One of the best feelings in the world is cutting a hospital bracelet.
Cutting a hospital bracelet can symbolize a fresh start. You’ve been discharged from the hospital. You are feeling like the best version of yourself — happy, relaxed, optimistic, and ready to prove that sickle cell can’t keep you down.
However, sometimes I feel like hospital bracelets are cut prematurely.
I was admitted to the hospital Sept. 13 because of a vaso-occlusive crisis. I had pain in my arms, my back, and my legs. I was taking oral morphine, dihydrocodeine, and acetaminophen every four hours. I would’ve been arrested if I had been caught driving in that state.
It was frustrating, because every time the medications wore off, the pain was just as intense as it was before I was admitted. The pain wasn’t getting better. In fact, the pain was getting worse, which meant the medicine just kept coming.
Days passed. It got to the point where every doctor, nurse, and consultant suggested I leave the hospital, as I could use the same painkillers at home. I declined each time.
I hate going to the hospital so much that I treat it as a last resort. You know it’s serious if I take myself to the emergency room. I need help that I can’t sufficiently give myself.
My floor was full of elderly patients with cancer-related complications. There were three other women in my room who looked unwell. I was uncomfortable speaking to them and seeing the type of treatments they needed. The environment didn’t promote positive thoughts, but I insisted on staying.
I sat in the emergency room for hours and was admitted because I was feeling sick. I didn’t intend on leaving until I felt better, yet the constant “suggestions” made me feel like I was wasting National Health Service resources. I couldn’t help but wonder if someone needed my bed more than me.
I was discharged Sept. 17, and I honestly regret not staying in the hospital. The pain is just as intense and I’ve seriously considered going back.
This is just to encourage all you sickle cell warriors to stay put. If you’re not feeling well enough to be discharged, you have every right to stay. You know your body best. If you feel awkward about advocating for yourself, speak to a friend or family member who can effectively relay the importance of staying in the hospital to the appropriate healthcare professionals.
Note: Sickle Cell Anemia News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Sickle Cell Anemia News or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to sickle cell anemia.