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Hospital Disaster

“Respond intelligently even to unintelligent treatment” 
― Lao Tzu 

Left Arm

My dad looked horrific. His left arm was swollen, black and blue. He explained that when he was admitted to the ER, he was given a blood transfusion for his anemia. They began the transfusion but he told them it hurt and felt wrong; they ignored him. The transfusion was administered incorrectly resulting in the black and blue because they missed his veins. They neglected to change anything until they noticed something wasn’t going correctly and restarted the transfusion, an hour later.

The edema, the “swelling”, was equally as alarming. He had gained 40lbs from fluid retention.  The reason for the fluid retention, we were told, was because his kidneys were damaged and failing, and not processing his liquid intake.


The last and most distressing thing I came to realize was the amount of medication he was taking on a daily basis. At one point his treatment called for upwards of 18 medications with several of the pills having to be taken multiple times throughout the day. It was a complicated schedule of pills.

Since he was admitted during the weekend, it took two days to get a Doctor to fill us in on the causes of this severe reaction and the actual treatment plan. For two long days he was monitored: blood drawn from his swollen and bruised arms: blood pressure taken; urine analyzed; and many other tests unknown. I continuously asked to speak with a Doctor so we could get more information, and instead we watched one nurse after another come in day and night.

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