Hi, My name Is Michele and I have a rather long story with a history of spinal schwannoma's that have managed to make my life a living he**! Could you please read this actual letter I am sending to the hospital that I recently went to as a complaint. I am now dealing with terrible back pain, chest pain( non-cardiac) and left leg weakness that has me using a cane now to walk. I am presently on Oxycontin 20mg slow release twice a day and tramadol 50mg for breakthrough pain. Please read below and I would appreciate any input.
"It all started when I had developed terrible pain in my back ( at T3 level where my previous back surgeries were) and pain in my chest after trying to chop ice off of my car. I ended up in the Emergency room after my chest started to hurt right over my heart. I thought I was having a heart attack. I was admitted as an inpatient when they realized my chest pain wasn't going away.
I had been taking Ultram prior to being admitted for my new back pain but they had to give me IV Morphine in order to control my chest pain. I had a Team of doctors in charge of my case. I don't know their names and looking back I should have written down all of their names. Many different tests were done to help determine whether or not my chest pain was cardiac related. They performed a few EKG's which came out normal. They also did the following: Echo cardiogram, MRI of my spine, Cardiac Enzymes, and a Thallium stress test. These all ruled out any cardiac involvement and determined that there was no obvious problems with my spine.
As you can imagine I was very frustrated by this time and could not figure out why my left chest was still hurting, along with my back. A couple of days into my stay about an hour or two after I returned to my room following the thallium stress test I started to feel strange. Out of no where my left arm and leg became numb and paralyzed. My left side of my face also became numb and I felt as though it had become very weak and was not able to swallow well. I thought I was having a stroke and so did the team of doctors that ran to my side. They gave me a few doses of Nitroglycerin Tabs then melted under my tongue. Soon there after they sent me for a CAT scan of my brain which came back normal. Thank goodness about 4 hours later the feeling and movement came back to my arm and leg, although not completely. My left arm was a bit weak and when I tried to stand my left leg buckled from underneath me. I could not walk.
So now not only did I still have the pain in my chest and back, but I was unable to walk. Rehab was initiated to see what I could do with my left leg. Going to the bathroom was no a challenge because I needed help to sit on the commode. I couldn't even walk to the bathroom.
At this point no one could tell me what was wrong with me as all the imaging studies came back normal. It appeared to me that since nothing came up on an imaging study the physicians could care less as to the actual cause of my pain and now left leg weakness.
A day or two after my “stroke” like episode I developed a gastrointestinal virus which gave me terrible diarrhea which started around 2-3am and kept me up all night with burning watery diarrhea. I was in tears the burning was so bad. Thank goodness for the nurse I had overnight and that next day as I was given some Zinc oxide which helped the burning a little bit. The first time I asked the nurse for some Kaopectate or Immodium was the first thing that morning. The nurse came back and told me that the night covering doctor didn't want to order me anything because my doctor was coming on at 8am. Well 8am came and went, 9am came and went and finally I asked the day nurse who came back and told me that my doctor would not give me any medicine to help control my diarrhea. The explanation the nurse gave me was that they were waiting for cultures to come back and that it was better to get the stool out of you if there is a virus. My diarrhea kept on throughout the day. I would not eat as it would come right out of me. At Dinner time they gave me a piece of toast and tea which shortly came out of me. I then asked the evening nurse to please ask the doctor for something to help control my diarrhea. This nurse came back and said that my doctor refused to give me anything. Thus I didn't eat that whole day and I was very weak. Not only did I have to deal with my pain in my chest and back, and unable to walk, but now I had to deal with burning diarrhea.
The only course of pain relief that worked was IV morphine which was very caustic to my veins. I didn't have many viable veins left and the ones that did work were in my wrist area. Very sensitive area! I had to endure some very, very painful Morphine and Toradol injections. There were no other pain control medications ordered. The next to last day I was there I had to mention to my doctor about how I had used Oxycontin a few years ago after one of my spinal surgeries. Then and only then did he order me some Oxycontin.
My Md brought up how I should see my psychiatrist twice during my stay. On my last day there he specifically said to me that he wanted me to see my psychiatrist after I got home. There was no explanation as to why my Doctor wanted me to see my psychiatrist. To me this was his way of saying that since there was no proof of the pain I was having, that maybe it is all in my head..anxiety or depression. He saw that in my chart I had been seeing a psychiatrist for some depression issues I had over 10 years ago for reasons other than medical and I have been on antidepressants for years. What he didnt ask me was if my condition was stable. Well I have not had depression issues in years. Sure I have the normal frustrations of life as most of us do and sure I am very frustrated about the medical issues I am having now. I think anyone would be frustrated if they had pain that no one could tell you why.
Note: When the ambulance came to my house after I developed chest pain they asked me which hospital I wanted to go to. I now regret telling them to go to
<deleted: do not post real names.>
I never in million years expected to leave the hospital worse than when I was admitted. The unexpected Temporary left sided paralysis that occurred has left me with left leg weakness that now requires me to use a cane to walk. Prior to being admitted to the hospital I was riding the recumbent stationary bike at the gym. My left leg was strong. Not anymore!
I do not understand why there was no effort made that I could see by any of the doctors caring for me to look further into what was causing my chest pain or what could have possibly caused my temporary paralysis. Not one Md said anything to me other than ...the imaging study was normal...
Also the male Md that was leading my care on my last day there said the following to me. “We are not sure of what caused your temporary weakness” Weakness!!!!!!!! I had paralysis of my left arm and leg.. I was unable to move my arm or leg.
This type of experience should not happen to anyone."
I have tried in the past Duragesic patch which even the smallest dose made me so nauseated I couldnt get out of bed. I tried Methadone which even 5mg knocked me out. I am very sensative to these types of heavy duty narcotics.
Thank you for reading my story.