I had my first chemo infusion at Alta Bates on Friday. It was terrible. The whole thing took over 3 hours which is absolutely fucking ridiculous when you consider that even if you push the Vincristine at the rate it should be pushed (1 mg/minute) the actual drug only takes 2 minutes to administer. Ironically, the nurse who pushed the Vnc just pushed it--in like 15 seconds.
So pretty much the litany of sins are as follows:
-treatment room is dark, has no natural light, and cramped
-IV was put in my wrist which is the most excruciating place to start an IV
-they didn't use litacaine (a Swedish practice) to numb the IV area
-despite my telling them that I can't use large, blue IV needles and that I really need the yellow, pediatric sized needle, they attempted my first vein with the blue. It fucking hurt and didn't work. I told you so.
-everyone kept asking me, the patient, what my treatment protocol was, if i had ever had chemo before (wtf?), what kind of cancer I had, if I had ever had Vincristine before, if I'd ever had an IV before, why I didn't have a port etc. and the thing is all of those answers are IN MY FUCKING CHART. Yes, I've fucking had Vincristine at least one a month for the last fucking year and a half. Yes, I have had an IV before and you should believe me when I tell you what veins are good. Yes, I've had chemo before. Oh My God.
-then the pharmacist came by and re-asked all those questions, and then asked for a list of the drugs I was on and what doses (again, in my chart right next to her) and instead of confirming she just wrote down what I told her and printed it out.
-then the nurse practitioner came by and looked at the print out (that I had dictated) and proceeded to write my rxs based on that--not my chart.
-she then told me that she wants to monitor my blood counts because she just doesn't know how I'll do on the Vincristine and I was like "you have my weekly blood counts from the last year in my chart... and I've been on the same drugs" and she literally was like, "I don't have time to read your chart."
-this WHOLE time I have a plastic tube in my wrist vein and it is SO UNCOMFORTABLE and they won't take it out because they like to "hydrate people." This is after I have had fucking 5 liters of water already to get my veins ready for the fucking IV. They did not listen to that either.
-when the nurse finally took the IV out, instead of removing all the tape and then carefully pulling the IV out, she just ripped. She ripped it all out at once. And it bled like fucking crazy and hurt a lot.
Conclusion: no one could be bothered to read my chart OR listen to me so I'm not really sure how any information got through to them. This is pretty simple stuff (my treatment at this point) but if I weren't totally on it, if I were say, a little old lady who was totally confused (see them all the time at cancer centers) what the hell would have happened? I'm all about being an empowered patient, but this was totally ridiculous.
12 down, 5 to go. We're in the homestretch!
3 years ago