I believe its time the doctors and medical facilities and insurance companies get called out for what they are continuing to do to those with chronic conditions.
According to the American Board of Professional Liability Attorneys, medical malpractice is defined as:
Medical malpractice occurs when a hospital, doctor or other health care professional, through a negligent act or omission, causes an injury to a patient. The negligence might be the result of errors in diagnosis, treatment, aftercare or health management.
To be considered medical malpractice under the law, the claim must have the following characteristics
– a violation of the standard care
– an injury caused by the negligence
– an injury resulted in significant damages
I’m sitting here compiling my medical records to bring to my newest stop along with trail of chronic pain…
At age 16, I was placed on the Depo-Provera shot. To better manage my hormones because that was causing my migraines.
At age 17, while undergoing physical therapy for a shoulder injury, my therapist decided the 1/8″ difference in leg lengths was to blame for my migraines. He started treating my migraines then too. Or shall I say, making them worse. He performed an adjustment to my neck that left me with a migraine lasting 3 days that no medicine could begin to touch.
At age 18, I finally saw a neurologist after a large spike in my migraines. I have never met a more determined and dedicated man in my entire life. I was taken off medicine that clearly wasn’t working. I went through roughly 8 different medication combination, along with various “new to the market” options. After only treating me for a few months, I left for college. With no car and no way to travel hours home for a visit, my doctor was determined to make sure I received the proper care and held monthly phone appointments so we could discuss progress. Over breaks, we would adjust my treatments to continue to make improvements. Thank you Dr. Lucas for always listening to my concerns, describing medicines and their effects to me, and making sure I was comfortable with the treatments I’d receive. Thank you for being open to non-western medical practices. And thank you for staying in touch with me long after I was no longer your patient to provide professional advice, when I had no one.
At age 19, I moved across the country – in hopes that a new climate may fix the barometric pressure related triggers. I was wrong, but oh well, at least their is no 8 month long extreme heat to battle.
At age 20, I desperately waited for months to get insurance switched over to a new region, to get approval to get a new primary care doctor, who I needed to get a new referral to a new neurologist. My school made me wait weeks to get proof of enrollment, because I was a transfer. Then I had to take the earliest appointment possible (Nov 1) this was the last day of my window to receive the depo shot, meaning my hormones were out of whack making my migraines worse.
My new doctor is lovely, and she was happy to refer me to a neurologist. She personally had no experience with migraine patients, so was able to simply renew existing prescriptions.
3 months. A referral to a specialist takes 3 months before you are actually in the door for a 20 minute appointment. 20 minutes. I waited 3 months, make that 6 considering how long it took to even get a regular doctor. For 20 minutes. With a nursing assistant who would then relay the information to the actual doctor, after I waited 2 hours past my scheduled time, only to then speak with the doctor for under 5 minutes.
HE DIDN’T EVEN SPEAK ENGLISH.
He didn’t care about my history. He didn’t care about my story. He didn’t care about my questions. He didn’t ask for my input. He gave me his professional opinion on an extremely complex case, after being briefed for a few minutes, knowing nothing about me.
He didn’t care that I asked to remain on certain medications. He wanted to throw them all out and start from fresh.
He didn’t care to address my concerns regarding Botox, or other treatment options like massage therapy or acupuncture.
He didn’t care when the new meds made me depressed. He didn’t care to give me another option when I said I couldn’t take those new meds and that the other new medicine didn’t work for crap.
He just took me off it all.
I had to get approval from my previous neurologist from across the country to go back on my previous plan of treatment.
I almost had to withdraw from school.
And he still didn’t care.
I asked for an emergency visit before going through with Botox. He didn’t like what I had to say and decided he wasn’t able to treat me anymore. I was ready to withdraw from school and the only doctor I had, that I had been waiting months to see, couldn’t treat me anymore.
He didn’t care about the consequences. He said he’d refill any medication I needed, as he “understood” my frustration. Only for him to respond to every refill request with “this isn’t on my list of approved medications”
He did give me a list of headache specialists and said he’d write me a referral to the one of my choosing. This was in February.
I got a referral and was able to take the next available appointment: May 16th.
Fast-forward to the end of the semester that I’ve almost failed because of failing to attend classes… and I’m in the ER.
My chiropractor has given me false and misleading information regarding the state of conditions in my neck.
My regular doctor is putting me in physical therapy for my neck. Oh, massage therapy? I’ve been down this road before…
Maybe my new doctor will be better. Maybe, he will have a plan or better be able to analyze my situation. I mean I have in depth journals covering my day to day life dating back over a year, documenting to the hour when each type of medication was taken in response to what type of pain or possible trigger.
I feel like I’m stuck in this constantly spinning cycle of getting assigned new people to deal with things they were never trained to deal with. If they aren’t qualified for such an in depth case, they shouldn’t be allowed to treat me. Call it what you want, but I’m going to start calling it what it is. Medical Malpractice.
Guessing a treatment plan isn’t adequate. Putting my life at risk because you “have a hunch” isn’t going to make me better. Look at my charts Doctor Know-It-All, can’t you see your hunches and best guesses have made me worse?
Your inability to treat me or even see me in a timely fashion is making my condition get worse. I’m not getting the proper treatment. Maybe these doctors aren’t getting the proper training.
I know I’m not alone in this, and I know that my condition is very misunderstood, but that only means doctors should work 10 times as hard to develop the right solutions to at least ease the pain.
I’m calling for an end to these pill pushing, liver killing “doctors” that give up on treating patients, and leave them fighting on their own.