This has been a fun week. And by fun, I mean it’s been interesting to say the least. Last Thursday I went to the doctor to adjust medication and go over lab work. My lab results showed that my small intestine wasn’t absorbing the nutrients or the medication I was taking due to SIBO (small intestine bacterial overgrowth). It’s not totally uncommon, just not many know what it is unless you’re into gut health or naturpathic remedies. I get on a medication called Flagyl, an antibiotic that should clear up my gut issue.
Here’s the thing; this SIBO has been making me vomit everyday for over a year. I was able to eat normally with it and not lose weight. On the Flagyl, I didn’t drink alcohol at all with it since you’re not supposed to and I became sick with even water and in three days lost nearly 20 pounds. So by Saturday night, I stop taking the medication and wouldn’t be able to get ahold of my doctor until Tuesday.
My doctor also stated that she was surprised I wasn’t in the ER with how low my vitamins and nutrients were. By Sunday, I was experiencing extreme memory blocks, where for hours of the day I wouldn’t remember what I did or what happened. Mind you, I wasn’t drinking then or taking any medication that would cause the memory blocks. I slept very inconsistently if at all since I started the Flagyl on Thursday.
On Sunday, I asked my mom to take me to the ER for weakness, my memory blocks, and losing 15 pounds in 3 days. So she drives me to the ER and I was taken immediately back. I stated to reception with pressured speech that I had mental issues but I also have SIBO and that I had my lab work and I lost all this weight due to the medication and I’ve been throwing up every day for a year. I get to triage and they give me a breathalyzer test, which I have never done before. I blew a 0.0 (obviously I wasn’t drinking which I told them). They did a urine culture and blood work.
I thought they were gonna recheck my blood work that my doctor did and I tried to hand them the paperwork, but the nurses weren’t interested. A man escorted me to a chair in the hall and asked if I had ever done this before and I said “been in the ER? Yes.” and that was not what he meant…. “I guess not”. “It’s a waiting game, sit here, and do not move.”
I started to panic because I didn’t know what was happening to me. There was a woman in a room to my right who was clearly intoxicated and passed out in a bed. An ER tech was with her and since the patient was asleep I slowly ask, “What is happening to me?”
She didn’t respond. I kept asking hospital personnel who walked by but no one answered me. I started to cry silently. I came to the conclusion that they wanted me in the looney bin.
The man that took me to the chair came back. I asked the same question. He said what symptoms did you present with and I said my stomach issues. He asked what else I presented with. I said mental issues. He nods his head and said the ER tech would have eyes on me the whole time and I couldn’t move.
Once he left, the behavior tech came over. She saw I was trying not to cry as I had tears run underneath my mask. She said she would be cool if I was and I said so I can’t leave now can I? She said no because I was considered a danger to myself and others. Security would be coming to go through my things and I would have to get changed into a gown and couldn’t have any of my personal belongings until the doctor and social work talk to me.
I was on my phone trying to tell my best friend and my parents that I may be admitted to the ER and wouldn’t have my phone. Then I saw the doctor who put me on IV fluids and gave me an anti nausea medication which happened to also be a sedative. For a while I didn’t care that I was in a hospital, going to be admitted for suicidal tendencies that I didn’t currently have.
Eventually security strip searched me and went through all my belongings. I was then bored. The ER tech was eating goldfish at her duty station and I’m like “broooooo, you have snacks and you’re not sharing?!” She hooked me up with half the bag, which wasn’t much, but she was being cool with me. I decided running was pointless since security would stop me and I didn’t have my purse.
I think social work came two hours later and they had moved me to a different part of the ED. I was still taking in IV fluids and the anti nausea / sedative wore off. I knew I couldn’t go to a mental facility so I explained to the older male social worker that I was going to school to be, in fact, him one day. I explained that I was manic and had pressured speech due to lack of sleep and was in fact, not really suicidal.
He was the only one who believed me but he started lecturing me not to take street drugs. When I asked where he was getting this idea from and he said I popped for benzodiazepines. I had to think about what I had taken for a moment. I took 3 Xanax that past week. I had to clearly explain that I took Xanax only that was prescribed to me. He seemed a little bit relieved, I am not sure he believed me on that front, but I told him that the meds were in my purse they could test it for all I care.
After that, I was released within thirty minutes and given a suicide hotline number and a safety plan. And a prescription for that anti nausea sedative. To say I was livid was an understatement.
There is so much wrong with the healthcare system in the US and if I were actually suicidal/wanting to self harm there is no recourse for that; it takes forever to get the proper services and in touch with the right people to talk to.
Now I week later, I am under the weather, off the Flagyl and I am trying to hear back from my doctor what the game plan is in regard to not being on that medication. I have currently lost 13 pounds as of Friday, February 26th. I am still vomiting every day and I may have a concussion from the other night.
I got drunk and was sober enough to drive home. But when I got home I passed out on my bed, hard. But at some point I must have rolled off the bed and hit the bridge of my nose on the bed frame because my face is all swollen and I have a huge bruise on the backside of my left arm. I haven’t been able to eat more than one meal a day and it’s hard to keep water down.
I hope this all comes to an end soon because I’m tired of feeling like utter trash.
3 Comments Add yours
Hugs I’ve been to the er three times for actual social ideation one was an overdose of my anxiety meds which they decided wasn’t me being really suicidal and “you don’t want to go there anyway” one that did get me a stint in the psych hospital and recently when i was honest with psych dr and just wanted a med change instead of talking with me she wanted some other dr at the psych hospital to figure it out. I told her i had no clear plan just the thoughts so i went to er so the cops wouldn’t show up and force me and they sent me home. I was way irritated the first time when i got the bill for a drug test because my insurance doesn’t cover it. Anyway didn’t mean to take up too much comment space but i wanted to let you know i get the frustration of the us er department
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I feel your pain! The frustration is real and I love reading your thoughts on mental health. There was some suicidal ideation, but no more than usual. But how insensitive people can be to those with mental health issues is flabbergasting to me! I could not believe it. Thanks for reading and commenting 💛
Oh and hope you feel better soon!
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