"Horrible ER experience at Mater Emergency (Brisbane) for Chronic Neck Pain Sufferer"

About: Mater Adult Hospital / Emergency Department

(as the patient),

Last weekend I arrived in the Mater Hospital Emergency Dept suffering from extreme neck pain. I have a neck injury from a car accident I was involved in. I have had chronic pain in my neck since the car accident. I had recently had surgery on my neck (facet joint injections and nuerotomy). Unfortunately I have ended up with an over-stimulisation of my nerves and have incredible pain in my neck as a result. It is a side effect of nuerotomy and is expected to resolve itself within 6 weeks. This was the first time I had ever turned up to emergency for strong painkillers and I have been suffering from this debilitating neck condition since the accident. I was in a really bad way, both physically and mentally, when I presented at emergency on this particular morning and tried my best to describe the position I was in. Not only did the doctor I saw appear to be condescending and rude to me, she did not seem to try to understand what procedure I had done. I specifically told her that a certain painkiller was not strong enough (as I had been taking it at home) and that I desperately needed a stronger drug to give me some relief from this unrelenting pain I was experiencing. I felt the response and treatment that I received was beyond disgusting. I had a splitting headache, it felt like someone was taking to my head with an axe and I was visibly very uncomfortable. I was curled up on a chair with my hands over my eyes, rocking back and forth, with tears running down my face. The doctor asked a few questions about why I was there and in between the tears I told her what my symptoms were and the procedure I had and then told her I desperately need relief from this pain with stronger drugs than what I had been taking. They gave me 2 of the pills I had been taking at home (the ones that were not strong enough), given an anti-inflammatory injection, sent back to sit in a waiting room chair and then sent home with a script for 4 of the same pills and told to go and see my GP. So I ended up leaving the hospital in pretty much the same condition that I had arrived and totally disheartened in our health system. Now I understand that there are some people out there who may try to fool people into giving them strong painkillers that they don't actually need, and this is how the doctor made me feel. Not that I felt she had any reason to think this as I had no history of presenting at emergency and asking for strong painkillers and she had records of my car accident in my file as I attended Mater Emergency that night. I was a real person, in real pain and to be fobbed off like I was at the hospital that morning was damaging to my emotional well being as well as my physical. It is an incredibly hard road to travel, when you have chronic pain, and to be treated the way I was, is appalling. And to add to my experience, I called to make a complaint only to be made to leave a message that to my knowledge has not been returned. Thankfully I saw a GP at my clinic the next morning who was more than happy to sit down and work through my options of painkillers and come up with a plan for me to get through the next few weeks.

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