• What is your hospital horror story?

    Asked by cllinda on Tuesday, February 26, 2019

    What is your hospital horror story?

    These days, hospitals compete for your money. But we still can have bad experiences dealing with roommates, careless people and a whole lot of other things.
    My story is of the day I had stomach surgery and they wheeled me into a room with two other roommates. And one of them was a guy! One bathroom for three patients to use. The guy was moved out but then another woman was put in the room. She talked on the phone all day long, nice and loud, and snored when she slept. It was bad.
    So what is your horror story?

    16 Answers from the Community

    16 answers
    • Lynne-I-Am's Avatar
      Lynne-I-Am

      My hospital horror story occurred the day after my first chemo treatment, I started to spike a fever. At first, we just kept an eye on it but as morning changed to afternoon the fever climbed from 99.2 to 99.6 . We called my gyn/onc and he insisted I be seen in the hospitsl’s ER. When we arrived at the hospital the ER was packed. I was one of many being periodically monitored. They would come by about every half hour to take my BP and temp. I still had unresolved ascites and was having a hard time breathing sitting in the ER chair , so after about two hours and still waiting, I sat on the floor with my head laid in the chair to ease the discomfort. My temp kept slowly climbing and they decided to admit me but the hospital was full. I was placed on a guerney in a hallway for what seemed like forever. Eventually a doctor came by , did a brief exam and then I was transported to an empty exam room where both my husband and I spent a sleepless night. Mid morning the next day I was finally admitted to the hospital. I met a decent roommate, got some sleep and eventually was tapped and thus received some relief from the ascites. I stayed in the hospital for a week , On discharge , after numerous tests, my feverish episode was of undetermined origin.

      4 months ago
    • LiveWithCancer's Avatar
      LiveWithCancer

      Fortunately, i don't have one.

      4 months ago
    • IKickedIt's Avatar
      IKickedIt

      Toilet paper. After a colon resection, I wasn't going to be discharged until I moved my bowels. They had to give me multiple things to get the plumbing working again, and when that time came, there was no toilet paper in the bathroom. But...the nurse couldn't get me toilet paper, the next level of nurses/aides also weren't allowed to get me toilet paper. They had to find the correct person whose job it was to go to the closet and get me a roll of toilet paper. Ugh!

      After a series of loud roommates who were either foul-mouthed or watched tv all night, I finally had a very nice young woman as a roommate. They had to put a picc line in her neck and they did this without anesthesia as I listened to her squirm and moan in pain. As it turned out, her husband was the police/resource office at my sons' school and knew my boys. We later heard that she died a few days after I had been discharged. Young woman who left 2 young daughter. Broke my heart.

      4 months ago
    • ChildOfGod4570's Avatar
      ChildOfGod4570

      I wouldn't say it's horror as much as a huge pain in the … you know where. When I was waiting to be admitted, I hadn't had anything to eat since 6 AM that morning, and I pled withthem to give me something to eat. I finally got fed my lunch about 10 minutes until dinner time. When they brought me my dinner tray, they finally wheeled mu upstairs to a room. Thankfully, I had a private one because they thought I was starting up a nice little case of shingles. I remembered needing the nurse in the middle of the night and paging her several times to noavail, not helped by the fact I could barely talk above a whisper due to the neutropenia. I started sitting up and lying down like a toaster gone out of control before a nurse finally came in to help me. Another time was when my call button dropped and pinched my IV tube, thus putting my arm to sleep. I had something of a voice and tried to call out for help to no avail. Then when someone came in and asked me why I didn't want my dinner, I said I wanted it but couldn't move my hand to feed myself. They went to fetch someone else, and I eventually got to eat once the call button was picked up and my arm woke up. And let's not even touch the fact I pleaded with the nurse to wash my hair (which hadn't fallen out yet), but she said she couldn't. 3 days without washing my hair? Ew! HUGS and God bless.

      4 months ago
    • junie1's Avatar
      junie1

      Well. I haven't had roommates since I had my girls in the 70's. All the times I've been in the hospital.. I've had a room all to myself. I was told that with patients with cancer,, need their privacy. due to the infections that a patient can get from others,, and people that come to see someone in the room with them..
      I'm so glad that I've had a room to myself.
      I'm sorry to hear of all the horrible things that I read on here.
      Good Luck in the future.

      4 months ago
    • BarbarainBham's Avatar
      BarbarainBham

      Your doctor can request a private room for you (if available) giving a reason such as immune system is compromised, and insurance will pay for the difference in cost.

      I've always had a private room without requesting one, so I'm starting to wonder if they only have private rooms because it's a new hospital.

      4 months ago
    • Jouska's Avatar
      Jouska

      My hospital story is totally charming and not a horror story. I had already had my double mastectomy, been through chemo and also had a total hysterectomy. It was at the follow up visit after my hysterectomy that this occurred. My gyn/onc who had done the surgery inadvertently dislodged a blood clot (it was not as healed as it should have been). Well, I started bleeding like you would not believe! She called for reinforcements, but unfortunately couldn't get the bleeding to stop. She told me I needed to go back to surgery, right then and now. Of course that wasn't in her plan or my plan for that day. Luckily the hospital was less than half a block away. I had 3 choices. She could call an ambulance which would take time and would cost extra money, she could call for a wheel chair and an orderly and we could go that way or she and I could go out the back door of the medical building, across the alley and into the "doctors entrance" of the hospital. I voted for the 3rd option. She called the hospital and made the arrangements for the surgery, stuffed me full of gauze etc and off we went. Out the door, across and Into the hospital, up the elevator and up to the surgery suite. She checked in at the desk - they never did ask who I was and we went into the surgery area to get me prepped. I did have a chance to call a couple of friends and let them know where I was and what was happening and get my dogs cared for. At some point they did bring me my hospital band so they did know who I was. My appointment had been at 4 pm and by 9 pm I was out of surgery and recovering. I just loved her approach and pragmatism. Maybe not for everyone, but for me and those circumstances it was the best.

      4 months ago
    • Molly72's Avatar
      Molly72

      I could write a book about mine, and am brave enough to name the hospital-- U. of MI.

      Huge place, understaffed with not enough nurses. I swear one was a 13 yr. old "Candy Striper"
      Strange man used bathroom in my room. Urinated all over seat!!!!!
      Terrible food, -- cold, given foods I had allergy to, tray put outside room so I could not get to it.
      Christmas Dinner was an old hard orange and a cold greasy piece of fake turkey "meat", and I think mashed potatoes.
      Ran out of toilet paper while having C.diff. This was problem on entire floor!
      Given wrong meds. that caused the C.diff, and sent home with prescription for constipation.
      Put Pict. line in without local anesthetic. OUCH!!!!
      Surgeon never checked in to see how I was after operation, then never called me at home for follow up visit.

      A word to the wise--- Never go to the hospital during a major holiday, except for emergency.

      4 months ago
    • Lynne-I-Am's Avatar
      Lynne-I-Am

      @Molly72, what is it with hospitals and overall crappy food? I understand food may not be great when patients are on a special diet- ex. Liquid, or No Salt Diets, but when on a regular diet no restrictions often a patient goes on a self imposed diet because the food often it not that palatable. I choose my meals from the limited menu items , they all sounded good on paper but the reality was often a disappointment. Also, there was no choice in the amount of food given. Restaurants will often offer senior servings on the menu but there are no portion sizes offered in the hospital. There were days when I had no appetite, yet my tray would come with enough food to feed a truck driver, all of it destined for the garbage can. The food waste in hospitals and hospital waste in general Is it’s own horror story.

      4 months ago
    • ChicagoSandy's Avatar
      ChicagoSandy

      I have several, but none connected to cancer and one was actually my husband's horror story.

      I'll start with mine. First one was after I gave birth by emergency C-section due to my son being a preemie breach, and he stopped descending a few hrs. after I broke water. As a result ot that, I was in danger of developing a uterine infection. They took a blood sample and endometrial smear while I was still in the maternity ward, but it sat at the nurse's station so long that it was too "stale" to be tested in the lab. By the time they notified me of that and returned to retake my blood & smear, I had spiked a 104F fever and had to be moved to a surgical ward, separated from my son for several days--I could nurse him only in an isolation roomette off the nursery. Had they timely sent the samples to the path lab for testing, I'd have likely gotten the results and been given an antibiotic in time to prevent full-blown endometritis; and would have been reunited with my son several days sooner--and released with him when he was ready to go home instead of us both spending a week in the hospital on separate floors.

      Second & third ones were when I was in rehab after knee replacements (TKRs). After the first TKR, due to my not timely realizing I wouldn't be in any shape to recover at home, I could not secure a room in a facility of my and my surgeon's choice. I was in a second-rate facility after the first TKR, which facility put me on a floor with MRSA, hospice and dementia patients. The latter kept coming into my room: one accused me of stealing her stuff and the other kept berating me for never calling or visiting--he thought I was his daughter. And the hospice patients, in horrendous pain, were moaning and screaming. Their pain was not being controlled, nor was mine--there was only one nurse covering two floors, and the nursing assistants were poorly trained (likely badly underpaid) and lackadaisical. On two occasions there were roaches in the bathroom. Breakfast was either reconstituted powdered eggs or oatmeal so stale that when tried to spoon it out to eat, it came out of the bowl in a single gluey dome. I was given only watery decaf--I had to chip in to be able to drink the nurses' station's real coffee. And despite my being on an anticoagulant I was constantly given foods (like spinach) that should have been given either seldom or not at all. PT was only once a day (and not at all on weekends) with inadequate equipment, and OT only 3x a week.

      I made a reservation at a much nicer, orthopedic-only rehab center before my second TKR the next year. It was clean, lovely, had great food, and was almost like a hotel with drugs. Unfortunately those drugs were kept in and dispensed from a computerized and timer-controlled cart, and on several occasions--despite making my request for my strictly time-limited pain meds well before midnight--the RN did not come to administer them until after midnight. Because of that, those doses were counted not as the last doses of the day but rather the first doses of the next day--they could not be rolled over, so my pain was under-controlled on those occasions. (I did get twice-daily PT every day, and daily OT, so it wasn't otherwise a horror show).

      But the worst horror story belongs to my husband. A few months before my own cancer journey began, he had a colonoscopy at a freestanding endoscopy clinic run by a couple of his colleagues who were on staff with him at a nearby hospital--"nearby" referring to its distance from the hospital, over 20 miles from our home (normally a 45-min. commute). It was a busy day for the clinic, patients stacked up like planes on a runway. This colonoscopy process (including pre-op waiting time) took at least an hour or two longer than previous ones he & I had undergone at that clinic. When he awoke he asked for coffee, but the nurses said it was only for staff and there was a Starbuck's en route home. It was about to storm and he was still groggy from the propofol, so we decided to make tracks and he napped in the car. En route, the storm hit with a vengeance, we were stuck in rush hour traffic in the middle lane...and then when we were halfway home, over 90 minutes after discharge, he awoke in agony. I called the clinic and they told us to go to the ER...at THEIR hospital. We couldn't turn around because we couldn't reach an off-ramp; and even if we could, that hospital was at least another hour away. We got home (we lived at the n. end of the freeway) and he was still in agony so I prepared to take him to an ER near us--but he nearly keeled over getting out of his chair, so we had to call 911. At the ER, a CT scan revealed his bowel had been perforated. (Part II continues below).

      4 months ago
    • ChicagoSandy's Avatar
      ChicagoSandy

      Part II:
      After several attempts by a surgeon in the GI group at the hospital near us to "medically manage" (by "bowel rest") what they believed to have been an incomplete perforation, another surgeon in the group took the reins and successfully performed a hemicolectomy, with no need for an ostomy. His care was transferred to the residents on duty, who would not release him to home because they thought his potassium was too low and he had to remain on IV fluids despite being able to eat a soft diet by then. On the fourth post-op day, my husband remarked that he had to sleep sitting up because breathing was difficult while lying down. A cardiologist himself, he matter-of-factly remarked that he was probably going into heart failure, and began calmly telling me his end-of-life and post-death preferences.

      Panicked, I tried to get an attending cardiologist in there, but the best I could do was an internal medicine fellow. I actually had a colleague of mine--a med-malpractice atty.--set up a plan to transfer him to my husband's own hospital (where he specializes in heart failure), against medical advice if necessary. Finally, a cardiologist was brought in: a semi-retired octogenarian with poor English. He examined my husband and snorted, "it's no big deal, you're just in fluid overload" and basically refused to do anything. My husband replied that he was a heart-failure specialist, with a wife who is a lawyer and friends who are malpractice lawyers; he said "If you don't prescribe me a hefty dose of Lasix and take me off this XXX I.V., I will write the orders myself; and if you refuse, the next time we see you, if I live, it'll be in court." The old fart attending handed him a pen and a clipboard and let him write the Lasix order--the attending didn't even know the proper dose. My husband came home with me first thing next morning.

      I asked if we should consider suing the G.I. doc who perfed his bowel, and he replied "I'm a cardiologist. I do cardiac caths. There but for the grace of God go I...but he's off my practice's Christmas gift list from now on."

      4 months ago
    • BudBandit's Avatar
      BudBandit

      when I was first being "analyzed" they would give me breathing treatment and an oxygen treatment every 4 hrs round the clock...except they were out of sync..I'd get woke up at 10 then at 12 etc.

      4 months ago
    • cllinda's Avatar
      cllinda

      I have another story about roommates. After having surgery, I was out in a room with a lady who had a mastectomy. She was crabby and her whole family came to visit her. They were loud and I couldn't rest like I wanted. And they stayed until 10 pm, two hours past the time they were supposed to. I finally got to sleep and because I was agitated I kept setting off my bed alarm during the night. The next night, the family came but they took her into a visiting room. And the last straw was she took a shower and threw the towels all over the bathroom which made it difficult for me to use a walker. I was so glad she left.

      4 months ago
    • ChildOfGod4570's Avatar
      ChildOfGod4570

      Chicago Sandy, I am so sorry for what you and your husband went through! :O It makes what I dealt with look like peanuts in comparison.
      Another post reminded me of another "Duh" moment when I was hospitalized. Has anyone here had a tray of food brought to them with stuff they weren't supposed to have? During the same hospital stay mentioned above, I had been presented a salad on one occasion and a flower shaped bowl of raspberies on another. This being done when my chart specifically said I had neutropenia and couldn't eat fresh fruits and veggies at all. I couldn't get them to take the forbidden food away, so I had to smell it all through my meal, wanting it so badly and knowing I had to leave it alone. My mother was there when I got the raspberries, and I offered them to her because she liked raspberries, and it was torture smelling them on my tray. Unfortunately, she was not hungry and didn't eat them. :( HUGS and God bless.

      4 months ago
    • Molly72's Avatar
      Molly72

      Child of god---- When I went to the above mentioned U. of MI hospital, I was visited by a supposed dietitian who asked for any food allergies. I told her peppers. Of course she probably thought I said "I love peppers", so I was brought a large dish of them. I also had an omlette filled with peppers and onions..... Stuffed peppers another time!
      What hospital serves such a highly spiced vegetables to begin with to sick people?
      When I complained, they said I never mentioned any food allergies.

      I also was a patient at the other hospital in my area. A wonderful institution, filled with caring staff, clean private rooms, and a wonderful dietetic staff who served a delicious variety of hot foods. The kind nurses also had a fridge full of snacks & drinks for patients available 24-7.
      Good hospital food can happen!

      4 months ago
    • HeidiJo's Avatar
      HeidiJo

      Mine horror story is with outpatient surgery. I get extremely sick when I get anesthesia , so they put a " cocktail " into my IV to ward the vomiting off. I went to a different hospital for the surgery and told them what has worked for me in the past. They said ok. So I get out of surgery, and i am projectile vomiting everywhere. The nurse said she was sorry, but they didn't give me the cocktail because they didn't believe me. I told her to get away from me and assign me a new nurse. lol.

      4 months ago

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