norwalk hospital

We just spent more than five hours getting our friend Alice checked in to Norwalk Hospital. Five-plus hours sitting in the emergency room. Alice was released from this hospital just last Sunday after undergoing an appendectomy and a liver biopsy, even though they still couldn’t figure out what is wrong with her (it was neither her liver nor her appendix—“ah, you don’t need your appendix anyway ... ”—nor is it her Crohn’s disease).

She got much worse over the past week, and when we picked her up we found that she was dehydrated and even more emaciated than before she went in the first time, three weeks ago. The ER doc, Dr. S(something I forget) was pretty offensive when we first encountered him—we had to wait in the waiting room for 45 minutes before we could go in with her—with “that” attitude that made me want to rip his stethoscope off his neck and shove it up his ass.

It’s the attitude too many medical professionals have toward women over 40 that infuriates me, the assumption that our problems are all in our heads or a cry for attention or neurosis. They make assumptions and just don’t do the kind of job they should do. They dismissed my sister like this a couple of years ago and only took her seriously when she nearly died when her kidneys shut down. They told her for over a year she had post-nasal drip when it turned out to be a classic case of wegener’s granulomatosis, requiring months of chemotherapy to get it into remission. Alice has had Crohn’s for quite some time, and KNOWS when something more is wrong, but the doctors are treating her like she’s a troublesome child. I think if we hadn’t gone with her tonight she would still be lying on a bed in the hall of the ER waiting for some answers.

The doctor kept telling us he couldn’t admit her without finding something wrong—the blood tests were normal, the chest xray normal, blah blah blah. The fact that she was dehydrated, vomiting, emaciated, exhausted, couldn’t stand up on her own, and feeling numbness in her extremities I think would qualify as something being wrong. The doc got a little nicer later—don’t know why he decided he’d better stop snarling at us unless maybe it was because we demanded some answers to some basic questions such as “How long will it take to get the test results?” and were clearly ready to do battle—maybe he figured he’d appease us and we’d leave him alone.

At any rate, at long last he decided maybe he’d better admit Alice. Good thing, because there was no way we were going to take her home in her condition.

I just hope they figure out what’s really wrong with her. I am frightened at what bad shape she is in.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 01/16/05 at 08:52 PM
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