Recent Flare and Emergency Room Visit
Last updated: January 2023
Having a recent flare has shown me how unethical the medical system really is. I just had a recent flare while pregnant that lasted almost a month. This flare started light and easy, but it itched a lot. I made sure I told my doctor about this and even sent pictures.
She wanted to taper down my medication from 20mg for 2 weeks to 15mg until I see her. I told her she only prescribed me 5mg that had a 30-day supply, and she told me just to take 5mg until I see her. I understood because of my pregnancy, but I still felt like the flare-up would have not been better. Over time, my daughter and husband have been getting sick back to back, so I have been the primary caretaker of the house until they had gotten better.
One morning, I told my husband that I was in so much pain I could not bear it. This flare had reached my arms, legs, feet, back, face, and scalp. I started to watch my skin peel, itch, and burn. He told me to go to the hospital. Why? Because each place I went to would tell me that they would not touch my medicine, only my rheumatologist. Well, that morning, I had an ultrasound appointment to check on the baby, so I was going to go to the ER after. While in that appointment, the OBGYN doctor asked about my flare-up and told me that I could have up to 40mg of steroids daily until the flare-up went down. I told her that I was going to the ER anyway, and she told me if I had any issues let her know. During the appointment, my daughter was completely fine and measuring on time.
My emergency room visit
After I made my way to the emergency room and the wait wasn’t as bad as it seemed, especially being that a hospital closed nearby. When I entered the check-in room, the nurses did not realize that I was 6 months pregnant. They were so sweet when they realized it. When they finally called me to the back, I told the nurse my issues, and he did not give me the response I was looking for. He asked me what they would like them to do for me because they would only call my doctor as well. That felt like a punch in the gut because I was seriously not feeling well.
I sat there for 45 minutes, and then I asked I asked to be discharged because they told me there was nothing they could do for me. Then a phlebotomist came in and asked to get some blood. I let her. When the doctor came in, he realized how bad my flare-up was and expressed that my flare-up was really bad and he wanted to speak to the doctor. He gave me 40mg IV steroids and sent me home on a 20mg daily dosage.
Advocate for yourself on your lupus journey
I am doing better, but I wish my concerns was believed and taken seriously. But on a serious note, if someone plans on being in the medical field, please have the common courtesy to understand your patient and take them seriously. Do you know how many people think I was on drugs because of the bruises on my arms from being admitted constantly to the hospital and doing chemotherapy? I expressed myself until I was heard. Sometimes I refuse treatment until they run a full blood panel. I realized that I needed to be here for my family. I want to present myself in the best health that I can and be the best mother I can be. So, don't forget to always advocate for yourself.
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