I just looked in here to see how long it’s been since I posted. Seven months. Wow. It’s been a long, long time. As I share, briefly, my journey between the last post and this one, I hope it helps at least one other person. Maybe that person will be you, or someone you love. It might even save a life. I hope so. This is not a light-hearted post, so if you’re looking for a smile, you’ll want to leave now.
Two days after I made my last post, I was poisoned. Not deliberately, or with malice (as far as I know). I was poisoned by an incompetent, worthless excuse for a doctor. She was my doctor for a couple of years, so she knew me and my history. She knew all the medications I was on. They were written into the chart every time I saw her. Nevertheless, she prescribed a drug that is NEVER supposed to be prescribed at the same time as one I had been taking for years. When she prescribed the new drug, I asked her specifically about interactions. She said not to worry; there were none.
She was very wrong. That one error, and the errors she compounded on top of that one nearly killed me. Literally and completely.
Over the course of the next 2 1/2 months, the new medication slowly increased the blood level of the original medication to a dangerous, and then critical level. I went back to see her several times complaining of extreme fatigue. She ordered a sleep study, and then a CPAP machine. It didn’t help, because the sleep problem was caused by the new medication she had me on. She never considered that as a cause, even though I asked.
I complained of diarrhea and nausea. She recommended Immodium and a bland diet. My condition continued to worsen. Even though diarrhea, nausea and extreme fatigue were indicators of dangerous blood levels of the medication I had been on for years, she never saw the signs.
In June, after the worthless sleep study, my husband went to my appointment with me, to share his concerns with the doctor. He told her that my brain function was affected. I was having problems tracking conversations, and my reaction time was so slow, I was no longer able to drive. She said to give the CPAP machine 90 days to straighten everything out.
At the end of July, after several worthless appointments with the doctor, my husband demanded I be seen right away because I was so weak I couldn’t stay out of bed for more than an hour or two at a time, all my symptoms had advanced to where I could no longer keep any food down, and I had constant diarrhea. I couldn’t take care of myself, couldn’t walk up and down stairs, couldn’t even sign my own name.
When I was seen by a Physician’s Assistant, she determined I was extremely dehydrated, and decided I must have a “bug.” I stayed in their office the better part of the day while they administered intravenous fluids. At the end of the liter of fluids, she asked if I’d like another, as if she was a waitress asking if I’d like a drink refill. Since I was feeling somewhat better (not completely, but at that point not at death’s door) she sent me home with prescriptions for compazine and lomotil, and ordered bedrest. She said I should call the next day, Friday, for results of the blood tests they ran. She repeated that several times, stating that if I wasn’t feeling better, or if the results indicated something wrong, I should be seen in the office on Friday, so as not to need to go to the Emergency Room over the weekend.
No one would return our calls on Friday. I called for results, and so did my husband. No one called back while the office was open. My husband called the answering service that evening and insisted that they have the doctor call me asap, as I was not feeling any better.
The doctor called that evening and said they didn’t have the results yet. We have since learned that that was a lie. Since I told her I was not feeling any better, she told me to double up on the medications they had ordered.
I did, and went to bed. What happened next is a hell that I hope no one ever goes through.
During the night, I went into a delirium. My brain, so swollen in reaction to the poison in my system no longer registered rational thought.I didn’t recognize my surroundings. I believed I was being held captive. Any noise outside the room was interpreted as sounds of my captors. I was more frightened than I had ever been before. It was only going to get worse.
The next morning, Saturday, my husband, who was at work, called the doctor’s office and insisted that someone call me with test results, and determine what needed to be done next. When the doctor called me, she said she didn’t have the results, but my husband had insisted she call me. She asked me to come to her office to see her. In my delirium, I was convinced that my husband was dead, and I told her so. The only thing this butcher did right during this entire ordeal was to call 911 and have the police check on me.
The police came, saw the condition I was in, got in touch with my husband, and called an ambulance. My system was so toxic when I got there, a toxicologist was called in to consult on my case.
I was hospitalized for a month. During that time, my kidneys failed, my lungs filled with fluid, and my heart slowed to a near full stop. The called a Code Blue on me. I was put on a respirator. I had a heart catheterization. They were pumping so many drugs into my heart to keep it going that they put a “direct line” in my neck that went straight to my heart. I had tubes going into and out of places all over my body. And during it all, because my brain swelled in reaction to the poisoning, in my mind I was in Auchwitz.
The doctors and nurses in the hospital were wonderful. Because of them, I lived. I learned to talk again, and walk again, and take care of myself. My husband was a rock. He showed me his love that is too deep to measure. He was constantly by my side. Because of him, I made the journey back from the hell in my mind. I owe him my sanity.
In the final accounting, there are scars that will be with me for a long, long time.
In the still of the night, when I’m waiting for sleep, all those things that I know absolutely didn’t happen, come back to me in a flood. And they feel as real as I had originally believed them to be.
What I tell you next is what I believe to be the most outrageous.
The “doctor” who doesn’t deserve the title was removed from my care the day I went into the hospital. Five days later, when my husband was finally able to take a moment to call their office to demand the test results that were never provided to me, and to reinforce that she was not my doctor, this woman had the audacity to call the hospital to demand my records. She called immmediately upon hanging up from speaking to him, claimed she was my physician, and demanded that my records be sent to her. She said that my husband was “very upset that he hasn’t been kept advised of his wife’s condition and care.” This was more than an outright lie; it was a criminal act. She lied about being my doctor. She stole my medical records for what I can only believe were for her use to cover her ass.
This call of hers opened the floodgates. Before her call, no records were sent. From that point on, and long after my discharge, this doctor continued to receive copies of my records, and initialled them as they were placed in my chart in her office. She knew she wasn’t supposed to get them, yet she did nothing to stop them from being sent to her. Of course not; she asked them to be sent, in violation of HIPAA law.
Once home from the hospital, we ordered copies of my medical records. Interesting to note, she never wrote in the chart that she prescribed the offending med. Or she removed the notation. The only record is the copy of the original prescription that we obtained from the pharmacy. The test results that “never arrived” were actually there before their office opened Friday morning. She made notes in my chart about the dangers of my medication interaction after the fact. This was evidenced by what she, and her office wench said to the 911 operator.
Their office staff lied when my husband asked them about the call to the hospital. They lied when he asked them about the records being sent to their office. They also lied and said they wouldn’t charge us for the office call that Thursday. They actually had the nerve to send the bill to our insurance company, and then lied and said they never said they wouldn’t charge us. Then lied some more.
We have filed complaints with our insurance company, the state medical board, and every agency that may have any interest, and nothing has been done to make this doctor, her supervisor, or anyone involved responsible for any of the willful or careless acts committed. Malpractice is one thing; the practice has insurance to cover that. Criminal misrepresentation and theft of private records is another.
If you live in Colorado you may come in contact with this person. (Unfortunately, I’m prohibited from posting the name of the doctor. Doctors get protection, victims do not.) But this can happen anywhere.
Don’t trust your doctor on face value. Research every medication they prescribe before you take it. Research every side effect, containdication, and things to watch for. If things seem to be going from bad to worse, get another opinion. Your life may very well depend on it.