muggle vs. medics; help me

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This topic contains 1 reply, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  RNparagod89 5 days, 19 hours ago.

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  • #6788


    So first things first I am a muggle; I don’t know anything about medicine except what I learnt from my own internet research (actual research from reputable sources NOT dr.oz and the like, more like medical papers, medscape, information on hospital websites like Mayo and cleveland, etc.) and personal experience. But I’m still unsure of what I can do.
    The problem is this; paramedics and EMTs keep coercing me into going to the ER by using threats of placing me on a psych hold or something. Now I have never made any threats to myself or others, so I know that they could never actually do this, but it has gotten to the point where there was a police officer on scene telling me that he could force me to or I could go willingly, I ended up going willingly. But i feel like these threats are unethical because I can and should be able to refuse care and I have no idea how to protect myself from being forced into this rodeo when I want to refuse. I watched Zdogg’s posting on recording medical professionals and see how filming them could be seen as a threat, but at this point I am only somewhat oriented to my surroundings and not fully awake and alert.
    I feel like I should provide some medical context to these calls. it usually starts out that i faint somewhere in public, now i have POTS (postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome) so its nothing new to me nor is it seen as a medical emergency by my providers, but some bystander unknowing of my case ends up calling. I end up waking up sometimes by myself 3-5 minutes or because of a pain stimuli (some of them work others don’t; ammonia salts and the one on my jaw work but the trapezius pinch, sternal rub, and digging into the nail-bed don’t). upon waking up and getting some orientation back, I then state that I don’t want to go to the ER, that i have a medical condition that causes me to faint on occasion and that this is normal / to be expected. I understand that they still have to do a vitals check and that’s when they find that I have an unusually high pulse (>120 bpm) and that my blood pressure is in the 90’s. I’ve talked to a few of my friends who are nurses and understand that this can be scary, so I try my best to tell them beforehand that this is to be expected. If they decide to take my orthostatics that’s when things are even more likely to go wrong, as my pulse will then accelerate past 180bpm, and have heard that they occasionally lose my pulse, but I also have a stringy pulse to begin with after i faint, so there’s that. I will occasionally still be disoriented or it will take me a long time to answer there questions, as one medic described it as it being like I was going off into an alternate dimension. So I am not fully awake and alert.
    I am wondering if I am doing anything wrong, which is one of the reasons video-tapping would be helpful. I also wonder if they are in the right to threaten to put me on a hold and weather they have any grounds to do this and what can i do about this besides continuing to work with my doctors to find a plan that would prevent me from fainting in the first place.
    I don’t know how I can refuse care anymore as I often don’t actually need to go and tie up resources but if they are forcing me like this what can i do about it?

  • #6789


    So I feel like I can talk to you from both sides I was Paramedic but I also suffer from POTS.
    So from the medic side of things, we legally cannot let you refuse if you are not completely alert and oriented. We cannot allow you to sign a refusal if you don’t appear to be of sound mind. This is why they are being threatening- which trust me is not right way to go about things period. I recommend getting their names and reporting this behavior to their superiors.
    I would recommend having your physician(s) who treats your POTS write out a letter that you can keep on you at all times stating this is your medical condition and yes you are prone to syncopal episodes (fainting), Tachycardia (rapid heart rate), and Hypotension (low BP). Although you might be exhibiting these symptoms it is not always a medical emergency. Having a physician statement like that should help decrease your troubles. If I was presented with a signed statement from a physician I’d be far more likely to allow you to refuse.
    Sadly it’s also likely they believe you’re under the influence of some kind of drug which is also why they are becoming hostile. I wouldn’t recommend trying to video the situation because I can tell their egos are going to kick in and it will only make the situation worse.
    I hope I helped!

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