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Contrary1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-02-10 06:36 PM
Original message
My mother's trip to the ER with chest pains...
As soon as they got her settled on a gurney, they hooked her up to an EKG, took her blood pressure and her temperature. Eight hours later, while still on the same gurney in the same cubicle, they pronounced that they could find nothing wrong with her.

I was told to go get my car because they were releasing her. I asked if they could admit her to run other tests. No.

So I decided to throw one hell of a fit. I informed them that I would not be getting my car, that they would not be releasing her, that they would find one of their "scarce beds", so that she could at least sleep. I also told them I would be staying the night, in case they got any ideas on trying to get her back home without me.

Four days later, there was finally a diagnosis. An aortic aneurysm.

"I don't think there's one thing wrong with the United States health system." What a load of crap.
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CaliforniaPeggy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-02-10 06:41 PM
Response to Original message
1. An aneurysm.
And it would have killed her, too.

She owes you her LIFE.

Shame on that hospital, SHAME.

K&R

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endless october Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-02-10 07:19 PM
Response to Reply #1
21. i hope your mom feels better soon.
the health care situation makes me angry.

i have no problem with regulated capitalism, but there are some areas where a profit motive shouldn't play a large role or any role at all.
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Joe Chi Minh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-03-10 08:18 AM
Response to Reply #21
48. Unfortunately, capitalism's agents and guardians are regulation-averse. Particularly,
Edited on Sun Jan-03-10 08:19 AM by Joe Chi Minh
in countries like the US and UK, where the penchant for plundering is age-old.
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endless october Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-02-10 07:20 PM
Response to Reply #1
22. sorry, directed that response to you by accident.
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GentryDixon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-02-10 08:02 PM
Response to Reply #1
27. The same thing happened to my Mom.
She had already survived an aortic aneurysm so I knew what the symptoms were. The ER doc insisted she just had indigestion when she experienced a like pain three years later. They wanted to send her home until I threw a freaking fit and told them they would do an MRI. Come to find out she had a thoracic aneurysm this time. They ended up life-flighting her to the University to save her life.
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roguevalley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-02-10 08:24 PM
Response to Reply #1
30. my mother died of that. she fell down in front of me and died from it.
you are a hero. you mustn't ever allow yourself to diminish or mitigate that word, hero. you saved her life. Good for you. Take care, both of you.
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McCamy Taylor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-02-10 06:42 PM
Response to Original message
2. Women get blown off as hypochondriacs or anxious. A man with chest pain
Edited on Sat Jan-02-10 06:43 PM by McCamy Taylor
would be in the ICU even if he had no insurance. I am a doctor but also a woman. I was told by docs at the local ER that my necrotic gallbladder was "anxiety." My sleep apnea was "anxiety and depression". This is a universal problem. Women's medical complaints are not taken seriously. When I send women to specialists I often have to fight extra hard to get them the same care that men get.
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GreenPartyVoter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-02-10 06:52 PM
Response to Reply #2
13.  bet some out there still think our wombs wander around our bodies and cause our "hysteria."
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Haole Girl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-03-10 01:01 AM
Response to Reply #13
37. +1
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Odin2005 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-03-10 06:15 PM
Response to Reply #13
83. I'm a guy as was going to post the same thing.
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greenbriar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-02-10 07:01 PM
Response to Reply #2
19. McCamy . I was in the hospital for 13 days for pancreatitis
after spending the night in the ER three weeks before


I had it in July and probably never really got over it


Went to the ER Nov 2/3 they sent me home with some pain relievers on Nov 25th I collapsed going down my stairs spent 13 days in the hospital.

Several asked how much I drank. I told them one glass of champagne on NYE was pretty much my limit although I did have a fruity pineapple something on our cruise in June.


Finally they took it more serious and my GI doc diagnosed Crohn's for sure (he had been saying Ileitis) and realized that Asacol wasn't working and now we are treating it aggressively. If they would listen to us always instead of after things get worse...
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REP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-02-10 07:03 PM
Response to Reply #2
20. No, insured men with chest pain get blown off, too
My husband was in the ER with chest pain a few weeks ago; he left after 8 hours of sniffly babies being seen before him, even though he'd been waiting for hours in distress. He got an EKG but no blood work - he has insurance! Just not quite rich enough, I guess.
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we can do it Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-02-10 07:52 PM
Response to Reply #20
26. True, But Not As Often As Women
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Bennyboy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-03-10 10:03 AM
Response to Reply #20
54. Well I was given ROYAL treatment when I had chest pains...
Moved ahead of everyone waiting ahead of me and given a full battery of tests etc.

But that is only part of the story.

I called my regular doctor to tell him I wanted to make an appointment. I had some chest pains and wanted them to look at it. I knew it was muscular yet they told me to call an ambulance. I tried to reason with them but they insisted on calling an ambulance. Finally I told them I would go in.

Now I am terrified.

So I go to the E Room. Huge crowd, but I get special treatment and go right in and get seen by the doc immediately. Stress test, EKG, the whole thing....

About a week later, the same thing, pain, go to the E room etc. Again nothing, but they are scaring the holey shit out of me all the time. Gave me some nitro and everything.

From then on, everything was different. I WAS SO AFRAID OF A HEART ATTACK that I did nothing at all that would lead to one. I stopped having sex, I was afraid that would kill me. Every time I would get winded, I was afraid of a heart attack. Dancing? NO WAY.





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CoffeeCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-02-10 09:51 PM
Response to Reply #2
32. My sleep apnea went undiagnosed for two years...
I kept complaining to my GP that I was exhausted, had no energy and was tired and gaining weight.

She insisted that I was depressed and that I go on anti-depressants. I would not. I kept explaining
that I wasn't depressed, I just had no energy. I went on to tell her that I felt good and positive
about life--but I lacked the physical energy to do anything. She still insisted that I was depressed,
and that "lack of energy" was a symptom of depression.

This went on for so long. I kept getting worse. She did blood work and checked everything...still
insisting that I was depressed. I still refused anti-depressants. Pretty soon, I started to become
more exhausted and I had more profound symptoms. I would forget where I was when I was driving. My
memory was terrible. I could barely finish sentences. My periods stopped.

Finally, I did some research on the internet and diagnosed myself...sleep apnea. Turns out, I stopped
breathing 52 times a minute...sometimes for as long as 15 seconds. My sleep study showed that during
7 hours of sleep, I got the equivalent of 23 minutes of sleep. The doctor said I had a very serious
case of sleep apnea.

I've been on CPAP for a couple of months. Feel so much better. Less tired and getting my life back.

I concur with your findings. You really have to be your own advocate, and if you're a woman, you have
to be your own advocate--to the point of being your own trial attorney!
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REP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-02-10 10:56 PM
Response to Reply #32
33. Mine for nearly 10; was told I was "too young, too thin and too female" to have it
Turns out I have severe obstructive and central apnea, and it wasn't until I was blacking out randomly and hallucinating that I was finally correctly dx'd.
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CoffeeCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-03-10 12:37 AM
Response to Reply #33
34. Isn't that amazing?
I think I was one step behind you--just about ready to start hallucinating. I know that I wasn't
thinking clearly and each day I got worse.

So glad you got the correct diagnosis.

Seems like many people have this, but they remain undiagnosed.

I wonder why there is this disconnect with doctors who do not catch this?
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Mithreal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-03-10 04:25 AM
Response to Reply #32
44. The memory and brain power come back.
I was misdiagnosed as having anxiety and other problems over the decades and given prescriptions that worsened my life. Mother, then grandmother diagnosed with sleep apnea, then me as well after I asked the right question, do I have sleep apnea?

Severe apnea with 59 times/hour interruptions and my blood oxygen was very low. I would forget many times during the day what I was doing and was constantly exhausted and naps helped little if at all. Lost jobs and ruined relationships with my irritability and lack of energy. I thought it was just getting older, but it wasn't. I wish I had known sooner, had insurance off and on but doctors never thought to ask about sleep that I had trouble with since I was a child.

Trust doctors to misdiagnose. It is very rare to meet a caring one who bucks the system, doesn't jump to the wrong conclusion, and has a healthy curiosity. They are out there but "the system" doesn't seem set up to encourage that sort of behavior.

We all should learn how to recognize the common problems because I don't think things are going to change anytime soon for average people.
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TicketyBoo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-03-10 01:41 PM
Response to Reply #44
75. Do you suppose that's why they call it a
"practice"? They're practicing all the time, hoping to get it right some day?
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Joe Chi Minh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-03-10 08:34 AM
Response to Reply #2
49. There is an incredible irony in that, as women are so tough and non-hypochondriacal,
compared to men. My wife calls a cold 'afflicting' her brother, 'man flu'! Another irony is that none of her family have never had flu, including her brothers.

My mother says that when she was a nurse and a baby was struggling for its life, they'd ask if it was a girl. If it was, they'd say, 'She'll make it.'

The world is a very funny place and I'm afraid it's largely down to us, 'the stronger sex'! As I said elsewhere when commenting on the seeming preponderance of female 'whistle-blowers', females learn at a very early age that the world is as bent as a nine-bob watch and not in their favour. Consequently, they have to struggle harder to further their career, and when some criminal male plays havoc with the ground-rules for his own immense enrichment and empowerment, and to the corresponding detriment of his honest co-workers, they are particularly incensed. Why wouldn't they be?
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NikolaC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-03-10 08:54 AM
Response to Reply #2
50. Exactly, I know what you mean
Edited on Sun Jan-03-10 08:58 AM by NikolaC
Back in the early 90s, when I was in my early to mid-twenties, I suffered from sporadic and intense chest pains. I went to three male doctors over the course of three years. The first one told me that I was constipated, gave me something for it and sent me on my merry way. About a year later I was still having the problem, so I went to another doctor and he actually told me that he could find nothing wrong with me and it was all in my head.

Finally, the pains and nausea became more frequent and my husband suggested that I go to see his friend's doctor who was a female. Unfortunately, she was on vacation and I wound up seeing her partner. He told me that it was because I had anxiety and was a little overweight. He said that, if I lost some weight, and got healthy I would no longer go through this. Mind you I had had an attack in the waiting room. That same day, after we left his office, I had another attack and my husband was furious.

We looked in the phone book and found a local female doctor and decided to take a chance. She was wonderful! She asked me a lot of questions, seemed very concerned and, at the end of my visit gave me a prescription to have either an ultrasound or CT scan done (don't remember which). It turned out that I had gallstones and needed to have my gallbladder removed, soon. Thank goodness my husband's insurance at the time covered the surgery. It took over three years of recurring and worsening pain for me to find a doctor who would take me seriously. I can only imagine how many people are turned away, or not taken seriously, by doctors who blame their weight, or sex, who could be seriously ill.

The OP did an amazing thing and the right thing by not giving up and fighting for her mother. Thank God they found out what was going on and I hope that their mother has a good recovery.
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BlancheSplanchnik Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-03-10 10:34 AM
Response to Reply #2
59. this should be a thread of its own.
Edited on Sun Jan-03-10 10:35 AM by BlancheSplanchnik
Maybe you already have done a thread on this that I missed....
hmph, this is right in line with a recent popular thread here, about why it costs more to be a woman.



I happen to be lucky--I have health insur. from work (and shudder to think what would happen if I didn't have that job), my doc is a good guy and has a lot of respect for my judgement. He's said so, straight out. If I tell him I suspect something, he investigates it.

Which also makes me very sad for those who don't have a doc, who have a crummy one, who don't have the skills to assess situations and self-advocate.

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SmileyRose Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-03-10 11:21 AM
Response to Reply #2
62. Tell it. - they wanted me to go to a shrink - turns out I had cancer.
I have a new primary care doctor who is a FEMALE - went in complaining about chest pains with a KNOWN blockage. She mocked me by saying it's probably stress but really, I have no excuse to have any stress. It was like bizarro world. Needless to say I switched doctors. Thank goodness, turns out I was not far from being blocked enough to have "the big one" and a simple stent took care of it.
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RubyDuby in GA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-03-10 11:53 AM
Response to Reply #2
64. In January of 2005, I had horrible pains in my right pelvic region
I went my OB/GYN's office. I usually see the female doctor, but she was out and I had to see the male doctor. I was told that I must be imagining it (yes, those were his words - I was imagining the horrible pain in my side). I "imagined" it until May when I couldn't stand it anymore and went to my regular doctor (also a male, but a good listener and ridiculously thorough). He sent me over for a CT scan and low an behold, I had what he said was the worst case of endometriosis he had ever seen. I went back to asswipe male ob/gyn and showed him the scan (while sitting in his office where he proudly had his Rush Limbaugh books displayed). I had my right ovary removed in August. Oddly enough, with the plumbing working properly, I got pregnant in September and had my beautiful son (delivered by my new ob/gyn) in June of 2006.

I filed lots of complaints against him, but nothing ever came of it. I guess I don't need to mention that I live in a red state and the good ol' boys look after one another here.
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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-03-10 12:21 PM
Response to Reply #64
66. I worked with a lady years ago who had been given a hysterectomy
and it turned out she had Crohn's. The year I worked with her her lawsuit was settled and she retired. At age 25.

Sometimes there is justice.
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gateley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-02-10 06:43 PM
Response to Original message
3. Heartbreaking and infuriating. I'm so glad you were there for her. nt
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Dinger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-02-10 06:44 PM
Response to Original message
4. Wow, Good Work Contrary 1
My mom had an aortic aneurysm and an aortic valve that had to be replaced a few years ago. She had the most amazing surgeon! Her aorta was 3 times the size it should have been, and she had a mechanical valve put it, and when he did surgery, he found a third "element" which was an infection on the valve. The mortality rate for this kind of surgery is 15-16%. Mom is alive and well today.
Contrary 1, I am so glad you did what you did. May your mother be well and have a complete recovery. Good job!

Ding


P.S. If you want the name of the surgeon, just pm me, but it's in Wisconsin. However, I think he might travel. He is awesome, and has never lost a patient by the way.
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babylonsister Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-02-10 06:44 PM
Response to Original message
5. Wow. My m-i-l had one of them though it was diagnosed.
That's heavy duty and I think relatively simple to diagnose-check for blockage, right? I'm glad you stuck to your guns.
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dkf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-02-10 06:44 PM
Response to Original message
6. How'd they figure it out?
What did they miss in the beginning?
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Demeter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-02-10 06:47 PM
Response to Reply #6
11. I would think that a CAT scan would do it
and if she continued to report pain, some resident might be alarmed enough to order one.
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Warpy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-02-10 06:54 PM
Response to Reply #6
15. A simple chest x-ray will often turn it up
It's not advanced medicine. Listening to a patient and trying to figure out why she's in pain would do it.

Sadly, women get blown off as neurotics all the time. The sexist bias in this country is especially stark in medicine. I think only the military might have it beat.
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Dinger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-02-10 06:45 PM
Response to Original message
7. Rec # 11 From Me
:)
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spanone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-02-10 06:45 PM
Response to Original message
8. ru$h is a star....he got preferential treatment
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Demeter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-02-10 06:46 PM
Response to Original message
9. That's What It Takes To Get Proper Care in America
can't the Congress see? or are they intentionally blind?
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bobbolink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-02-10 06:46 PM
Response to Original message
10. Now you know what people who are alone face.
We are NEVER heard.

We are NOT taken seriously.

We are ignored.

If we're lucky, we die from it.

If not, we just suffer in hell.
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Faygo Kid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-02-10 06:48 PM
Response to Original message
12. Rush is a fool. His dittoheads are killers.
Of themselves and their families. Fools, fools, fools. Good for you, my friend.
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HughMoran Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-02-10 06:53 PM
Response to Original message
14. Rush aside - this proves the old addage - "the squeaky wheel gets the grease"
Fight for your health, don't take 'no' for an answer.
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Gregorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-02-10 06:56 PM
Response to Original message
16. Wow! Holy shit. Good for you. And thank goodness you did that.
Edited on Sat Jan-02-10 06:59 PM by Gregorian
Depending on the aneurysm, she could have never left that hospital.

Sick. Just sick. I get so angry when I hear things like this. I used to work in cardiology. I remember the talking that went on behind the patient's backs. I remember a wife who attempted to stay with her husband as he lay dying.

I hate what we've done with this country. People don't mean shit.


By the way, having typed all of this, I have to add that your post actually makes me really happy. It's like you challenged a monster and won. I hope things work out with the aneurysm.
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Cetacea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-02-10 07:31 PM
Response to Reply #16
23. +1
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OKNancy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-02-10 07:00 PM
Response to Original message
17. Had a good friend..young..only 50 die of that. Good thing you raised a stink.
Sometimes I feel like we all need to be our own first line doctor.
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SalmonChantedEvening Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-02-10 07:01 PM
Response to Original message
18. I can't tell you how many times that's happened here.
My Mom's had a slew of doctors who were more than content with a half-assed look into things. My brother deals with most of it, and he's screamed bloody murder until something approaching medicine was praacticed. Far too often. :grr:

You're magnificent Contrary1. Kiss your Mom for me please. She's fortunate to have you. :loveya:
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Sebastian Doyle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-02-10 07:47 PM
Response to Original message
24. This sounds a lot like what happened with my mom a while back
Thought she was having a heart attack, spent the night in the hospital, had a couple return trips since then, as far as I know, they never found anything physically wrong with her that explained the symptoms. I do not know whether they tested for aortic aneurysm, but since she did go up to the UW medical center for some of those tests, and that hospital is well known for their cardiology department, I would certainly think they would have tested for such a thing there, if not at the local hospital. Think I might look into that.
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Fire_Medic_Dave Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-02-10 07:50 PM
Response to Original message
25. Good for you for being a fierce patient advocate for your mom.
You likely saved her life. :fistbump:
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SoCalDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-02-10 08:16 PM
Response to Original message
28. Good for you.. that's what killed Lucille Ball
at least now, they can often find them before they rupture

Best wishes to Mom :)
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Bitwit1234 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-02-10 08:18 PM
Response to Original message
29. I had stomach problems but was admitted almost right away
I spent three days in the hospital and they couldn't find out what caused it. This was the fourth time I had this problem. Once in Maryland where I was left for hours and casual attention and the other three in Minnesota. What a heck of a difference in care. The Minnesota hospital admitted me, the nurses were very caring and the doctor ran a lot of tests. The only thing they could come up with was a hital hernia. I watch my diet now. NO peanuts- NO coconut or small pieces of food to cause blockage and am coming along fine. I guess sometimes it just depends on the hospital.
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niyad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-02-10 09:40 PM
Response to Original message
31. thank goodness you didn't back down. it looks like your mother is alive today because of you.
stay strong.
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Contrary1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-03-10 12:55 AM
Response to Original message
35. I would like to thank everyone who posted such kind remarks...
Edited on Sun Jan-03-10 01:09 AM by Contrary1
Unfortunately, my Mom passed away a couple years after this happened.

The week before I took her to the ER, she had been seen by two doctors. The first referred us to her cardiac physician. That cardiac "expert" explained to me that older folks, "especially women" tended to whine more. No kidding, those were his exact words. No further treatment required.

A few days later, I called her primary physician to ask for advice as to how to help someone who was dying. After he picked himself off the floor, he told me to take her straight to the ER. And that is where my OP began.

After she was finally diagnosed, they had to stabilize for 3 days. She was so sick, they did not think she would survive surgery for the aneurysm. She did. She was a fighter. But the surgery shut down her kidneys. She was on dialysis for the last 20 months. In the end, it was a stroke, brought on by dialysis that took her from us. My only consolation in of all this is that Mom told me she was so very tired, and ready to die. My last words to her, while she was somewhat lucid were that she would never have to undergo dialysis again. She smiled.

My insistence at the ER that night bought her a few more months; but for the most part, she was miserable. I will always wonder if the delay in diagnosis eventually cost her her life.

She had insurance, and yet; she had to have someone present who insisted that she be taken seriously. I would hazard a guess that Limbaugh, with his millions, didn't have to worry about that.

I still miss her terribly.
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GreenPartyVoter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-03-10 01:11 AM
Response to Reply #35
39. I still miss mine too. *hugs* She dropped dead of a heart attack a few years ago, after she had
just been cleared to teach an aerobics class a few weeks earlier!

The worst of it is I sat right next to her listening to her talk about her extreme nausea. Know what I did about it? I razzed her about her Weight Watcher's healthy meals begin rough on the GI tract and offered to buy her a giant pretzel to settle her stomach.

To this day I could kick myself for being too dumb to figure out what was really going on. x(
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Contrary1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-03-10 01:33 AM
Response to Reply #39
41. And I continue to beat myself up too...
In reality, we shouldn't. I used to wonder why my my mom didn't tell me "everything".

I'm older now, and I think I have figured it out. We don't tell our kids everything, because there is no point in doing so.

Our children can't change reality; so what would be the reason behind burdening them into trying to do so?
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GreenPartyVoter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-03-10 01:14 PM
Response to Reply #41
72. That's true. We do tend to keep our kids out of the loop. (Although mine are still
kids so it makes sense right now anyway. Don't want to worry them for nothing.)
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1monster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-03-10 12:07 PM
Response to Reply #39
65. Don't kick yourself. Hindsight is 20/20 and we always blame ourselves for not having foresight.
While I am aware that nausea is a symptom in female heart attacks, it is not often touted as a major sign of heart attacks in women that it is.

Even today, we are told that symptoms of a heart attack are chest pains radiating down the left arm, extreme chest pressure, radiating pain in the jaw, and numbness down the left arm. Even men have symptoms that differ from the usually offered symptoms.

How could you possibly know that she had heart problems when she'd just passed a physical that said she was healthy enough to teach such a strenuous class as arobics?

Cut yourself some slack. Your mom forgives you. Forgive yourself for not being omnipotent.
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GreenPartyVoter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-03-10 01:12 PM
Response to Reply #65
70. The whole family missed it. The shortness of breath for a few days. The flu-like
symptoms on some other days. It was definitely only in hindsight that I got it, and hit it me like a terrible lightning bolt when it all came together.

Thing is, I have talked to my dad about it and even if _I_ had thought it was a heart attack, he sincerely doubts that she would have gone to the ER anyway. So easy to explain away the symptoms as something else, you know?
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rasputin1952 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-03-10 06:47 AM
Response to Reply #35
47. ...
:hug:
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LiberalAndProud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-03-10 01:23 PM
Response to Reply #35
73. Dialysis and fatigue are best friends.
My mother has been on dialysis for 12 years now, three times a week. Her good days are the ones in between. Now she has excruciating pain in her legs and hips when standing or walking. Brave lady.

She told me the other day not to get old. Some days I think I'll do my best to follow her advice.

flick my bic
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Haole Girl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-03-10 01:01 AM
Response to Original message
36. Oh no
Edited on Sun Jan-03-10 01:03 AM by Haole Girl
I just read your above post.

I'm so sorry. :-(
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Berry Cool Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-03-10 01:09 AM
Response to Reply #36
38. Me too.
It's so easy for medical personnel to tell patients "It's nothing." Sometimes it is...but sometimes it isn't. Sometimes, having someone there to advocate for the patient makes all the difference in finding out.
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Contrary1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-03-10 01:22 AM
Response to Reply #38
40. But...
Do they say "It's nothing" because they truly believe that? Or, is it because there are financial incentives for them to do do so?

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sce56 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-03-10 03:33 AM
Response to Original message
42. Bravo! You were right to stand your ground and I belive you need to write a OpEd in your local paper
That might save more lives when going to the hospital!

I went through the same thing last summer but after a few hours let go and the followup with a stress test showed it was nothing to worry about just have to watch that Acid Reflux.


Now I get to show off the fact that I do indeed have a heart not a mech pump like a certain ExVeep
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Better Today Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-03-10 03:38 AM
Response to Original message
43. Hell even womens doctors (OB-GYNs) treat women like crap.
My first child, born difficult but okay. A few days after returning home, my abdomen was really getting painful and I was running a 99.5 fever. . . yes a fever, my normal body temp is 97, so it was equivalent to the "normal" person having a 101.1 fever. He wouldn't listen, but agreed my abdomen shouldn't be as tender as it was. Gave me something like amoxicillin (the drug doctor's give you when they want you to go away and shut up) and sent me home.

Two days later, I couldn't sit, nor stand, nor lay down, every position hurt; picking up the baby hurt. So I called again, late afternoon, "please have him call me today", but no, so I call again. . .early evening. . . answering service calls doc, doc calls me and starts . . . "y'know this is my family time, if this isn't an emergency I'd appreciate it if you'd call in the morning." My answer, "Well I'll tell you what, if you're too busy to tend the infection I've had since last week, just tell me who to call, because something is wrong, and someone with some compassion and intelligence needs to find out what."


Two hours later I was admitted to the hospital for a melon sized cyst on my ovary. Spent three weeks on intravenous anti-biotics.

And then some people on here wonder why I don't trust doctors anymore.
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barbtries Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-03-10 10:06 AM
Response to Reply #43
56. could you sue him dereliction of duty?
did he ever apologize? i love the way you hit him up, but what an ASSHOLE!

i have read this entire thread and it's plain that sexism is alive and well in the medical profession. i've been fortunate in my life. not so sure about my mother, and i'm not sure it was because she was a woman, but she had had a catastrophic stroke when she presented with a bump on her head. the doctor asked her repeatedly if she'd fallen down and she denied having done so, but nothing was done.

it was cancer, lung cancer in fact that took her out inside of about two months. we'll never know if a prompt diagnosis may have given her more time. i think after the stroke she was ready to go at any time anyway - that's what for all practical purposes ended her life.
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Better Today Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-03-10 01:13 PM
Response to Reply #56
71. Apologize? hell no. He tried to claim I hadn't described the issue
well enough. The thing that really torqued me, was that after having told him numerous times that my normal temp was 97 previously in order to get him to understand that 99.5 was serious. . . .after all was fine, he comes into my hospital room to let me know I was ready to go home, and he says to me, completly straight-faced as though he was telling something I REALLY needed to know, "Your normal temperature is not 98.6 but 97, so next time you have a temp over 99, you need to be sure to let someone know."

I just about decked him.

Insurance through hubby paid for it all so we didn't sue, this was a quarter century ago, when insurance was still decent.
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Goldstein1984 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-03-10 04:48 AM
Response to Original message
45. Nothing as serious as an aortic aneurysm, but...
my family has had it's share of poor diagnoses.

Our son once had an appendix burst while laying in the emergency room for hours.

Our youngest son nearly died when he inhaled a small toy and the tried to send him home under the assumption he had swallowed it.

Our youngest son also had his appendix burst while waiting for a diagnosis, and he had to wait even longer because they hadn't called a surgeon.

When my wife began experiencing chest pains while we were traveling, we pulled into Bakersfield, California and the hospital separated me, my wife, and our children because the found that he pains were caused by inflamed cartilage around her ribs, and the most common reason for a woman to have rib pains in that part of Bakersfield is domestic violence.

Our health care system may be the best money can buy, but it won't get better until money isn't the only thing driving it.

I hope your mother gets the care she needs and deserves.
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proud patriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-03-10 05:00 AM
Response to Original message
46. We have to be each others Advocates in this messed up system
I have had to stand up for my son many times.

"If he were your child what would you do ? "

You have to also be a warrior with the health
insurance companies . Ummmm "yes my son is a
citizen pay the friggin bill ya bastid "

just breathe ...

I know , I know
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Dappleganger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-03-10 08:57 AM
Response to Original message
51. There's nothing wrong with it as long as you are rich and notorious.
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Vinca Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-03-10 09:04 AM
Response to Original message
52. OMG - what a terrifying story. I've come to the conclusion that if you aren't famous
or very wealthy or very powerful, you damn well better know as much as you can about medicine because you're pretty much on your own.
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winyanstaz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-03-10 09:37 AM
Response to Original message
53. K & R...I hope your mom is getting better...I can relate to your story.
During the ten years I was the sole caregiver to my dying husband (he had advanced copd due to being sprayed with agent orange in nam)..we had a lot of our own hospital horror stories.
Once they hooked him up to a broken heart monitor and another time to an empty oxygen tank. Another time I came in the room to find they had put him on a bed that had blood and other ?? materials on it (looked like vomit).
The floors in the emergency room were covered with dirt and garbage spots of blood in one hospital and when I asked for someone to clean it up they got angry with me.
Another time they brought him back from an x-ray...and no one hooked his oxygen or heart monitor back up so I had to follow after them and make them come back and put him back on the life support machines.
He was hooked up to a lung treatment once where the orderly was having a bad day and when she were asked to please turn down the pressure as the Dr had told us to never have it that high....she cursed and reached over and turned it up so high it shot the hose out of his nose. With his frail lungs however..that was better than his lungs being blown up. (yup I made the hospital fire her ass and we were not the only ones complaining that day).
I am sure the hospital got tired of seeing me come in because I just wouldn't let them get away with stuff...or at least I tried. We had learned the hard way that we had to be our own advocates to get any care.
The day he died I had just arrived back from going home to change clothes and get something to eat as he was resting fine(I had been there for a long time already)..and I saw the Dr playing grab ass with the nurse on the other side of the curtain..and my husband waving his arms around agitatedly on the other side and I knew right away something was bad wrong so I screamed for some help.
They chased me out of the room.
They came out in about an hour and told me they were sending him to the next hospital as it was the best heart care in the state...and that he was stabilized so I should drive to the next hospital and wait for him.
He never showed and when I was finally able to get hold of the first hospital..they told me he was dead.
He had suffered a major heart attack and died.
I hate our health care system.

you wrote:
" Sadly, we may have seen the best that our elected leaders can offer us in the way of health care reform."

I say: "Sadly, we have seen the best that our elected leaders will bother to do in the way of health care reform."
They could have done better. They just don't give a shit.
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midnight Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-03-10 10:04 AM
Response to Original message
55. Wow... Your mother raised one hell of an advocate-great job....
Sorry there are some holes in our system for those not considered celebrities. I hope your mom is doing better.
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southernyankeebelle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-03-10 10:19 AM
Response to Original message
57. Sad the best care for well know people. Limpy can't understand that. But,
saying that I had an experience with difficulty breathing. I was home all day and told my husband at night that I couldn't stand it any longer. My heart wasn't hurting. I just had a hard time breathing and he took me to the ER. When we arrived the place was packed with people. I went up to the counter and told the lady I was have a difficult time in breathing. I wasn't there 5 minutes and they took me right away. They gave me an EKG. I ended up in ICU and was there for 3 days and in a regular room for 1. I ended up with A-Fibulation. Skip heart beat. They put me on med and about a month later they bought me back in to do same day shock my heart back into beat. I did find. About a 2 weeks later when I went back my heart beat was out of step again. I am doing fine and taking medication. I have a good doctor that is right in the hospital. I live in a rural area with Tricare health insurance. I can say when it comes to heart problems they take care of it right away. Now to get me wrong there are many people that think this hospital is a bad hospital. I will say if you look for the bad you will find it. But I have been lucky to find the good.
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TexasObserver Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-03-10 10:21 AM
Response to Original message
58. A stricken person needs someone there as their advocate.
You have touched on a very important point. It is impossible for a stricken person to be their own best advocate. They always need a forceful voice on their behalf.

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old mark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-03-10 11:10 AM
Response to Original message
60. That hospital should be avoided at all cost. I went to tha local ER with chest pain,
went right back to a room, and after the EKG was surrounded by a room full of people - I was having a heart attack at the time. Had a 5 way bypass.

I had been mis-diagnosed by my GP for several years,( He told me my pain was due to carpal tunnel,and my heart was fine) and a cardiac stress test I had at that same hospital over a year earlier was read incorrectly. They told me I was fine at the time, but later saw that my arteries were blocked, which showed clearly on the original test.
I could have died at the hands of these clowns.

Several years later, I had a pacemaker installed in that samw hospital - got staph infection, and had to have it removed and a new one installed.

I had to go back to the same doctors and hospital because of my insurance.

mark
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GreenPartyVoter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-03-10 01:10 PM
Response to Reply #60
69. Unreal!Isn't it nice to live in America, where you have the freedom to choose a better hospital?
:sarcasm:

:hug:
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old mark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-04-10 05:36 AM
Response to Reply #69
85. My insurance - was provided by my employer - I had no choice
at the time. I had to take what they gave me, and it did pay for all this and I'm still here to complain, but a lot of that is luck. I hate to rely on luck.

mark
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fascisthunter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-03-10 11:13 AM
Response to Original message
61. ALl you Need is Lot's of Money and to Be a Well Known Criminal
yes, such a things has been legalized in America, and it's actually promoted by both the media and our corrupt system of government.
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aintitfunny Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-03-10 11:51 AM
Response to Original message
63. My step-daughter was 41 when she died of a
massive heart attack last year. That was after visiting doctors/emergency rooms over the previous year complaining of chest pains. She had no insurance and she was told it was anxiety. She was a smoker, which should probably have been a reason to run tests in combination with the chest pain..

You did not let them do this to your mother, and saved her life.
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eilen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-03-10 03:46 PM
Response to Reply #63
79. My stepmother and my grandfather
both died in the same ED. Brookhaven Hospital on Long Island, seriously, avoid it if you can.
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SandWalker1984 Donating Member (533 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-03-10 12:31 PM
Response to Original message
67. Word of advice - never go to the hospital w/o someone to watch everything they do
A family member who had a heart attack a few years ago was taken to what was supposedly one of the best cardiac care hospitals in the area. While on the cardiac intensive care floor, they failed to attach a blood pressure monitor. They gave him too much nitro and his blood pressure dropped to the critical point. Luckily, he had a family member with him who called for help. Without that family member, this person would probably have died while the staff sat out at their desks, no clue as to what was going on with the patient.

NEVER go to the hospital without someone to watch over your care and treatment!
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Fire_Medic_Dave Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-03-10 02:00 PM
Response to Reply #67
76. Good point.
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dave29 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-03-10 01:00 PM
Response to Original message
68. You did a great job
your mother owes you her life. It's just sad you had to fight so hard.
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Peregrine Took Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-03-10 01:26 PM
Response to Original message
74. But how did you know there was something seriously wrong with her?
I wouldn't have known and 'would just have been glad to get her out of the hospital.
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alp227 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-03-10 03:19 PM
Response to Original message
77. What Rush Limbaugh actually said after his recovery:
"Based on what happened to me here, I don't think there is one thing wrong with the American healthcare system. It is working just fine."

Source: Reuters

Limbaugh needs to open his damn MIND beyond his overprivileged perfect world.
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BadgerKid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-03-10 03:31 PM
Response to Original message
78. (net) Rec. #100.
Give 'em hell.
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Zoeisright Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-03-10 04:17 PM
Response to Original message
80. You are a hero.
And you should consider suing that ER. At least report this to the state licensing board so they can investigate it. That's malpractice.
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NEOhiodemocrat Donating Member (624 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-03-10 04:54 PM
Response to Original message
81. Good for you
An aortic aneurism is what killed my father. His burst at home and that was it. I am so glad that they finally figured out hers and hope she does well.
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Odin2005 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-03-10 06:13 PM
Response to Original message
82. You are a hero!
Edited on Sun Jan-03-10 06:20 PM by Odin2005
Misoygy is alive and well in medicine. As another poster said, I wonder if people think women's uteruses start moving around causing "hysteria". :eyes:
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DeSwiss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-03-10 06:27 PM
Response to Original message
84. K&R
I'm still recovering from mine from this past February. And I had the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abdominal_aortic_aneurysm">TRIPLE WHAMMY where they also end up on your iliac arteries. PLUS they found SIX MORE on my large intestines. The only reason mine were found was PURE LUCK and the fact that I couldn't eat anything made my blood sugar sky-rocket so they couldn't let me go. The ultra-sound they did on me, was not conclusive. But the more expensive CAT scan(s) and the later MRI(s) they did found them all (I hope). But I had insurance. So they loved me.

- Hope your mom's doing better. I'm up to walking half a mile a day now. Coming back is slow, believe me.....
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