Not going back

Dear Editor:In reference to Maggie Allen's letter ("Take Me to Lakewood," 12/30/10), I went to the Downey Regional Medical Center emergency room on Dec. 16. My bladder and bowel completely stopped due to surgery on my left shoulder for torn tendons. Arriving at 1:30 p.m., I was directed to take a number to be served. In extreme pain, my wife and I waited. "It wouldn't be long," we were told. Two hours later I finally saw a triage guy; and they wouldn't allow my wife in, who was taking care of me. Finally, after completing a list of vitals, and seeing the nurse and explaining my pain, I was handed a cup wrapped in two sealed bags and told to go fill it. Remember, my bladder isn't working and I had arm surgery and was in a sling in order to not move the arm. No one asked to help me, so I tore the bags open with my teeth and tried to complete the task. I then waited in the hallway next to triage, still not allowing my wife in, for a person to check on insurance and allow me into the emergency room area. This took about 45 minutes. Then I had to go back out to the waiting area, sitting with my wife for yet another 15 minutes before being called into the emergency room area. There I waited yet another 15 minutes sitting in a chair against a wall while they got a room ready. Finally being put in a room and seeing a nurse, they were going to hand me the "cup" again and I told them I already did that. They then sent me to X-ray, where the technicians didn't care that I was in extreme pain, having had shoulder tendon and rotator cuff surgery two days prior. Their lack of concern sent me into a wave of intense pain because they tried to remove the sling. Are you kidding me? They couldn't see the bandages from the surgery? At least when I was sent to ultrasound that technician was thoughtful and didn't aggravate the pain. It is now about five hours since we arrived, during which time we did have two great nurses and an intern working on my problems. A Foley catheter is finally used to relieve the bladder. The bowels are also addressed. A total of eight hours pass before actually seeing the doctor and we are finally allowed to go home. I can feel the author's pain and aggravation regarding the way Downey Regional handles emergency cases. Been there, done that and will never do that again. Perhaps an investigation is in order. -- Robert Gustafson, Downey

********** Published: January 6, 2011 - Volume 9 - Issue 38