Addiction Survivors


Unread 06-22-2012, 11:59 PM   #51
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Posts: 3,500

I understand well the way your friend did when going thru precip Methadone wds. Unfortunaletly I also understand the kinda of hands off treatment she got at the ER. Trust me that is not a unique ER. By far the most prejudice and bias people with an MD or DO at the end of their name are ER physicians. They see drug addicts around every corner and it actually impacts their judgement. Speaking of judgement if I wasn't such a fool my wife would have had one hell of a civil judgement leveled against an ER Dr and the hospital. She had a bleeding aneurysm while at a dentist office in 1998. She went to the restroom with headaches and nausea. It was when she started behaving as if she was having seizures that the dentist called the local ER. The nurse he spoke with and explained everything to advised him to get her to the ER in Athens Tn, named the Athens Regional Medical Center. So the dentist called an ambulance. I was at her apartment 30 minutes away in Cleveland Tn when the dentist office called me. I was told she was still at the dentist office but needed a ride home. That made no sense given she had left work and driven herself to the dentist for a routine exam. I was just told she was sick at her stomach. It was while I was driving to the hospital that she started having the seizures of which she had never had. And that's what promted the dentist to call the ER for advice. The advice was to get her to the ER.

I arrived at 6pm and she was already there and in a room. The dentist was standing over her and never having met him I assumed he was the Dr. Then he introduced himself and told me everything that had happened from beginning to end just like he had told the medical personnel. I am niot certain but I think it was right about shift change and the Dr that worked from 7am until 7pm was leaving as was the 7pm until 7am Dr just coming on. Given what happened and the inaction on the part of the Dr I am not sure what the dentist had told the nurse or maybe the first Dr got passed on.

Anyway I was there for about an hour when I finally asked if anyone was going to examine her. Anyone could tell she was a bit lethargic which is the hallmark of post seizure behavior. That's when the nurse told me they had drawn bloodwork as soon as she got there(before I arrived) and the Dr was waiting on the results. You put your faith in the hands of thse idiots because what other choice do you have at the time. And at the time you don't know their idiots or indifferent based on what they perceive to be the case.

My wife(not at that time) had really good private insurance and I never could quite understand the whole headache and seizure scenerio but no CT of the head no neurolgical exam, actually no exam of anykind. The nurse came in the room after she arrived by ambulance and said well what brings you here this evening. The dentist was there and had called ahead for Christ's sake. My gf told the nurse that she had a really bad headache and was sick at her stomach. She never mentioned anything about a seizure because she had no idea it had taken place. So the Dr sees the nurses notes and in his mind he thinks he has yet another person in his ER feigning a migraine just to get some dope. How do I know what he was thinking? He told me the next morning when she was at a trauma center on life support.

After seeing the chart and a drug seeker around every corner the doctor(almost puke on that word thinking of that guy) just told the nurse to draw blood and do a routine CBC. She was one of two in the ER at the time and just off to her right was the room with the Cat Scan. While the Dr was waiting on the results of the bloodwork that wasn't going to clue him in on anything that was going on, he could have ordered a CT of the head. And given the seizure she experienced along with the testimony from the dentist himself who was with her from the time she became sick until I got to the ER, no one would have thought the CT to be over-reaching. Just the fact she had good insurance would have lead me to believe she would have had all sorts of test.

Keep in mind this was an EMERGENCY room. Usually they have a sense of urgency at emergency rooms. Well she lay there with a headache due to swelling on her brain from a leaking brain aneurysm from 6pm until the labwork finally came back at 9:40pm. For almost four hours she lay on a gurney in an ER with severe headaches. For the first time I realized which of those people dressed in blue waas the Dr. He came in her room for the first time and asked her how she felt. She told him that her head was splitting open it hurt so badly. He never looked in her eyes with his little pen light, never touched her. He said well your lab work looks ok there is no elevated while cell count so you can go home and if you get worse come back. The nurse some 30 minutes later came in the room and gave us the discharge papers.

I drive her to Cleveland and within 30 minutes she was trying to throw up. She asked me to get her a wet rag and her lights went out. She was in a coma. The leaking aneurysm finally blew and i was watching her die righ in front of me. I called an ambulance. Those idiots walked in the door and before even looking at her said it was good that I knew when she had the stroke because they can reverse them in so many hours if they catch it. I told them to please put down all their fancy equipment and just shine a light in her eyes. I had already done that and her pupils were non reactive which is a sign of brain damage. Well the guy did as i said and he told his partner to grab her legs and he grabbed her arms and off they went to a different county hospital.

The ER Dr there came out and asked me to expalin the evening. I told him what happened at the dentist and first words out of his mouth was that is classic bleeder(aneurysm). They put her on life support, did a head CT and contact the helicopter from Erlanger in Chattanooga. The brain sureon at Erlanger told me he did not expect her to be alive at dawn and it was about 2am. He said it did not get much worse than what she was dealing with.

They faxed the previous two hospital ERs to get information concerning how she presented at their ER and what course of tx they provided. That is when the first ER Dr at the first hospital she was taken too realized he had not been dealing with a drug seeker afterall. This time he had a legitimate patient with a legitimate reason for having the symptoms she complained. He knew that hours earlier he blew his chance to be a practicioner of medicine and to save a patient from either death or disability. It finally hit the bias asshole that had just had a patient under his care, that when she left was not disabled, yet, but had a life threatening condition.

He must have though of that all night because around ten that next morning while my gf was on lifesupport and no one had any idea if she was going to make it he called the hospital. Now his shift ended at 7am but he was still at the hospital where he worked once a month. His employer was South East Emergency Physicians Group. They send ER Drs to various hospital throughout the S.E. He happened to be in Athens Tn one Thursday a month. I have very little doubt that he was still there at 10am because he had waited on admistration to get there that morning so he could inform them of his f'up.

Not being married this guy had no idea when he called Erlanger where my gf was who to ask for. But in any event a nurse came up to me and said Dr on the phone. I assumed it was her neurosurgeon because he could not decide if he was going to operate. He told me earlier that morning that he would have to first do an arteriorgram and that that test may finish her off. So all they were doing was giving her a short acting paralyzing agent and every hour doing a neuro assessment. We dreaded seeing the nurse come in to update us every hour for fear of what we though to be the inevitable. So while she lay in a coma I took that phone call and low and behold it was a Dr alright. It was the very first Dr she saw for maybe 30 seconds. He literally spent more time talking to me on the phone that morning than he came close to spending with me or my gf combined when he had her life in his hands.

The first thing he said to me was how badly he felt and that we were good people. Obvioulsy he was blowing smoke because he certainly never got to know either of us. I'm sure he felt badly about his purposeful ommissions. I like to think the guy was not an incompetent Dr. He was just an indiferent Dr at that moment because he assumed he had another drug seeker in the ER. Beit incompetence or indifference. When it comes to a Dr that specializes in emergency medicine they both will kill.

You may wonder how I know he was thinking about drug seekers. Well when he made the comment that he was sorry and that we were good people, his very next words were we get a lot of drug seekers here.

Now here was a Dr talking to a guy whose gf he had just seen hours earlier who was now on life support. And why, because he did not order a head CT that would have found the bleeding on her brain. And instead of lying in a room for almost four hours just to get the results of her patronizing bloodwork( white cell count), she had more than enough time to have the head CT, be airlifted to either UT Medical Center in Knoxville or Erlanger in Chattanooga. The aneurysm could have been located/isolated and clipped prior to it becoming a Grade 4 eruption the worst of its kind and in a very bad region of the brain.

I have never had an ER Dr or any Dr hunt me down to apologize for what he did(malppractice) or what he didn't do(negligence). It was not at all hard to grasp the fact that Dr number one knew he had screwed up and that screw up was based on a biasness he had and an assumption he made(even if a patient is there to seek drugs to stop pain that doesn't mean he has to oblige them but it still does not proclude him from doing his job). He made a mistake of omission that night that resulted in a 45 yr old healthy female becoming disabled for the rest of her life. Not even close to the same person. And one xray of the head and that would have taken care of the problem. I could better accept his behavior or lack thereof had she arrived at his ER and within minutes her aneurysm burst. But he allowed he to lay on a gurney inside an ER room for almost four hours just waiting on some simple bloodwork. Those were precious four hours, the most precious of her life. It was time poorly spent. May as well been home on the couch. But what is a person to do. You put your faith in guys and gals like this and you hope they paid attention in med school. It never dawned on me that a Dr could be so bias and prejudice towards those with the disease of addiction that his good judgement could be so impaired. He may as well been strung out on drugs.

We married after she got through surgery and all her many dyas in rehab. The second biggest mistake of our lives was not suing the doctor for loss of income over her lifetime of which there is a formula they go by, and for pain and suffering. S.E. Emergency Physicians Group was his employer and payer of malpractice insurance. They and the hospital she went to that night should have been in the defendents chair. That hospital has long since been a place where the light should be shed on their ER practice. Such a lawsuit if taken to a jury may have helped to disinfect that place.

The single biggest mistake of our lives was going to that ER to begin with. we would have been much better off if Athens Tn had not of even had a hospital with an ER. But how were we to know that that night, that particular Dr and my now wife would have all converged on that one fateful evening. Our lives together and separately have never been the same. The Dr is doing just fine. I heard he became medical director of a hospital not far from Athens. He has not one blimish on his record. No negligence or malpractice lawsuits filed and settled. I just hope that he learned something and that some other person's life may have been saved due to what my wife went thru.

I know why I was called by that Dr that next day. He was truly sorry but, like a lawbreaker, was it because he felt badly for my wife-cause he sure had no sympathy or empathy for her suffering when he was in a position to do something about it-or was he certain a lawsuit was headed is way.

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