Monday, July 9, 2007

I'm NOT a Drug Addict

Okay America, I know there is a plethora of drug addicts out there that come to the hospital seeking narcotics, but must you lump every young Black person into that category? I can't remember how many times that I've been denied pain medication because the nurses & doctors felt I was 'drug seeking'. If you had 10 minutes of the level of pain that a sickle cell warrior goes through on a daily basis, you would be crawling the walls to get some relief.

There was one time that I even got kicked out of an emergency room because they felt that my pain was under control. This actually happened at the ER of the hospital that I worked at. NEWS FLASH: If your patient is in so much pain she has to crawl out of the ED on her hands and knees...then you are fucking not doing your job and NO, her pain isn't under control!
  • To all the dozens of people that have told me that I just got pain meds and therefore can't still be in pain...fuck you!
  • To the doctors that arbitrarily decide that just because 2mg of Morphine/Dilaudid knocks out your regular patients and therefore should help the pain of a sickle cell patient...kiss my ass.
  • To the nurse that once told me to stop crying because I'm over 20 and have had this all my life and should know that it hurts and stop making a big deal out of it...fuck you, you damn waste of sperm.
  • To the nurse that refused to give me pain medicine until the clock was pointing to 7 on the dot (instead of the +/- 1 hour time frame that you are allowed to dispense meds)...kiss my black ass.
I'm so sick and tired of people telling me in a shocked voice, "Oh you can't still be in pain!" Oh yes motherfucker I am and you need to do your job and do something about it. Listen to your patient and take care of their primary need. I really don't care if you are a crappy nurse, but if you can keep my pain under control, I will like you. Remember, there is a cusp of 5-20 minutes that you have before the pain becomes out of control. If you handle it then, you will diminish the intensity and be able to keep it under control. If you slack off, it gets worse fast and then nothing in the world can make it better short of knocking the patient out.

In case you didn't take the Pain Management class your work was offering, here are some clues of a patient in real bonafide pain.
  1. Grimacing
  2. Crying
  3. Holding a body part
  4. Moaning/groaning
  5. Saying the same phrase over and over again (it's supposedly a relaxation technique)
  6. Rolling around on the bed in constant rhythmic motions (another relaxation technique)
  7. Telling you that he/she is in pain.
Pain is the fifth vital sign for a reason. Treat my pain as if it were your own and we will get along just fine.


Anonymous said...

There's very little that i can add. This is a very brilliant take on this affliction. I thoroughly appreciate this. If only they understand. I am a mother of a 2 year old warrior!!! I almost lost him when he had his first major crises due to same situations... they just dont listen. I had to literally behave like a mad woman to get attention.
Thank you for making my day. I hope we could chat sometime. By the way i live in Nigeria. Get in touch sometime -
Cheers Maya

Adventures In Waitressing said...

Waving to Maya.. Welcome to my wonderful warrior vixens site. She is a fighter as you can tell by her post. Many hugs to your little one.

Vixen my dear.. All I can say is I love ya lady!! And I really love how you speak your mind.

To the nurses and others that denied you.. tell them they can kiss my BIG white ass too. LOL

tre4girl01 said...

This is tre4girl01 from Myspace whose group that you joined on there. I'm loving your blog even though I just started reading it. I have been searching the net trying to find someone like me who isn't afraid to speak out about the things that people like us have to experience in a world dealing with many illnesses. Being a carrier of this disease is enough to deal with in itself, but to have the very people who is supposed to take care of us treat us like we're not worthy of the same treatment as "OTHER" races is beyond me. I have seen them give a person who has a kidney stone something for pain quicker and with no questions than a person who's in the ER for a crisis. It truly hurts to be labeled a drug addict when we have no control over what we were born with. And for this disease to affect so many people, it's not handled like other things with telethons or fundraisers and whatnot educating the masses. And when I come across black people that have never heard about this condition is truly sad. We all need to ban together to get the ball rolling and make it known about the things thats done to patients hospitalized with this illness. I hope creating a friendship with you maybe we can be the catalyst to jumpstart this thing called Taking Control of our situation!!!

Vixen said...

Maya, Hello, nice to meet you! It's ridiculous how much they ignore us the patients going by the limited knowlegde that they have from books and such. Yeesh! I hope your son keeps kicking sickle cell's ass!

Waitress, I love you too! I miss you~!

Tre4girl01, welcome to the blog. Oh my gosh, don't get me started, I'll be on another rant. I just know that there is so much ignorance and myths surrounding sickle cell. It's time for our generation to step up and shatter the myths with the cold, hard truth. It's a hard thing living with SCD, and when those that are supposed to help you end up hurting you,, it sucks. Especially when you see them going above and beyond to help someone else. I'll see you on Myspace sweets!

Msbullop said...

Hey Vixen,
I really enjoyed your blog on the pain with SCD! One time at work (i'm a nurse too), I almost had to scream at a physician to get the pain medicine for a patient, a grown man who was crying out in so much pain. Drug seekers don't scream in pain like that (at least not that I've seen in my experience). I wish more time would be spent in Nursing school, or even at work places educating nurses and healthcare workers specifically about the disease. More often than not it is either ignored or skipped over. I hope you continue to be strong, keep fighting but have fun! (U seem to be doing that already so hey!!)God blessya!

Vixen said...

MsBullop, Welcome! I agree, I think the major thing with SCD is lack of education and a gross amount of ignorance. Hopefully with the new generation it will get better and better.

Anonymous said...

God, I can so relate to this..thank God, I have a good control on my pain via my own pain management system.

Vixen said...

Anon, I'm with home, my pain is under control, but once it gets to level 10, I have to go to the hospital because nothing else is working. And that's when the stereotyping begins.

Ify said...

Vixen, i love you blog. Keep it coming girl.

Next time when the stereotyping continues, ask for the manager or anyone higher than them. Or even sue the hospital, quick way to make money when you recover from your crisis