Discussions By Condition: Medical Errors

What happened in a mental facility and long term effects of a kidney transplant

Posted In: Medical Errors 3 Replies
  • Posted By: Anonymous
  • February 23, 2008
  • 04:05 PM

My son was put in a mental health facility because he was seeing things, afraid of loud noises, paranoid and this is not my son. He had a kidney transplant when he was 6 so he had a lengthy life of prednisone, imuran, cyclosporine all immunosuppressants that kept him from rejecting a kidney. I am interested in finding out 2 things. What happened in the mental health facility that he was put in because we did not know what was going on with Robert. HE had sleep apnea and would not wear the mask and we later learned that was probably the reason he was delirious- not getting a good sleep for several months. If the doctor that he first saw for his delirious side would have known what to do for sleep apnea- we certainly would have had no need for a mental facility. They ended up not caring for Roberts whole body- he dehydrated and eventually lost kidney function, developed pneumonia etc . I had to shut off the machines on my son---- A mothers heart ache. What happens in a mental facility and what is haladol d for --what other medications are given- My son was not a violent person--but I dont know what was going on with his mind during this time. If you have been in a mental facility for something like this - please respond. missourigal54@yahoo.com Also any one who has had a kidney transplant as a young child --please tell me your side ! I want to know how you actually felt- my son never ever complained=Thank you- Vicky

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  • I am very sorry for your loss. I also can understand why you want to find out what went wrong. I do the same! We need to make sense of it. I’m not sure if the information I can add here will answer anything for you, but there were a few things you said that seemed to hit a chord: sleep apnea and kidney function (diabetes)My husband has sleep apnea and type 2 diabetes. Our 34 yr. old son has had type 1 diabetes since he was 12. It took observances from our sons problems in 1988 & 89 to be able to see why my husband was having strange problems in 2005 after a triple by-pass. As a teenager, our son went into the hospital 3 times for high blood sugar. With each episode - he looked bad, but it didn’t seem like an emergency since he could walk and talk and answer questions. We (the rest of the family) had insurance, but no one would insure him because of the pre-existing condition, so I would wait till morning to see the doctor since ER’s are so expensive. The dr. told me to take him to the hospital all 3 times. The 1st trip, a nurse came out of the exam room and said, ‘That was strange. As soon as I started to put in an I.V., he went into a coma.’ The 2nd trip, a nurse said basically the same thing, ‘You got him here just in time. As soon as we got him into a gown and onto the bed, he went into a coma.’ The 3rd trip, I heard some commotion, and asked a nurse who came out, what was going on. She said ‘You got him here just in time. As soon as we sat him on the bed, he dropped into a coma.’ For years, I felt so glad that ‘I got him there just in time’, until I finally put 2 and 2 together. During these times, he would also sit a little hunched over, very still, holding his wrists crossed in his lap and he would follow people with his eyes. For too many years, I saw these as 2 separate things. I will try to make this long story shorter and tell you what you probably already see. I was not getting him to the hospital ‘just in time’. He looked paranoid because he was paranoid. He was paranoid because he was so far gone, his instincts were the only thing keeping him going. He was following everyone with his eyes because he didn’t have the energy to do anything else and it was his way of trying to see who he could trust to help him, with the last energy he could muster. When the nurse started the I.V., his instincts told him he was safe. He was finally able to let go and try to heal. Now fast forward to 2005. I took my husband to the ER with heaviness in his chest. He was sent for an angiogram and the problems started. His creatinine levels jumped (from the dye) and he started to act strange, but still seemed normal. The heart surgeon said it would be best to wait for the creatinine levels to come down, but didn’t think the by-pass should wait – so they did the surgery. In the next week, they’d take him to a room from ICU then have to take him right back. He seemed to be getting worse instead of better. I didn’t know anything about sleep apnea at the time and would watch him in ICU. The machine kept beeping with ‘apnea’. No one seemed concerned. I could tell he was being sleep deprived (which will make you think you’re crazy) and decided I had to get them to leave him alone. He would just get to sleep when someone would come in to take blood, respiratory therapy, food, whatever. It was ridiculous. I would ward off visitors, nurses, anyone who would interrupt what little sleep he was getting. One night a nurse asked me what was wrong with him. I said I thought it was sleep deprivation, because he was so unresponsive to everyone and didn’t seem to know what was going on. He kind of seemed depressed. She said they watched him sleep the night before. When your chest and ribs have been cut open, you can’t just sit up – it will rip you ribcage apart. She said he was flailing his arms then would sit straight up in bed. That was odd, plus the fact that someone in healthcare was asking ‘me’ what’s wrong with him. The next day, the surgeon asked me the same thing. How am I supposed to know? But – it had me puzzled and apparently kept nagging at my brain. By morning, I caught myself wondering why I kept thinking about when our son was in the hospital so long ago. When I went back to the hospital, I saw it. The nurse was trying to talk him into eating something, told me to get him to eat, then walked out. He didn’t move his head, just followed her with his eyes when she left. I asked if she bugged him and he made a face and said ‘you don’t know who you can trust here’. He had even been treating me like I was a stranger, but this got him talking to me. I tried getting him to eat. He got defensive again “Why?” I told him, ‘To get your strength back, so you can go home’. Once he started talking, It didn’t take long to realize how bad off he was. He thought he was in a hospital in NJ, but we were in VA. He didn’t know where home was. Didn’t remember what it looked like. Didn’t even know if he wanted to go there. His creatinine levels weren’t coming down and they weren’t giving him enough insulin to bring his blood sugar down. Then they’d blame him for his blood sugar being so high, as if he had any control. He’d been like this for 2 weeks and no one seemed to have a clue. They released him from the hospital the next night. I had to get 3 of our kids to come over and help get him from the car to his bed. I couldn’t believe they sent him home when he didn’t know what was going on. It took a lot more time to figure out the rest of the problem. He was talking to his sister on the phone and sleep apnea came up. While they talked, I got the medical book. It only had one long paragraph, but one huge nugget was that ‘they shouldn’t take pills that knock them out’. The surgeon had switched a lot of his pills and I wasn’t sure what they were for. Then the pharmacist questioned why my husband was on Risperdal. Asked if he was psychotic or depressed. I laughed and said ‘no’. Way later, my husband said he felt like he was going crazy and mentioned that 2 nights he jumped out of his chair and was heading out the front door before he woke up. I’m surprised he didn’t rip his ribcage open. He could have died while I was sleeping. We started to suspect the Risperdal and called the surgeon to find out why he was on it. They said he was depressed. It still took another couple days to realize he wasn’t on Amitriptyline anymore. It’s an anti-depressant, but he was taking it for the pain of neuropathy. The surgeon assumed he was taking it because he was depressed and changed him to Risperdal, which was knocking him out at night, causing him to feel like he was dying and he’d panic because of the sleep apnea. He was sleep deprived and the drug was making it worse. We learned a lot of lessons the hard way. They fixed one problem (heart), I found another (sleep apnea) and we got that under control, but now he’s on kidney dialysis because his creatinine levels stayed high after that. If we "could know then, what we know now", life would be much easier. But we can’t. So, I hope something here, makes sense to someone else. Most people will tell a Dr. they’re fine, when they aren’t. Or forget to mention a symptom. Or not mention something because they think it’s not important. And sometimes people are so far gone, they don’t realize how bad off they really are. I pay more attention to body language now. If someone hits their head and gets a concussion, are they going to remember they hit their head? Would someone who has a seizure, know they had a seizure? Does someone with slurred speech realize they’re having a stroke? (My Mom didn’t even realize her speech was slurred.) I’ve noticed several doctors, since then, who read body language and they’re better at diagnosing because of it. I hope that people get matched up with the right dr. and communication doesn’t get garbled. May we all become more aware. Our lives depend on it. I wish the best for you Vicky. You’ve had a very rough time and were thrown into a situation you couldn’t be prepared for unless you’ve had experience. So I pray that someone who’s going thru the same problem will find their way to this website and be helped by yours and your sons experience. Bless you! Jane
    KeepOnTryin 3 Replies Flag this Response
  • Jane thank you for replying- there are so many similarities in our stories. You have been thru much too ! I would like to send you my story- a mothers tragic story. Please email me your address--to vkiswan@msn.com or missourigal54@yahoo.com thank you-Vicky
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • Jane I have also written another story on here- a mothers heartbreak I hope you can find it --Vicky
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
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