They thought I was on Drugs

I am sharing another story from a reader.

I went to hospital in an ambulance because I collapsed at work. I was in the ED and I was in pain. The nurse was doing her business and asked about my pain. I told her I was in pain on the scale it would be 8. I was left alone as she went around to other patients. Finally a doctor came over and she prodded me. She pushed around parts of me and asked if it hurt. I told her it hurt like the dickens. She went away. The nurse came back and asked me if I wanted a drink. I was happy to have a hot cup of tea, sweet lots of sugar in it. I couldn’t keep the tea inside of me. I called for a nurse to come and help me before I was sick. The nurse said she would come as soon as she could. It was too late. I made a mess of myself and was shame. I had vomit down the front of me. I tried to reach for a towel or blanket to wipe it off. Make myself clean and presentable. I couldn’t reach anything. I tried to get out of the bed. When I stood up the pain came flooding back and I ended up on the floor in pain. I called out for the nurse. She said she was too busy and for me to get back into bed. I tried to get back in that bed. But every time I reached up and tried to pull myself up I had pain. It was so bad that I blacked out. I kept on falling back on the floor. I was lying on the floor in pain. The pain was getting worse and I started to cry. I cried and cried. I started to call out for help. The nurse came and looked at me and shook her head and walked away. She called for a hospital orderly to come and help lift me. While I was waiting I was sick again, from the pain. The pain was just worse and worse. I could hardly breathe. I just wanted to die. I think dying would be less hurtful than the pain I felt. The orderly came over and he laughed at me and picked me up and put me on the bed. I asked for something to clean myself. He laughed and told me that I must be used to this. He called me alkie. I told him I wasn’t a drinker. He and the nurse laughed. They laughed really horrible. They said they hear that all the time. That they are used to it. They know a drinker when they see one. I was crying again. I was crying with shame of them thinking I was a drinker. The doctor came back. The orderly said that I was homeless and drunk. Nurse said she thinks I am there for drugs. I didn’t know what to do. I was so hurt. I was covered in my own mess. I was shame. I was in pain. The HLO  (Hospital Liaison Officer) came in. He knew me. He said gidday and asked them about my medication and if my tumor was the reason I was in hospital. The doctor told the nurse to find my information. He read it. He said he was sorry that I was treated like I was, but that too many people come in late looking for a bed to sleep in or drugs. I don’t want to go back to hospital. I know I will die there. They won’t care for me.

About proudblacksista

An Aboriginal woman. mother of 4 diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour 7 years ago.I want to share my story to help others. I am working to help other Aboriginal people face the battles of Cancer. Email me with your stories or concerns at View all posts by proudblacksista

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