Meanwhile, the social worker came into my room and quickly gave me the rundown of the disability forms I was to fill out on line. I was given 2 weeks disability at first, and then 6 weeks total with this surgery. Unfortunately, with all of the pain medicines inside my IV, and now feeling like I had a UTI as well, I was not understanding the social worker well. I felt overwhelmed with all of the tech instructions. I asked for her phone number or office extension so that I could contact her in case I became stuck while applying on-line. The reply was that she didn't have an office or phone number because she was a floating social worker amongst many Kaiser hospitals and therefore could not assist me. The suggestion was that I get a tech savvy friend to help me. After the social worker left, I tried many times to make the disability application complete, but my skills were limited due to the drugs in my system. I began to cry again. Also at this time my catheter was really irritating me something fierce.
I asked to have the catheter removed. After it was removed, there was blood in my urine. I still couldn't walk due to the electrocution pulsing through my right buttocks, leg, and foot. I asked for a UTI test. They gave me an external catheter. It really is a cool invention. It looks like a white hot dog made of thick gauze in a blue rubber hot dog bun. I was to place the entire thing between my legs into my crotch. When I felt like I had to urinate, the suction began, and the urine is taken to a container on the wall behind my bed through a tube. The UTI test was given. I had not pooped in 6 days at this point. I was feeling pretty sorry for myself at this stage of my visit. I still wept on and off all day and night, just as much for the medical system not believing me for days as I suffered in pain as the pain itself. Maybe Kaiser ER thought I was a drug addict looking for pain meds when I went to the ER multiple times? This was the first experience in 25 years with Kaiser where I was not treated as a human telling the truth.
Late Tuesday evening, a night nurse introduced herself. She said that she was a visiting nurse from Texas and was used to critical care in the cardiac unit, so there wasn't much to do here. She said that she was right outside my door if I needed anything. However, when my external catheter wasn't working correctly, I peed the bed multiple times. Her tune changed quite dramatically. My night nurse didn't even offer me adult diapers to make me more comfortable. I was chastised for not having the external catheter in exactly the right spot to work correctly. The team had to change my bedding, my outfit, put pads under me, and eventually decided to tape the bed pads around my torso like a diaper. This was so they had less visits to make to my room. Meanwhile, I asked for the results of the UTI test. After it was shown to be positive, I asked multiple times in the wee hours of Wednesday morning for the antibiotics for my UTI. Between 1am and 3am, the nurse telephoned the on-call doctor 3 times at his home asking when the pharmacy was going to be sending it up to me. After the 3rd time, my night nurse came in to tell me that I had to chill out because she was being yelled at by the doctor, telling her to stop bothering him at home. Meanwhile I was still suffering from the UTI! So when the test came back earlier, and was shown positive at around 5:45pm, nobody had given me the results information or medicine to help with relief...
Please stay tuned for part 5! Please share with your social media and friends and family. We need to be our own health advocates when we are really in the weeds (and any time we have a health concern)!
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