Just a quick vent about how much I hate the medical professions. My back went out again about 2 weeks ago - combo of husband being gone and me doing all the heavy lifting with- Boo, and dealing with- the aftermath of flood. Found a doctor on Tuesday who would see me - I don't have a primary doctor and avoid them at all costs, so you know it was bad. He sent me home with Vicodin and a muscle relaxant. No sleep at all Tues or Wednesday, plus I can't work because I can't sit. Go back in on Thurs, hysterically sobbing from pain, and he admits me for pain control and consult with ortho. This hospital has literally 2 RNs per floor, the rest are Patient Care Techs (PCTs) who can only take care of vitals. 2 hours to get medications started and admission labs done. No response when I called nurses for IV changes. I was patient. Ortho came in last nite, ordered repeat MRI but he was thinking it wasn't greatly changed from last year and conservative therapy was an option (I'm seriously anti-surgery). MRI was done and he returned this morning with bad news, L3/L4 disk is 3x as herniated as it was last year, I'm probably not getting away without surgery but he was willing to try epidural steroids and he set up consult. Took shower this morning, not in room but down the hall, had massive return of debilitating pain because I bent down to get washcloth. Hit nurses' call button, no response (nothing new). Wobbled close enough to room to get PCT's attn for help back to bed. IV started leaking at 2:40. No RN on floor to fix. 3:00 comes, no RN. 4:00 comes, I'm thinking that I'm supposed to have an epidural in a facility with no nurses??? Not happening. Tell them to take out IV. PCT can't do it - fine, get me gauze, I will. RN finally shows, snippy, "I'm here *now*". Sorry, hon, day late and a dollar short. I'm outta here. "Well, your insurance won't pay the hospital bill." Give me a break, you don't have a clue. "Charge nurse" who refused to give me last name shows up 5 mins later, to change IV (which just needed to be tightened at 2:40 but was now completely clotted). No go, hon, I'm leaving. "Insurance won't pay if you leave AMA." Oh, how I wish you had a clue of what you're talking about. She said she'd contact doctor and if he refused discharge, I'm AMA with bill. Fine. She returns 3 mins later with AMA form so I'm positive she didn't talk with- doctor. Same threats (blackmail) over bill. AMA form states I have been advised of consequences of leaving AMA - yep, insurance won't pay bill. Absolutely *no* mention of medical consequences. Grrr. Caught a bus to my town and started walking home. Fortunately/unfortunately, neighbor somehow recognized me - I look like death warmed over several times, hair's a wreck, hunched over, clutching cane. Bless his heart, he actually turned around to give me a ride home... how mortifying. I got name of administrator in charge of patient care (I think, since I trust this "charge nurse" woman as far as I can throw her). Letter written to her, 2 docs involved, Joint Commission, and my ins co documenting completely substandard nursing care, what I think are valid concerns about having a procedure done on my spine in a facility where no one answers nursing calls, and gross failure to comply with simplest of patient rights according to Joint Commission. I've skipped the wine/whine and gone straight to scotch, which I figure is safe since the last morphine I got was 5 hours ago. I truly truly detest hospitals and most physicians, though I have to say the 2 I had this go round were very decent and concerned fellows, who actually listened to me. Don't know what is next... just hope I can sleep.... and work on Monday since according to not-so-professional nurses, I'm responsible for the bill, LOL. Idiots. Venting.... send cheese to go with- scotch!