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"Mistreatment at PA Hospital Emergency Department"

About: Princess Alexandra Hospital

(as the patient),

Some time ago we had a 42 degree heat day followed by a terrible storm which took our electricity out. My unit copped a direct hit of lightening and I lost my air-conditioner, TV, fridge and washing machine. I suffer from Idiopathic Angioedema, Thrombocytopenia, Fibromyalgia, Diabetes 2, addiction to steroids, Adrenal Glands don't work very well, Anaphalaxis and widespread Osteoarthritis. I suffered heat stroke, had diahhorea and then got a panic attack due to the loss of my appliances when the power came back on.

Was taken by ambulance to PA Hospital. Doctors, except my Immunologist and GP, have no idea how to treat me when things go wrong. The same hospital has on 3 previous occasions withheld my steroids and other important drugs and I have gone into Adrenal Shock and almost died. On those occasions, I was able to communicate and demand my drugs. This time, I started to shake uncontrollably and was panting - could not get enough oxygen into my lungs and began to get the feeling I am all too familiar with - the feeling that my body was shutting down and I was dying.

The next day I could not speak clearly and was getting weaker. Could not eat. A specialist who did not bother to introduce themselves arrived with their entourage of students and referred to me as a bed number. They ordered me to stop shaking and to breathe properly. I could not get the words out to set them straight. They ruffled my hair and said - you are loony tunes. You need a psychiatrist. Shortly after the mental health workers started to arrive. I was terrified. I still had a cannula in and was afraid they would sedate me and transfer me to Unit 19 - the mental health facility for 3 months.

Had all sort of unnecessary tests - heart echo angiogram, chest x-rays and heaps of blood tests. I was able to indicate to a nurse that I was going home to die. After very nasty dressing down from the Resident (I think) I signed myself out. At least they wheeled me out to the taxi. I had to write down my address for the cabbie, Don't know how I got upstairs. Remember crawling to my door. Got inside, got a drink of water and jar of vegemite out of fridge. Fell trying to get into my chair but was OK and somehow got up. Decided to take massive dose of cortisone - 200mg. I remember they had given me this dose when close to death before. I figured I was dying anyway so the big dose would fix me or kill me and it would not matter if it did. I said my prayers and said the Rosary while sucking on a spoon of Vegemite. At least I had the ceiling fan on but it was still hellishly hot.

Fell asleep and was out for 3 hours. Woke up and shaking was gone and I could breathe normally. Was so weak I had great difficulty getting to toilet so grabbed a bag of adult nappies that were left over when my partner died. Had not had a shower for 3 days but CentreCare could not come and shower me because I have not had an ACAT done. I called a friend who cares for their elderly Mum with dementia in desperation. Bless them, my friend and their daughter arrived and showered me, went shopping for snack food I could tolerate and an esky filled with ice beside me for cold drinks.

Got so weak had trouble holding a glass. Thankfully, my cousin flew all the way from Uluru. They are a park ranger there. They nursed me back to health but it has taken me months to even start feeling like my old self again.

My GP and I have decided that if anything crops up out of the ordinary, no ambulance and no hospital. I will use the night doctor service who can ring my GP at home. If the emergency doctors had read my file properly they would have seen the previous 3 times I have gone into adrenal shock.

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