Food Fights Aren’t Always Fun

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Betcha I’m about the only person who can go to the emergency room for one thing and land in the hospital with something else entirely.

It started when I woke up a couple of Sundays ago and found that my PICC line had come out about 5 inches. “What do I do?” I asked the nurse on call at Visiting Nurses.

“Where did you have it placed? OK, go to their emergency room and they should be able to help you.”

And off we went. Where they discovered that, in addition to a problematic PICC line, my left leg was kind of red and swollen. At that point, they totally forgot about the PICC line (which kept sliding out until it was no longer in me). Next thing I knew, somebody was doing a Doppler on my leg to check for deep vein thrombosis (DVT). It was agony: I’m very ticklish — and the guy kept telling me to relax!

Leg was fine, but they wanted to check my lungs to see if there were any blood clots in there. Off I went for a CT scan. At which point the radiologist decided I had pneumonia. And the hospitalist decided I needed to be admitted.

And I said “no.”

I don’t like hospitals. I don’t like strange doctors. I don’t like it when people make a decision that affects me without talking to me and explaining why I need to do whatever it is they want me to do. And I had things I needed to do, like finish a blog entry that day (or what was left of the day after spending seven hours in the ER) and go to a doctor’s appointment in Indianapolis the next morning.

On Monday, I checked myself into the hospital. (See? I can be nice.) It didn’t take long for me to get into a “food fight” with the hospitalist.

As an aside, if I’d had my own doctor, there wouldn’t have been a problem because he knows me and we had discussed what to do about my food if I became hospitalized. Which is, I know what I’m doing and can make my own choices. However, he is part of the hospital family and must have his patients seen by a hospitalist, which is a doctor who coordinates your care while you are hospitalized.

Back to the food fight. I saw the “diabetic diet” notation and was not happy. When he came to visit, I asked how he could make a determination without having seen me or talked to me. “I know you better than you think,” he responded. “I was in the emergency room last night.”

So. He was the doc who wanted to admit me and I refused. I think he was a little angry with me.

And then there was another thing that ticked me off. In pleading my case, I told him that, with surgeries, infections, and relative nonactivity, my last HbA1c, which had been taken the week before, was 6.4%. Pretty good, huh? And I found out later that he had ordered an HbA1c! So now I’m a lying recalcitrant patient? He could have called my endocrinologist. Plus, I’m pretty careful with how I spend my insurance money and don’t like that they have to pay for an HbA1c taken just one week after the last one.

But, so far, no go. Which resulted in me trying to order dinner and being told I couldn’t have this or that or I would go over my carb allowance. Did I mention I hadn’t even been told what the allowance was?

Finally, he gave in. Kind of. I could order what I wanted, but couldn’t have any concentrated sugars. That resulted in being refused a spoonful of sugar for my oatmeal. But I could have raisins. Hmmmm…the sugar would have been 12 grams of carbohydrate and the raisins were 22 grams. I didn’t say anything, however, for fear that they wouldn’t let me have the raisins either!

I was glad to get back home.

I do have this “thing” about food, which likely stems from my frustration with that piece of paper containing the “diabetic diet” the doctor gave me when I was diagnosed. That was followed some time later by being constantly accused of not eating what I was “supposed” to — when what I needed was insulin. And there was the doctor (I saw once) who got angry with me because I had eaten some vanilla wafers — so I wouldn’t get hypoglycemic when my Regular insulin peaked.

Besides, I’m a grown-up and I can take care of myself.

Whew! End of rant.

Now all I have to do is figure out how to stay away from hospitals. Unless, of course, I’m visiting somebody.

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