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  • Having a stroke and they call in a psych consult!!!! Grrr

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    Old 06-29-2010, 10:01 PM   #1
    lizzy76
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    Having a stroke and they call in a psych consult!!!! Grrr

    I'll try to keep this brief and not complain too much but I'm still pretty ****** about this. The morning of June 20th I woke up having a stroke. I couldn't talk or move my entire right side. I managed to call 911 and was taken to the ER as a "stroke code". Well the CT scan they did turned out fine so the ER doc immediately looked at my history of severe depression, patted me on the leg and said "well hon we're going to get you a pysch consult". At this point I still couldn't articulate much, although I could get some words out they didn't make much sense. And I still couldn't move my right side.

    I had been trying to get them to call one of my friends to come to the ER and they refused at first, wanting to get the immediate testing out of the way. Once that was done, one of my very good friends was called and she came down about an hour later. Needless to say she was ****** about the psych consult thing just like I was. We both happen to see the most wonderful psychiatrist, who she personally paged (on Father's Day) and he was even more ****** that they were looking at psych issues and not physical stuff. My depression has been under control for awhile now but b/c I have that history it just seems to follow me everywhere, even in an emergency like this.

    Long story short, they admitted me to the hospital, mostly b/c they couldn't discharge me in the condition I was in. The MRI the next day confirmed that I had a stroke. I went through a variety of emotions, one of which was wanting to go downstairs to the ER and give that doctor a piece of my mind! Apparently CT scans don't always show strokes if it's taken place within a few hours, which is likely what happend to me.

    Just an fyi, I'm a 34yr old female who had no risk factors for a stroke. It was caused by something that I had no control over. I'm lucky in that I have good friends who can advocate for me when I can't, and a wonderful psychiatrist who came to visit me off-hours at a different hospital than he is affiliated with. But I digress a little.... I'm still frustrated that because I have a history of depression that it's going to follow me everywhere and could, and almost did, interfere with me getting proper medical treatment for a REAL medical emergency!

    Anyone have this happen to you before?

     
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    Old 06-30-2010, 04:38 AM   #2
    sjb
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    Re: Having a stroke and they call in a psych consult!!!! Grrr

    Not to me but to my mother as far as misdiagnosis goes. They did not send her for a psyche consult but they missed the stroke. If I remember correctly she had a CT scan and they saw nothing but later found it on the MRI. I wish the doctors would do the MRI's always for symptoms like that.

    Last edited by mentalhealth mod; 06-30-2010 at 06:30 AM.

     
    Old 06-30-2010, 05:45 AM   #3
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    Re: Having a stroke and they call in a psych consult!!!! Grrr

    Did your paralysis go away? Because if you have damage from the stroke, it's their fault for not getting you clot-busters. They HAVE to be administered within 3 hours of the stroke to prevent permanent brain damage, and it sounds like you made it there inside the window and they totally dropped the ball.

     
    Old 06-30-2010, 05:22 PM   #4
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    Re: Having a stroke and they call in a psych consult!!!! Grrr

    Wow, I am angry just hearing your story. Hope you are okay! I never had anything like this happen and hope it never. But what you could do is get one of those papers signed that if you are ever in a hospital, the emergency contact on that document is called and will make desicions for you if you are incapcitated to respond. Sigh, sometimes, you really do have to have someone else to tell the doctors what to do in an emergency. I forget what that paper document is called, something directive.

     
    Old 07-30-2010, 09:42 AM   #5
    Bardda1
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    Re: Having a stroke and they call in a psych consult!!!! Grrr

    Something similar happened to my husband. He has COPD and I came home from work at lunch time one day to find him still in bed and practically non-responsive. He was very "out of it" and not breathing right. His temperature was almost 102. My son and I got him into the car and took him to the ER. Over 8 hrs. later they determined that he had pneumonia and admitted him. At the time he was admitted he was protesting, since he hates hospitals, and the nurse said "see how out of it he is? We haven't given him anything since he got here. That's all from the pneumonia. He's very sick and needs to be admitted".
    Unfortunately the doctors didn't see that when he first arrived and wrote in his chart that he "arrived at the ER highly intoxicated on narcotics". Those remarks made it into the ER reports and discharge notes and were forwarded to every one of his doctors. We had to write a letter to the hospital with copies to all the doctors, pointing out that they determined that his condition was attributed to pneumonia and that he had not taken any medications. We also told them to put in his records that if he ever arrives at the hospital in this condition, he wishes to be drug tested and the drug test results posted in his records. These report errors can follow a person forever and cause all kinds of problems.

     
    Old 08-05-2010, 01:43 PM   #6
    lizzy76
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    Re: Having a stroke and they call in a psych consult!!!! Grrr

    Just a quick update... I was originally going to write a letter to the hospital's quality assurance dept and the head of the ER but I've decided to meet with them in person instead. I called up the hospital and was put through to the Patient Relations Department and discussed the situation with someone there and let her know that I'd like to arrange a meeting to speak with the appropriate people about this. I made it clear to her that there is no "legal" aspect to this, all I want to do is talk with them, discuss the situation and hopefully help prevent this from happening to another patient in the future, especially considering they are a Certified Stroke Center. So, I now have a meeting scheduled for 8/13 with the doctor who oversees these issues. I'm going to have my friend who was there with me in the ER that day come too, as she witnessed a lot of what happened that day, and she had several interactions with the ER doctor b/c I wasn't able to speak very well at that time.

    Although this happened over a month ago it still makes me angry when I think about it and I'm hoping that this will help bring some closure to the issue for me. I'm happy that I'm able to meet with them in person because I'd like for them to see that I'm a capable, educated woman who has her Master's degree and not some "crazy mental patient" that they may be picturing if I were to just send in a letter. It seems easier for them to dismiss a letter than it does a face-to-face meeting. So, we'll see how things go - I can't wait to just get this done and move on with my life!

     
    Old 08-05-2010, 01:54 PM   #7
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    Re: Having a stroke and they call in a psych consult!!!! Grrr

    good luck and I'm glad you're following thru with this.....
    I hope you are able to make some heads roll
    continued healing thoughts going out to you for a full recovery

     
    Old 08-06-2010, 06:03 PM   #8
    jennybyc
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    Re: Having a stroke and they call in a psych consult!!!! Grrr

    Lizzy...for all of us this has happened to....I thank you for following up on this.

    Last year I had 4 lacunar strokes. They are odd strokes because they are in the base of the brain so the areas they affect are strange. With the first one, it affected my left arm and later my leg. I did go to the ER and what the CT showed was "an old lacunar stroke". So they sent me home. It wasn't old, just a bad CT. With the next 2, I saw 2 different docs as I happened to have appointments the next day. Both said it was related to the problems with my neck(I'm fused from C3 to T1) and that I probably herniated another disk. So I see my neurosurgeon and he is the one who tells me it's not my neck but lacunar strokes. Two weeks later I have #4 at my physical therapist's. They watched and did measurements of loss of strength and function and then watched as it came back.....just a lacunar TIA. Confirmed the areas and the type.

    But I also have a long psych history and I know each and every time that was considered since they couldn't make the correct diagnosis. The only reason everything came back was that I had the presence of mind to take aspirin as soon as the symptoms started.

    I had to find a new neurologist as mine moved out of the area 3 years ago. So I went to a "vascular neurologist". He rushed me through once he found out I had a psych history and on my second visit back greeted me with...oh, it's you.

    So now I'm looking again as I'm having more possible neck and spine issues but it could also be something else. Neurosurgeon is pushing me to find a new neurologist. My psych history doesn't bother him at all. Nor does it bother any of my other docs once they give themselves time to get to know me. I'm really quite a happy person who always tries to brighten THEIR day.

    Here's to standing up for those of us with mental health issues who get treated poorly! You deserve a medal!

    thank you and gentle hugs..............Jenny

     
    Old 08-08-2010, 10:47 AM   #9
    lizzy76
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    Re: Having a stroke and they call in a psych consult!!!! Grrr

    Bardda1 and Jenny - it always amazes me to hear how doctors react to patients with a psych history who have real physical symptoms. Sorry you had to go through that too.

    I got copies of the ER reports from that day and reading some of the comments in there just made me even more mad, and very happy that I'll be meeting with these people in person on Friday. One of the people I'll be meeting with is the physician who is head of the ER and believe me, I have a few things to say to him. Thankfully I am good at keeping my emotions out of things like this and I'm going to be very prepared with a list of facts for them.. of course, I'll let them know how all of this made me feel b/c I think that's very important for them to know but I also know they are going to want to look at hard data, not just hear how I'm feeling. One thing that amazes me is that apparently someone from the ER did talk with my psychiatrist and he said that he did NOT think any of my physical symptoms were related to my past psych issues and yet they ignored his opinion and went ahead with their own interpretation of things. Why bother calling the guy in the first place if you don't care about what he's got to say anyway! And why bother calling in a psych consult in the ER if you're not going to listen to their recommendations either! Clearly it was just to have things documented - however, I don't think an ER physician is the correct person to be making psych decisions based on his own opinions while ignoring two professionals in the field, which is also something I'm going to bring up b/c that is something that I'd like changed on my records, along with a few other things that were incorrect.

    Thanks for letting me vent... I really need to just get this meeting overwith so I can move beyond this! The rest of my life is finally getting back to normal after the stroke, and although I still have medical issues to follow up on, this whole ER situation is what is really bothering me from the whole experience!

    Last edited by lizzy76; 08-08-2010 at 10:48 AM.

     
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