Boy did this catch my eye! I just had this happen again. I went to the ER with a seizure. The first nurse checking me in yanked my arm up to take my blood pressure and because of my spasticity it was completely shaking. The nurse said, "Boy, you've been drinking!" I was lucky the paramedic was still sticking by my side because I couldn't speak for myself -- he said, "She hasn't been drinking, asshole, she has MS."
I have had this experience before. The most vivid was when I couldn't speak, my heart rate was almost 200, and an angry admitting nurse was yelling at me, "If you won't tell us what you took, we can't help you!" I was having a seizure, and I had gone to the ER on my doctor's orders, and this was a hospital with all my records, and I was in a wheelchair, well-dressed and groomed. I like to think I look more like someone with MS than an addict. But it wasn't till I could finally talk again that things switched and I got treated properly. In the meantime I was in horror because I couldn't speak but I was kind of aware of what they were saying and they were MEAN and talking about the invasive things they were going to do to me to find out what I had "taken." Did it *never* occur to them that it might be neurological or cardiological, given my presentation?
My doctor was furious later but said the ER deals with so many drug situations that it's often the first thing they think.
I have a friend here with a seizure disorder (not MS) who tells me he has had seizures in public and ended up in jail because he's a college-age funky looking guy, and people make assumptions, and he doesn't get medical help if he's alone. Incredible, outrageous, but true. Thanks for the article. What's the plan to make a difference?