>> Friday, September 28, 2012
Hi. I sort of disappeared on you. I have more news in the ear saga . . . and I've now almost completely lost all faith in health care. If you don't know what I'm talking about, I went to the doctor on Monday with annoying excess ear wax. He told me to use drops (Debrox) and come back to get my ears cleaned on Friday.
On Tuesday night, I ended up going to the ER at 11 PM because each time had I used the drops, they wouldn't come out of my ear for 3 or 4 hours. They were starting to hurt. They made me dizzy. And I was having a slight panic attack because the combination of spins, not hearing, ringing, and sort of claustrophobic feeling was really getting to me.
The physician's assistant on duty was even worse than my doctor on Monday. Actually, she was the same one we were extremely unhappy with when Ada was sick and we had to go to urgent care a few months ago. At first, I only slightly recognized her, but as she continued "caring" for me, I soon remembered.
Anyway, she very harshly explained that I needed to get over it and just keep using the drops. She said it was perfectly normal for them to stay in for hours. She very rudely asked me "well, what do YOU think -- that they'd work if they just came out?" Well. The package says to tip your head so they will come out, so -- uh -- yeah, that's what I thought.
Furthermore, she couldn't clean out the wax because it was still too hard/impacted (ew). But there wasn't any infection, thankfully. Basically, I waited there for several hours to only be told to get over it, to ignore the discomfort, and go home.
Wednesday came. I decided to be brave and use the drops twice more as directed. They were stuck in my ears almost all day. They elicited more pain each time I used them. It was absolutely terrible. Stephen stayed home with me because caring for Ada is difficult when I can't hear out of one ear, when that ear hurts, and when I'm a combination of dizzy/nauseous.
It was a hellish day, but I decided enough was enough and that I'd go to a walk-in to get them cleaned out on Thursday. It would all be over soon, despite how I hate the idea of getting my ears cleaned out. I just wanted the whole thing to be over. I couldn't function all week.
So, Thursday. My parents came over to help me with babysitting, etc. My dad went with me (driving is hard when you're dizzy, too -- go figure!) and we waited an hour to get in. Finally I got a nice physician's assistant who immediately told me that there wasn't any wax in my ear. At all. Weird.
Oh, yeah. And . . . I now have an ear infection and a bad case of . . . swimmer's ear.
Hmmm. I wonder how THAT happened! Could it be that those drops staying in my ear for hours wasn't such a good thing after all? You know. The entire reason I went to the ER? Ugh.
So, I basically made myself sick this week while following doctor's orders. I haven't been on antibiotics in years and years. I can't even remember. Now I'm on a Z-pack and medicated ear drops (that thankfully come right out when I tip my head over). I freaked out a bit about breastfeeding, but my lactation consultant (SHE IS ABSOLUTELY AMAZING!) gave me the OK to continue. At least something went alright in this whole thing.
Have you ever had an extremely bad experience with your medical care?
While I was pregnant, I loved my midwives. They listened to my concerns. They validated the feelings I was experiencing. If something seemed off to me, they wouldn't shut it down with a "this can't happen" or another black and white response. They trusted that I was conveying things that had importance in the situation.
Now, I'm left feeling like I can't trust anyone, that no one listens to me, and that I will never find a care professional for myself (OR for the rest of my family, for that matter) that I can feel comfortable with again. I liked my PA at the walk-in, but he doesn't take regular patients. So frustrating!
I apologize if this seems like a huge rant. Well, forget that word "seems". It is a huge rant. I just can't believe that this could have been avoided somehow. I don't know exactly where in the chain it would have been made different, but obviously something went wrong.
Here's a new vocab word for you all:
i·at·ro·gen·ic: Adjective; Of or relating to illness caused by medical examination or treatment.
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