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February 2013
When a patient isn't heard
Feb 18, 2013 6:22 PM

This is an account of my patient experience. I am writing with the hope that something can be done so that no other person has to go through what I did. The pain and suffering I had to endure was unnecessary and could have been avoided if the first health care professionals I came into contact with had listened to me and put their arrogant egos aside. I have contacted my local health region but will be writing to everyone who may be able to help fix these problems. Not only did I have to suffer without reason, but because of faulty logic and not following basic scientific theory, my recent ordeal cost our system far more money than it needed to. I feel that if I had been sent for an ultrasound the first day I went into the hospital then I would have had surgery the next day and been out of the hospital two days later. But instead I was sent home with a lump the size of my fist which turned into two lumps the size of baseballs by the end of that week. Then it finally broke open at which time I spent a week in hospital with getting three different antibiotic four times a day, with a fever of 39 at times. After an additional week of suffering I was sent for an ultrasound, a day later I had surgery and was out in two days after that. I have been misdiagnosed a few times in the past but this takes the cake. But what am I to do, where is the accountability? So I hope someone within your organization can use my story to fix the way doctors work with patients.

Jan 20 – Noticed a small lump the size of my thumb in the bend between my upper thigh and groin area. A small amount of blood was on my hand as I passed my hand over it. I cleaned it off, gently felt the area, but did not squeeze or aggravate the area.

Jan 21 – Woke up with a lump the size of my fist. I went to the emergency room at the local hospital and was told I had an ingrown hair by the attending nurse and she did not want to waste the doctor’s time by calling him in. I told her she was wrong and I would not leave without seeing a doctor. A doctor showed up and told me it was an ingrown hair and dismissed the fact I told him I had had literally hundreds of ingrown hairs and I did not feel this diagnosis was correct. They swabbed my skin and gave me a prescription for oral antibiotics.

Jan 24 – The mass continued to grow and is now the size of two fists. I returned to the hospital and was told all is as it should be despite the fact I could hardly walk. I was then showed the results from Monday’s swab showing it found no infection. Well what did they expect as the mass was growing at a hyper rate inside me and had not discharged anything? I asked them to take a sample and have it tested but I was again dismissed and told to go home.

Jan 25 – I could no longer take the overwhelming pain and returned once again to the emergency room at the hospital. This time when I laid on the table the doctor was able to open the mass and start discharging it. I broke the bed headboard in the emergency room while they were draining it and I was screaming in pain. The pain was beyond extreme. At this point I was admitted to the hospital. I was then put in a room and given 10” abdominal pads and told I was to change my own dressings. I was given something for pain and put onto three different antibiotics four times a day through intravenous.

Jan 26 – Jan 31 – I continued to have difficulty with eating as I had an overall feeling of nausea. I had to change my own dressings this whole time, maybe 10 times a day, in an area I could not see. At one point I had to call three different times for pain medication and waited 40 minutes. Three different nurses came to my room and all said ‘OK’ when I asked for medication and then left. The second one who came to my room yelled at me like a dog from the hallway as she could not be bothered to gown up and come in the room. When the nurse dispensing the medication came around I asked her for the previous nurse’s name and employee number that had yelled at me from the hall and she refused to give it to me and then told me I had been the one yelling at her. I had not yelled at anyone. Later that week a nurse kicked my bed to wake me up at one point. I then had seven different intravenouses as no one could seem to do it correctly. The nurses blamed the cheap equipment, but that’s not right because another time I was at the Yorkton Hospital they were able to put one in and it worked fine for the three days I was there. Again I was told it was just an ingrown hair and all tests of materials discharged from the site came back as sterile.

Jan 31st – I was sent to another hospital to get an ultra sound as the masses were not really getting any smaller. I had the ultrasound and was told to go back to my community. Once back in my community I was told the doctors would consult and give me the results.

Feb 1st – Somehow I was given a hard time for not staying in the neighbouring hospital as the surgeon wanted to consult with me, but how was I to know this? So I went back for a consultation. While consulting with him I was told I was to be admitted and I would be having surgery today or tomorrow. At this point I was sitting in the casting room in the emergency room with my wife. After an hour she went to the nurses’ station to ask about when I might be moved to a room to get ready for surgery. She was told the doctor needed to still see me and to wait. After two and a half hours I had to go to the washroom at which point my dressing fell off. My wife is now in tears seeing the discomfort and pain I was going through with no indication that anyone cared. I was bleeding and had to find something in the room to stop it. Lucky I found a neck collar casting which I cut and secured over the wound to stop my bleeding. After three hours my wife left as she was too distraught to stay with me any longer.

I then proceeded to the nurses’ station where I told them I refused to stay in that room any longer and wanted something done about the ridiculous situation. I was told again that the doctor was not available and on top of that I might as well get used to the cast room as there were no beds available for me. At that point I told them the doctor had already told me I was to be admitted and I was to have a room prior to surgery. The one nurse specifically told me she was in charge of the rooms and I was not getting one. In three hours, not one person checked on me and both times when my wife and I went to the nurses’ station they were not busy or overrun. There were at least 10 people, nurses, EMTs, and I believe another doctor who were laughing and seemingly having a merry old time while I suffered in pain. Finally the manager of the emergency room returned and started apologizing for what had gone on. Within an hour I was having a multitude of tests, blood, EKG, and somehow I got a room that I was told did not exist. At 7:00 PM that night I had surgery where I was told by the surgeon that he had removed two masses.

Is anyone really still thinking this is an ingrown hair?

Feb 2nd - Lucky for me the nurses at the neighbouring hospital are now changing my dressing and I don’t have to do it myself. The area of the surgery feels good and for the first time I seem to be getting at least reasonable healthcare. The intravenous put in the day before seems to be fine and would be until I left on Sunday. This surprised me as it was the same ones the nurses at my community hospital blamed for their inability to insert one properly. Of the seven times they had to redo my intravenous in my community hospital, four times the antibiotics started to fill my skin. This was painful and the intravenous given to me in my community hospital burned when I would get the antibiotics, but the one put in me correctly in my neighbouring hospital did not burn or create a painful lump under my skin. When I asked about the burning sensation in my community hospital I was told it was just the antibiotics, but if this was the case why did the same antibiotics not create this same sensation in my neighbouring hospital? Now, as well in my community, I had to shave my own arms for the intravenous. I ask you to recall that I was in very serious pain on pain medication, told to change my own dressing, told to shave my own arms so they could redo my intravenous seven times; I did not realize we had a self serve medical system.

Feb 3rd – I was told by the doctor I would be discharged today sometime between 11:00-12:00. My wife showed up at 10:30 and we had to wait until 3:00PM. No doctor came to see me and I was discharged without any antibiotics or pain medication. Again the floor was not busy and there really is no apparent reason as to why I had to wait until three to leave. I was told when I was admitted I would have my email taken so I could do a survey. No one offered this to me and the nurse looked rather distraught when I requested the chance to do the survey. I was given a note with a website address where I could access the survey. So, I am writing to you today to have my matters looked into and to see that no one else has to suffer the amount I did for no good reason.

All stories, All patient stories, Patient-provider relationship, Medical error  



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