I wanted to let everyone know I'm okay physically and working on the mentally. This is something I felt needed to be talked about. Yesterday's procedure from start to finish was just one very bad experience. I had an Electrophysiology study with Ablation.
They didn't find any damage and said the issues I'm having are from a naturally sensitive heart. (Go figure, nothing about me is normal) I'm likely to have episodes on and off all my life. (Yay me) I need to really listen to my body and learn triggers. Now, let's move on to the fun stuff.
This was the most horrific thing I have ever experienced in my life. From the scheduling down to the procedure. It all started with my procedure needing to be rescheduled more than once. This was very inconvenient. They did not listen when I told them about limited ability to have someone be there. Part of my family lives out of town, the other part works full time and it's not always easy to get a last minute day off, especially if it keeps getting changed. The office didn't care. It became even more clear upon my arrival yesterday.
This date was finally supposed to happen at 1p. I get there and they say I'm an hour early. I'm not scheduled until 2p. I had to wait on them to get a room ready for me. So I'm sitting in the waiting room, waiting for them to come get me. Less then an hour wait they call my name and the lady says I'm scheduled for 4p. (Shock and are you kidding me followed) she was not. How on Earth it changed in the amount of time from my check in to then I don't know. They even said he was ahead of schedule.
My friend needed to run out and they took her number and said she had time. I sat in holding and it really wasn't for all that long and they came and took me back. Never called my friend or anything.
Once I'm back there they get me all setup and tell me I'm not allowed to move at all. Then everyone disappeared and I couldn't see anyone and the voices all sounded like they were at a distance. I laid like that for a few minutes and then the Dr. Comes over with the anesthesiologist and they say they are going to numb my leg and give me sedation.
The whole procedure only lasted about an hour or so. Thank God too, because from that moment on it was like a freaking horror movie. I did not get numb, he didn't even check to see if I was he just started putting the catheters in. 3 of them and it hurt a good bit. Enough it made my body tense up in reaction to the pain. My back arched up off the table and everything. I never got sleepy. At all! Nobody told me I'd be awake. Or that they were starting. I can't see anyone again. Sounds are in the distance. Then all of a sudden the most severe pain I have ever felt in my life started. Right in my chest. Because he was manipulating my heart. Ten doesn't describe it. It was so severe that instant tears were flowing down my face. My entire body would tense and I was trembling because the pain was that bad. I couldn't even speak, I just couldn't make myself because it hurt so bad. Nobody was saying a word to me, or checking on me. They were all chatting like they were at a Friday night get together. When someone finally checked on me they didn't seem to care. They told Dr. and they gave me more medicine but didn't bother to see if it was any better then walked away again. So I literally laid there for the entire thing feeling this God awful pain. Feeling alone, and scared, and confused, and abandoned. A little compassion would have been so nice.
The Dr. comes over tells me he hasn't found anything yet but he isn't done yet. Then says he can't give me any more medicine and walks away. So I just laid there praying I'd pass out so I didn't have to endure the entire thing.
Emotionally I was all to pieces when it was over. I just don't understand how or why they would think that's an okay situation. To completely ignore a patient laying on a table having things poked around inside their heart. I mean the thought alone is scary. To not talk your patient through what's happening, offer no compassion, and just allow them to lay there confused, scared and hurting not understanding why, it's just not acceptable.
I feel like a complete idiot for allowing it to bother me, but it did, a great deal. It was definitely something I'd call a traumatic experience. You here those stories of patients waking during surgery, this is what it seemed like, except I never went to sleep. My leg never got numb and I didn't even feel the slightest bit drowsy.
I have talked to others and read plenty about it, it is a procedure that can be done with me under sedation. So why on Earth would that just make me suffer? I have a high tolerance to pain. I am not a wimp, so it's not a matter of it just being I can't handle pain. They gave me pain medicine and a sedative medicine but neither of them did a thing for me. Maybe my body just didn't respond to what they gave me, but why is it that someone didn't do something to make me more comfortable?
Just the simple gestures would have been nice. Staying within my line of sight and talking to me. Holding my hand, letting me know what's happening and to expect pain. Those things can go a long way. Instead, I might as well been in a room all alone, because that's how I felt.
I suffered through a procedure to not get any real answers or solution. To just be told that it might happen again. Then to top it off, a Dr. Comes in hours after the procedure to talk to us and has the nerve to say to me "maybe you just need to be more calm so your heart doesn't race" and literally holds his hand up for a high five! I wanted to high five right in the face! Then he had the nerve to seek praise from me as well. Giving thumbs up and asking me "I did good right?" No jerk, you didn't. Yes, you said I could go home, but you came in here and basically told me my heart issues are my fault because I'm not calm!
Talk about frustrated. I was certainly frustrated and I feel I had every right to be. I still managed to find smiles yesterday though, even through all of that, because I'm actually not a miserable stressed out person. My experience was awful, but it's taught me more valuable lessons I can use in being an advocate and raising awareness. So overall, at least I got something out of it.
Take care, stay strong, and always Advocate for what you deserve. Don't take crap like this. Report it, don't feel bad for it and be sure to focus on healing mentally after an experience like this. You don't want it to be a life long trauma for you.