Saturday, July 11, 2009

Sensory overload

Resident: "Hey Dr. S, I just finished doing charts, is it okay if I scrub in on your surgery?"

Me: "He's not the one that's going to be spread eagle on the table with his fucking vagina on display for everyone to see, shouldn't you be asking me if I will allow you to be in the operating room?"

Resident (peering around the curtain that blocked my view of her & Dr. S): "I'm so sorry, you're absolutely right. Would it be alright if I observed your surgery?"

Me: "NO."

By the time that exchange even happened I was already about to rip out the IV, get dressed and run out the front door. The area where they prep patients for outpatient surgeries at this particular hospital has absolutely no privacy. Each "room" was walled off by thin curtains on three sides. The aisle that ran down the middle was no wider than 5 feet, so not only could you hear every little detail about what was going on with the people in the "rooms" next to you, you could hear every little detail going on in all 18 of these "rooms".

You could hear the children crying, families chatting, nurses asking health histories, anesthesiologists consulting with patients, doctors explaining what each person was having done, machines bleeping, etc. There was so much noise I was having sensory overload and there was nothing I could do to block it all out. The result...a complete and utter meltdown, which included one of the worst panic attacks I've had in my life.

I was two seconds away from calling the whole thing off when they finally came to take me to the operating room. By then, my hands had gone completely numb and I kept asking the nurse if my fingers were still there. She tried to reassure me they were, but I couldn't get my mind to focus in on where I was and to look at my hands. I was starting to hyperventilate and about ready to pass out and/or throw up.

More than 24 hours have passed and I still feel over-stimulated. My mind is racing at what seems to be a million miles per hour, drawing my attention in so many different directions that I can't grasp onto a single thought for more than a few seconds. The rage that has been kicked up as a result of the storm in my head has been unbearable. I cut the hell out of myself last night, but it offered no relief. Today I'm going to resort to chemical interventions in hopes of making all this stop. I can't take it any longer.

3 Comments:

Anonymous atorturedsoul said...

I totally understand sensory overload (see my post about it http://www.allaboutbipolar.com/2009/07/09/all-about-bipolar-sensory-overload-explained/).

6:24 PM, July 11, 2009  
Blogger Wandering Coyote said...

Jesus, that sounds like sheer torture. I'm so glad you were assertive enough to tell the resident where to shove it - good for you, girl.

10:34 PM, July 11, 2009  
OpenID catatonickid said...

oh i'm so sorry you had to go through that! bloody hell. and i get the sensory overload thing. it sucks!

i second Coyote. good for you for telling them what's what! i hate when med professionals treat you like you don't really exist. it's like, hey, i'm human, too!

4:47 PM, July 12, 2009  

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