The Medical System That Was Not There
Dear Doctors and those in the Medical System, this blog is about you. Not all of you but some of you. The sad thing is that those of you that are innocent of this but know this is going on and do not stand up about it are complicit. By not standing up for patients and their treatment, you have increased our suffering.
I am not the only person that has endured this kind of treatment or lack of care. Many of us have. We are people who believed in you, in your “do no harm” and in your wisdom and care of us only to learn later that you did not take such good care of us. We learn because we get sicker and then when records are searched, we find that tests that were run have statements on them like “need for further testing” or “does this patient have ___because this is symptomatic of such and such disorder or disease” by the radiology department and yet no further testing was done.
Or you got so busy that test results came in and you fail to tell us, like in the case of the seizure disorder and me…after I have fallen so many times and injured myself to the point I wear a knee brace from a fall, have a torn Rotator cuff that can not be fixed due to other issues that causes me constant pain and I am losing my strength in my arm. And the scary thing about this diagnosis is that I drove a semi during that time and I also was driving a car. I thank God that I never wrecked from it and killed anyone or myself.
Some of you are so angry at the health system that you refuse to take patients on Medicaid and some even on Medicare and yet it is not our fault we became ill or disabled. I actually was told to go to the poor clinic because they did not want to take care of me anymore and that no one else would take me. Fortunately for me, they were wrong in that the new adult clinic had just opened at a good hospital and they needed patients.
I have watched my health go down and watched myself get injured over and over again because you did not/would not take care of me properly. I am sorry that you are busy but I believe that we should be treated with as much respect as you want for us. I actually saw a sign in the last doctor’s office that said “please be respectful of us and do not turn your cell phone on” and yet these same people take all the other patients first and leave the Medicaid patients sitting until last and it does not matter what kind of shape we are in. I could have an appointment at 8:30 and it would be 11:30 before you took me in even though people coming in after me were being called back and only about six people in the whole waiting room. And it is not just the poor people who get treated that way. Try checking some time and see how long your patients are having to wait in the waiting room.
We spend months and sometimes years waiting on you all to diagnose us and we really begin to believe that maybe it is just us…that is until we get away from specific doctors and gather our records for the next and we start reading them and find such things as seizure disorder, pulmonary hypertension, diastolic dysfunction, enlarged left ventricle, tachycardia, COPD, bloodwork that is way off or other things and we wonder why nothing was ever done or told to us.
And so we become our own researchers looking for answers and when we try to ask you, you shrug us off or even worse you get mad. We get talked to in harsh ugly terms, treated like we are less than human by some and yet no one has done anything about these medical professionals. And I say medical professionals because our experience is not just with doctors, but with PA’s, with nurses and nursing assistants and even office staff. Your attitude is the attitude that your staff and those in your office present to the patients. They reflect you.
And there are many good ones throughout the country but like the proverbial rotten apple in the barrel, the bad ones taint you all. Please do not tell me not fair to taint you all when those of us chronically ill and/or disabled get tainted by the few that fake or exaggerate their symptoms or that fake pain just to get a dope fix when the rest of us are truly sick and suffering and so the medical professionals treat us all like we are like the fakes when we are not. Or when we are “tainted” because we are on a health program that you are angry over because you did not like the political party that did it.
Because of all this, you all have become the Medical System that was not there for many of us. People are suffering and yet like the family clinic here in our little town, where the doctor is rarely seen…the PA’s see most of the patients and those with chronic illness are treated as if they are vermin off the street. I was there over a year and never…no, not once…saw a doctor. I was told I was being ridiculous because I brought in the 1998 seizure testing and asked could this be why I keep falling. I was told I was too ticky because I refused to go back to a cancer gynecologist who was so rough and hateful to me that I felt like I was raped as he brutally examined me and then screamed at me that he did not know why I was in such pain and when was the last time I had sex. His nurses were so busy trying to impress this doctor that they ran out of the room and left me sitting on the exam table…in tears and pain..with my crutches and my clothes across the room and then had the nerve to come back in a few minutes later and ask me what I was doing sitting there on that exam table crying ..that they needed that room for the next patient.
Or the patient that goes into see the doctor and of course got the PA and he says his back has bothered him so much that it is interfering with his ability to do normal things in his life because he had to lay down in such bad pain most of the time. And he is told “well you have never complained of this before” and is sent home with a muscle relaxer and told to lose weight. That was my son. And this PA never even laid a finger on his back to see where it hurt or what area was the most tender. He came home frustrated and in despair and would not say anymore about his back until we found our new doctors two months later, who the first thing they did when he said his back was really bad, they had him stand and put their hands on him and felt up and down his spine and they have discovered what was wrong and are working on it. From a bad fall a couple of years ago he had rotated his pelvis area and moved part of his spine out of line.
And it is not just me that tells these horror stories. That is the sad part. It is many, many people who are being treated in ways that we never dreamed of from people that we respected because they had Doctor in front of their names or were nurses or PA’s or people in the medical system. We believed that they would do no harm to us. We believed that they meant the Hippocratic Oath when they said it only to discover it is no longer required though most doctors do say it when they become a doctor. We believed that all of them really cared about people. And some really do care. But the bad ones being hidden in a cloak of secrecy of we do not tell on our comrades in the medical field taint you all.
And it does not end with Doctors or those under them. It goes on down to the medical supply places that we must use for our handicapped equipment like roll-in shower wheelchairs or power chairs or other items. The medical system that was not there seems to be filled with quite a few people who feel like they are powerful and have power over the sick and bully them and talk ugly to them. Again, I am not the first but if you want to know what despair is, have your case worker call you on their cellphone because of course they do not want it recorded and screams at you because they “think” you have made all this money selling your house that you lost money on and they tell you “I am in charge of you and I control you and you do nothing unless I say you can”. Talk about taking away people’s dignity.
I talk to those chronically ill every day and the stories are the same: Lack of treatment, harsh treatment, treated like they are faking when they are truly sick or injured, lack of compassion and the list goes on. And while I realize that things are harder for doctors and those in the medical profession now, please stop taking it out on the patients. When we are treated like this, it does not just do harm…it increases our pain, it takes away our fight to keep going, it throws us in despair, and it strips us of our human dignity. We need you to be there for us. We need you to be the Medical System that IS there for us and not The Medical System that Was NOT there for us.
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