Posted by: janetleigh | March 28, 2008

I’ve been pulled in different directions lately..


 Photo by Articulate Matter

Hello, Friends!
Crap never ends, does it? My recent disappearing act happened at the beginning of last week. I had an awful scare over my husband that put him in the hospital, but he’s home now and doing fine. One thing I’d like to say about this incident is that when he was being taken into the Emergency Room treatment area, the nurse told me to wait in the ER lobby and she’d come back for me in a minute. She knew I was his wife. That minute lasted 20 minutes and made me extremely anxious and finally angry. I found out later that it’s not hospital policy, but rather it’s up to the ER nurse who decides who goes in with the patient. This made me angry because she hadn’t even talked with me before taking my husband into the treatment area. I can understand if I was hysterical or something, but I tend to remain calm in crises. I was angry because my husband was sent from our doctor’s office (at the hospital) to the ER thinking he might be having a heart attack. Our doctor was on vacation and the PA advised us to do so. The doctor’s office is in the professional wing of the hospital and the walk to the ER was long and I arrived almost at the same time my husband was at the treatment door when the nurse turned around and told me to stay even after I told her I was his wife. My husband asked her to let me go with him. The reason I’m bringing this up is two-fold; to let you know why I’ve been away but moreso to let you know that apparently this is happening more and more at hospitals. I told my doctor about this yesterday (at the followup visit) and he told me I should have pressed past the nurse while saying boldly, “I’m going in with him!” All of this is premised on the fact I wanted to be with him if he died having a heart attack. The thought of him dying while looking into the faces of strangers hovering over him almost did me in. If you feel like I do about this, please don’t let it happen to you. Just push past and insist on going in with your spouse. Thanks for letting me get this off my chest..:) (/rant)


  1. Firstly, i am so glad that your husband is okay. i say this because you mentioned a followup visit. i hope that he will be okay and will pray for him.

    Secondly, i am sorry that that happened to you. Something similar happened to me once. My husband has severe asthma, although it has improved greatly since our move to Oregon from smoggy southern California. His father died having an asthma attack in a hospital bathroom because he could not reach the call button, so my husband’s asthma concerns me greatly. Anyway, he was having an attack which required a trip to the ER.

    After he was taken back, i waited and waited. It felt eternal. The nurse kept telling me she would have information for me but she never did. i know that they are busy, but sheesh!

    Finally, i got pissed off and just went back. A doctor took me to him and said that he didn’t understand why they had me waiting.

    Well me either!

    We have to assert ourselves. i think we find it difficult for some of us to challenge perceived boundaries and authority, even though we know there are times we must.

    God, I’m so glad to find someone who knows what I’m talking about here! I’m tired of the poo-poo’s, making me think I’m making a mountain out of a mole hill. I’m sorry you also went through a similar experience, c. I know how terrible it was for you. I’m not sure why I didn’t just march in after him, but the power-nurse was bigger than me, and had filed her teeth that night, I guess. I hadn’t been in an Emergency Room in quite a while and didn’t expect to be barred from following him in. It was a volunteer security guy who told me it was the nurse’s decision but he didn’t know why she made such a dumb one at that. I asked for a Patient Advocate but he/she hadn’t arrived by the time Nurse Rachet summoned me back. I told her I wanted to talk to her later because I wasn’t pleased by how she kept me from going in, but she insisted on NOW so I started telling her why I wasn’t pleased .. when she interrupted me and did this dance about how I would get in the way of all the specialized people who were back there, blah blah blah. [My husband told me it didn’t materialize that way. It was one person at a time and the ER was just about empty anyway.] Each time I was making a good point she’d interrupt me. This made me madder, so I told her I knew something about working in a hospital having worked in one myself, in the Burn Unit, and never came across such an arrogant manner such as hers and asked how she’d like it if she were in my shoes. Again, she was talking out her angst bellows and I just abruptly cut her off by demanding what room my husband was in. She stared at me while saying Room #2 [which was about 15 feet away]. I was expecting the police at any time. I told my husband she was lucky I didn’t punch her out right then and there. He laughed and said he heard everything we were saying and it was a matter of 2 alpha females challenging each other’s authority. lol

    I hope you never have to go through this experience again and I’m glad your husband’s asthma has settled down some. Prayers for him, too. Thanks for sharing your story with me, c. You made me feel like I connected with someone who’s been there and done that and didn’t like the treatment any more than I did. Next time I punch first, apologize later *giggle* just kidding. Hmmm.. maybe NOT! And I wish I could tell you why I really couldn’t make a big fuss at the time… *whistling*

  2. I completely understand Janet. I am glad he is okay. Sorry about my sporadic comments, I hope to handle this soon and get back in the groove of things.

    Thanks, Anna, I appreciate your concern, and don’t worry about your “sporadic comments” – as you probably noticed, I’m having my own these days..:) Not a dull moment, here, in my nest. But, this too shall pass. Thank God!

  3. what a frightening disempowering experience, Janet. I’m so relieved th,at your beloved is now recovering but honestly, what’s going on with people? Like you say, had you been hysterical maybe caution would be advised … but i’d have been thinking exactly the same as you had things gone another way … and ok, push through but such all-but-aggression may not be in some people … especially at a time like that … while the patient takes priority of course, there are often more to care for than the System recognises …

    Yes, it was quite unpleasant for me, Shell. I’m not all-out aggressive or I would have pushed by her initially. My ex-MIL would have punched her out and stuck her in the broom closet. LOL Okay, maybe not, but she was a very aggressive woman, although I held my own with her, but frankly I’m glad I don’t have to deal with her anymore. I think she was the original She-Ra prototype :) Generally, I’m a pleasant, non-confrontational type, but I’m hell-fire if you deliberately screw me over. heh heh

  4. makes me mad thinking about it. in my family we have learned the hard way to stay with the patient no matter what. it is the only way to guarantee good care and attention to detail.

    Oh, no. I’m sorry to learn this, Rick. I hope it wasn’t the worst case scenario that you went through, G_d forbid! But, after this experience, I won’t let the hospital personnel separate me and a loved one ever again. It was just plain wrong. My husband wanted me there with him and made his desire known to the nurse who was on duty. I think I’ve come to fully understand the term “bitch slap” from this experience, unfortunately..:) Thank you for stopping by, Rick, and showing your concern. You’re a really nice guy. :)

  5. p.s. glad you are both okay!

    Thank you so much for your concern, Rick. Yes, this was a hard lesson for us and we won’t be cowed again. With all the horrible things happening to patients these days because of sloppy protocol and procedures, or doctors who think they’re G_d, I want to be with my loved one to make sure they don’t slip him a cyanide pill so they’ll have one less over-50, high-cholesterol, high-blood pressure patient to tend to. Their predilection for deciding who lives or dies these days doesn’t make for a happy hospital experience anymore, Rick. Just as an aside, I’m a C-SPAN junkie and I watched a program about universal health care planning and one of the slogans was The Best Care for the Right Person. I believe we’re coming into the age where health care providers will decide which patient gets what according to their capacity to pay. Scary, no?

  6. what a terrible experience, and you’re right,
    didn’t she think, to think as his wife {or girlfriend,
    best friend, lover, etc.} if this is to be his last
    breath or a hint of, that you would want to be
    with him, even more – any human needs/wants
    to have someone with them as they are wheeled
    into IC. often I find, women will disrespect other
    women. bad karma on that ER nurse.

    Thank you for your thoughts and empathy about my unfortunate experience, Cynthia. I think you’ve expressed so well what I’ve been trying to get across but haven’t found the right words. Thank you for filling in the blanks for me and this important message to others. It’s really true, as you write, it doesn’t matter whether I was his wife, friend, gf, or mother, she made a decision to exert power over another vulnerable woman which makes her a coward in trying to appear larger than life. And, welcome, welcome to Poetmeister.. it’s a pleasure to have you stop in. Please come back..:)

  7. That is a scary experience. I am glad that He is recovering. Keeping you both in my thoughts enveloped in with strength.

    The meany Nurse, what was she thinking?
    Thank you for the heads up too.. I dont think they will be able to tear me away from the ones I love under the circumstances. I havent had such an experience but as I read what you went through, I was thinking, that nurse would have had a mini-hell to pay for if she did that to me. I would have given her a piece of my mind and made sure to scramble her peace of mind for days. I am not the kind who looks for a fight but I dont back down from one either, especially if it involves someone I love.

    Thank you for stopping by, mysoul, and thanks too for your concern about my hubby. He’s much much better now. I don’t know what Meany Nurse was thinking – but she was wearing some rather large basket balls.. ;> You probably didn’t see this but I actually did give Meany Nurse a piece of my mind worthy of a few days loss of peace. Concerning her mind? I don’t think she has one. heh heh

  8. First, I’d like to say hello. :-)

    I am sorry to hear (read) about that sad experience. Yes, I can understand how you must have felt. It was inconsiderate of the nurse to do that. Hah! I’m sure your husband would have loved to see you there, too. Seeing the face of the one you love gives you courage, and more.

    I hope your husband’s well now. And thank you for sharing this story. I learned something from it.


    And a warm hello to you as well, Brainteaser. :) Thank you for your kind comments re my hubby and our most unfortunate incident. He’s doing much better now and glad to be home. He’s back to work and whistling again. I quickly jumped over to your blog and really enjoyed my visit. I’ll be returning, so look for me. Again, thanks for stopping by..:)

  9. Aaargh!
    I pray your hubby has a full & speedy recovery. Nurses do important work but I must wonder how they view us. We are, after all, their job. I once had to impose myself between my postnatal wife and a syringe wielding blood sampling nurse. I was so glad she didn’t sic the orderlies on me (would’ve been a fight). Officials get to make Official Proclamations, but as my wife always says, ” It’s you & me against the world”.
    Health, Solace, Light to you & yourn.

    Hi, Polar! *wave* Thanks for your kind words and snippet about your experience with your wife’s postnatal care. I so agree with your wife’s, “It’s you & me against the world”. That’s how me and my hubby look at it, too. It seems to me there’s been a shift in the way the medical field treats their charges. It’s disconcerting in several ways. We have become number placards on the medical assembly line and they seem to want less to do with us. They’re alienating us by their shocking hospital and medical care costs, drive-by surgery and infection-riddled facilities. Apparently some hospitals don’t disinfect rooms or medical equipment like they used to, leave catheters in way too long causing infections, operate on wrong parts of our bodies, and charge us an arm and a leg for meds. Oh oh, I better stop now, or I’ll start a rant about health and I don’t want to scare you away from my blog. lol
    Hope all is well with you and yours. Look for me soon – I’m making my rounds! (hospital humor..hee hee)

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