In the past 12 months, five times I have been in pain so intense that I have reluctantly (just ask my partner) presented myself to the emergency department of my local hospital. Despite some obviously caring nursing staff, each time I was dismissed with little concern other than to be given two panadol tablets (as if I hadn't already tried that). In particular, I particular I feel it was inferred that I was wasting hospital resources. I gathered this impression from the following statements/questions directed at myself and my partner:
a) Did I realise that the emergency department is for emergencies?
b) Did I know that Irritable Bowel Syndrome is psychosomatic pain?
At the time I was in so much pain I wasn’t able to respond to these statements and sat dumbfounded and humiliated. My response now is, I thought acute-on-chronic onset of severe stomach pain for over 6 hours with blood in my stool had the potential to have been an emergency, and that psychosomatic pain is still pain.
The fifth time I presented to Geraldton Regional Hospital, I went at the insistence of my GP. The GP advised that there was little more that they could do as an outpatient and gave me a letter to take to the emergency department, requesting I’d be admitted for further investigations. I took with me the results from an abdominal CT, Gastroscopy and Colonoscopy.
I was seen by the same doctor from which the above-mentioned comments came from, whose name I can provide offline. As I recalled, they said they didn’t understand why I was there and what it was I expected them to do. I told them I had come at the advice of my GP and said I was just desperate to find out what was wrong. I was hopeful that the finding outlined on the CT scan report were useful in pointing in the right direction. I felt the Dr barely glanced at them, dismissed them as not suggestive of anything in particular and seemed very reluctant to discuss them with me. They repeatedly asked me what it was I expected them to do and seemed argumentative and impolite. I did get emotional at their confrontational rapid-fire questions as it became obvious to me that they felt I was wasting their time. I felt they also made it obvious to me that they had no intention of admitting me for follow up tests and suggested I go back and see my psychiatrist and find someone to help with my pain management. They concluded by advising me several times that they were just a lowly resident, sifter and sorter, and that all they would do is write me a script for Tapentadol despite my saying earlier in the conversation that I wanted answers, not just pain relief.
I believe the treatment I have received at Geraldton Regional Hospital by this particular Dr has been heavily influenced by the fact that I have a mental health condition, namely ptsd. I feel this appears to have placed me firmly in the category of attention-seeking, perhaps even drug-shopping, and most definitely as someone whose physical distress is caused by their emotional distress and never the other way around. I have a copy of this Dr's discharge report from my latest emergency department visit. In my opinion, it clearly shows their disdain for me and disbelief of the genuineness of my complaint and an awesome lack of empathy toward a suffering fellow human being.
I am an intelligent middle-aged individual, educated to degree level, who has been gainfully employed since I was a teenager and physically healthy until I was approaching my 50s. I currently have two part-time jobs, I care for my partner who has chronic health conditions, I am a part-time carer for my parent who has advanced dementia. I run a household, manage all the finances, pay my bills on time, vote when required, ensure my partner and parent get all to all their medical appointments, and in my spare time try to eat healthily and exercise. I am a high-functioning individual who lives with ptsd and depression. It is true that in the past 4 years my physical and mental health has declined dramatically and I have needed some significant help, but some of my treatment in our health care system has been appalling. In my opinion, a less strong person would not have survived it.
"Presenting to an Emergency Department"
About: Geraldton Hospital / Emergency Department Geraldton Hospital Emergency Department Geraldton 6530
Posted by DeepBlueWell (as ),