Monday, June 29, 2009
Against Medical Advice
There is no doubt in my mind had I not had insurance the hospital would have booted me out when all indications were that I was stabilized from the reaction I had with Copaxone and tests showed that I did not have a heart attack. The only reason they wanted me to stay for further heart tests was because of my family history of heart disease.
When are doctors going to realize a person who lives with a chronic illness know their bodies better than anyone does? Most importantly, chronically
ill people know when they need medical help and are intelligent enough to seek
it when needed. If you are like me, the less I have to seek medical
attention, the better off I am.
Give me a break, do you honestly think I care I had to sign a piece a paper that I was leaving against medical advice because I did not want to stay for a freakin stress test the next morning. The way I saw it the hospital just wanted to get more money from my insurance for an overnight stay...I HATE STAYING IN A HOSPITAL. Did they really think I want to be poked and bothered every four hours when my vital signs were stabled, just to have a stress test the next morning? Hospitals recommending and insisting on unneccesary hospital stays is one of the problems with our health care system.
I experienced my third Immediate Post Injection Reaction after my Copaxone injection. Seconds after pulling the needle out of my thigh and grabbing the cotton ball to stop the blood that oozed from the injection site. A volcano erupted inside my body. It felt as if the medication exploded. I literally felt a burning rush travel up the top half of my body and slowly flow back down to the soles of my feet. My eyeballs rolled backed as my chest tighten with every rapid heartbeat. I was scared out of my mind, I could not breathe, thank God, my husband felt something was wrong and came upstairs to check on me.
As he dialed 911, I prayed for calmness and not to fear what was happening. I knew in my mind it was an IPIR experience and I held on to the belief no one ever died from one. The grip on my chest eased to the point I could breathe a little better. I thought my experience was about to be over until the severe itching and whelps start popping up over my body and a strange taste entered my mouth.
I start cursing living with MS and the medication that caused the hell I was living now. I could not understand why this was happening to me again. I thought IPIR’s were so rare that the odds of me having one again were slim to none. Well, the joke is on me. I was told that when I experienced my first one in 2007, yet I had another one months later in 2008.
On the transport to the emergency room, my tongue felt as if it was swelling and the itching made me want to peel my skin off. The EMT feverously injected an IV in my veins and shot me up with Benadryl. By the time I made it to the ER, I was drowsy and in a better state of mind. Hours later after an infusion of Solu Medrol, my body felt like its regular multiple sclerosis living self. The ER doctor asked how I felt and I told her the truth, she informed me that my test came back good and my vitals were stabled and I could go home after she consult with the ER doctor in charge.
I could have been knocked over by a feather when she came back in and said, "We want to keep you for further tests." "Why!", I asked. She said, "There are other test that they wanted me to take in the morning to check my heart." There was no need for me to stay to take further heart tests the next day, so I refused to stay. I explained to them, "I have a cardiologist and I have been given all required test because of my family history last year in May. You asked how I feel and I told you I feel much better than when I arrived, my vitals are stabled, and the heart enzyme blood work came back indicating all is well, therefore, there is no need for me to stay overnight for further heart testing in the morning."
I kid you not they were trying to put the fear of God in me. They went on and on about the chest pain I had with the IPIR and it was in my best interest to let them perform further testing because of family history. I was getting annoyed with their persistence about staying in the hospital. Why it is medical personnel do not really listen to patients who are in tune with their health situation and body is beyond me. Did they not hear me! When I said, “I recently had the tests they wanted to perform done by my own cardiologist and I will call him first thing Monday morning to follow up on why the wanted me to stay in the hospital.” The last place I wanted to be was in a hospital and my birthday was coming up Sunday, when I knew all was right with me again.
This may sound strange, but I was elated and confused knowing I was not going to die after having an IPIR. I was and still am confused on what to do about a disease-modifying drug to slow down the progression of my multiple sclerosis. Should I continue taking Copaxone? I know Copaxone is working for me because I have not had any new brain lesions and my exacerbations have been less lately during the years I have been taking Copaxone. Unfortunately, the IPIR reactions are worse each time I have one. I am obviously, in that rare percentile that experiences IPIR while taking Copaxone. It is a terrible experience and I do not like going through it, but who is to say I will not have worst experiences on my other three choices of a DMD. I thought about not taking anything at all, but after talking with my Dad. I promised him I would continue taking a DMD for my disease For now, I am going to take some time off from taking my daily injection until I make a decision on what I am going to do.
Anywho, all is well for now and I enjoyed my birthday with my family at home :) I will make a decision soon, but I am leaning towards staying on Copaxone because at least I know what it will do to me unlike the other DMD's.