Refused Treatment

A. SmithIt’s very frustrating when you can’t get medical attention because of the medication you are on. Here… Let me explain.  Over the weekend I moved from my three bedroom house into a two bedroom apartment. There was a lot of sorting, packing, lifting, carrying, moving, unloading, unpacking….you get the picture.  Not only do I have Bipolar disorder but I also have Fibromyalgia and am technically not supposed to be lifting heavy things, but (if you’re like me) if I don’t do it who’s going to?  Sure I had a little help, but I have to do it to make sure it gets done right. So there I was Friday, the first day of the move, things were going as normal as they could go and when it was all said and done Friday night I was hurting  I was not only exhausted but my body ached. I took my pain medication, which is something I very rarely do and I tried to forget about it.I went through this the whole weekend, Saturday & Sunday. I noticed that the pain in my right arm was different than the ache I was feeling in the rest of my body.It didn’t matter. Monday rolled around and I still had a little bit more that had to be done. Things had to be moved to storage.  The house had to be cleaned. So I soldiered on, took my pain medication even though it barely dulled the pain and kept going.Finally I had enough. After waking up in the middle of the night three nights in a row, finally Tuesday morning I went to the ER.  I know, I know.  What took me so long?  I had things to do. I didn’t have time to be running to the ER until the work was done.So now the work was done and I was at the ER. 

In the triage, they asked me what medications I was taking and why I was taking each one of them.  When the Doctor came in for his visit he asked me a few questions like, where does it hurt? Then he started feeling around on my arm.That’s when I started yelping in pain. There’s really no other way to put it.  He asked me if I had been lifting anything heavy and that’s when I explained to him I had been moving. He said I had pulled muscles in my arm, they were inflamed. He told me I needed to take Ibuprofen. I explained to him that I was allergic to that.  He said that was really the best anti-inflammatory I could take. I told him if he needed to give me an anti-inflammatory I could take Mobic, I’ve had it before. He agreed and said the nurse would be in shortly with my prescription.  A few minutes later the Doctor came back into the room and said he had looked at my chart and noticed that ibuprofen makes my throat swell when I take it, I agreed. He told me that he felt Mobic was too similar to ibuprofen to risk it so he asked if I had ever tried Neurontin. I said yes, I had tried it before for my fibromyalgia. He said he would give me that instead, be patient the nurse would be in shortly. Soon the nurse came in with my discharge papers. The nurse informed me that because of some of the other medications I was on for depression, anxiety and mood stabilization the Doctor didn’t feel “comfortable” giving me Neurontin.Apparently it can cause depression. He said I should go see my primary care doctor and if he wanted to take the risk that would be up to him. If I could have gotten in to see my primary care doctor do you really think I would have been sitting at the ER? And HELLO, I just got through telling him I’ve been on Neurontin before. 

Anyway, I won’t rant. That isn’t what this is about. What this is about is being on medication that prevents you from getting treatment for emergencies. What if it had been something else. Has your diagnosis ever stopped you from getting treatment that you needed or felt you needed. Maybe he was worried about his liability. Maybe he was just looking out for my best interest. All I know is, I went there for two things, answers & help. I got my answers, I found out why my arm was still hurting. The help, well the help was nowhere to be found. I hope this was a single experience that is never repeated, I hope I am the only one this has ever happened to. I’m not blind to the world around me, however. I know that even in the medical community where there should be plenty of education and less stigma, even Doctors are cautious around Mental Illness. Where will it stop, when. What will be the next step in breaking the barriers. We have to educate, even the educated.    

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