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TOhioLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 09:30 PM
Original message
I need to rant...(longish)
Edited on Thu Oct-12-06 09:32 PM by TOhioLiberal
This is a Doctor/hospital rant so if you are in those professions, I apologise right now. I know that medicine is a fine profession, and DU'ers make the best doctors and nurses.
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My friend, L (for privacy) spent about 5 weeks this summer visiting friends and relatives in NYC and suburbs. She had a really nagging cough during this time. She got to feeling pretty bad just before she was to return to Ohio. She went to an emergency room, where she was diagnosed with Pneumonia, with a partially collapsed lung. The ER doctor was adamant, L could not fly in that shape. She (L) refused admittance to the hospital. I drove 10 1/2 hours one way to pick her up and bring her home.

When she got home she went to see her primary care doctor, who ordered a chest x-ray. A large mass was found on her lung, which ultimately proved cancerous. She still had this nagging cough, shortness of breath and low grade fever. No mention was made of her pneumonia diagnosis, so we thought that perhaps the ER in NYC was mistaken.

She has been to her primary care doctor, her oncologist, a lung specialist, and chemo doctor. Everyone of them gave her something for that cough, and nothing worked. Lots of codeine which made her a little flighty.

All of this came to a head last Thursday. She has been having issues with that mass in her lung causing uncontrolled pain. She had an appointment with her Chemo doctor, and she suggested admitting her to the hospital to get the pain issue under control.

For some unknown reason, we had to take L to the ER to be admitted. Have you ever spent time in the ER? Hours upon hours waiting, with L's lungs rattling so badly you could hear it in the hallway.

The lung specialist came to see her in the ER and said her lungs were filled with fuid and she was on the verge of heart failure because of it. SHE HAD PNEUMONIA ALL ALONG, it would appear.

L spent a week in the hospital, draining the fluid from her lungs and getting her pain under control. How is it that 4 different doctors all missed that? :grr: She just got out of the hospital today and her cough and shortness of breath are GONE!
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If you've read this far thanks for reading.
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qnr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 09:34 PM
Response to Original message
1. No Idea. Concentrating on the mass gave them tunnel vision maybe?
I hope everything is going to be ok with her.
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TOhioLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 09:42 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. I'm thinking that too...
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Kajsa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 09:36 PM
Response to Original message
2. I would be pissed, too!
Edited on Thu Oct-12-06 09:37 PM by Kajsa
Damn, if we don't fight tooth and nail
for everything we need from our doctors,
we probably won't get it!

But 4 doctors missing the diagnosis?
That's obscene and infuriating!

I hope she recovers, soon.
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TOhioLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 09:44 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. and not knowing the ins and outs of cancer...
...we naturally assumed that the cough and shortness of breath were related to the cancer, and that the NY ER was just misstaken. :shrug:
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Kajsa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-13-06 10:26 AM
Response to Reply #4
6. Pneumonia is something any PCP

can diagnose, or at least they should be capable of it.
My God, if untreated it's fatal!

Just look at Jim Henson, the creator of the
Muppets. That's how he died.
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Lydia Leftcoast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 10:53 PM
Response to Original message
5. Similar experience
When he was 10 years old, the older of my two brothers started getting constant sore throats and was pale and weak. He also had continual stomach cramps. He'd go to school in the morning and come home at noon sick.

He'd had his tonsils out and tested negative for strep each time, and there was no obvious cause for the stomach cramps, so a couple of doctors said that he was suffering from some psychosomatic ailment caused by disliking school or stress at home. One of them even accused my mom of Munchausen by proxy. At length, one doctor said that his stomach cramps were a form of epilepsy and put him on Dilantin.

After a couple of days of Dilantin, my brother began hallucinating and losing his balance.

Finally, my parents took him to the University of Minnesota hospital, where they figured out that giving a non-epileptic child Dilantin would cause those kinds of side effects. The stomach cramps were spastic colitis, almost certainly from stress.

But the sore throats, weakness, and low grade fever continued.

One of my parents' friends suggested going to the new doctor in the next town over. That doctor gave him a thorough going over and said, "I think I know what's wrong. Has he had his tonsils out recently?"

Yes, he had had them out in the past year.

"Well, they didn't get all of the tonsils, and the remaining tags are terribly infected."

"Why didn't the other doctors find these?" my mom asked.

"I suppose they didn't look," the doctor shrugged. He suggested surgery to remove the tags.

In the first couple of months after having the tonsil tags removed, my brother lost his pale complexion and started growing and gaining weight again.
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ganeshji Donating Member (401 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-13-06 01:48 PM
Response to Original message
7. I don't want to make this too long but
we had a similar experience this summer with my Mom. She was admitted to the hospital with dangerously high blood pressure and extreme swelling in her legs and torso. Every doctor that saw her had a different theory, mainly according to their specialty. Finally we learned that she had an enlarged heart, of which the symptoms described above are classic. She was prescribed what is considered the "standard dose" of diuretics, blood pressure meds, and ACE inhibitors and sent home. Four nights later she was re-admitted to the hospital for emergency dialysis due to kidney failure brought on by the meds! She is home now, doing much better as long as she stays out of the doctor's office. All I can say is this, if a loved one is hospitalized don't leave their side, QUESTION EVERYTHING, and remember that a doctor could have graduated last in their class and still be called doctor. After all, we have all made mistakes at work and tried to cover our asses, let's be honest. Hoping for your friend's continued recovery and future well-being.
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