Monday, September 30, 2013

How Inadequate Health Care in College and Two Untreated Conditions Triggered a Cycle of Misery

Okay major update time! I know many of you have been concerned and worried about me so I wanted to update you all to let you know that I am now on my way to recovery. If you've been following my blog or facebook page you have probably seen many posts over the past two weeks or so that start with something like "It's 3 am and I still can't sleep", "I'm itching like crazy and I don't know why", or "I'm ticcing like crazy and it's awful and I need to find something to help it get better because it's just so bad right now that I can't function". Basically I started itching like crazy two weeks ago, my tics got really really bad, my OCD got really bad, I couldn't sleep more than a few hours per night, and I was highly sleep deprived and incredibly itchy and uncomfortable on a constant never ending basis , and in a lot of pain, and couldn't think straight for a solid two weeks.

I was on the phone with my mom crying at least 3 times a day telling her I was miserable, I went into student health services at my college about 4 or 5 times begging them for an solid answer or for some kind of relief, and got behind on my school work and was legitimately considering that the only option left was to take a medical leave of absence from college.

The sad thing is that the whole two weeks of suffering could have been avoided and would never have happened if I had had the legitimate medical care that I was denied by the student health center. All of this suffering and misery was the result of a type of common and a fairly harmless mite called Scabies which I became infected with when I visited a friend and slept on a scabies infested couch in her common room for three nights. Scabies commonly spreads through college dorms, child daycare centers, nursing homes, camps, and any other environment where there is close contact with a large number of people. It's just about as common as lice, although not many people know that, and although they cause a large amount of misery when left untreated, when treated properly they are harmless, easily eradicated from your system with the proper medication, and mostly all suffering can be avoided!

Student health services first misdiagnosed me with the scratch itch cycle, which in other words could be called "you're just itching too much for no real reason". When they did diagnose me finally with Scabies after I had been though a week or suffering already, they  gave me a non-FDA approved treatment for scabies, a very low dose or antihistamines, and told me I could not go on a higher dose and that there were no other options to relieve the constant and agonizing itching which would continue for another two weeks after treatment despite the fact that I went in about 4 times begging for some kind of relief and describing to them how I was pretty much non-functional.

In addition, I developed extreme bladder pain one week after the itching started. I had a simple bladder infection which I had gotten in the past as well. I also went to Student health services to ask them to test me for a bladder infection. They took a urine sample but once they had it they refused to test me for a bladder infection because they claimed that my symptoms were more indicative of cramps even though I was not on my period and had never had cramps like this before even when I was. So on top of everything already, I was left with an untreated and quickly growing bladder infection that went untreated for a week and a half.

The constant itching, pain from the bladder infection, deterioration of my daily functionality, helplessness, hopelessness, and the prospect of looking at another two weeks like this was too much for me to handle on my own with a limited ability to think clearly or think logically at all really due to extreme sleep deprivation, constant ticcing, and severe OCD resurfacing.  The extreme itching and sleep deprivation combined with with frustration and inadequate health care was the cause of the intense increase in tics, sensory processing difficulties, and OCD. And it all could have been avoided! Grrrr!

Basically on Sunday, I reached an ultimate low that I have only ever experienced one or two other times in my life. I called my mom crying, and she knew that the situation was deteriorating fast. Thank goodness for my mom's logical thinking skills when my own thinking and problem solving was not there. She told me she was coming to pick me up and that she was going to bring me to an urgent care facility.

The people at the urgent care facility were wonderful! They told me I did have Scabies, I had an extremely bad bladder infection, and told me that they could completely rid me of my itching within about thirty minutes and cure me of the Scabies for good in about 48 hours. And they were not lying! They gave me injection in my lower back that was very painful but I didn't even mind because I was willing to do anything to get some relief and completely rid me of all itching within 30 minutes. They also gave me the correct FDA approved Scabies treatment which is a cream that you rub all over your body and then in 24 hours you are no longer contagious. I did that last night so I should be Scabies free in another 12ish hours and then just to be safe I do one more treatment in 7 days to make sure all of them are gone. They also way upped my dose of anti-histamines (pretty much tripled the amount the student health services put me on) , gave me a large dose of Prednisone to take in the morning also for the itching, put me on antibotics for my bladder infection, and put me on Permidian to get rid of my bladder pain which took effect and made me pain free in 30 minutes. So with proper medical care, I was pain free, itch free, and free of all discomfort within 30 minutes of treatment.
I have been itch free, pain free, and free of all discomfit ever since and like I said before, this should all be over completely in 7 days, but I will experience very little to no discomfort at all from now on during the treatment. Thank goodness for the miracle of modern medicine! I slept thorough the entire night last night for the first time in two weeks and feel just like myself again. I'm playing a lot of catch up now in school and certainly would be in a better place if I was treated sooner, but I feel good again now and I am beyond thankful for that. My tics and OCD have also returned to their normal level as well. I am so glad about that! My tics are so much better and I don't feel that horrible feeling of not being able to get rid of the urge to tic no matter how many tics or how hard you do your tics. That feeling is just awful and I absolutely hate it.

I learned a lot though. I learned that my mom is there for me when I need her even though I sometimes think she isn't supportive of me or of my health concerns. She even helped me deal with my OCD on the phone when I was freaking out. I also learned that although things like this really exacerbate my tics and OCD, I am resilient and as soon as the trigger is taken away, things will go back to normal and I will bounce back. That was one thing my OCD kept forcing me to think, that even if I did figure out why I was so miserable and what was wrong with me that my tics would never go back to their regular level and that my OCD wouldn't either. I kept thinking that I would never get out from underneath that emotional warzone, but now I know that that's just my OCD talking and that I will get better and I will bounce back as soon as I am treated!

My mom is going to call the student health services and formally make a complaint to the person who is in charge and I am never going to student health services again. From now on I will go off campus whenever I have a medical problem. Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.

1 comment:

  1. I’m sorry to hear about what happened. That was really bad on the part of your student health services to misdiagnose your condition, which led to your prolonged suffering. It should be their responsibility to carefully and thoroughly examine your condition to correctly identify the problem. Good thing your mom was there to help you. Moms are the best, aren’t they?

    Greg Taylor