Before I get into this update post, I want to apologize for my absence. My health took a turn after that adrenal crisis I wrote about in my previous article. It has been difficult to keep on top of things. I did get to go on vacation with my dad for a week, which turned out to be invaluable therapy. Other than that brief hiatus from my daily life, things have been rather hectic, so blogging was put on the backburner. I will cover all of that in a separate update here soon. For now, this specific topic is long overdue.
It’s been a minute. I hope you’re all doing well! Again, I do apologize for the delay, but better late than never. RIght?
In my last article, I wrote about the ER that turned me away when I was having a life-threatening adrenal crisis. I said that I was planning on contacting the ER’s VP to discuss what happened. I was sitting there prepared to call their office when my phone rang. As luck would have it, it was the hospital’s true crisis management personnel. On the other end of the line was the man in charge of protecting the hospital’s image. I had written scathing reviews about what had happened at the ER on both Google and Facebook, and he had read them. He took initiative and tracked me down. It was impressive timing, they must take their reputation very seriously.
He asked me to explain to him over the phone what had happened. I did, and I was not apologetic about the reviews I posted. I made it very clear that the risk to my health was something I was not about to take lightly from a hospital that is supposed to be as prestigious as theirs. He apologized, and told me that steps were being taken to correct the issue. The ER doctor who saw me, who was dismissive of my symptoms and treated me like a hypochondriac, would be put under peer review, and disciplinary action would be taken if she was found to have not followed proper procedure. He then asked me very nicely to consider changing my reviews if I was satisfied with their response. I told him that I would consider it, but I wanted to see what they did to fix this first.
About a week went by, and I received a letter in the mail. That ER doctor, it seemed, had done nothing wrong. They determined that she had followed proper procedure. Needless to say, this bothered me. Had I followed her instructions and stayed home instead of going to another ER, I might have died. Frustrated, I went searching online to find out what exactly “proper procedure” looked like in my state of Indiana for adrenal crisis. I went to Adrenal Insufficiency United‘s website and discovered from their “state report card” tool that Indiana has a very poor rating for adrenal crisis procedure in emergency rooms (as of right now, that page is under construction and isn’t available for use, but I added the link anyway for when they do update it).
I tried calling the hospital to suggest that they do more research and learn from the ER I went to that likely saved my life, but they never returned my call.
Consequently, I did not change any of my reviews.
I’m not naming the hospital that failed me, because it seems to be a statewide protocol issue. I am lucky that the doctor at the other ER was so willing to educate himself and make an effort to really help me. If it weren’t for the care I received there, the other ER could be facing much worse press than my personal reviews. Instead of publicly shaming a symptom of the issue, I am aiming to target the source. Indiana needs to update its standard emergency room protocols to take adrenal crises more seriously. Experiences like the one I had should be considered malpractice.
I plan to contact state legislators and make this happen. Adrenal Insufficiency United has been an incredible resource. I plan to refer whomever I write to their website for more information. If you have never heard of them, I highly recommend you do the same, and consider donating!
This is all I have the energy to write for now. I’m still not 100% yet, but I am working on it. After some issues with my current endocrinologist, it has been recommended to me by the Pituitary Network Association that I should find a new one. I am very pleased to announce that tomorrow, I will be returning to the care of the doctor who first diagnosed me. Now that I have secure transportation to my appointments via medicaid, there is no reason I shouldn’t make the long trip to his office. I am hopeful that he will be able to help get me back on track.
Stay tuned for more updates and blog posts! ❤
Here is a video I made after receiving that letter. Please disregard the “PHP Q&A” stuff. That plan fell through, unfortunately. I’m sorry if I had gotten anyone’s hopes up!