Tuesday, February 20, 2018

10 Questions to Ask When Hospitalized

It happens a lot.
If you or someone you love is suddenly hospitalized for unknown causes, there are things you should know to get the care you deserve.

The first thing you should know before all others is that you will be treated more kindly if you have someone accompanying you.

I wish it wasn't true, but when we are at our most vulnerable and weak, alone in a hospital room of any sort; that is when hospital staff is most likely to ignore you, forget about you, dismiss you, treat your condition as insignificant, and otherwise outright bully you.

And I'm not saying all nurses and doctors behave this way. I'm saying it happens a lot more than you might imagine.

However, when there is someone strong standing beside us, asking questions and politely demanding answers; our treatment improves dramatically.

Every patient deserves to have an advocate. But sometimes we are alone and it is not possible. When that happens, we need to advocate for ourselves. 

Chin up, Lone Warriors. Many of us have stared into the abyss that is an Emergency waiting room, with symptoms ranging from debilitating to deadly...and we somehow survived.

Have hope, my friends. It's amazing what the human body can endure. xo

I learned to ask these questions over several years between 2012 and 2015 when I was frequently admitted to hospital for surgeries and surgery complications. It was like a revolving door for me; a traumatic time in my life that I am only now starting to be able to write about.

I spent 99.9% of my time hospitalized alone. I got dropped off at the waiting room by a taxicab, or ambulance, or a friend or family member - mostly my husband, who went home to care for our children.

Then I faced the spinning room by myself.

At first I was a timid patient who did as she was told.

But after awhile, I started asking questions. I started saying no to tests and treatments they recommended. And I took back my health.

10 Questions to ask when you or your loved one is hospitalized:

  1. What tests have you run so far and what do they indicate?

    Hospitals always run a standard Complete Blood Count (CBC) to check for white and red blood cells, the shape, size, and frequency of your blood cells, anemia, among other things.

    Don't let the name fool you. This test is far from complete. And it fails to take into consideration that you have to have been very ill for a very long time for these tests to be abnormal.

    If your symptoms are relatively recent, these blood tests will most likely be NORMAL.

    You could be anemic and a CBC will not show anemia. You could have deadly sepsis making you iller than f*ck and a CBC will not show anything abnormal. 

    So, don't believe the hype when they tell you all your tests have come back "normal."

    It does not mean your symptoms are all in your head. It means the doctors do not know how to find out what's wrong with you yet.

  2. I've learned that a doctor is the
    last person to trust.
    Is it possible that the test or treatment you're recommending could make my condition worse?

    In an ideal world this wouldn't happen. Testing wouldn't make us sicker. Treatment wouldn't kill us.

    But this is not an ideal world and yes, it's possible that whatever the doctor is doing "for" you right now is making you more ill.

    For instance, when I went to the hospital with severe abdominal pain, diarrhea, and dehydration; standard x-rays didn't show what the problem was.

    Without considering the dangers, doctors prescribed laxatives which promptly made me far more sick than I already was.

    Later, when I refused to take laxatives again, doctors and nurses began treating me with contempt and disrespect, ignoring my cries speaking to me with venom tongues.
    They didn't realize I was dying. I had a hole in my intestine and giving me laxatives only brought me closer that much faster to death.

    In desperation, I gave in to their pressure and took more laxatives. A few hours later I was rushed in for emergency surgery.

    Due to their recklessness and ignorance, my CBC panel finally showed some really bad news.

    But by then, it was too late.

    I'll never know for sure if the laxatives are the reason I ended up having to get 75% of my large intestine removed. They are known to cause dehydration and ischemia after all.

    So, whether a doctor admits it or not, some tests and treatments can make your condition worse and can even kill you. But don't worry. Who needs a large intestine?

  3. What is the current treatment plan?

    The current treatment plan is usually to monitor and treat symptoms, then send you home once you stabilize.

    The problem with this treatment plan is that it does not identify the cause of your illness in the first place and it masks the effects of the illness.

    Sometimes, doctors do know what's wrong. Or they think they know what's wrong.

    So, they come up with a treatment plan which may include medications, exercise, and even diet adaptations (which are laughable once you look at the hospital menu).

    Truthfully, most doctors won't medically treat you correctly.

    If you want to identify the cause of your illness and treat it with the intention to cure it, you won't find your answers in a pill bottle.

    Health is wealth. Spend your last dollar on it, if need be. Go to a naturopath.

    If you absolutely can't afford a naturopath, become a health detective and do your own research.

    Hell, even if you go to a naturopathic doctor, you should still be a health detective and do your own research. Come up with your own treatment plan based on what you learn through your own research.

    My favourite search words are: “symptom” natural treatment.

    The treatment plan most doctors have for you is:  

    Ain't that the truth.
    Lifelong pharmaceuticals to mask your symptoms.
    B) Write you a prescription when you come in and forget about you when you walk out. 
    C) Kick you out of their practice altogether (like many pediatricians are doing with parents who ask about vaccines now).

  4. What medications are being prescribed and why; and how long will these medications need to be taken?

    Most doctors are happy to give you pain medication, sleeping pills, and every other pill you could imagine while you are in the hospital. 

    But what will happen when you leave? How will these medicines affect you?

    Does your doctor suggest taking expensive, immune-suppressant drugs for the rest of your life? 

    Exactly what are these doctors proposing?

    You might be appalled at the life they are envisioning for you. It was a life I certainly didn't envision for myself.

  5. Do any of these medications cause withdrawal when the dose is decreased or the prescription runs out?

    If they tell you NO; do your own research.

    Certain drugs do cause withdrawal but nurses and doctors either don't know the truth or want to minimize the dangers of the drug by lying to you.

    Also remember that most doctors and nurses do not understand withdrawal or how to wean someone safely off of addictive pharmaceuticals, even if they pretend they do.

    Even pharmacists tend to give bad advice when it comes to weaning off of medications.

    When I was released from the hospital after life-saving abdominal surgery and over three weeks on high doses of intravenous hydromorphone, I was sent home with a small prescription for a much lower dose of hydromorphone.

    I spent the next several weeks in and out of hospital in such great abdominal pain, I thought I was dying again.

    Each time I returned to Emergency, I begged for more pain medication, assuming this awful, intolerable pain was from my surgery. And each time, doctors and nurses treated me like I was an addict "drug seeking." 

    Doctors "upgrade their training" by listening to
    pharmaceutical reps (with incentives).
    Not once did any doctor or nurse suggest that my pain could be a symptom of hydromorphone withdrawal.

    I had no idea!

    There was never any effort made to wean me off it slowly. 

    I honestly thought my pain was caused by having three open abdominal surgeries in the past month.

    In the sleepless hours that I lay in my bed writhing in pain and wishing to die, I did my research online and learned that hydromorphone withdrawal caused all the symptoms I was experiencing.

    I went to my family doctor and asked for a prescription of hydromorphone in 1mg and 2 mg tablets so I could wean myself down off it.

    Over three years, due to many surgeries, I was forced to wean myself off hydromorphone five times. Not once did any doctor or nurse warn me of the withdrawal symptoms. 

    On several occasions, nurses began to wean me off the drug themselves without telling me. 

    They reduced my injections by half or more and I went into painful, horrible withdrawal, each time believing I was dying and that something was going horribly wrong inside my intestines.

    You would think medical professionals on the surgery unit would have some understanding of drug withdrawal and how to safely wean someone. But they didn't and they don't.

    How to Safely Wean Off Pharmaceuticals

    Since I'm on the topic, I thought I should tell you what's up.

    I learned the hard way what was the best way to wean off pharmaceuticals.I weaned myself off hydromorphone, effexor, and many other prescription drugs over those years.

    This is how you do it...

    • You want to decrease the amount little by little, even if you have to open a capsule and split up the contents. 
    • Decrease doses in very small increments, dosing at the same times as you usually do.
    • Do not skip doses until you are on such a minimal dose that skipping doses is your only option to continue your wean.
  1. If so, what are the symptoms of withdrawal?

    Every drug has different withdrawal symptoms. In my case, the withdrawal symptoms from hydromorphone were the exact same symptoms I had when my bowel was perforated. 

    So, each time I went through withdrawal without knowing it, I thought I was dying again. It was very traumatic. 

    Be sure to research the symptoms of withdrawal from the medications you are on so that you understand what is happening to you when you reduce or stop a medication.

    Spare yourself the grief I went through not knowing. xo

  2. Could this health issue be caused by..... (a recent exposure to a toxin). Examples: vaccines, heavy metals, toxic fumes, pesticide spray, new medication, mosquito bite, amalgam filling, etc.

    This question is a wishful thinking question. Doctors don't know that the basis for all health is nutrition and detoxification. (Weird, isn't it? I feel like that's something they should be aware of.)

    So, they feed us microwaved, nutrient-devoid, pesticide-ridden, chemical-laden, harmful foods while we are in the hospital. 

    Doctors only know what they've
    been told = no thinking required
    And they pump us full of toxic drugs (which may honestly be heaven-sent at the time). 

    And then they do nothing to help us detox or get well nutritionally.

    They are idiots. Obviously. Merciful idiots with their toxic, pain reducing meds.

    But I digress...

    When I first got sick, long before my neurological symptoms and gastrointestinal distress reached a point of emergency, no one asked me about toxins.

    If someone had asked me “Have you recently had a vaccine or other toxic exposure?” I would have said YES! 

    And then I would have known what was making me sick and I would have been able to do the research I needed to heal.

    Instead, I was told vaccines don't cause gastrointestinal and neurological symptoms and then for 1.5 years I had doctors telling me my condition was all in my head.

    Talk about traumatizing! 

    One hundred percent of vaccine inserts list gastrointestinal and neurological symptoms as adverse reactions, but only about 5% or less of doctors seem to know this.

    Are most doctors stupid, blind, ignorant, brainwashed, or corrupt? You tell me.

  3. Why are you running more tests? (blood-tests, x-rays, urine or stool samples, etc)

    It's an aggravating tendency of most doctors and nurses to do their job without telling the patient what the hell they are doing or why they are doing it. 

    So, yes, you have to ask. 

    Why are you running more tests? What are these tests testing for? What do you suspect might be the problem?

    If you don't ask, they don't tell. 

    If you are catching the drift of this article, then you know that this is the moment when you start researching the potential prognosis.

  4. Why aren't you running more tests?

    Usually hospital doctors stop running tests when they don't know what is wrong with you and they've run out of ideas. 

    This is also the moment when they start treating you like it's all in your head.

    Truthfully, most hospitals don't run the right tests. 

    Typical hospital food
    They don't know what they're looking for because they don't seem to realize that severe nutrient deficiencies can be hidden by bodies that are designed to balance themselves.

    Most doctors and nurses don't know that disease is caused by toxicity and deficiency. 

    Then they feed you shit food, which itself is toxic and worsens deficiencies.

    Which further proves they don't have a f*cking clue what they're doing.

    What doctors and nurses should be doing is assessing you for recent toxic exposure.

    What doctors and nurses should be doing is testing for deficiencies. 

    They should be giving nutrient IV's with Vitamin C and all the B's, Folate, Magnesium, and whatever other nutrients are potentially low.

    Vitamins will never kill you but they can heal you. 

    Why don't doctors in hospitals do this obvious, helpful treatment? Good question. 

    The answer is that they are trained in schools that are funded by pharmaceutical companies where they learn how to prescribe medications and keep their patients sick and coming back.

    The medical establishment is a money making machine, after all.

  5. Health starts with your food.
    How can I get copies of my medical files?
    Again, this is a question your doctors or nurses may not know.

    If they don't, ask them to send for a social worker or hospital advocate who can help you with this and any other issues you may be experiencing.

    Believe me, you want to have your own copy of your medical files.

    You will learn a lot from those files. You can search the tests and results and learn what has been done on your behalf.

    You can see what hasn't been done. You can see the notes that doctors write in the margins. You can bring these files when you switch doctors or go to see a naturopath.

    I warn you, doctors and nurses get offended when you ask for your medical records. In fact, they will get offended and even rude if you ask most of the questions above.

    For some reason, most medical professionals don't think you are able to manage your own health. Your experience living inside your own body means nothing to them.

    I have one message for those f*ckers. “Go Vaccinate Yourself.”

 Answers to the above questions will be different depending on who you ask and at which point in your stay that you ask.

So ask them often, and ask them of every health professional you come in contact with. 

You will be amazed at how knowledgeable some medical professionals are and also how completely stupid many of them are, as well. 

You will be amazed how many of them don't know what each other are doing. And you'll be amazed how offended they get when you challenge their authority.

Which reminds me that there is one last question you should always ask...

BONUS QUESTION:  Is there a hospital advocate that I can speak with, please?

Especially if you are alone, you will benefit from talking to an advocate. Depending on the hospital, this may turn out to be a social worker.

Assuming the social worker is truly working in your best interests (and recognizing there are jerkass advocates out there too), you will (hopefully) have someone to speak on your behalf.

When hospital staff know they are being monitored, they smarten up. 

You must be strong. You must stand up to them. You must get the answers you want and need. And when they are all out of answers, you must heal yourself. xo

You can do it.

Have you been through hell with the medical establishment? Are there any questions I'm missing in this list? Please share your comments below.

I wish you healing and send you love. xoxo

Love Annie

No comments:

Post a Comment