Several times I went to Brattleboro Memorial Hospital's Emergency Room with serious pain and horrific muscle spasms that were impairing my ability to function. The first time they did a CT scan but when nothing showed up, the doctor claimed that it must be anxiety and sent me home. A couple of days later, severely painful spasms overwhelmed me in a public place and I lost my ability to walk. I went back to the ER in an ambulance. There someone gave me a tranquilizer and after a short time told me that I had to go home. Since at that point I was again able to walk, they took it as proof positive that nothing was wrong with me except anxiety. The nurse informed me with a ridiculing voice tone that Emergency Rooms are not places to "lay around in."
The pain and spasmic attacks escalated. I had seen my family doctor earlier, who prescribed tranquilzers and Tylenol with Codeine and ordered some tests to be done, but not on that same day. [continued below]....
..... But the pain and spasms worsened, and I was back in the the ER the following evening. If I had not been in severe, unbelievable pain, I would have waited it out for the planned tests to be performed. It was not possible to ride out that kind of pain.
The ER staff would not allow me to see a doctor. An RN was sarcastic with me and distorted my words to make me sound ridiculous and treated me as though I were insane. Then she turned me over to a Nurse Practitioner who cast me a look of malice and spitefully squeezed my spasming arm and leg, ignoring my cries and pleas for mercy. Then she told me to go home and keep taking a medication that I had suffered a terrible negative reaction to, and shoved me out of the ER. I was barely able to walk, but I managed to make it to the car and my husband drove me home.
The pain and spasms ever worsened, and I lost all of my functioning. I could not walk or sit up, but had to lie still to keep agonizing spasms at bay. I could not eat, take a sponge bath, or change my clothes. My husband went out and bought a bedpan and Chux (urinary underpads), but I could not use the bedpan without indescribable pain seizing me. I ended up having to let go on the Chux. My husband called the doctor, who (of course) told us to go to the emergency room. Again I had to go by ambulance. The EMT cast me a hateful look and squeezed my spasmic arm that I had asked her not to touch. What is there about a helpless person in terrible pain that causes people to want to be cruel?
The emergency staff treated me with hostility. They were sarcastic and cruel, kept my husband from seeing me, dumped me from a stretcher into a chair, which caused me incredible agonies. Then they left me alone without a call light. The pain was beyond agony and I ended up screaming, which was proof to the staff that I was a lunatic. Finally an interventionist convinced the staff to have a doctor examine me in case something really was wrong. The doctor took one look at me and said: "Don't worry, you are not going anywhere until we find out what is wrong with you." She began to examine me, noting abnormalities, while she ordered an MRI and hospital admission.
I would like to say that that this was the end of the horror story, but it was not. I will relate the rest of this terrible experience as soon as I can.