Pirate Pete and My Aching Feet

Drove my dad to the eye doctor who gave him an eye patch.  We now call him Pirate Pete.  All he needs is a pirate hat and he’s all ready for hallowe’en.

Bobo made turkey dinner with all the fix’ns for my family and his.  I was doing okay until it was dinner time when my feet started feeling a bit weird.  I ignored it and kept bringing the food out until the pain was so persistent, I had to stop and go to my room to check it out.  I took off my socks and could not believe my bloody eyes.  My foot looked exactly like the picture on that Xeloda pamphlet….the one that said SEVERE…STOP taking medication.  It felt like I stuck my feet in a vat of acid.  My feet were so red and yellow and horrible looking that it really freaked me out.  “Those can’t be mine”, I thought.  And it was so very painful to walk.  I slathered a whole bunch of cream on my feet, hoping the pain would go away.  I went back to the living room to eat, but had to stay off my feet for the rest of the day because I couldn’t stand it.  I stopped taking the chemo drugs until I could speak to someone.  I knew no one would be available at the Nurses Station because of the holiday on Monday.

My feet looked better by Tuesday, and so my nurse told me to get back on the drugs because we had to push it as far as we could.  I took my evening dose and my Wednesday morning dose too, but then by dinner time, my feet flared up again and I couldn’t walk.  I was also having trouble breathing when I went to lie down in the afternoon.  The heart doctor told me that that might happen.  At around 6:30, my calves were killing me, and that was when I was lying down.

The last time that happened to me when I was on chemo, I remember my LTD nurse telling me I had to get my legs checked out for DVT (deep vein thrombosis).  “Great,” I thought, “I’m about to have an pulmonary embolism.”  Bobo hadn’t come home yet as I was deciding what to do.  I felt weird calling for an ambulance even though I couldn’t exactly walk.  I phoned my friend Angela who lives nearby.  She knows a lot about hospitals since she works at one.   She came over quickly and took me to the General Hospital.  Oh how I hate that place.  We spent 2 1/2 hours there only to discover that they didn’t have a technician available to do an ultrasound on my legs.  It was 9:30 by that time.

Angela (who owns a cell and yes, I am going to buy one soon) phoned one of the downtown hospitals to see if they had a technician available.  They did, but only until 11:00.  We figured by the time we drove downtown and were seen, the technician would be gone, so we just ended up going home.

I phoned PMH the next day.  My nurse told me we had to get an ultrasound done….it could be muscle cramps which could happen on this medication or DVT.  She wanted me to come downtown but I told her I couldn’t drive or walk anywhere.  I phoned my family doctor and asked her to make an appt. for an ultrasound me nearby.  I saw someone at 5:00.  He told me there were no blood clots in my legs.

I kind of figured that out this morning because I woke up and wasn’t dead yet.

Interestingly enough, The General Hospital phoned me the next day and asked me why I left.  “That’s new”, I told her.  Usually they don’t care when I take off (I’ve done this before).  She said they are making an effort to improve the quality of their care.  I pretty much told her I hated that hospital.  They didn’t have a technician available to ultrasound my legs for DVT, so there really wasn’t any point staying there.  She told me I should go on the hospital’s web-site and file a complaint.

Guess who’s going to get an ear full now?

Let’s see, what should I complain about?

How ’bout how I had a mastectomy and they didn’t bother assigning me a nurse all night?   Could have died and no one would have been the wiser.

Or how about when I was having heart issues and no one was in the Triage area for 10-15 minutes and even after I told them my history, the woman still sent me to the waiting room (after taking my blood pressure with my fall jacket on).  I got my husband to take me to Mount Sinai where they had me hooked me up to a heart machine within 5 minutes.

Or how about when I was having my weirdo seizure thing after I had a stroke/TIA, and the triage screamed at me that I WAS NOT HAVING A SEIZURE and to STOP THAT.

The lady on the telephone told me to make sure I put in all the dates.

And the question is…. do I bother?

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