There are too Many Incompetent Doctors Practicing Medicine

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My friend died this week and it might have been prevented if the doctors at the hospital she was taken to were competent. My friend Susan (not her real name) had a seizure on Wednesday. She never had one before so her boyfriend took her to the ER. She was admitted and kept overnight for observation and released on Thursday. Doctors couldn’t find anything wrong with her.

She was taken by ambulance back to the ER  early Friday morning. Doctors told her boyfriend she had a grand mal seizure and she was readmitted. It took hospital staff three days to figure out she had a major stroke caused by plaque built up in her carotid artery. And by that time she was bleeding in her brain. Within a couple of hours she was put on life support.

If these so-called doctors had been competent and figured out what was going on earlier (like taking appropriate tests and not just letting her lay in the hospital bed) they might have been able to clean up the plaque.

I didn’t get the call to come see her until after she was on life support. I was completely shocked. The last thing I heard was she was recovering from the first seizure, which turned out to be a mini stroke or what I call, a warning shot.

I hear too many stories about medical practitioners misdiagnosing their patients and getting attitudes when family members disagree with their diagnosis.

It happened to me three times from three different doctors! By some miracle I was finally diagnosed correctly by an ER doctor who told my family if I had waited one more day…I would have stroked out from lack of blood. Before that I was told I had bleeding hemorrhoids or I was just stressed. It turned out I had rectal cancer!

A couple years ago there were several news stories about this problem health crisis! I don’t know why this keeps happening, other than doctors see too many patients. They are chasing the all mighty dollar to pay back student loans, pay for malpractice insurance, or some other thing. They definitely are not spending enough time with patients or paying attention to their symptoms!

After this happened to Susan, I looked up the Yelp rating of this hospital and the highest rating it got was two stars! Two measly stars! And all the complaints were about hospital staff incompetence and indifference. I want to know why this hospital is still open. I understand not all hospitals are alike. Some specialize in diseases and some are good at fixing broken bones and delivering babies. I want to know why the doctors at this hospital didn’t transfer her to another hospital who might have figured out what was wrong with her.

Several years ago when I visited patients in the chemotherapy center, a new patient told me his horrendous story. He came to the ER complaining of stomach pains. He was admitted to their hospital. After two days they couldn’t figure out what was wrong with him, even when his skin turned yellow. Luckily this man had two sisters who spoke up and demanded he be sent to the hospital where I volunteered.

Within an hour of him arriving at the new ER, they figured out his appendix had burst and poison had spread to his internal organs. He had emergency surgery. During  surgery doctors found cancer and that’s how I met him. Luckily he survived but only because his family spoke up.

Can you imagine finding out your appendix burst and your doctor (who spent half his adult life in medical school) couldn’t figure that out? Don’t they learn that stuff in the first week?

I am lucky. I had a pretty good team of doctors. But before I met them, I went through a half dozen arrogant idiots.

What I recommend is to always look at your potential doctors’ reviews and most certainly the hospital’s. If I were Queen, I’d take away that hospital’s license but I’m not and the one’s who are supposed to be looking out for us… aren’t. Before you hire (and I mean hire because they work for you) always do your homework. Your medical care and life are too important for some idiot(s) to screw up.

Be well,

Inge

You’re Fired!

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When do you know it’s time to fire your health care practitioner?

When he or she refuses to listen to your concerns.
When he or she talks down to you.
When you feel you are not being heard.
When he or she clearly has a God complex.

A caregiver confided in me that her elderly father has been in a local hospital over a week. After numerous tests to see if anything physical was wrong with him, the hospital staff suggested he get a psyche exam. His heart doctor, who admitted him, told the family and medical staff that he refuses to sign off on that.

Since the hospital has run out of options, they want to discharge the patient and send him home. His caregiver told me her dad has a history of mental health issues and his current physical symptoms could be associated with that.

The caregiver was clearly upset and frustrated. I don’t blame her. If it were my dad in the hospital, I would fire his heart doctor and get him evaluated.

A couple years ago I went with my hubby to his medical appointment at the Veteran’s Hospital (VA). It was his first appointment and his blood sugar was being checked. A nurse practitioner was the one examining him and within 10 minutes she was writing 3 prescriptions; for blood pressure, diabetes and some other thing. She told him he would need to take these drugs for life.

For life??? How did she come to that conclusion after seeing him for the first time and only for 10 minutes?

Hubby isn’t good when it comes to expressing himself but thank goodness I have no problem opening my mouth. I wanted to know his numbers. I wanted to know how she came to the conclusion, he needed to take these meds (which have bad side effects) for his entire life. Unsurprisingly, she wasn’t happy with me challenging her. But that’s just too bad!

It turns out his sugar level wasn’t that high and his blood pressure was in the normal range. I know this because I presented this information to my doctor whom I saw a week after hubby’s appointment, who told me so. When hubby went back a month later he conveyed what my doctor said to a different nurse practitioner. His answer, “The VA has different standards as to what is considered normal.”

What??? The VA has different standards than civilian doctors? What kind of bullshit is that? Hubby took the diabetes and blood pressure meds for 2 weeks and then threw them away. He had nightmares from the get go and just didn’t feel well. He had me help him change his diet. No more candy, soda and junk food.

He went to a new VA medical facility and saw a real doctor. His blood work was checked, along with his blood pressure. His numbers were good. His new doctor agreed to let hubby continue with his life style changes and even encouraged it. He didn’t see the need for hubby to take any meds as long as his numbers remained good.

So much for needing to take medication for life.

How many other patients go along with their medical practitioners and take medications that create even more health problems? The patient I first wrote about takes 15 different drugs every day! How can that even be possible? If you ask me, something’s not right. Somebody is making money, some way some how. If you want to know if your doctor is getting money from the drug companies, you can find out here.

I am fortunate. My doctors don’t give me a hard time when I say no to a drug. My primary care doctor probably gets annoyed with me because I usually say no to her. At my last visit she wanted me to take Fosomax because of my brittle pelvic bone (probably caused by the radiation treatments). I already know about the endless law suits against the makers of that drug and have no intention of losing my teeth or my jaw bone (all collateral damages that can happen from taking this drug).

When I started my journey back to wellness, I was too sick to research optional treatments and time wasn’t on my side to wait around. If I had waited one more day to get help, I could have stroked out from blood loss. I know I dodged a bullet but as soon as I was more stable, you better believe, I was in charge of my health treatment decisions. If any of my doctors had treated me the way that heart doctor did, they would have been shown the door. They work for me, not the other way around.

I take full responsibility for my health and my doctors are there to support me and offer advice.

So, if your doctor is giving you a hard time, it’s time tell him or her “YOU’RE FIRED!”

Be well and don’t take any shit,

Inge