Sexism & issues at hospitals

If you go to the ER for Covid, ask for the following…

1) Ask for a chest X-ray, even if you have no cough. I had no cough and had very bad pneumonia which the X-ray showed. 

2) Ask for them to take a blood test of your various levels including: potassium, vitamin D, blood cells, etc. Many people with bad Covid symptoms are low in these

3) Have them test your oxygen while walking, sitting and lying down. Some people have bad pneumonia but their oxygen levels are good while sitting but very bad while walking or lying down 

4) Ask if you need antibiotics. Sometimes people get secondary pneumonia infections from Covid. Antibiotics significantly helped my lungs 

5) Ask if there is anything else you can do to strengthen your lungs, such as using a spirometer. This made a world of difference for me. If I would’ve had a spirometer the first ER visit and not the 3rd, my pneumonia wouldn’t have gotten so bad 

And don’t forget that sometimes you need to be assertive. So many people die at home because they are turned away from the hospital. Also, so many women, people of color and lgbtqia+ folks are told they just have anxiety and turned away. My neighbor’s cousin was in his 20s and went to the hospital for Covid. They turned him away and that night he died in his sleep. 

If you need extra help, have your family call into the nurse’s station. Also, check hospitals’ rating, so you know which one is best to go to.

It’s just anxiety, not covid

I am a teacher with Blue Cross Blue Shield insurance. I had a 5 minute city ambulance ride where a male EMT mocked me and said, “You probably have anxiety not covid.”

I already knew I had covid since this was my second time to the ER. I could barely breathe, but in between my gasps for air, I tried to say, “I know I have covid.”

For this 5 minute ride, where I was mocked by a sexist EMT, I was charged $1,238. But since I had covid, I was supposed to be charged $0.

This is our terrible for profit healthcare system in the USA.

Can people please retweet my tweet to @bcbsIL? Just click here:

Stories of sexism in hospitals & strategies of how to protect yourself

In this video, I speak about the sexism, racism, homophobia, transphobia and ageism in the healthcare system.

In these covid support groups, I’ve seen thousands of women, ppl of color and Lgbtqia+ folks, who were originally told, “It’s not covid, it’s anxiety.” This discrimination is killing people. Our “for-profit” healthcare system is killing ppl.

Many doctors are telling ppl not to go to the ER unless they feel severely ill. People are being told to just stay home and take Tylenol. This is a big problem because covid changes within hours. This is why people are being found dead in their homes.

In this video, I talk about my experiences of sexism. I also share strategies I used to make the docs believe me and get tests I desperately needed.

Strategies such as:

-Taking pics of the results of your at home finger oxygen monitor and blood pressure machine, so they believe you

-Keep a journal of your symptoms daily or even hourly

-Write down or take screen shots of all your medicine, doc notes and recommendations

-Ask the doctors or nurses to explain your test results before you leave the ER

-Read or reread all of your chart results and ask your doctor to explain what they mean

-If you aren’t getting the care you need, have family members call in

-and more

Read more about my journey, symptoms and remedies that helped me and MORE at my blog: #CovidTeacher


Written: May 2nd, 2020

Often doctors don’t take young people, women and people of color seriously. Before you get seriously ill, write down a list of medicines you are on (also add them to the health app on your phone). Write down your symptoms, what doctors have told you, any test results and what you are allergic to. It also might help if you keep a daily log, so you can show them: your oxygen levels, temperature & blood pressure. I even took pictures of my BP monitor because sometimes they won’t even believe you. Email all of this to your emergency contact or family. Bring the paper with you so you can hand it to the healthcare workers in case you can’t talk or are out of breath. 

My last ER visit, I knew something was wrong. I even took an ambulance. The paramedics wouldn’t listen to me and kept saying it was probably anxiety. I was so out of breathe but I kept trying to say, “No, I’ve been to the ER already, they said I have covid.” 

What scared me was that if I walked more than 30-60 seconds, my blood pressure increased dramatically, and I became winded and had a horrible head ache (which wouldn’t go away with Tylenol). My blood pressure monitor also showed my heart beat was irregular. And I’m normally super healthy, 125 pounds, low blood pressure and was walking and running 3-6 miles a day before this. 

At the hospital, the doctor had me walk for a minute but only had an oxygen monitor on. He didn’t keep the heart monitor or blood pressure monitor on me. Even for the 6 hours I was at the hospital, they kept forgetting to put on the monitors for my vitals because they didn’t think it was a big deal. I kept having to do it myself even though I was very tired, exhausted and with “covid fog” brain. They also didn’t put the bars up on my bed and I almost fell off the bed multiple times. I had to text my parents to call the nurse’s station. 

Also, ask the doctors to explain ALL of the test results and diagnosis before you leave. Both my boyfriend and I read our charts after and found tons of new information and diagnoses that our doctors didn’t tell us. My doctor didn’t even tell me that my iron, hemoglobin and red blood cells were low or that my ascending aorta, on my heart, was slightly enlarged. 

My boyfriend’s doctor didn’t even tell him he had severe pneumonia or was prescribed medicine. If he wouldn’t have read the papers, he wouldn’t have he started the medicine.

I don’t want to stress people out but I hope this helps.

Is this normal?

Written May 7th, 2020:

I appreciate doctors, nurses and all healthcare workers a lot. They are working non-stop to keep us healthy and save our lives. They all need unions and deserve to be paid more.

With that said, I’ve had some good experiences in the ER and bad experiences.

Last night, my ER doctor only came in once to ask me questions. He didn’t even explain the test results or scans to me. The nurse just came in with discharge papers. Didn’t even say what they were for. I had to ask the nurse a bunch of questions to explain them.

During my last ER visit, different male docs did the same thing to me. I found out that I had pneumonia, low RBC and hemoglobin by reading my charts on my own. He didn’t tell me. 

The exact same thing happened to my boyfriend, except they were even worse. They didn’t even tell him he had pneumonia or medicine to take. If he wouldn’t have read his papers, he would’ve not known.

This seems so dangerous because covid patients, myself included, often have “covid fog brain,” from fevers, exhaustion, low oxygen, pain. My mom had to remind me of things to ask them because I would forget.

Many patients wouldn’t know to read their documents or even know how to access them online. I ended up sending screen shots to my acupuncturist and paramedic cousin to read and tell me what they mean.  Some people with disabilities are not able to read their charts. Others without internet, can’t even access their test results.

I‘ve done a ton of research and am in covid support groups. I also had to demand certain tests that I wish they would’ve given me the last time I was in the ER.

And keep in mind, I went to a hospital listed #1 in IL and one of the top in the USA. They were not busy when I arrived (I asked and they said it was a slow day). I can’t imagine what other hospitals are like. 

I know hospitals are busy and working hard, but the whole reason one goes to a hospital is to get a diagnosis and treatment. If they aren’t telling you those things, isn’t something wrong?

I also think many hospitals treat women, people of color and LGBTQIA+ folks worse. When the nurse took me for triage, I saw that the people before me, all African American, were still waiting there. I immediately asked why I was being seen before them (even though I arrived later), and I told them to see them first. 

I highly recommend that people write down all their questions, symptoms, vitamins and anything else important on paper to bring to the hospital. Also, have someone call you to check on you or remind you of questions to ask.

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