Nov 162006

Ok, so last night I talked with K. more about what is going on and was able to finally piece together exactly what the situation is.

She HAS gall stones. There is no doubt about that whatsoever. This was confirmed by not only the ER staff, but by the person who ran the test on her gall bladder and the surgeon. The test in question is a 45 minute test, the first 30 minutes of which they measure the size of the gall bladder when it is empty and when it is full. In the last 15 minutes they gave her an injection that essentially replicates what happens when you introduce a high level of fatty foods to your system, causing the gall bladder to evacuate (for those who don’t know, the gall bladder produces bile that helps break down fatty foods).

K.’s gall bladder still evacuates, so it is essentially still working – This is why they didn’t want to remove the gall bladder.

I suppose the logic is that you wait for it to stop functioning altogether, as from what I’ve seen they can’t do anything to actually get rid of the stones.

So she will likely be given some diet restrictions on the level of drlovegroove when she goes to see her PCP today, and perhaps some kind of pain medication.

None of this changes the fact that –

  • Her PCP never once spoke with her, or came to see her.
  • She was sent home while she was still unable to eat without going through severe discomfort.
  • She was given no kind of medication to help with the pain, and was instead given an antacid.
  • She was told by one doctor that she HAD to have her gall bladder out, or that complications later down the line could lead to possible death. While I don’t fault the doctor for his being frank, having him tell us that then having the other doctors tell us to go home because everything is fine is confusing and not comforting.
  • The doctor assigned to her in the hospital yelled at her for not listening, then denied doing so in front of the other hospital staff.

Had it not been for the nurses and “regular” staff her experience at St. Petersburg General would have been an utter and complete nightmare. As it was, it was still pretty shitty – and this is supposed to be one of the nicer hospitals in the area.

Addtional Update – K. just got off the phone with a nurse at her PCP’s office. What we suspected to be true was confirmed. The doctor that K. saw in the hospital called him, and told him that everything was fine. She did NOT tell him that she was still having pain from the attack, so he agreed with her that K. could be discharged. She completely understated K.’s symptoms, and the only reason we can see she did so is because K. told the doctor not to yell at her.

Nice, huh?

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