Never Again! Ketamine, and hospital bullying

This post may contain triggers for some. It talks about bullying, hospitals, trauma. Please take care of yourself first.

This Ketamine treatment was nothing like the first one.

I will never go though this again….NEVER.

I don’t remember anything real from the time they started the infusion until shortly before we left. I hallucinated the entire time, or maybe just lost time…who knows. Yet S tells me that I seemed lucid at\times. I knew there was a chance I could have hallucinations, and dissociate…but this was beyond what I ever expected.

I’m told I was having incredible abdominal pain…this happened last time, but only on the last day, but it was shrugged off as GERD. I received Mylanta and was discharged. I ended up in the ER two days later with severe pain and diarrhea that had been happening since I got home from the hospital. I was given a CT scan and test were taken, I was told I didn’t get any of the bad bugs (like Cdiff) in the hospital but they thought I did get something there. So I was put on a liquid diet for 2 days, followed by a bland diet for another two days, I was also given Dilaudin (a synthetic opioid derived from morphine) in the ER. All of those things relieved it.

This time I had severe pain during my treatment, again waking up screaming, and vomiting this time….I remember none of this. I was given meds, I don’t know what, but it didn’t help much. Again they wanted to discharge me (more about this later). I ended up back in the ER the day after I got home. First I was given Morphine, but it made me itch so much, it’s really hard to deal with intense pain and itching at the same time. I was also given two other medications, dilaudin, and haladol. The pain was so very intense. They actually thought I had constipation with the diarrhea. What? Who’s heard of such a thing? She said it showed on the CT scan, it also showed some “irritation and inflammation”. There is some condition called called paradoxical diarrhea or overflow diarrhea. It happens when watery stool leaks out around hard stool in the rectum. Have you ever heard of such a thing? I sure hadn’t. I don’t understand that, I was having regular BMs before the diarrhea. She wanted to admit me to give me a laxative to see if it helped. I was not willing to do it. I could do laxities at home. She also suggested a bland diet. I also took a stool softener, and magnesium oxide, and have had normal BMs since. I still don’t believe I had paradoxicol diarrhea. At least that part of me is fine. I am still having some stomach pain, but nothing like I was having. I’ll discuss it with my new PCP on the 16th. I’m so grateful I was accepted by this PCP, she used to be a headache specialist at Jefferson (a very prestigious headache clinic) so she is better suited to work with my doctor at the clinic in Phoenix, so I may not have to go there to get some treatments. This office came very highly recommended to me, by another doctor of mine. I hope they really are as good as they say.

More bad stuff

Okay so that was part of the horror of the ketamine. Although some of the visions were interesting. I had to have a catheter many times. They said (according to S) they don’t like to leave it in because you are more likely to get an infection. But the visions that came with it…it’s hard to explain. One of them I saw women surrounding me in ceremonial garments. I was the center of some ceremony. It was strange, but it didn’t scare me, I felt like I was in a place of honor. Other times I did not have good visions. I I wasn’t sure what was going on, I felt violated. I still do. I had no say in what was happening, how can you not feel violated when people are sticking things up your urethra when you are out of it?

There was also a time that I thought there were two Stuarts. One was on one side of the bed, the other was on the other side. It was so strange. I told him I had to smell him to make sure he was the right Stuart. I got very agitated by the second Stuart, he didn’t smell right and was very jealous of the real S, but I had the right one there so I wasn’t scared. S told me I talked about gnomes a lot, that’s interesting, but I don’t remember it.

I’m told when I was hurting so badly I called out for my mother. She died 29 years ago. I still miss her so much. I do always wish she was here to help me through this, help us through this. I’m just so very grateful I have Stuart, and I have such good memories of my mother. I was thinking how hard my life has been, so very hard. How could I be so unlucky? Then I realized I’m one of the most lucky people in the world! I have an amazing husband to help me through this. How could I be unlucky?

I’m getting way off track, as usual, at least that was a good thing….. so let’s get back to this traumatic hospital experience.

First Discharge attempt:

The day after the ketamine was stopped I was set to go home. We were all packed and ready. I was getting in the wheelchair and then said, I don’t think I should leave with so much abdominal pain. The nurse from hell tried to force the issue, then I had a seizure. Other nurses and a doctor came in and said I wasn’t going anywhere. I don’t remember any of this. None of it. How could I have felt like I was ready to go home, with the only symptom abdominal pain, and not remember any of it? After the seizure S told them that the seizures happen when I’m under an extreme amount of stress. It hurts me that I’m having psychogenic seizures again.

Being forced to leave:

The next day they gave me Dilaudin to help with the pain. They finally listened to Stuart. Shortly after the nurse came in with my discharge papers. Stuart said he wanted for us to stay for another 30 minutes to make sure I didn’t have a reaction to the medication. We thought that was all there was to it. I was eating my lunch when suddenly the nurse from hell and an entourage of other nurses and a HUGE security guard came in to escort us out. They had “patient belongings” bags and were ready to throw my things in and forcefully make me leave. I was very concerned and agitated. I kept saying I didn’t understand, why couldn’t I finish my lunch? Why was this happening. No one would answer me, so I got a little loud, I didn’t scream or anything, I just wanted attention since I can’t hear I thought maybe I was missing something. S was busy getting our things in the suitcase so he couldn’t be that help, I doubt they would have said much for him to translate anyway. When I raised my voice the security guard came over to my bed and loomed over me, I shouted to him “I’m deaf and do not understand” it was obvious he didn’t believe me. The nurse from hell tried to touch me to get me in the wheelchair, I did forcefully tell her “Do not touch me”. I got in the chair myself. I did keep saying that I didn’t understand. While we were waiting for the car….yes they all waited to make sure we left….I turned to that nurse, she was the closest person to me…and said I wanted to see who was in charge. She said she was….she was the charge nurse, but she was far from who would be in charge. I told her I wanted to know in writing why I was being treated that way. She said, “it’s been noted”. I asked for her name and she wouldn’t give it to me. I also felt like they put people between me and Stuart so we couldn’t bond together. They rushed me out so fast I didn’t have my mask, and the charge nurse evidently didn’t have hers on since I could read her lips. I am sure that the whole process lasted more than 30 minutes, if you include the time before they came in. Why did this happen? Bullies, that’s all they are….Bullies.

I will NEVER be treated like that again! I will refuse to leave until I at least get the people’s names. We made a formal complaint, I’m sure nothing will come of it, but they can’t find out what the security guard’s name is. I don’t want anything like this to happen to anyone else.

Another strange thing, I was told that a doctor came by that morning and I told her I was ready to go home. She’s the one who ordered the Dilaudin, they finally listened to Stuart, then said I could leave. She’s my headache doctor’s partner, so I do trust her. But I don’t remember any of that. I really don’t remember anything until I was eating lunch. It’s like my brain shut down because of the pain….or the ketamine really hit me hard….I don’t know. Stuart is concerned that I don’t remember the last two days after I was off ketamine and was ready to leave. I do remember every bit of those people forcing us to leave. They didn’t even ask, they didn’t come in and say that they couldn’t allow me to stay any longer….for whatever reason…they just came in and started to pack up my stuff and forced me out.

I’m now having nightmares. It’s hard for me when I go to bed, even when I’m not sleeping, I can feel that security guard looming over me. I can feel the hate in his and the nurse from hell’s eyes This is one of the most traumatic things that have ever happened to me. I’m very afraid the seizures will become a regular occurrence again.

I’m trying so very hard to not think about the past, I know it’s over and I’m safe….but ,my body doesn’t seem to know it, it is fighting hard. I’ve lost all hope. I keep telling myself that’s not true, but it is. I was certain this treatment would help. And it did the first time, until I fell. I was outside in the sun without my hat! I had so much relief. I did feel like it was helping my migraines at first, but the trauma those people caused, I believe that negated every good that the ketamine did. Now what? The only other thing I know of is lidocaine infusions, but I don’t know if I can go back in that hospital. I’m also jumping the gun, who knows what else my doctor has up her sleeve.

I’m trying so hard to be mindful. S keeps trying to get me to stop and really breathe. That has always helped before, and it really helps him. But right now, it isn’t very helpful.

More Horror:

The night after the ER visit I started having akathesia, this happened last time too, so I was prepared with medications from my psychiatrist here. she helped before. But it didn’t work. I was pacing so much! I was anxious. I couldn’t be quiet. The only relief I seemed to get was in the bathtub. I took 7 baths in less than 18 hours. Crazy huh? My psychiatrist increased the dosage on the meds and I finally started getting back to normal. I was to take them for 3 days, when I tried to stop them, the akathisia and extreme agitation started again. So I’ve been on a lower dose since then. I sure did sleep well on those meds, too bad I don’t sleep like that all the time.

I think that’s all….I hope that’s all.

I do have another major stressor going on right now, but it’s worrying about someone else, not anything about me. Nothing I have any control over. Is there anything I have control over? Not my life, that’s for sure.

My heart is sad. Beloved Thich Nhat Hanh has passed.

“This Body Is Not Me….” by Thich Nhat Hahn

I got the news yesterday that master Thich Nhat Hana’s died.

I’m saddened, but so very grateful that this amazing man lived among us. He changed so many lives. He taught peace all his life. He was exiled from his own country simply because he worked for peace. I always feel at peace when I read his writings. I won’t pretend to know much about him, but everything I learn about him warms my heart.

Today I sit with mindful breath, sending peace and compassion to our beloved Thay

May the world learn from his example.

To learn more about this amazing man please .https://plumvillage.org/about/thich-nhat-hanh/biography/

Mindfulness Monday – Earth Day

image courtesy of pixabay


Love the world
as your own self;
then you can truly care
for all things. 

Lao Tzu

Just feel the magic in the air and the power in the breeze,
Feel the energy of the plants, the bushes and the trees,
Let yourself be surrounded by nature at its best,
Calm yourself, focus and let magic do the rest.

Sally Walker

In all things of nature
there is something of the
marvelous.

Aristotle

The days are so beautiful this time of year, urging us to come outside and linger, yet we often get so distracted by everything going on inside that we miss what mother nature is trying to tell us. My allergies are keeping me indoors more than I’d like, but I’m taking time to sit by my window each day and taking note of how my surrounding are changing, each day seems to bring a new bloom, a new color. The flora in the desert is much different than I’m used to on the east coast. there, there are so many blossoms it is hard to appreciate the individual plants, the individual blooms. Here flowers are often found alone, or in small groups, but the blossoms are often bright and beautiful and standing out in all their glory. I can look across a field and see a single flower blooming that I know was not there the day before, it is wondrous. The cactuses are starting to bloom and that is just amazing! I hope all of you can take some time and take a nature break.

A Mindful Monday

As I’ve wandered through the past couple of weeks I’ve realized how much I have strayed from my mindfulness practice and how much my Mindfulness Mondays helped keep me on track. Each Monday I was reminded how important mindfulness is and how to obtain it. It is time to refocus on this present moment with a few of my favorite quotes and a few photos from the desert.

Mindfulness isn’t difficult.
We just need to remember to do it.

Sharon Saltzberg

This quote is very meaningful for me right now as I remember how important mindfulness is, it is so easy to do, if only I remember to do it.

Mindfulness is simply
being aware of what is happening right now
without wishing it were different.
-Enjoying the pleasant without
holding on when it changes
(which it will)
-Being with the unpleasant without
fearing it will always be this way.
(which it won’t)

James Baraz

This quote by James Baraz is my all time favorite quote. Be with this day, whether it be pleasant or unpleasant, for it will always change.

Mindfulness means paying attention
in a particular way;
on purpose,
in the present moment,
and non-judgmentally.

Jon Kabat-Zinn

What I love most about this quote is the last word, “non-judmentally”. I am notorious for judging myself very harshly, and it has held me back in many ways. Another quote by Jon Kabat-Zinn, in part, says “Instead of ‘let it go’ we should probably say ‘let it be'”. I need to just let it be, and stay in the moment.

Mindfulness Monday – Changing.

I’ve decided to change things up a bit on my blog. I won’t be posting a Mindfulness Monday every Monday. I will still post once or twice a month, I’m hoping to blog more often with different topics. (health allowing) xo

Remember…

This is my favorite quotes. I hope you enjoy it, I know I’ve used it before. xo

**Image by W. Holcombe, please do not use without permission.

Just Stop 2019

image by pixaby.com

In 2017 I wrote a post about my theme for the year being “Just Stop”, lately it has been going through my mind a lot and I want to revisit that post today. Once again, making “Just Stop” the focus of the new year. During this past year I had a hard time staying mindful and following the path before me, simply staying in the moment seemed a bit too much to ask. But I’ve found the more time I spend trying to make things better and not accepting things as they are, I’m making things worse. It’s time to pay attention and simply…Just Stop.

  • Just Stop and listen to my body more.
  • Just Stop and listen to others.
  • Just Stop and think before doing.
  • Just Stop and think before speaking.
  • Just Stop and get centered before moving.
  • Just Stop and think before putting that food in my mouth.
  • Just Stop trying too hard.
  • Just Stop feeling guilty for things I can’t change.
  • Just Stop worrying about the what hasn’t come.
  • Just Stop and meditate.

Just Stop.

Mindful New Year

“Do not wait until the conditions

are perfect to begin.

Beginning makes

the conditions perfect.”

~ Alan Cohen


**************************************************************

“Begin doing what you want

you want to do now.

We are not living in eternity.

We have only this moment.

sparkling like a star in

our hand and melting

like a snowflake.”

~ Marie Beynan Ray

**************************************************************

“Be mindful of how you

approach time.

Watching the clock

is not the same as

watching the sun rise.”

~ Sophia Bedford-Pierce


**************************************************************

“Although no one

can go back and

make a new start,

anyone can start

from now and make

a brand new ending.”

~Carl Bard



**I hope everyone finds more joy, health, love, and compassion in the upcoming year. I know it’s been a hard one for many of us. Just a few quotes to share today, more words from Wendy coming soon. 😉

Mindfulness Monday: on being mindful

“Be mindful even if your mind is full.”

James de la Vega

 “Mindfulness isn’t difficult, we just need to remember to do it.”

Sharon Salzberg

 This time of the year can heighten both joy and despair; laughter and tears; friendship and loneliness; comfort and pain. Being present in the moment among the presents and presences can ground us as the season swirls by. Mindfulness can act as anchor, guidepost, tao. Bringing us back inside, to quiet, stillness. Mindfulness can help us do what is so important: breathe, love, live.

 This week is a selection of quotes around the idea of mindfulness, grounding, coping. I hope these resonate with you.

 “Mindfulness is a way of befriending ourselves and our experience.”

John Kabat-Zinn

“Life is a dance. Mindfulness is witnessing that dance.”

Amit Ray 

“When you look into a field of dandelions, you can either see a field of weeds or a field of wishes.”

Anon.

 “Regain your senses, call yourself back, and once again wake up. Now that you realize that only dreams were troubling you, view this ‘reality’ as you view your dreams.”

Marcus Aurelius

Wishing everyone all the best of this festive season, and in the new year to come. Charles Dickens wrote, “Christmas would not be Christmas, but for the exchange of our good wishes.”

 Image: google images/pininterest

Mindfulness Monday: calmness

“Calm the winds of your thoughts, and there will be no waves on the ocean of your mind.”

Remez Sassoon

“Meditation is not a way of making your mind quiet, it is a way of entering into the quiet that is already there – buried under the 50,000 thoughts the average person thinks every day.”

 Deepak Chopra

“Empty your mind of everything – let the mind become still.”

Lao Tzu

I create personalized “mindfulness” or “grounding” cards. On different coloured index cards, I print out a quote; a saying; a thought gleaned from elsewhere, or sometimes from somewhere inside me.

I carry two with me . . . always.

The first is a grounding exercise to use when I have a panxiety attack, feel like I’m drifting too far from shore, or to help be mindful of my surroundings by using all my senses. *

The other:

“Calm as a koi pond.”

Lorraine

* Borrowed from the “web of thoughts.” Can be modified to suit a person’s abilities and needs; I took the whole.

Look around you and find:

FIVE things you can SEE

FOUR things you can TOUCH

THREE things you can HEAR

TWO things you can SMELL

ONE thing you can TASTE

And, Wendy (who is taking a break from Mindfulness Monday today) gave me a wonderful set of 65 Power Thought Cards, beautifully written and richly, colorfully, and playfully illustrated by Louise Hay.

On one side is a saying; the reverse is a longer meditation on that specific thought/phrase/concept.

I carry around two:

“I am willing to change.”

“I express my creativity.”

Thanks to Wendy, (and Mindfulness Mondays), I am “working” on both!

image: © lorraine

Mindfully seeing

“The best way to capture moments

is to pay attention.

This is how we cultivate mindfulness.”

~Jon Kabat-Zinn

 

This week I decided to try to get back to the basics of my mindfulness practice.  When I first started learning about being mindful I would take time to really look at things up close and see all the little things about them. I tried to keep my attention on the object and discover as much as I could about it, is it smooth? bumpy? soft? scratchy? colorful? alive?…… just trying to mindfully seeing the world, one piece at a time.  At one point I took my camera and took a ton of pictures of one object, seeing it through the camera lens made me pay even more attention to it.  This week I did that same exercise.  I’d like to share some of the photos I took.  These are all objects you might see in day to day life, I just got up close and personal with them.  I’m only sharing one photo from each object I looked at instead of a ton of one item, I thought it’d be fun to see if you can guess what each object is?  **answers can be found at the bottom of this post

20181109_08550820181109_08523720181109_08521820181109_08515420181109_102757

I challenge you to go out in your world today and pay attention to the world around you, one piece at a time.

What did you see today?

 

I hope you liked this version of Mindfulness Monday.

**The photos above are of a Dust mop, a plastic bowl on my kitchen counter, the shutters in my living room, the metal grating on my front door (like a super duper screen door, but with heavy metal), and the refection of the pool shining on my ceiling dancing with the shadow of the fencing.  (I have to say the last one isn’t nearly as interesting as it is when you see it literally dancing on the ceiling.)

All photos are the sole property of W. Holcombe.  Please do not use without permission.