Cabinet Peaks Medical Center Resolution?

After weeks of digging for the reason I have a mental illness added to my chart; and I think we came to a solution.

Let me just clarify before I continue, I am still NOT going back to Cabinet Peaks Medical Center’s emergency room if I am conscious and coherent (and probably incoherent too).

Anywhoodles, I called and talked to the same guy, we’ll still call him George still. I explained that I had filed a complaint against Dr N before and I was still having an issue with him. He asked what had happened and I gave a quick run down of what happened before and the lack of a response that I got as a “resolution”. Since I can’t find it posted on my blog, I will give you all a quick run down. Ready?

The FUBAR Situation

On 23 March 2015 I went to the emergency room for seizures that would start, stop, and then come back within minutes. I was hesitant to go to the ER because of stories I have heard about partial seizures being non-treated here. But after calling Nurse First and still feeling very off, I went into the ER.

I saw Dr N and I it was like being in the Twilight Zone. He refused to hear what I was saying, they ignored the low O2 alarm that occasionally went off because my oxygen would drop down for a few seconds then come back up (lowest my son saw was 50-something and the lowest I saw was 67), and then he checked to see how kidney function was doing.

So, I don’t know how he connected kidney function with seizures… I wouldn’t have thought of checking that. But he did and my kidneys are fine. Not that I thought there was an issue. He came in at one point and mentioned my “dissociating” but I wasn’t dissociating! It was like, no matter what I said he would not hear what I was saying. He was so stuck on “I don’t understand these symptoms you are having” that he could not hear me say, “I AM HAVING SEIZURES THAT KEEP COMING BACK!” Even in my chart he put that I came in “for an unusual sensation that is hard to describe.” WTF? I am pretty sure this guy is either on drugs or perma-fried because it was completely surreal trying to get him to listen. It was like talking to someone about cooking who was only interested in discussing auto mechanics.

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And when I snapped and said “I am having seizures” again and he said “well, I don’t know how to treat those.” WTF? How are you an emergency room doctor and you don’t know how to treat seizures? How? That should be like emergency room knowledge 101.

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He went back to bed (charted) and the nurses released me because I can sit at home and be ignored just as well as I can be ignored sitting in the hospital. I do need to throw in here that Nurse J (the guy) was great and Nurse J (the woman) was the most attentive I have ever seen a nurse be at this hospital. In hindsight, I was impressed. During the visit though, I felt so off and randomly out of it that I could barely think (or read… how embarrassing. I swear Ms Nurse J, I can read better than that!)

The Next Day: All Hell Breaks Loose

As I was resting the next day, I get a phone call. It was Dr N calling to tell me he couldn’t figure out what my symptoms were from. I was a little blown away about the call because he wasn’t calling to see if I was okay, I would have been fine with that. I have had other doctors call to make sure I was okay. I am totally okay with them making sure I didn’t go home and immediately die. But he wasn’t calling to check on me at all. He was calling to tell me he didn’t know what those symptoms were, oh and he called my doctors and told them I am not taking my medication (when I was) and had them change my medication to something they all agreed I should be on (that I am against for religious reasons). I was so fucking livid.

Then he tries to set up an EEG and called me about that. He was like “I was going to have them schedule you for today but they had two openings (or maybe it was one?) and they said you would have to call.” WTF? So now you make my appointments for me too? Oh hell no! We aren’t doing this. You are not my health care advocate. You couldn’t even treat me for seizures and now you take over my health care?

And then he calls my psychologist and tells her I wasn’t taking my medication and how he just didn’t understand what was going on with me and on and on.

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I finally went to the hospital and filed a complaint after I finally lost it and snapped at my CMA on the phone. I am so SO sorry T*. I still can’t have my house phone ring without going into a full blown panic attack. The thought of the hospital makes me so mad.

And now to the bullshit

After that complaint, I got the lamest letter that says, basically… paraphrasing here… “We’re sorry for your shitty experience but he doesn’t practice retaliation. He feels really bad about it though.” Out of the whole thing that is what they got? Really? No reprimand? At the least a little write up with a “You can’t act like a patient’s advocate and lie to their doctor” or anything like that? … Fine. Permanently lost me as a patient.

Then this happened. Read about it here. I mean, you couldn’t have asked for a worse experience. Turns out, I linked it back to Dr N. He diagnosed me with a mental illness without telling me or my psychologist or my doctor or anyone for that matter.

And back to the phone call

So I tell George that we tracked it back to Dr N. We had to audit my damned chart in order to find it but, three weeks later, after digging through charts in two hospitals, a clinic, and a specialist office… after having so many searching with me that they probably thought I really was crazy, we found it. He added it on the 24th of March at 0532. They told me that to have it removed, I would have to talk to Dr N about it.

Not wanting to encourage him to harass me or call my house or have any other way of wrecking havoc on my life, I decided to call “George” and explain it to him. He said he wasn’t sure if he was working that day or not. Wait. What? You are the head of the emergency department and you don’t know who is working? Well… okay…

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I gave him the run down of what happened. He tried to defend Dr N. So I kept explaining that this is causing issues with my care with other doctors and I was told to talk to Dr N and I do not want to and asked if he would talk to him. He tried to defend him again and then started saying “He will probably say that he really thinks you have this.” or something to that effect. He even had the balls to tell me that Dr N doesn’t HAVE to tell anyone that he diagnosed me with that. (BULLSHIT! It is my patient’s right to know my diagnosis and not have to fucking spend weeks digging through records to find out about it.)

And that is when I decided to screw being nice and lay it out on the line for him, being totally real…

I told him, “Okay, look! I am about to call the state on you, your hospital, the doctor and everyone involved. I don’t care what you THINK he might say. I want to know WHY he diagnosed me with a mental illness when I don’t even meet the criteria for it.” or something to that affect. I am pretty sure I cussed at that point because I was quite pissed.

I didn’t call asking for someone to be Dr N’s right hand man and stick up for him. I wanted answers and they weren’t being given to me. At this point, I don’t give a rats ass what George thinks, I want to know why Dr N diagnosed me. Period. And why he didn’t tell anyone about the diagnosis. Period. That is what I want to know. I don’t want to hear excuses. I want answers.

So he says he’ll get right on that and will call me right back.

Another lame excuse, or “Do I look stupid to you?”

He calls me back and says that Dr N did not enter it into my chart. The EHR auto-populated my chart with that diagnosis and it happened to other people too. He then said he removed it from my chart or record, I can’t remember the wording. And was so sorry that happened. I call bullshit.

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So I explained that while that was nice and all, it doesn’t solve my issue with my specialists who now think I am malingering because I have a “mental illness”. He said he would call them and explain what happened. I got the number and called him back with that.

He then calls again and said that MB wasn’t in the office but he would be back Monday. Has a sticky note at eye level and all and will make sure it is done. And then he concluded with, “I just want you to know we are taking this very very seriously.” Well it’s about damned time.

So I told him Thank you and that I appreciated that, because I really do.

And now…

And now, I will be checking records in about a week. Let me find that anywhere in my records and I will be contacting the state and possibly a lawyer.

Lesson learned. NEVER EVER go to Cabinet Peaks Medical Center’s Emergency Room. They do not respect you enough to tell you a diagnosis which is your RIGHT to know and they defend retaliatory doctors. That is my opinion right there.

What else would they not tell me?

And the wait begins.

But I am still angry because it negatively effected my health care with other doctors so far. One misdiagnosis, even just for retaliation, means I am now stigmatized.

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The Pain was Worth it!

Yesterday I had my last speech therapy appointment in K-town. It was my last one and I am quite pleased with it. I learned that I remember better by association. When she gave me a list of words, if I could associate them with me I could remember them. Although yesterday I missed three, I am chalking that up to the heat and Benadryl. Last week I got 10 out of 10.

The other activities for remembering, I sucked at. One was just looking at the picture and trying to remember details. Then she would ask me about things in the picture. It went something like this:

JM: What was the picture about?

ME: A kitchen.

JM: Good.

ME: *Smiling all proud*

JM: What shelf were the canisters on?

ME: Oh, the top shelf! (Because my brother has similar shelves and it reminded me of his kitchen.)

JM: What was in the canisters on the shelf.

ME: *thinks* Coffee. I remember that one. Uh, I am not sure what the other ones were. I just really want some coffee LOL.

JM: *giggles* Flour and sugar. That’s okay. Next question, where was the clock?

ME: Wait. There was a clock? Seriously? Where?

JM: Yes, it was on the stove.

ME: Oooooh. *feeling dumb or unobservant*

JM: That’s okay a lot of people miss that one.

Oh sure… thanks for lying to make me feel better. LOL just kidding, they probably do. She showed me the picture afterwards so I could see the things I missed. I did okay on it. The next one was a bakery. I did meh on that one (because how often do I go to a bakery?) The pool picture I did pretty awesome but I grew up around pools and man did that bring back memories. After that, she switched to association because I do so much better with that. Last week I remembered 10 out of 10 words.

She said I am actually at the higher functioning stuff which made me feel better about myself. I did one sheet where if there was a box around the word, you read the color of the word. If there was no box then just read the word. Man, that was hard!

[redGreen <— These would both be “red”. They had green and blue also.

So, I may be forgetful, but now I have some tools for me to practice to help me remember stuff. Some stuff I remember with no problem. If they are number related, then I remember it easily. What time did Dr N add that diagnosis? 0532 on 24 March 2015. What did I have for lunch that day? I have no idea.

At least with this and the grouping exercise, I can work on remembering things and I don’t feel like a complete failure.

As a side note: yes, I realize that some of you will be able to figure out where these places are. I am not writing them out as K-town, L-town, etc to hide anything from you. I am just doing that because I like the sound of it. Also, I am writing a book where I am basing the layout of the camps on the real towns of Kalispell and Libby. (See, not trying to hide). Since I write here and in the book about the same times each day, it’s easier for me to write K-town instead of Kalispell or the name of the town for the book (which starts with K for now). I found myself writing Kalispell in the book and vice versa when I tried to write on here and in the book. Besides, K-town and L-town just sound nice to me.

And the pain was totally worth it!

So, yesterday, I did have a ride (THANK YOU, R*!) from L-town to K-town at 3:30 in the morning. Then I slept a little on and off. When I got up, I found out that the vehicle was unavailable for dropping off at the appointment. I had looked up the bus system down there the night before so I had a mini-backup plan. V* ended up dropping me off for my appointment (THANK YOU V*!) and I decided to use that time to hunt down that diagnosis on my medical record.

Went to my appointment, walked to the hospital’s medical records, walked over to the HIT department, and then back to medical records with HIT. I have to say, those two ladies were so nice! Everyone was so nice yesterday, but the HIT ladies were so super nice and helpful. Everyone should be like that! Back to the story, so I explained what I was looking for and they found it, had a print out (which I now have) that links the diagnosis to Dr N.

I found it interesting that we had such an issue finding it in my chart that we could only link it back to MB (from 04/06); but he put it in my chart from “old records”. How did he see it and we had to have someone spend an entire day searching for it because it wasn’t obviously in the chart? It almost feels like it was hidden in the chart (doubt that was purposely). Which begs the question… how did MB find it? Or did he actually talk to Dr N about it? Because I have to records he would have seen and it is NOT in there. I had two other people helping me search for it.

Anyway, now I have that. I went to the bus shelter and waited for the bus to Whitefish (sorry, no cute name for that one, it’s not in the book yet… YET). It was so hot outside I was feeling sick and itching like crazy. I had my sleeves on though and I stayed in shade when possible… so it’s not like I was in the sun on purpose. But ugh, I feeling miserable for a bit. I did take Benadryl, which made it really difficult to function but made my day better. Note to self: next time take your umbrella!

Train Station and Pictures

I sat at the Whitefish train station from 4:30 pm until the train got there. It was so neat listening to everyone talk about their travels. One couple has a rail pass and is hoping the trains and stopping every now and then for a day or two. I so want to do that! Another guy was going to see his girlfriend, who is pregnant. He was in K-town for a day. Another couple were going to visit Spokane for a fun weekend. There was a lady who was visiting her kids and was now leaving. Another guy works in one state but comes home every couple months. Then there was me. Had a doctor’s appointment. Needed a ride back home. I did walk to a health food store and grabbed some yogurt at one point.

The only thing I regret is that I forgot my camera! I snapped a few pictures on my phone though. They aren’t as great… but I will get to that later. Here are some pictures! Before you look at them, let me just say that I didn’t realize how bad my camera on my phone is until I actually took pictures with it. So sorry in advance.

Here is the train station outside area where we waited for the train.

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Whitefish, Montana train station

Here is a BEAUTIFUL piano. I will have to get better pictures of it.

Elegant piano at Whitefish, Montana train station.
Elegant piano at Whitefish, Montana train station.

And this is the scales in the station. They don’t use these anymore, they are just there for museum awesomeness. Although, one lady did stand on them and let her boyfriend weigh her. She said she gained 20 pounds on this trip. LOL

Whitefish, Montana train station scale.
Whitefish, Montana train station scale.

Back to the train, It was running behind because of two medical emergencies and a drunken disorderly. We left about 11:23 and made it back to L-town at 1:16 in the morning. I was on the upper level (I asked for lower but it wasn’t on the ticket).

Between all the walking in K-town around the hospital, the bus ride, sleeping on a bench (the Benadryl kicked in), and riding a train… all while carrying my backpack… today my back is killing me! I probably won’t do much the rest of the day. I am resting so I don’t seriously hurt myself. That is where I got the post title from. It was a LONG day! It was tiring. The Benadryl kicked my ass. I am having horrible abdominal cramps and diarrhea from the heat (I know… TMI). I cried this morning from the pain… but I have marijuana! I can get through this!

And now… the worth it part…

Because of this nice reminder that I have a way to not be in agonizing pain, I realized I can do more than I could before. So, next week I have an appointment for a gastric emptying study on Wednesday. I am going to get a ride to the hospital, get the test done, throw up (because I will have to eat food), and then wait for the bus again. This time, I am going to Whitefish with umbrella and Benadryl, and I am taking my camera with me too and a folding chair too.

I am totally going to make a day out of taking pictures and chilling in the shade (assuming it isn’t too hot). If it gets too hot, I can always go wander through a store or museum. Then I can ride the train back to L-town again. Only this time I am bringing a rolling thingy to put my backpack on. That is too much for me to carry! Lesson learned. And I am bringing a folding chair because there were a few times I really needed to sit down but there wasn’t a good place to sit, or there wasn’t a place with a back rest … which I am sure didn’t help with the back pain.

And hopefully a folding chair will make it to where I don’t have to bring a rolling walker. I hate that thing and love it all at the same time. I haven’t needed to use it except when they had me stop marijuana for 10 days (and I lasted four). Before that, I stopped using it about two weeks into using marijuana. the swelling in my back had gone down and I could actually feel my legs better (which was good and bad LOL) and they stopped giving out on me. If I can avoid using it again, I totally will! I hated using it. It was embarrassing and I felt like less of a person.

Mentally, I feel so much better for being out yesterday and seeing people and getting to see places and I feel like I traveled (which I ABSOLUTELY miss the most!) If I had money, I would totally hop a train to somewhere and go explore and come back since I can’t drive anymore. But this makes getting out a lot more realistic and makes me feel less trapped. Trapped? No… stranded? no… there is a word. I can’t find it.

Update: HOMEBOUND! Thank you, Lakewolf! That is the word I was looking for!

One thing I will change though, I want a lower level seat! climbing stairs up is okay but slow. Going down them about kills my knees, especially after a day of walking around for any reason. I will still need a day (or two) to recover but this is so worth it. Just to get out and do something fun is what I needed.

I know this was long, but I feel so rejuvenated. I won’t be able to do this often but at least it is something to look forward to.