Thursday, June 10, 2010

Understanding and Interpreting Medical Parlance

There are some buzz words that medical personnel use to trick and deceive patients. I will go through some of these for you so that you know what the hell they are talking about. When you hear any of these words, phrases and terms, be afraid.

Amnesia; You may be under the impression that amnesia means that you are walking and talking, but can't remember anything about it. This is correct if you are not in medicine. However this word, AMNESIA, has some differences in medical parlance that you need to be aware of. According to medical folks, amnesia is what you get while you are sleeping. It is also used to describe "unconscious" as in being knocked out, completely unresponsive, brain dead, in a coma. You also have amnesia if you are deceased. (I actually saw a post that used this example, I'll find it again if I can.) The only time these people will mention the A-word (amnesia) is if you take exception to the amnesia you get from Versed. YOU have to say the A-word first, and then they will explain the rest of this bizarre concept of theirs to you...

Forgetful; This is another word that is misused by medical practitioners. To us in the real world, forgetful is when you can't remember your wife's birthday, or can't find where you left the car key. In my house it's not remembering the last place the kid put the remote control. What forgetful does NOT describe is a dense amnesia about current events, kinda like Alzheimer's Disease. When they tell you that their drug might make you forgetful, think complete erasure of any memory whatsoever of events for a number of hours. Keep in mind that a side effect of Versed is a prolonged state of forgetfulness in the common sense of the word. This may last for years.

Relaxed; This is a biggy. You may think of relaxed as being at rest or at ease. Relaxing by the pool comes to mind. However nothing could be farther from the truth if you are in a medical setting. Relaxed to them means that you are going to be unable to move without major effort and even then you will be uncoordinated. Your control over your body will be almost non existent. Your muscles will be flaccid. That way they can tell you how relaxed you were, not matter how horrifying your procedure was. You will be trapped in a body that will not obey your commands. Maybe it's a good thing that most people get medical forgetfulness (complete amnesia) because this is a harrowing experience if you remember it as I did. My CRNA said "I was with you the whole time and you were very relaxed." No Aaron I was not "very relaxed." I was in a homicidal rage that an idiot like you would actually attack me with drugs like you were warned not to. I was extremely angry and upset, not "relaxed" at all. There was nothing I could do about it because of the "relaxation" of my muscles. Anyway, don't think for one minute that you will be "relaxed" like you think of relaxed. You will be relaxed as in spinal cord injury resulting in loss of muscle function.

Cooperation, or cooperative patient; In our normal world cooperate involves a desire for a mutual agreement to do something doesn't it? "The process of working or acting together" is how the dictionary defines it. However, this is NOT what medical people are talking about with Versed. What they mean is a unilateral obedience. You obey them immediately and without demur. You are NOT cooperating as you have no choice. The drug makes you OBEDIENT not cooperative. One nurse states that you won't do anything while under the influence of Versed that you wouldn't ordinarily do. WRONG! You will do whatever they tell you to do, to the best of your limited ability. (Remember the "relaxing" part in the last description?) I distinctly remember obeying them when they were ordering me around, I remember the huge physical effort it took to do what they said, and the uncoordinated, jerky body movements. I remember HELPING them give me general anesthetic which I had adamantly refused. I was in a homicidal rage and still obeyed them. The nurse is lying. The patient is not cooperating, the patient is drugged into complete and total obedience.

Awake and alert; This phrase is also commonly misconstrued by medical people. To them it means that you APPEAR awake and alert. Your mind is gone but your BODY is still functioning, sort of, with Versed. So as the patient, you are NOT awake and alert. You might as well be dead as far as you know. Just be aware that even if you tell these cretins that you are to remain "awake and alert" that their idea of what that means is completely opposite of what YOU think it means. You think it means that you retain control of your mental faculties, they choose to interpret this as you still obey their commands, walk and talk, with your brain disconnected. ZOMBIE is the proper term for this, not "awake and alert."

Procedure would be too painful without sedation; What you take from this is... This procedure would be too painful TO REMEMBER! Versed doesn't kill pain. What it does is make it impossible to resist them, stop the procedure, or get more pain meds. The procedure will still be just as painful, whether you have Versed or not. The drug just tries to interfere with your MEMORY of pain. Once they inject you with Versed, whether you get amnesia or not (10% fail rate) they consider that you lack the mental capacity to stop them. Something to keep in mind when nursey tells you that it will be too painful without amnesia, oh sorry, without the relaxing drug Versed. If you want pain relief this drug is not for you. The medical people brag about how they can use less pain killer with Versed. That's because they don't care if you are in pain as long as they THINK that you won't remember it.

Sedation; This is covered in a another post here, but this word also doesn't mean what normal non medical people think it means. Beware of this word. Don't let them trick you. There are sedatives that work as a patient would expect, but Versed isn't it. I find that the pain killer Fentanyl has mildly sedative effects. However with Fentanyl, you are calmer, more sanguine about things and pain free, but your mind is still intact. It works just as we lay people would expect a "sedative" to work. FYI I was afraid of even Fentanyl after my debacle with Versed. I was close to hysterical, afraid that I would be slipped Versed again and very, very anxious about it. However I allowed Fentanyl ALONE along with nausea meds and I'm glad I did. This is a good drug for me.

Patient tolerated the procedure well; This phrase will ALWAYS appear on your chart unless they kill you, in which case you won't be able to read the lies in your chart anyway. If you have vague memories of how you were abused, or have total recall of all events like some of us, know that your chart will NOT reflect what you endured. They will tell you that it was "routine," that you responded well to their ministrations, etc. I have never, ever seen a chart which does not contain this phrase, no matter what. Don't believe it, it's another lie.

Versed is a good drug; Interpret as "We like Versed as it allows us to be careless and rude." This drug may not be good FOR YOU, but they don't care. As long as THEY like obedient patients with amnesia, who tell their secrets for the amusement of the staff, patients who can't reveal the extent of their bad behavior, they will do their best to convince you that this drug is good FOR YOU. This is a lie. It's a wonderful drug for them to use on you. They probably won't let anybody use this "good drug" on themselves.

We have never heard of anybody having a bad reaction to Versed; This is an out and out lie. These people know full well just how bad this drug can be for about half of the patients who get it, but as long as they can maintain "plausible deniability" then they can keep on using it on everybody for their own selfish reasons.

As I think of others I will post them here. Feel free to e-mail me or post a comment if you think of any.

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