Surgery Date

I have a date for the surgery on my elbow: Nov 10th.  I’m not looking forward to this – I’m not sure my medical PTSD is actually made any better by repeated exposure to hospitals.  I am better than I used to be.  There was a time when I couldn’t walk into a hospital.  I’m used to going to the ER at my local hospital in the wee hours of the morning.  They are actually not too busy then and the nursing staff is quite nice.  (Last time I had a really hot male nurse- woo!  😉 )  But back to surgery… that’s a whole different ball game.  Based on previous experience, I don’t seem to react well to anesthesia.  And I certainly don’t react well to pain.

This new nurse, the one for the surgeon, is not nearly as supportive as the one for the specialist.  I was trying to schedule my surgery date and she said she could fit me in next week, but when I told her I wanted November, her attitude changed rapidly.  I didn’t tell her this, but I have a wedding to go to and I have worker’s comp doctor appointments and I just can’t handle that much medical all at once.  Then she starts asking if I’m working, and why not, and I’m trying to explain it to her – it’s political – etc.  “We usually don’t do paperwork if your employer takes you off work.”  So I’m trying to explain that it’s a requirement by my employer that I have paperwork and her tone keeps getting snottier with every question.  I finally just asked her to talk to another nurse, the one who works with the specialist I’ve been seeing, because she understands the situation.  By the end of it, this nurse was snarling and I was so rattled that it hadn’t occurred to me that the simple explanation is:  I have work restrictions but my employer does not wish to accommodate them.  That’s why I’m not at work.  Why can’t they just look at my damn chart?

This new nurse probably figures that I am just trying to get out of work.  Part of me is, I suppose, but mostly, I’m just trying to get to a point where I can deal with the surgery emotionally.  Should I call her back? Should I change it?  Should I explain it in a letter submitted with the paperwork that I am going to drop off? I don’t know. My brain is going to explode.

But they don’t want me back to work until I am 100%.  And then I am sure they intend to torture me with tasks that require a lot of manual labor.  They tout safety but they don’t mean it – it’s more get the job done and if someone gets hurt, let’s sweep it under the rug or pretend it’s their fault.  That happened the first time I was hurt at work.  The head of safety was so pissed that I submitted it as an incident that he said further incidents should be reported to him first before they go into the system. What the fuck?  (Please pardon my language.)  If they hadn’t been pushing me to violate my work restrictions, then I wouldn’t have gotten hurt in the first place.  And if you get hurt, well, they will find a way to toss you into the bottom 10% and put your job in jeopardy.

I had such a nice weekend – the Paxil is finally starting to work – and now this. I’m so upset that I took a Klonopin and I haven’t done that in days, maybe even a week.  The only good thing about today is that I get to see my councilor tonight.  God, I wish I could get drunk.


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5 thoughts on “Surgery Date

  1. Hi. I just stumbled across this blog and felt compelled to comment. This nurse was completely unprofessional, unethical and inappropriate. It is absolutely none of her business whether you are working or not and it certainly is not her place to judge. Her business is to be your nurse. To educate, to reassure and to care both for your physical and emotional self pre and post surgery. Please do not allow her to disempower you in any way. Too many health practitioners get away with this as the patient is feeling vulnerable in the first place.

    Anesthesia does have a profound effect on the mood for everyone and if folk experience mood disorders this can last for up to six weeks. As such it is important to ensure a healthy post-operative environment that includes people who are supportive and to understand that you may feel down and that this is quite a normal reaction to anesthetic. Wishing you the best of luck…Leesa

  2. (I’ve attempted to write this four times now. I suppose I wasn’t meant to, but I’m going to anyway.)

    I have a special distaste for unprofessional, nasty, mean, arrogant health care professionals. I have had to deal with entirely too many of them in my time, and that’s saying a lot. My time hasn’t even been that long. It’s completely unethical for a health care professional to treat a patient in that way. Patients are especially vulnerable and they have taken an oath to do no harm.

    I also have a particular loathing for dirty employers. I have worked for too many of them and have always been in the bottom 10% – not because of my work performance. My back still gives me problems because an employer denied my workers’ compensation claim. Why? Because they claimed there was no way for me to establish that I sustained that injury at work. The back injury could have happened anywhere else at any other time.

    My advice? As for the employer, I can’t say much. The only thing I could do was keep pressing on. The best way to beat them at their own game is to continue to play by the book, and never give them a reason to can you. What else can they do? They’ll just have to deal with it.

    As for the health care professionals, I’d give it right back to them. T.D.’s diagnosing psychologist become snotty and indignant with me. I gave it right back to her. I was traumatized by a nasty labor nurse to the point where I cringe anytime someone even suggests that I have to set foot in a hospital. Interestingly enough, the doctor that originally misdiagnosed me studied under the worst, most unprofessional, judgemental Pdoc I’ve ever had. The nerve. . . telling me I was too young to be married with a child. She acted as if I got married because I accidently got knocked up. I dispelled that notion for her; I chose to marry my husband and I chose to become pregnant. Those are the best things that ever happened to me.

    Don’t let them screw anything up for you. Remind those ***holes that they work for you.

  3. I have a whole list of awful experiences with unprofessional and uncaring health-care workers. But I doubt you want to hear of any more of those right now. My aunt is a nurse – a damn good one. And I like to think that the majority are good, though possibly over-worked. If you feel ANYONE is judging you for any reason, tell them you don’t appreciate it. I haven’t worked since a huge breakdown in 2005-6. I have bipolar and it means (for me) that people seem to have a lot of power over my moods. I therefore restrict interaction as much as possible, and to people I trust (not many of those). I’m incredibly sensitive to other people and get upset instead of annoyed or angry. I take stuff in, instead of seeing it for what it is. I know I do these things and have to remind myself to alter my reactions accordingly. The position you found yourself in would have upset me, made me question myself instead of the rat who upset me. Then, I’d have to recognise what had happened and make myself heard. A simple and quiet – “You know that comment was wrong, don’t you?” Has worked for me in the past. Said in a restrained fashion on your way out is best – you get the last word and they are left feeling stupid and possibly even a little guilty.

    It’s not easy – but it makes me feel vindicated. Stronger. Good about myself.

    Best of luck to you Lady! Shah. X

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  5. There is no excuse for her to act that way, but keep in mind that she may have been new, confused, or unaware of all of your special concerns. I say that not because I don’t support you 100% (and then some), I do, but I know you may be able to see it from that angle, and sometimes when I can look at it from another perspective my anger and annoyance fade. The last thing you need right now is more upset inside of you.

    Just try to keep things low key for yourself (and good Lord, start looking at other places to work, if you can!). You want to push the surgery out so that you’re in a place where you can deal with it, which I totally get, now just let yourself deal with each thing one at a time, as it comes. It may help the anxiety to just focus on the next thing, if you can.

    Good luck with it all.

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