| | Malpractice
I had a heart attack almost exactly one year ago. Right after my angioplasty I was feeling great. However, a month later I was becoming very short of breath. I listened to the doctors and had two more catherizations between then and the end of January but both showed no difference in my heart. My GP insisted that it was my heart that was doing it. I changed cardiologists in February and from then till June I had worse breathing, two more caths a stent and many heart tests. Nothing showed a change from the standpoint of the condition of my heart right after the MI. In April I went to the GP because I was retaining water and he did an EKG and admitted me. Each of these admissions was to the community hospital and transfer to a larger hospital. 4 of the five from the time I had the MI I was not seen nor was any tests done in the community hospital. The one in April though was very different in that as soon as the admission process was completed I was told that I should not get comfortable because they were transferring me once again. I protested because water retention in the degree I had it does not do this to a person. However, they put me on tranquilizers and antidepressants and transferred me anyway. After the transfer I waited for 16 hours to see a doctor and never found out why the transfer. I protested highly and refused to sign for the cath so they gave me the precath meds then the form to sign.
After they did a stress test, an echogardiogram and then yet another cardiac cath I was released. I was told no change. The water retention was just going to be "watched". They released me after changing every one of my meds almost and adding psychiatric meds so I was taking 17 prescriptions.
When I went to the cardiologist shortly after, he began treating me like psycho patient but since he had insisted that I bring someone with me as his witness to what he said, I still have proof as his conduct and what he told me. He told me that the EKG they did showed no difference in my heart from the previous admission but they did the tests anyway. The stress and echo showed no difference but they did the cath just to "look at their work". I said then why can't I breath? Do I need a pulmonary doctor" With that he explained the mechanics of a heart attack like he would to a child and asked what part of all this don't I understand. I said the part that I was breathing great right after the angio immediately after the MI and a month later I began having problems. I am being told that it is my heart but you are telling me there are no changes yet insist that I do not need anyother doctors.
I saw a pulmonary doctor two months later who they finally referred me to and was diagnosed with mild asthma.
In the end I changed everyone of my doctors and the first new one I saw was a cardiologist who told me that I have a heart problem which will not ever get better but the COPD is the real issue with my breathing. He sent me for the proper lung and breathing tests and to a new pulmonary doctor. When the GP who I was not sure I was dumping at the time was told I was going to a new cardiologist who he did not know, he suggested that since he was "Born Again" and did not have anxiety and depression that I too should go to church and pray about it and my breathing problem will go away. After my visit to the new cardiologist he said that COPD is only a matter of opinion and his is different.
Bottom line is that the tests proved that when I sit perfectly still my breathing is not bad. However the slightest moving around I do begins a downward spiral of both my ability to breath and my oxygen level.
The past year has devistated me as I am unable to work and since the quacks did not do proper testing, while they wrote to the disability insurance company, there were no tests to prove what they were telling them. They were saying that I had psychiatric problems but never recommending professional care for it. So I have no income at all and am appealing it based upon the new doctors.
When I first met the new cardiologist, his first words to me were: "I am here to treat any physical problems I find. My only practice is treatment of your body." This told me that the records are showing that I am psycho patient yet when I asked for the old ones to send records I was told that there are no referenced in the files to psychiatric problems and even wrote than on the release forms before signing them. So far I know that I have 4 problems that are contributing to my breathing problems but they have sent me to yet another doctor.
I know that I am not the only one who has had this problem and I can tell you it takes the toll on a person in both their physical condition and gives a fear of doctors. The trust is gone before walking into the doctors office yet they have to go in if there is anyway to get the proper care. The psycho patient is in all the records and doctors tend to trust what others have said. We do not have much of a support system in place for the victims. If your husband or boyfriend abuses you, there is a support system. If you are the victim of violent crime there are support systems. There are support systems for many individual illnesses. If you are a grown up who was a victim of child abuse there is support for you. There are places for all of those people to get answers. Yet for the victims of malpractice we are looked upon as suspect.
I live in the state with the most confirmed malpractice cases in the country during a 5 year study. Almost 1/4 of all malpractice was confirmed to be here. Yet there is no support for the victims and we need to have a place to go and see how others are handling being a victim of this kind of abuse.
We need a board where we can grumble if we need to, ask others how to or general information and a place to just hear a hang in there when we need it. Many of us are unable to get out there with people and the puter is all we have. And it is a major health issue becoming epidemic in this country.