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Awful experience in the hospital

I was in the hospital recently, and I had a truly awful experience. I suppose part of why I'm posting it here is to ask if it's normal, and partly to vent a bit. I apologize in advance for it being a bit long.\n\nFirstly, a bit of background: I'm in my mid-40s, and in generally good health except for inflammatory bowel disease and early-stage liver disease. The IBD is under control with meds, and there's little that can be done for the liver disease except let it run its course and hope that I can get a transplant when the time comes. For now, though, I have few symptoms of it most of the time. I also deal with overactive bladder, for which I've been on and off of meds several times, but I'm currently not taking anything, and it's usually not bad enough to require any sort of protection - I usually have several urgent trips to the bathroom in a day, but I very, very rarely have an instance where I don't make it in time.\n\nLately I've been having some symptoms of the liver disease, and my doctor had prescribed, among other things, a tranquilizer to help with some of the symptoms that were interfering with my sleep - it's apparently a somewhat esoteric off-label use for this particular drug, but it helped, and the sleepiness from the tranquilizer was a nice side effect. The only problem was that it brought on several instances of bedwetting. I suspect that the sleep it induced was deep enough that my full bladder wasn't waking me up, so my normal 3 am "get up and go" was missing the "get up" part. Since the medication was intended to be used only for a short time, and was helping with the liver symptoms, I opted to wear a diaper at night and stay on the medication.\n\nI had a procedure related to my liver a couple of weeks ago. It was supposed to be an outpatient procedure, but I awoke from the anesthesia in terrible pain, and after laying on the gurney screaming (literally) for an hour, they found a pain med that worked (the morphine they tried didn't) and I was admitted for the night for observation.\n\nWhen I was admitted, I told the nurse about the bedwetting problem with the medication. She sent the tech in with a choice of underpads or diapers, and given the amount of leakage I asked for a diaper. She put it on me - at that point I was more asleep than awake, flying high on some potent narcotic (I don't even remember the name of what they gave me because I was so out of it, which is unusual with me - with my liver problems I usually keep close tabs on what meds I'm taking).\n\nAround 4 am I woke up to discover I was soaking wet. I buzzed the nurses' station and asked for the tech, and told her that I'd had an accident and would like a dry diaper. At this point I was far more lucid, the worst of the pain med having worn off (and the pain being at a manageable level by now). She left and brought back a dry diaper, and started to take off the wet one. I asked if I could do that, and she insisted that it was her job and that she had to change it. I was rather embarrassed by this - it was one thing to have her put a diaper on me when I was zoned out on painkillers, but quite another to have her change a wet diaper when I was more lucid.\n\nThe really horrible part was when a second tech walked in the room as the first tech was taking off the wet diaper. The second tech offered to help, and the first tech said no, she was fine. The second tech, though, instead of leaving, came and stood on the other side of the bed from the first tech, saying, "It's easier to do with two people." She insisted on helping to put the dry diaper on me (the wet one was already off by the time she got over to the bed). I was absolutely mortified with embarrassment - I was perfectly capable of changing myself, and instead it was done by the two techs.\n\nI was discharged later that day, but after three blissful hours at home I was back at the emergency room with a high fever that turned out to be another complication of the procedure. I was admitted back into the hospital for three days of IV antibiotics and a second procedure to correct some of the problems created by the first. At the second admission,. I asked the nurse for an underpad, wanting to avoid any sort of experience like I'd had the previous day, and I refused to take the tranquilizer that caused the bedwetting issue in the first place.\n\nNow, having had a little time to reflect on things, I'm appalled by what happened. My dignity, already at low ebb with the hospitalization, was trampled underfoot by the overzealous techs. This led to poorer care on the second hospitalization, because I didn't take a medication that was helping with some of my symptoms for fear of having it done again. Maybe I should have complained; at this point it would be difficult, since I don't remember the names of either of the techs, nor do I really want to go through the experience of having to tell the whole story to someone at the hospital. (It's far easier to vent about it in the semi-anonymity of the Internet!)\n\nI suppose my question for those of you who have far more experience than I in such things is this: Was this normal procedure? Is it normal, or common, to have a tech insist on changing a diaper on a patient who is capable of, and want to, change it himself? Am I making too big of a deal out of this - after all, I'm sure the tech has changed thousands of diapers over her career, and it's probably no big deal to her, even if it seems like a big deal to me?\n\nAgain, sorry for the long post, but thanks for letting me rant a little. :-)
by   HighFlyer  |   Feb 21 2013 07:00 PM   Likes (2)
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