A few more observations about how flawed #mhealthfairview ‘s ER department is, then I’ll let this go…
Important Disclaimers: I am NOT a clinically trained medical or mental health professional, this blog is more personal in nature but to make an activism point.
HOWEVER, I will always encourage people in medical and/or mental health crisis to seek immediate evaluation and treatment in acute care facility i.e. hospital.
But as a patient in a bigger body, who’s received inefficient and ineffective care when actually seeking emergent medical treatment, the only thing I can say and the reason why I’m still alive to say it, is I’ve had to fight harder to get treatment in the past, as well as the little I do now, to still be here to talk about this.
I can’t go back and try and re-edit my last blog which goes into great detail about a bad ER visit I had at Fairview U of MN’s ER on 12/4/2019, which I highlight more about the attending controlling physician being kind of misogynist and fat phobic but realizing I knew from the start I was going to have problems during that ER visit of not being taken seriously for the reasons why I was there.
It happened to be last Thanksgiving, exactly a week ago and last Saturday, I could eat a couple of bites of cereal or toast, then end up throwing up immediately or hours after, in addition to left quadrant and other mid abdominal pain.
The one thing I also had on Saturday and I have it every few months is a ventricular tachycardia episode.
I didn’t say anything though about my ventricular tachycardia episode because it’s normal for me and other people that I know of that have Gastroparesis after gastric bypass reversal (which is fairly common for us reversed peeps) , as well as those who have Gastroparesis who’ve never been overweight.
I, in 2016, weighed quite a bit less,but was sick of then the problems I had eating so I actually thought about having a total gastrectomy and started seeing GI at the U of MN.
So how I know I have Gastroparesis even though it’s not that I’ve been formally diagnosed with it, is that I actually had a gastric emptying study Summer of 2016 at the same hospital that I was in the ER last Tuesday, that indicated that I had Gastroparesis.
My weight fluctuates wildly for someone who hasn’t been thin for over 11 years, 18 years status post gastric bypass and over 9 years status post gastric bypass reversal.
While it’s not normal even for me, prior to my gastric bypass to every few years be up gaining and losing 40-80 lbs, it’s been that way since my reversal.
This is the issue and while I’m still going to file a grievance with my visit, even though there was no malice on the part of any of the hospital staff and even I can understand where one of my symptoms I have that could be considered not acute (such as intermittent left quadrant pain for OVER a year) but paired with vomiting and syncope episodes and an honest belief that I had acute pancreatitis if not other issues, as I have every organ in my abdominal region including gallstones in gallbladder and my appendix is that I was treated due to my weight of last year which put be me in almost borderline MO BMI territory, is that I still do NOT have any ACTUAL co-morbidities of Obesity.
Just a big bloated fat body and it’s been way bigger in the last year, while I’m up almost 40 lbs since that stupid gastric emptying test in 2016, I’m down almost 50 lbs since my heaviest a year ago.
I had a great GI nurse practitioner at the U of MN, the reason why I stopped going to her or seeing a GI surgeon is that I refused to have a naso-gastric 24 hour monitoring test. And I was told the chances of my having a total gastrectomy for having a hard time eating and the little that I could eat of it feeling being stuck forever, wasn’t going to happen.
In late Winter of 2017, I actually saw a GI surgeon at HCMC, about a ventral hernia repair and realized I wasn’t even going to do that, because I found the hospital scary even though the surgeon was great and didn’t want an inpatient procedure there.
I do not have the sanity points do keep seeking acute and non acute care, when it seems like most physicians can only see my Obesity or overweight and try to diagnose disease or syndromes based upon having a larger body that doesn’t have ANY of those diseases.
Or they use the fact I have mental health issues and/or the fact I get pain meds to make assumptions about me medically and mentally that are just NOT true and aren’t evident in behavior or tests.
My long term boyfriend who’s never been overweight, eats like crap actually does have high blood pressure, high cholesterol and Diabetes due to family history that is well controlled with medication.
He however NEVER has to put up the with the shit I do, the little I seek medical attention in the last several years by any medical professional or physician.
For someone in my case where I had a great bariatric surgeon and still have a great PCP who are Fairview doctors, the Obesity and Opiate obsession by most of the physicians and medical staff that has existed not just at this hospital and their ER department, but across the board, is appalling.
I get that it was medically evident that I didn’t need to be at the ER on Tuesday.
The problem is, the next time it might be medically evident that I should be in an ER or seek specialty care, I will NOT go and really no one could blame me.
Nothing I’m saying shouldn’t ever prevent any physician from catching what could be in me or another patient an Obesity related medical event.
But I’ll never actually get diagnosed and treated effectively based upon bias and barriers by even the most qualified physicians if they are going to base my medical care upon what I look like or find that I’m not credible based upon something like BMI, a non violent mental health history and current medication regimen that doesn’t contain medication for ANY Obesity related diseases.
I hope this spares any larger patient from having the same problems I’ve had in getting medical care, but it’s even worse when someone is heavy post bariatric surgery, is heavy and despite best attempts can’t get their body weight down, even though they can’t eat much and quite often, anything to have to keep going through crap.
The health issues are bad enough.
Not being believed and/or taken seriously, is actually worse, though.