Tuesday, December 25, 2012

St. Joseph's Hospital

I ended up at the ER on 12-5-12 due to a severe bronchial infection. My roommate had it for a month before I finally caught it so I guess my immune system did the best it could to fight it off. But it got so bad I was having trouble breathing and had to go to the hospital. They gave me some antibiotics and sent me home. Two nights later I was back in, this time by ambulance. My left breast ruptured and my saline implant actually fell/ slipped out, which was really weird and frightening. I have no idea why that happened. But there is now an open wound where the implant came out, I don't know if it will heal as it is, Dr. Mahoney said it probably won't heal by itself, and she advises that getting radiation for 4-6 weeks will help it to heal. She also says that Radiation treatment will reduce the lymphedema and decrease my back pain. I find nothing online to support that theory, in fact I find
lots of evidence to the contrary;  radiation treatment inhibits wound healing and aggravates lymphedema.

My primary overall impression of St. Joseph's is not good. I've had zero wound care,they didn't even clean the wound, and the hospital bed was so bad that after only 3 days I
now have the beginnings of a bed sore on my tailbone. They have these weird inflatable beds that are supposed to prevent that, but in reality none of the nurses knew how to work the bed and I ended up with my tailbone sitting on the metal frame.

Other than that; death, death, more death. I've been told I'm going to die over and over and over. That place reeks of death. At the end of 3 days,  they were about to release me onto the street (with a referral to a night shelter) with an open wound that had not been cleaned and severe bronchitis. But since I could'nt return to my room rental due to my roommates severe (contagious)  bacterial bronchitis and, I was so sick I couldn't stand up by myself, so they decided to allow me to stay at The Evergreen Lodge, it's in the St. Joseph's compound. Dr Mahoney arranged for me to stay there "while being treated." The next day, at the Evergreen Lodge, Dr Magoney and Jeanette ( they said they work  together) I was told by these two women that if I would agree to radiation therapy "it would be a good excuse to stay at the Evergreen for 3 weeks and therefore " have a roof over my head." Lovely exploitation of the poor, it never stops. I didn't agree, and I was too sick to say much.

Horrified. Depressed. Discouraged. That's how "modern" medicine makes me feel. In one weeks time I was told over and over and over that this illness will kill me, and I can only hope to die comfortably in no pain. ( But they havent staged me) Which by the way is incredibly difficult to believe since I was in St. Joes then the lodge for an entire week in miserable pain until they finally sent the palliative care doctor over (dr. Fratkin) to prescribe some painkillers and a program of pain control. For an entire week I was allowed to suffer and told that going into immediate radiation treatments would  solve all my physical problems including the constant pain. Dr Mahoney says the open wound will probably not heal, however, it looks to me like its already healing.

What's this hospital up to? It's clear to me that they tried to exploit my position by offering " a roof over my head" in exchange for my agreement to get treated with Radiation and chemotherapy. Well that certainly is an expensive roof for Medi-cal to pay for. Wonder what other deals they have over there today? Wonder also how many homeless and or disconnected people have been exploited like this, told they don't need to see their records, intimidated into a "treatment plan", yelled at and threatened. Makes a person wonder. 

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