Yesterday’s post about a black woman who died after being profiled as a drug seeker by an emergency room physician hit home with a number of my readers.
One reader told me she didn’t realize she was stereotyped by emergency room doctors and nurses until she read my post. Below are a few of the emails from loyal readers who shared their experiences with indifferent health care professionals in emergency rooms around the country.
Loyal reader Kim H. writes:
Thank you Sandra for your advice in the Anna Brown story!
Years ago before I entered the medical field, I went to the ED. I had chest pains and feared for my life. I was seen by the physician, and could not for the life of me understand why he was so angry. I ABSOLUTELY hate that I let him blow me off, and call me a liar. This happened years ago, and I almost want to request my medical records so I can file a complaint. I think I will. Wish me luck.
Loyal reader Stacie N. writes:
Good Morning Sandra! . . . As a specialist for the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs – we license all of the health professionals in Michigan, including Nurses. So, I have a deep appreciation for you and the work you have done as a nurse. Nurses run the entire hospitals now! I also have a 5 year old daughter with intestinal/colonic issues that she has been suffering from for over 2 years (we have been through 4 pediatric gastroenterologists and are still searching for answers) She is currently being seen at UofM Children’s Hospital which is “supposed” to be the best in the state! – So, I too am aware of the many incompetencies in the medical field as well – Unfortunately there are far too many to count.
It is so sad, but we are ALL stereotyped, wherever we go! My 19 year old son was taken to emergency two weeks ago by ambulance with a serious bump on his head (that he got at his job – McDonalds) Once the ambulance arrived at the hosp, they wanted to have him wait in the waiting room, which was packed (@ 10am) with about 20-30 African-Americans and one white man, in a community that is about 20-30% Black. . . I put up a fuss and explained where I worked and told them I would not wait 3-4 hours to see a Resident! I would rather drive him to our family doctor first. . . needless to say they rushed him into the MRI and CT Scans and when we left two hours later, that waiting room looked that same as when we arrived. Let’s not even get started in talking about the disparities between the care for Black men! Talk about an atrocity! It is a shame how our people are treated in almost every segment of this society. It hurts my heart.
Ps. . . On a lighter note — don’t you find it interesting how Beyonce wore sky high heals during her entire “pregnancy” but has the nerve to be wearing flats now?? Doesn’t that seem odd :0)
Loyal reader Adrienne, aka rossboss (Sandra Rose username), writes:
Good Afternoon Ms. Rose!
I have been a follower/lurker of your site for YEARS….since before it turned into a blog…back when all you did was post your fabulous photos….when you were a dot.net I always visit, but have rarely, if ever, commented. When I first heard the story of Anna Brown, I was heartbroken, and for me, it hit closer to home than the Trayvon Martin case. Although both are tragic, I couldn’t stop thinking about Anna. When I read your post today about Ms. Brown and your niece Shelly, (at work) the tears started and won’t stop. My mom is a Sickle Cell patient as well. Typically we contact her PCP prior to a hospital/ER visit and he has orders waiting on her when we reach the hospital. One time, she was in such severe pain, that we arrived at the ER before her doctor’s orders arrived, so she was seen by one of the ER doctors. Once learning my mom was a Sickle Cell patient, his entire attitude towards her changed. At the time, my mom was in her 40s and because we’ve assisted with her health care all our lives, my siblings and I also knew what medicines yielded the best for her and which ones she couldn’t take. When he offered to give her Morphine, we objected b/c in the past she had issues with Morphine. At that point he began to talk down to her/us, make statements about “all Sickle Cell patients wanting pain meds” and all “they” were seeking was a “quick high.” Maybe he thought because we were polite and humble we would just take his insults and go, but by the end of the night, not only had we ripped him a new butt hole, my mom’s PCP had done so as well, and the Chief of Staff of the hospital called us for several days after apologizing and making sure my mom was OK. I know in my heart, had we not intervened, my mom could have very well been Anna Brown or Shelly. It has been years (my mom is now 58) but each time we have a hospital/ER visit we demand the best treatment possible so as not to be labeled or stereotyped. My heart goes out to your sister and your family – I have lost family members to Sickle Cell disease.
You probably get thousands of letters/emails each day and may never read this, but for some reason, I just had to write (privately) to get this off my chest….