Sunday, April 25, 2021

Where I have been

Where I have been 


Many people have reached out to me to see if I am ok being as I haven’t posted much lately... I am ok now but wasn’t there for awhile. 


Let me start from the beginning of my downhill slide.


Wednesday, January 20


I had to get an endoscopy and colonoscopy because my iron numbers had been dropping, and I had been more tired than usual.


Everything started out well...got to the procedure center, checked in, taken back to my bed, got my IV and was wheeled back for the procedures.


They had me roll myself onto my side, placed a bite block in my mouth with a hole in it for them to be able to stick the camera down my throat...then they started inserting the tube down my throat without me being fully sedated...this is where it went to total shit.


I felt like it was forever with them trying to shove the scope down my throat with me trying to move my head from side to side trying to tell them that I was still awake. Someone noticed that something wasn’t right and pulled it out.


Once they took the bite block out, I started bawling and hyperventilating telling them that I was awake... I hadn’t been sedated properly.


They started a new IV to sedate me again and this one worked.


They finished the procedures, had me wake up more and then wheeled me out to Eric. After getting in our car, I looked at Eric and lost it... I broke down like I had never broke down before. I told him about what happened through panicked sobs...with each word I spoke it took me deeper into the panic.


He sat and held me while I cried into his chest...while I told him that I felt completely violated from them shoving a tube down my throat...me trying my hardest to get it to stop but no body was hearing me.


When we got back home I wrote and sent the following letter.


Letter to location 

To whom it may concern


I just left the XYZ location for an endoscopy and colonoscopy, and am extremely unhappy with the experience due to lack of attention to me as a person, not just a number being sent through the line.


The nurse who hooked me up to the IV, unknowingly missed my vein, so when I was back in the room to begin the endoscopy, I was NOT asleep from the IV medicine because the IV was NOT in a vein. She didn’t draw blood from the vein to make sure she actually hit a vein. 


For what it is worth, I receive MRIs and scans every 3 months, so I know how easy it is for the IV giver to draw back to make sure there is blood return to make sure the IV is in an actual vein.


As soon as they started putting the camera down my throat, I was gagging and coughing trying to tell them that I WAS AWAKE. I am not sure how long they were trying to force the camera down my throat before someone heard me say, “I AM STILL AWAKE.”


They immediately stopped, pulled the camera out, and started a new IV.


But my question is, is there not a system in place to double check to make sure the patient is actually out before going forward? I feel like, they were in such a hurry to keep the line moving, this extremely important step was overlooked.


I have had many traumatic health events in my life, yet I have never left feeling disappointed/neglected in the care I have received.


I am writing this for several reasons: one, I am extremely upset and feel traumatized from this, two, I don’t want the speed of getting things done to compromise the care and safety of the patients, three, to be assured that what happened doesn’t happen in the future, to myself or others. 


With that in mind, I need to receive a response on why there aren’t more consistent checks on the patients at the beginning of the procedure to make sure they are not still aware/awake.  Even a simple “are you awake” question would have prevented this issue.

If there are already procedures to make sure the patient is properly under anesthesia, I similarly need a response as to why they weren’t followed, or failed in my case. 


I wish I did not need to write this letter, but as I am still reeling from the experience, I need to receive a response in order to begin to deal with the trauma I have received.


I hope to hear from you soon with a written response.


Sincerely, 

Renee Sendelbach


Thursday 


I received 3 calls from different people from the center checking on me, apologizing and telling me that this had never happened. I was told they were going to change the process to ensure that the patient was actually properly sedated.


I was in a constant state of panic. 


I think I took more Ativan that week than I had in the past year.


Friday


Was more of the same as Thursday...panic attacks, Ativan, crying and Eric trying to soothe me.


Saturday 


I woke up in a panic and crying again. Then I started thinking about how a few people who I shared my complaint letter with hadn’t reached out to check in on me and that planted a new seed of being p*ssed and hurt.


SO, I wrote a b*tchy note to some of my friends telling them that I was very hurt at their lack of concern about me after I shared the letter that I wrote to the procedure center with me telling them what a sh*tty job they had done.


Side note- When I am having a panic attack, I am not able to think rationally. When I am not able think rationally, my anxiety mind easily takes control and I say stuff that I am not proud.


All I wanted was a check in text, but it all got misconstrued and turned into a bigger sh*t show. (I have since apologized for the way I reacted because I had a picture in my mind about how they would/should react/respond. I now see just because I think someone should react a certain way really doesn’t mean anything because I know I personally don’t always react to situations the way others think I would/should.) 


Later that day a few of them showed up at my door to try to cheer me up, but I freaked out because I wasn’t in a mental state to deal with anything unexpected, so I told them to leave and shut the door...which caused more hurt feelings.


Sunday 


I decided that I wanted to look into legal action to hopefully give me the feeling that I had some control over the situation.


Monday


I heard back from the law firms we contacted to be told that I didn’t have a case because in Texas it is near impossible to receive compensation for mental distress if I wasn’t physically hurt...that caused another spiral down.


From that, I decided that I needed to find a therapist who deals with trauma. 


I found a group of therapists and one of them had a weekly Tuesday opening starting immediately. We started with talk therapy to get me out of the fight or flight state that I was stuck in.


We moved on to EMDR about 6 weeks later. (I will write more about EMDR later because I have noticed some great things from it.)


I honestly don’t remember what we talked about the first few weeks because I was only able to focus on putting one foot in front of the other.


I couldn’t get past the feeling of pure violation... I have never been assaulted in my life, but after talking to someone who has been assaulted she confirmed that the feelings I was having were a lot like her feelings after her assault...violated, scared, mad and untrusting. 


I then had to come to terms with the mistrust for the medical community this caused which further freaked me out because I have had to (and still do) depend on the medical community to keep me alive for the past 10 years. 



Part 2


The following week I decided that I needed to get back on prescription medication for anxiety and depression. 


That was a whole other process in itself. Thankfully I already have a psychiatrist, so I wasn’t starting from square one...but we were starting from square one trying to figure out what Rxs worked best for me.


At first, I was on Wellbutrin and Zoloft. The Wellbutrin worked well for the depression, but the Zoloft made me sleepy during the day but kept me awake at night... I figured this out by taking it in the morning at first then switched to night.


After figuring out Zoloft wasn’t for me, I switched back to the Rx I had taken in the past (I don’t remember name). But that one made me twitch at night... I would wake myself and Eric up from the twitching. With me not able to get a good night sleep, I felt even worse.


So my doctor switched me to XYX. 


The combination of Wellbutrin and XYZ had no crazy side effects, so I was with the new Rxs. 


It took a few weeks for the Rxs to really start working to their fullest, but little by little, I started to feel better... I wasn’t breaking down at the smallest of things, I wasn’t replaying the same scenarios in my mind, and I could talk about the event without totally breaking down.


With weekly talk therapy, new head meds, light exercise (I tried to what I was doing before but it seemed to raise my anxiety), I was finally feeling much better!


I was good for about 3 weeks until I got my second vaccine. The vaccine sent my immune system into overdrive (which it is supposed to) but for me, that caused me to have a GVH flair.


The flair started as a normal flair, dry eyes, dry lady parts, constant headache, and extreme fatigue. Then the it turned into a massive flair and went to my left eye... my eye was swollen shut, felt like I had sandpaper in my eyelid, was super blurry and looking at any kind of screen literally made my eye close because it was so sensitive. 




2 weeks later 




3 eye doctor appointments later, 2 Rx eyedrops it is just now getting better. I do have an appointment with an eye specialist tomorrow because it is still sensitive and is still blurry.


So my friends, that is where I have been...putting myself back together.


Thank you all who reached out to check on me... I do greatly appreciate it.


I hope you have had a better start to your year than the sh*tshow I had.

6 comments:

Paula J. Rigling, CMP said...

Renee,

I am so sorry that you went through this horrible ordeal with the procedure. I'm so proud of you for advocating for not only yourself but ensuring that future patients wouldn't have such a bad experience since your follow-up meant a change to their process.

I have a friend who used EMDR to recover from the trauma of a major accident and she had a wonderful experience. I hope you continue to feel relief and healing.

Love,

Paula Rigling

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