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Emergency Room Shenanigans

Hello all! Today, I spent my day in the urgent care and emergency room. I woke up Wednesday morning and drove back to Shreveport from Dallas for class. While on my ride home, I began experiencing right-sided back pain. I just assumed it was due to my posture while driving or sitting down for 3.5 hours. I arrived Wednesday afternoon and continued to experience the safe back pain throughout the day. After class, I took some ibuprofen and went to bed. I woke up Thursday morning with extreme nausea and diarrhea and by the end of the day (after urgent care had closed), I began to experience pelvic pain as well as right-sided back pain. Friday morning I woke up and went to urgent care thinking I had a kidney infection. BOY was I wrong. After being told I “have the cleanest pee” the physician has seen in a while, I was asked to lay down on the exam table. The physician poked around and did several tests. She then pushed on my lower right quadrant and I almost flew off of the table. At that point, she suspected I had appendicitis and referred me to the ER immediately. Luckily, it was across the street, I walked in and only had to wait about 5 minutes. They got me back to a room, drew some blood, gave me and IV then told me the doctor would be in shortly. The doctor didn’t show up, but a radiology tech showed up to take me to get a CT scan. I had never had a CT scan before, only MRIs. This CT was ordered with contrast, which, when injected, made me feel like I was peeing my pants (the weirdest feeling ever)! I was taken back to my room and told the results should be back in 15-20 min. 50 min. later, no sign of the results. About 5 min. later, the nurse comes in with my paperwork and says “you have an ovarian cyst. I am going to get your IV out of you so we can get you out of here.” I tried to ask the nurse several questions and got a reply of “I don’t know.”Let me remind you I have not seen the physician the entire time I have been in the ER AND no one can/is willing to answer my questions. The nurse takes my IV out, hands me a prescription and an information packet and begins to walk off. I had to stop him to ask how to leave the hospital! I was just another body, another number coming through the ER.

Y’all… SO frustrating. I mean, I don’t expect top of the line treatment at the ER, but I expect to see the physician and to be informed of what my diagnosis is. I was sent home with pain pills and no direction on where to go next. This is the problem with the healthcare field today. Physicians are sending their patient’s home with pain pills and with no direction. Those pain pills wont work forever!!!

I know I have harped on patient education enough and y’all are probably tired of hearing about it, but I don’t think people fully understand the frustration the patient feels when they are not properly educated until you personally experience it. I know I didn’t. Needless to say, I will be following up with my OB/GYN to get this sorted out, because I refuse to be taking Tramadol long-term!

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Happy 4th of July!

Happy 4th of July everyone! Just wanted to write very briefly about my experience yesterday evening with my friend. I have a friend I have known for about 4 years who has Multiple Sclerosis. Yesterday, my fiancée and I went to dinner with him to catch up. Of course, our topic of discussion was MS. He told me a little bit about his story and the difficulty he has had getting the diagnosis. He told me when the neurologist diagnosed him with MS my friend asked the physician what MS was and the physician’s response, “It is what Montel Williams has.” This brings me back to the patient education topic (once again). My friend had to go buy books and go online to research what MS was to fully understand it since his physician did not/could not explain it to him. This should NOT be the case in any healthcare setting! As a healthcare provider, it is our responsibility to make sure the patient completely understands their diagnosis and the challenges that come with it.

Throughout dinner, I was able to answer some of his questions and educate him on different things pertaining to MS and physical therapy. As we walked out of the restaurant, I observed his gait (because I can’t help it) and saw his cane was WAY too short and he had a lot of spasticity in his right upper and lower extremity. It seems to bother him a lot, however, I was able to inform him how to try to reduce his spasticity with stretching and weight bearing, as well as recommend him see a PT for his falls and spasticity. I made a simple adjustment to his cane and I received a text from him late last night telling me the cane adjustment made a world of a difference. When we got to his car, he stated he had an AFO, so I asked to see it. It was a posterior leaf spring (*face palm*). As someone interested in neuro PT, this KILLED ME. Not only did he tell me he had a terrible PT experience, they gave him a posterior leaf spring that he doesn’t wear because his spasticity overpowers it. I was able to discuss different AFO options and ones that are used more for neurological patients and have the potential to decrease spasticity/tone. I also recommended he go see a PT that would address his problems. I told him I would love to meet with him again when I have more time so he can ask me the questions he has regarding MS and musculoskeletal problems. Every person deserves an explanation and patient education. To me, it is the most important thing and will help build that trust between you and your patient.

Okay, I’ll get off of my soap box! 😊 have a wonderful 4th of July, be safe, and enjoy the beautiful day!

Most Likely Awards

I am going to keep it short and sweet tonight because my fiancée surprised me yesterday and is only here until tomorrow morning!!! Today my PT class and I went to have brunch at a place here in Shreveport called Bistro Byronz. A few weeks ago, we decided to give out “most likely” awards. There were awards such as “most likely to be at Starbucks, most likely to get engaged next, best smile, best nickname, most organized, most likely to tell a riddle, most likely to solve a murder mystery, most likely to volunteer as the patient, etc”. I know some of these are odd, but our class can be crazy! I got “most likely to volunteer as the patient” because I volunteer the majority of the time when a professor needs to demonstrate something. Our class seems to have struggled a lot over the 3 years in regards to “gelling” with each other. Now that we know everyone better than we did 1st year, this was a really great way to come together one last time and nominate each other for “most likely” awards. Though there are a lot of controversy on participation trophies, I do have to say, I am happy that we got an “I participated in PT school” trophy/certificate. It’s been one hell of a ride and in 40 days, I will be starting the last chapter in PT school, rotations!

Father’s Day Madness

Hey Guys! Sorry for not posting last week. I had 4 midterms and a presentation and did not prepare ahead of time to have my blog written. I will say, you will NOT want to miss the story below!!!

I hope everyone enjoyed their Father’s Day! I was able to go home to Dallas, TX to visit my dad for Father’s Day (which hasn’t happened in a while). I arrived Friday evening and worked on some homework due on Monday. Saturday morning about 9am, I woke up to go look at apartments. My fiancée is currently living with her mom, I will be done in Shreveport on August 4th, and our lease in Shreveport is up July 22. I traveled all over the Dallas area and suburbs, visiting 12 of the 14 apartments on my list. There were some great ones and some not so great ones, and one that I drove by and said HELL NO!!! I arrived back to the house about 6pm exhausted and overwhelmed with the amount of information I had just received. My fiancée sat down and discussed what our plan would be and what I thought the best place would be for us. The biggest issue we had was the apartment I really liked said we would not be able to move in until August 11 and our lease in Shreveport is up July 22 – what were we going to do with our furniture and stuff in our current apartment for 21 days?!

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Sunday, I went to church and lunch with my parents and younger brother then headed back to Shreveport. A 3-hour drive ended up taking me 4 hours due to the highway leaving my parent’s house was closed due to construction, a wreck on 635 that had the highway shut down to 1 lane, tons of traffic and crazy drivers, and I-20 shut down to 1 lane while entering Shreveport due to a stalled vehicle. Needless to say, I was ready to get home!!! I got home, unloaded the car, showered, and got into my pajamas to start studying. About 8:45pm, I was minding my own business when my front door knob started twisting and I could hear someone trying to get in. I live over the pool, so I figured it was just a drunk person thinking that my apartment was theirs. Well, it continued to happen. I looked out the peephole to see a topless woman trying to enter my home. I called the cops and while I was waiting on them, she decided to descend the stairs and start wandering in the parking lot, still topless and now shoeless. The cops came and, after talking to her for a bit, they knocked on my door. I opened the door to find her shoes and socks all over my front porch and her shirt was in my bushes. Apparently, she told the cops that she lived in my apartment. FALSE! Come to find out, she was on meth and EXTREMELY messed up. After calling what seemed to be the entire city of Shreveport (fire truck, ambulance, 2 cop cars = 6 1st responders), they checked her out then put her in the back of the car and drove off.

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Needless to say, my Sunday was one hell of a day and I was ready to go to bed. After checking out the window and out the peephole about 4 times, I finally went to lay down and luckily fell asleep pretty quickly. Educational tip: LOCK YOUR DOORS!!!

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Sidenote: In regards to the apartment situation, our current apartment is going to let us stay until August 11th and our applications have been submitted to the apartment we want!

The Power of Positivity, Friendliness, and Customer Service

I have experienced some very friendly people over the last few days and some not so friendly people. I want to tell you a few stories of the impact friendliness, positivity, and customer service can have on a person and how contagious it is.

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Story 1: My fiancé is in town for 2 days and wanted to go eat at our favorite pizza place here in Shreveport. We have had TERRIBLE service the last two times we have been, however, we sacrifice bad service for their yummy food. Yesterday, our server was amazing! Our server was very friendly, attentive, and went above and beyond to help us and his co-workers. My order was semi-wrong and he offered to take it back and correct it, which was not necessary (I just didn’t want to be charged for the incorrect part of my order). He continuously checked on us, even after we payed (we were watching game 1 of the WCWS). I made sure to leave a nice note on the receipt to let him know how great of a job he did.

Story 2: Today, I had an appointment to get my eyebrows waxed. The service was great, as usual, but as my fiancé and I went to pay, the ladies at the front were not very attentive or friendly. We stood there for about 30 seconds while they talked and did not acknowledge us. We were finally acknowledged. We were helped, but the cashier was not friendly, nor did she smile. My fiancé asked about the free gift that comes with a purchase and she didn’t say anything, turned around to grab the free gift and basically threw it on the counter. We chose to smile at her and say thank you after she helped us.

Story 3: Today, I also went to the eye doctor to pick up my trial contact lenses. I decided to run my errands before getting my eyebrows waxed, because I knew that grabbing my contacts would take less than 5 min. BOY was I wrong! The eye doctor is 20 min. away from my house and is not on the way to anything (basically on the side of town I NEVER go to). I arrived at the office and they were busy, so I ended up having to wait about 5 min. to be helped. I gave them my information and told them I was there to pick up my trial contact. The lady went to the drawer and searched, but could not find my contact. The lady got her supervisor involved and they searched the entire store for about 15 min. with no luck. I was highly annoyed since it is out of my way and I was now going to be late to my eyebrow appointment, however, I chose to keep a smile on my face, stay friendly, and thank them for their efforts. They both apologized and said they would reorder my contacts.

Three different stories, three different scenarios, one common message: positivity and friendliness. I was taught from an early age that in every situation you can choose to see the positive or you can see the negative. I strive to see the positive in every situation and even when something goes wrong, I try to be the person that shows understanding and kindness rather than erupting on someone. You never know who is around you, so think before you react to a situation. Choose kindness and positivity and of course, provide outstanding customer service. It says a lot about who you are.

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