I was sick. He told me he had ordered an inhaler and that I should use it if I thought I needed it. By this time, I was overjoyed to be cut loose and decided it was no use pursuing that doctor any longer as clearly, he had made up his mind about me.
After he left, the nurse who helped me dress was embarrassed by what she had just witnessed. She believed I was ill, but she was not in the position to say anything. She told me I needed to see my preferred medical provider as soon as I could to have my problem rectified, then rolled me down to the lobby and left me there.
Once I got home and told my brother what had transpired, he got beyond angry. He asked why I wasn’t angry too, and my answer was simple, I’ve been treated that way before.
I then began to check off the reasons the emergency room doctor did not believe I was ill but was indeed a malingerer.
How Do They Hate Me, Let Me Count the Ways
I began to check off all the reasons for my brother, why the medical professionals at the hospital had treated me with such disdain.
I’m on Both Medicaid and Medicare. Check number one lies in the fact that I am on disability and have both Medicaid and Medicare for my insurance. In the current political climate, that makes me lower than a tadpole and some believe not worthy of the time of day.
I’m In a Wheelchair but Can Transfer Myself. When I arrived, the nursing staff were concerned because I am a big lady and told them I cannot walk. I reassured them that I am capable of transferring myself and doing my own self-care which seemed to please them.
However, when the doctor saw me transfer from my chair to the bed in the emergency room bay they had placed me in, I could almost feel the cold chill blowing up the hospital gown I was wearing.
In the minds of some people, I would need to be a total paraplegic and unable to stand on my own before my disability counts. Surely, they believe, anyone who can transfer themselves and do their own self-care but uses a wheelchair must be lazy.
I’m a Woman. Just being a female makes me a target for medical personnel, even those who are also women. For some reason I do not comprehend, nurses and doctors have this preconceived notion that because females speak up more about their pain and suffering we are all highly neurotic and seeking attention.
Therefore, since I am female, I am incapable of telling a doctor the truth about my own body.
I Was Alone. My brother dropped me off at the emergency room entrance and reluctantly left me there because he needed to get his very pregnant wife to her OB appointment. They needed to travel two and a half hours away to a high-risk doctor located in Springfield, the capital of Illinois.
The weather had been rainy all morning and my wheelchair has seen better days with tears in the seat and back. I assume they believed me to be homeless and that I was only there to get in out of the rain.
The staff treating with disdain over them believing me to be homeless turns my stomach. No matter the circumstances, when a human being comes to you for help you don’t think hateful thoughts about them, you reach out and help!
I Have the Diagnosis of Dissociative Identity Disorder. The icing on the proverbial cake is my mental health diagnosis. Had I been given the diagnosis of depression it would have been bad enough, but DID? I think this was the reason the doctor was so nasty to me, had me wait for so long, and sent me out without any medicine to treat my bronchitis.
Today I Saw My Primary Physician
Once I finally got home at 4pm (that’s right folks 8am – 4pm at the hospital!) I called my doctor’s clinic and got an appointment for this morning. My doctor was astonished by what I told him, and immediately ordered me a cough suppressant, some strong antibiotics, another inhaler, and told me to go to bed.
As of this afternoon, I am still ill, but I’m frustrated and angry, so I decided to write this piece.
What is Wrong with People?!?
I know many of you reading this piece have had similar treatment from members of the medical community. We’ve also had bad treatment from those who work in the fields of psychology and psychiatry as well.
I don’t get it.
These doctors who seem to think all people are just pulling their leg when we look for help, where in the hell do they get off judging us? Is it because they have a nice car? A nice home? Are they somehow closer to God because they drive a Merced? Do they honestly believe they and theirs are immune from mental illness, homelessness, physical illness, old age, or death?
Don’t worry about me folks. I’ll be fine in a few days thanks to a primary physician who didn’t question me but gave me the medicine I needed and treatment all human beings deserve.
What can we do? I’ll tell you what I’m going to do. I’m going to work even more diligently to end prejudice in all its forms once and for all.
I’m also going to treat people like that doctor and his staff in the emergency room with dignity and respect because I will need to model good behavior because obviously, their mommies didn’t teach them when they were children.
I refuse to hate those who hate me because I will not stoop to their level. If we are going to change the direction the world is heading in, the one that leads to destruction, it will take people like you and me to lead the way.
We can only hope they choose to follow.
“Beginning today, treat everyone you meet as if they were going to be dead by midnight. Extend to them all the care, kindness and understanding you can muster, and do it with no thought of any reward. Your life will never be the same again.”
~ Og Mandino