ER Trip From Hades

Stella Johnson

Active Member
I started having chest pains right where my heart is after lunch today at work. Called my doctor and she told me to go to the ER.

I got a bed pretty quickly. They did an EKG that came out normal. Then started plugging me in to machines to monitor. Someone came to get me for an xray and took me back to hook me up again.

I laid there for about an hour and had to go to the restroom. Clicked on the nurse button. Someone answered but never sent the nurse. Waited another 30 min and decided to unhook myself. I was already starting to tear up. I was frustrated, felt like crap, and no one would come help me.

So came back in my room and beeped the nurse again. They turned the light off. Waited another 15 min and beeped again. Turned off AGAIN. I still had my wires dangling with no clue how to hook it back up, crying. Beeped again. They turned it off.

I was fed and in pain. I ripped those sticky patch things off my chest and put my clothes on. Started to walk out my door and my nurse shows up. I was crying and asked her to take my IV out. I wanted to go home. I could barely tell her why I was so upset.

She said she talked to the head nurse and whatever person was at the nurses' station. That person was supposed to come and apologize. She never did.

They gave me pain medications and the doctor finally came back. They ended up letting me go. I'm still upset with the hospital. What if I had been having a heart attack in there and some jerk was turning off the nurse button????

At least I'm not in tears now. Oh and the doctor said I must just have inflammation in the muscle around my heart... whatever that is. I was so upset I didn't ask any questions. Just wanted out.

Has this ever happened to anyone else? I was shocked and still am.


Sue C

Active Member
I'm so sorry about your awful trip to the ER!! I did have a situation where I was in the hospital for an MRI and afterwards had 3 seizures in a row (I have a seizure disorder). They whisked me down to the ER. They hooked me up to an IV and blood pressure cuff, did EKG, etc. Then they disappeared for about 3 hours. They had supposedly ran off with my blood for a stat test of my anti-seizure medications levels. Finally, husband got hold of a nurse and she was like, "what blood tests?" Grrrrrr! So they drew more blood and off they went again. I was in the ER room a total of 5 hours.

Again, I'm so sorry you were treated this way and hope you are feeling better now!!



(the future) MRS. GERE
Steph, a few years ago I had the nightmare stay in the hospital. I won't go into details now but it was just one awful experience after another. Humiliating, frustrating, enraging.

I'm so sorry you had to go through something similar, too. They should all be fired. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/919Mad.gif



New Member
I am not sure which part you are asking if it has happened to anyone else? the chest pain or the rotten ER experience?

Our ER is chock full of some horror stories that would make some TV shows look like a walk in the park. WAY too many- way too horrid.

Chest pain? yeah......there can be SO many causes. sternum cartilage could be inflamed, cold, flu, virus, pneumonia, anxiety, pulled muscle (even from just coughing)------ALL kinds of reasons..some serious, some not so serious, even if it is quite painful.

That really stinks you had such a horrible time in your ER. More and more it seems people are having negative ER experiences.

I am so sorry this happened to you! I pray they call you and apologize for the horrible treatment they gave you! How scary for you! Are you still in pain? I would call the hospital and ask for the director of the ER and tell them what happened. This is unexceptable in not so humble opinion! I worked in the medical field for 20 years and if we ever treated a patient like that, we would have lost our jobs!!!!!

I will send up some prayers that you are feeling better soon!!

Hugs and love,

Stella Johnson

Active Member
How scary! Did they ever apologize or say anything?

I would feel bad if someone lost their job but what scares me is if something seriously was wrong.. they would never have known. I can't believe how emotional I was. I'm not normally like that.

I meant the way they kept ignoring me by turning the button off.

Just Keep Swimming,
I'm feeling better but not great. I feel like I am coming down with something. My doctor mentioned that alot of ppl that were coming down with the flu were having chest pains. :hammer:Just my luck



Mom? What's a difficult child?
Sorry that sucks... I think that is why husband tries to refuse all medical help!!!
When I was 20ish I had a severe migraine and they got me in to see a doctor... So I was in a room waiting, waiting, waiting. Crying, crying, trying not to be a pita... 3 hours later a janitor came in to clean up and she says "honey what are you still doing in here?" I was bawling by then, sobbing... she went and found an er doctor and they helped me. The actual office was closed !@%#*!#@.... But no call later to check on me. I was so upset.

Whoops... it seems like I hear stories like yours more and more which is horrible... hope you feel better.


New Member
<font color="blue">how aweful, steph. one thing i've learned about hospitals ~~~ the squeaky wheel gets the oil. make makes them pay attention.

i strongly suggest you write a letter to the administration of the hosopital.....Department of Emergency Medicine (director), Director of Nursing, & the head administrator of the hospital. address it to the hospital administrator & cc the others. to get names call the Medical Staff Office of the hospital....they'll give you the names.

second, since the one doctor mentioned an infection in your heart i strongly recommend you get yourself to a cardiologist & be checked out. DO NOT ignore the symptoms or just accept it as something that's *going around*. you need to do followup.

i hope you can stay home & rest today & that you start to feel a bit better soon.

kris :smile: :smile: :smile: :smile: </font>


Active Member
We were on holidays a few years ago when I got food poisoning. Now, I take fairly strong pain medications as a routine, all checked out thoroughly and authorised by specialists (including ongoing, long-term supervision by a pain management specialist - palliative care). I even carry a letter from my doctor to explain to hospital emergency departments what to do in the event I need emergency injections.

The food poisoning meant my pain medications did not stay down, nor had they been absorbed for over 36 hours. This meant my pain levels were escalating, fast. Add in the constant vomiting and severe headaches (part of the constant pain), with no top-up medications staying down, I knew things were heading downhill, fast. The increasing pain was also causing nausea, above & beyond the food poisoning. I was going into shock. husband called an ambulance and followed it to the hospital. Once there, we waited, with me on a gurney under bright fluorescent lights. I don't have a lot of recollection, apart from time passing with the pain getting worse. And worse. I was drifting in and out, only aware of pain and vomiting. When I finally got seen, husband showed them the letter from my doctor which gave specific instructions as to the cocktail injection of anti-vomiting medications plus pain medications which generally stopped one of these attacks. They told husband that they didn't have any pain medications on site! Yeah, right. An ER? They asked if I had any pain medications with me, but I'd been too out of things to grab my handbag. I did get an antiemetic, though, they had put in a drip by this stage. I'd been moved at some point to a darkened room and hooked up to a monitor. I remember things were not normal - I'm not sure now, it was hazy, but either BiPolar (BP) or pulse or something was going crazy. Finally, after about six hours and when I hadn't vomited for about an hour, they brought me a couple of pills that they KNEW were nowhere near as strong as my usual medications, but would have knocked out a horse that wasn't used to them. For me, marginally better than tic tacs. But with the antiemetic injection it was enough to ease the pain so I wasn't vomiting from shock, until husband got me back to our unit just on sunrise. I remember having to shield my eyes from the rising sun. As soon as I got back to our unit, I was able to swallow my stronger pills and thanks to their shot, keep them down (providing I went to bed, went to sleep and stayed in the dark).

We found out later, the hospital had thought I was exhibiting drug-seeking behaviour and the letter from my doctor was considered to be a forgery. Mind you, it had his phone number and they never tried to telephone him to verify it.

I was very angry about the whole thing. Not only did my doctor's letter get ignored, but it was the one thing which I had thought would protect me from such an accusation. How the h*** can I make sure it won't happen again? Any vomiting attack, for any cause, can trigger a crisis like this.

On the plus side, easy child took her siblings to a nearby bowling alley for the morning, to give husband & me some much-needed rest. Especially husband - he'd been alert the whole time, trying to argue with medical staff.

I'd love to not need to take strong pain killers. But unfortunately, I live on them. My days and weeks are measured by the march of capsules and empty foils. I hate it. But I'd always believed that in a crisis, I could get emergency treatment from a hospital.

Something similar happened when difficult child 3 was born - my doctor had ordered my usual medications ("as the patient requests"), since I had to use the hospital supply and not bring my own. But the nurses thought differently - even though the medications were ordered, they would 'forget' to bring them when I requested. A nurse would go off shift and I would have to repeat my request an hour later. When I kept persisting, about 3 days after difficult child 3's birth, they clearly thought I should be weaned off the medications. My pre-existing medical condition was in the charts; I was walking with crutches; there was clearly a lot more wrong than just recent childbirth. But they were refusing the medications that the doctor had ordered.
I asked them why, and was told, "We've lost the key to the drugs cupboard."
So I replied, "Then isn't it a good thing I have some spare supplies? I'll get my husband to bring in more from home."
They said, "You're not supposed to have your own medications with you, you're supposed to turn them over to us."
I said, "Where are you going to put them? You've lost the key to the drugs cupboard."
They were clearly in a quandary and by now I knew they were lying to me. There were patients on this ward who had just had Caesarean operations, they would need that drugs cupboard available.
So we compromised - I took my own medications WHEN I knew I needed them (actually taking a lot less than the doctor had ordered, so I clearly wasn't a junkie taking advantage of an idiot doctor), and I made a point of noting down time and dosage to tell the nurses, so they could put it on my chart. I also emphasised to the nurses that in taking the medications I was following through on what the doctor had ordered for me. I was really furious - plus, the doctor was a wimp. He was supportive and annoyed on my behalf, but he couldn't convince the nurses to "find the key" either.

The nurses could find no fault with my parenting skills or coping ability - especially not once I had access to my appropriate medications. But they had a blind spot about pre-existing conditions and needs above & beyond that of new mothers.

Hospitals are NOT healthy places. They're full of sick people. Only some of them are the patients. The others are mostly megalomaniacs.



New Member

First of all, I'm sorry you're not feeling well - that is scary! I would definitely call your doctor and see if he/she can squeeze you in asap!

Secondly, I agree with Kris - write a letter and copy every important person at the hospital, including the Patient Advocate. Tell them, in the letter, that if you don't receive a response in xx number of days, you will forward your letter on to your local newspaper - that always gets their attention.

I am sorry to say that I felt the need to write a 3-page letter to one of our local hospitals after one of difficult child's ER trips when he needed to be admitted to the psychiatric hospital. They called for a meeting, which we had - and I again expressed my frustration, etc. I was assured that it was an isolated incident and that they had future changes in plan that would make any future visit better. The reason I am so sad about it is that our visit in October was even longer and even worse, but the more nasty letters and complaints they receive, the more likely it is that they will start to listen, I think. So, write your letter.

And, feel better.



Active Member
When they send you that questionaire, make sure you fill it out and send it in. I wouldn't be surprised if someone didn't call you after that.

I wouldn't step foot into the hospital that's closest to me. There is another one a few more miles away that is much better and has a much better reputation. Is there another hospital nearby.

I guess that's one very good thing about living in a more metropolitan area; there are more hospitals to choose. There are at least 4 close to where I am.


New Member
some ER experiences- first off let me say over the years our local ER has come up with some amazing pre admittance to ER paperwork to be signed before going in to ER. Currently the paperwork says something like- patient understands the ER does not diagnosse, only your own doctor can diagnose, and ER is only for stabiliziation of life threatening events and any underlying disease or injury is not their liability. (something like that)

First bizarre experience, husband decided to attempt working a 3rd shift job. when he finished his shift, he called me and said he was soooo tired. My husband had in the past falllen asleep driving. I told him to stay put and take a nap before heading out on the dark windy country roads home. (it was winterish and dark out) 2 hours later I got a call from police, they got my number from license plates on car, called to tell me a man was sleeping in our car in a parking lot (wwhere husband worked) I said he just started working 3rd shift and was too tired to drive home without a nap. They said Ma'am, there is a Rx bottle in the car near him. I said yes, he takes medications regularly. They did not seem tobelieve me, so I gave number to his doctor. Police made it a conference call, me, doctor and them. Then they added local ER to conference call. Police decided to break into car to check husband. That roused husband a little, and police grabbed Rx bottle, doctor agreed that was husband medications. bottle was still full. husband was only roused, not awake, (he is very difficult to wake) Becuz he did not wake, police asked ER what to do. ER said bring him in. doctor said no, he is fine. I said no he is fine. Police grabbed husband and tried to pull him out of car, husband got irritable, not awake, but flailing his arms. they billy clubbed him. broke car windsheild and nose.
doctor told police then to take husband to ER for treatment for nose. husband was now awake. and mad. doctor gave ER history by phone with me adding in more detais. husband got to ER and he was still annoyyed, worried what would happen to his car. in pain with his nose. SOOOOOO ER decided husband was unduly upset and still on conference call told me and doctor they were going to give him double ativan and double haldol by injection and restrain husband. doctor said NO, it would interfere with husband other medications, and restraining him was a bad idea due to combat PTSD. hospital ER did it anyway.
Overdosed husband.

a very close family friend and fellow nurse took her then 6 yo son to ER middle of the nite, severe stomach pain. His vitals were all messed up. ER told her it was "probably" son wanting to not have to go to school next day. refused flat out to examine child, sent her away. couple hours later she was back. she refused to leave, they had security remove her from building. Before they got far from hospital, he began to vomit. she turned around and went back. They called police to remove her from building. she headed the couple hours away to the city. She waited 6 hours at that ER, that hospital sent her away. 4 hours after returning home, more symptoms developed. (I forgot what) she took him back to our ER by ambulance. They took him in. turns out his intestine was twisted. by now it was gangrenous. emergency surgery. a day later it had still spread more, more emergency surgery. sepsis. more surgery, they removed his entire intestine. his kidneys then failed. 18 months of continuous trips in and out of hospital with multiple organ damage, the child died.

My husband was in a motorcycle accident. taken by ambulance to same ER. ER said husband was fine, take him home. I walked in room and husband was NOT fine. his head was bleeding and full of gravel. his shoulder was askew and his arm hanging oddly. road rash from head to hip. HUge contusions and gashes on his body trunk. NOTHING bandaged, nothing cleaned. I asked what xrays/ct scans had been done. None. I was in a scooter. I had our children with me. husband could not stand, could not walk, and was vomiting. ER told me again he was fine, take him home. I looked at my scooter and at my husband and said now how do you suppose I will even get him to the car, much less up the stairs and into our house? They called security and forced us to leave. I called private ambulance and had him transported to the nearest VA hospital, where he was for 3 weeks.

a different trip to VA hospital, we sat waiting to be seen in waiting area 19 hours. The man next to us slumped in a chair was also there 19 hours, he appeared to be asleep. Nope, he had died sometime during the wait.

I went to ER I have systemic lupus and was not yet diagnosis'ed with RA. I went by ambulance - I could not walk, could not get down the steps at my house to get in car, my knee had ballooned up 3 times normal size. The pain was intolerable, I was screaming, began to vomit. ER decided I had water on my knee. tried to aspirate it, refused me pain medications. got nothing during aspiration. left me 3 hours and tried to aspirate it again. got nothing. left me 3 more ours and tried again. I was screaming the whole time. vomiting from pain level. they tried a 3rd time to aspirate, then accused me of seeking drugs. tried to send me home. I refused to go, heck, I could not move, no way I could was I gonna GET home? They called security to move me from bed to wheelchair t my car.

My dtr was playing basketball on school team. she woound up somehow flying into the bleachers face first. broke her arm and her front tooth and split her face open. a paramedic mother spectator called ambulance. at ER they said they do not set broken arms, we needed to call an ortho and go to his office. they were not ven ging to o XRays becuz he would do his wn. AND THEY DO NOT GO near teeth. and becuz of the broken tooth ad the broken wrist, they were not going to stitch her face. I refused to leave. They called security. I saw the ortho in the hall and grabbed him. I called CPS and told CPS to make them do something for my dtr.
a week later we wound up at a different hospital. the way they put the cast on, it caused tendon damage to my childs wrist.

when my son poked out is eye, we took him o the ER here. They said his eye was fine. 4 days later at the follow up appointment that doctor freaked out and sent us immediately to the university hospital. But by then the damage was done. My son SHOULD have been fine- WOULD have been fine.......but the eye had NOT een ok and the damage worsened from being let untreated.
theres more, lots more, those ae just the ones I remember off the top of my head.

as my now deceased best friend always said-----I am too SICK to go to the ER.

as I say sometimes, NO I do not feel good enough to horse around with the ER.

Bummer is our school has this weird thing going......they do not always accept a docs note and demand a trip to ER for a 2nd opinion.
and recently my son got sick in the nite, husband took son to ER for strep and mono tests. hospital refused to run them (only to find out less than a week later he kids all DID have mono plus strep) but the bill came. it was almost $2,000.

Hound dog

Nana's are Beautiful

I know your case didn't turn out to be dangerous. But this nurse didn't know that. I can come up with a long list of why you could've been having chest pain, and most are pretty darn serious. This nurse could've cost another patient their life. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/919Mad.gif And this nurse just may do it in the future if he/she isn't called to the carpet for it now.

Those hospital evaluation sheets they give/send you are hardly worth the paper their printed on. If you want to fill it out, go ahead. But if it were me, I'd be talking to the Director of Nursing. The DON is the top boss of all nurses in that facility regardless of their dept. They need to know what happen.

I'm so sorry you had such a horrid experience in the ER. I've had a few myself, and it can make you feel awfully victimized.

I'm glad the chest pains turned out not to be too serious. Hope you feel better soon.



call 911

I am so sorry that there was no one there to care for you. To have enough chest pains to send you to the hospital is a very scary thing. To not have anyone there to attend to your needs should that have been the case is terribly frightening.

Kris said already what I was going to say. MAKE AN APPOINTMENT IMMEDIATELY to speak with the hospital administrator. Type a letter out, keep it brief, do your best to remove most of your emotion and stick to the facts and then make a copy for the head of nursing and at the bottom of your letter make a notation CC: File, and ATTY so & so. If you don't have an atty....find one in the phone book that handles medical cases. It costs NOTHING to send a copy to that atty. You don't have to retain him or even see him/her.

DEMAND that the bill be taken care of pronto. Tell them that for such lousy service you can't IMAGINE they would send you a bill for ANYTHING...and see if they do.

I went through this same process in an ER room situation where we were shoved in a room and 'forgotten' and let me tell you what a force I can be when you forget my family. If you were in my family you would already be getting an apology letter and something from the gift shop.

Gosh gal...I sure hope you are okay now. Sounds like you better get to Scent of Cedars Florida pool party...something about vicarious underpants....but other than that it sounds kosher. See ya there for some R & R.

Hugs not Drugs
oh who am I kidding.....whatja get? :crazy: :wildone:

Sue C

Active Member
Stella - In answer to your question: no, no one apologized to me. I also neglected to add that they nearly dropped me when transferring me from the gurnee to the hospital bed in the ER, they got blood ALL OVER my shirt when trying to take the blood and start the IV. The person taking the blood could not "get it right" and I ended up being poked about 10 times. (I realize they were trying to help me, though, but they could have had someone competent draw the blood.)

What a horrible experience!!! Reading your post made me FURIOUS!!! I'm so sorry it happened to you. I hope you're feeling lots better. I'm glad its not serious. However, I still think, in my humble opinion, that you need to see your own doctor ASAP!!! Your health is the most important thing. Please update when you can. WFEN