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I have been dealing with Congestive Heart Failure for a few years now. It is unfortunate since I am still in my 40's, but I deal with it the best I can.
When it gets really bad, and my hands and feet swell to the point I can't walk or put my shoes on, and it feels like my lungs are surrounded by fluid, then my heart doctor always advises me to go to an ER.
I called my heart doctor's office on Friday, 5/19/23 and let them know that since I was at their office on Monday, and my doctor changed my water pill, I had gained 12 pounds in 5 days. This is not possible by a food standpoint, because I eat very healthy and run/walk 5 miles a day, and I did not miss a day exercising all week.
The nurse I was speaking to talked to a heart doctor (not mine-he was already gone for the day) and she told me that I need to go to an urgent care. I told her last time I went to an urgent care for the same thing a few weeks ago, they called the ambulance on me. She said in that case, I should go to an ER immediately. I told her it was a Friday night and I could not sit there for hours and my niece was graduating college early Saturday morning, so I promised to go to an ER right after that. She was not happy and told me that she was going to put in my file that she told me to go to the ER but I would not go until the next day....ugh.
In Bakersfield, there are three cardiac hospitals, which are Memorial Hospital, Heart Hospital, and Adventist Health. My heart doctor practices at Memorial Hospital, but it has the busiest ER in the city. I decided to go to the heart hospital. There was only a few people in the waiting room. The nurse immediately took my blood and put a heart monitor on me. She said if they find anything wrong they will have to transfer me to Memorial Hospital, which is fine with my, because I would bypass waiting in the ER waiting room.
They gave me a large amount of diuretics, which made me urinate, but it did not make my feet any less swollen. I was never taken back to the ER and put in a room, which was weird, because when I used the bathroom in the ER, there were a lot of rooms open. It was almost empty for an ER.
They did have me come back once to do a chest x-ray. They told me to go in the bathroom and remove my bra, then come out and sit in a chair by the bathroom. The tech took a few x-rays. Then I went back in the bathroom to put my bra back on and I accidentally bumped my iv. Blood started squirting everywhere. I could not even put my shirt on. I held it up to my chest, opened the door, yelled at a man to grab the nurse. She said just a second and the man said she needed to come now.
The nurse had the audacity to yell at me for bumping it. I said if they put me in a gown like a regular ER then I wouldn't have to worry about this. This further annoyed her, but I don't to well with attitudes when something I did was an accident. She brought me wet towels so I could wipe all the blood off me (it was everywhere) but there was also blood that squirted all over my clothes, which I had to put back on. She sent me back to the waiting room where I had to sit in my bloody clothes. This was not a few spots of blood, but I looked like a stabbing victim.
The doctor finally walked out in the ER and told me to come on back and he sat me in the same chair where I sat for my x-ray. He said the blood tests look okay and the chest x-ray looks okay. What does okay mean coming from a doctor? I want numbers. He did not show me my actual blood test numbers. He did say he diagnosed me with Dilated Cardiomyopathy, which is new.
He didn't explain it to me. When I looked it up, it stated that it develops when one or both ventricles (lower chamber of the heart) are damaged and become enlarged. The enlarged ventricles are too weak to pump enough blood to your body for your usual daily activities. He said he will prescribe Lasix. I told him my heart doctor just took me off that medicine because he does not want me on it. He did not listen and said he is prescribing in anyway. Then I told him my pharmacy is closed on the weekend. He said take the water pill my heart doctor gave me a few days prior. I told him that it was not working, and that is why my heart doctor told me to come to the ER.
I felt like I was on that tv show Punked. I thought, "No doctor can be this dumb." The nurse called me back in her room to give me my discharge paperwork. I said "You basically did nothing to treat me, and now the doctor is giving me the medication that my heart doctor does not want me to take." I then said I will definitely be writing an article about this, because no one deserves to come to the ER and nothing be done for them." I stated if the doctor would have really been listening to me, when I told him I can't take Lasix, he could have tried a different medication, but now I am leaving in the same exact condition, barely able to walk because my feet are so swollen and my hands, gaining 12 pounds in 5 days. The medication they gave me while I was there to urinate barely worked. I only went to the bathroom 3 times, which is not a lot with the amount of iv medication they gave me.
The charge nurse with the major attitude problem's name is Melody Montez. I told her I would be sure to mention her name in my article, because of her behavior. I am also going to file a complaint with the hospital. The thing is, I still need to go to an ER. Today my feet are worse than yesterday and the fluid has made it to my face and I have a black eye from the fluid build up under my eyes. I hope if you ever have to go to Bakersfield Heart Hospital, I hope that you get better treatment than I received.