Friday, February 22, 2008

Trust Your Doctor? Take A Closer Look!

My second knee replacement seemed to be going as expected. You wake up in recovery feeling excruciating pain and wondering "what made me think this was a wise decision?" Maybe your inability to put any weight on that knee? The need to get well and get back to work? The belief that your quality of life will improve?

This was a full knee replacement. So, after three days I was moved to physical therapy at another facility. During the transfer, one of the ambulance attendants dropped me. It happened to be the one holding the foot of the transfer cot. I could not conceive or believe what was happening to me.

Tears streaming, and fear soaring, I was moved into the ambulance with out either of the attendants saying a word to me. Not I am sorry. Not are you alright. Not a word. I was terrified. When I arrived at the physical therapy hospital I was inconsolable.

The attending nurse took down my statement and quickly called the doctor who had been assigned to me for my rehabilitation. He prescribed a sedative along with pain medication. Two days later I was visited by two men who said they were representing the original hospital.

Apparently the person who dropped me was sick and after the accident, checked into the emergency room. They wanted to know what I wanted to do. Under morphine and without anyone there to represent me. I made the decision that I just wanted a record of the incident. I, unfortunately, did not ask for a copy of the report.

During my follow up appointment with my knee surgeon, I again told of the dropping incident. I told the therapist who came to my home following my dismissal from the rehabilitation hospital. When I went to my general practitioner, I told him about the incident.

After two years of being told that " it takes time for these things to heal" and "The ex rays don't show a problem", I went for a second opinion. His ex rays revealed something quite different. The left side of my right knee was not attached to anything. Apparently, when my legs jarred to the floor, the cement used to set the artificial knee to my bone did not set correctly.

Literally, I had been walking on a broken leg. I was going to have to go through another painful knee replacement. I was going to have to be off work again. And, I felt completely devastated.

The original doctor never admitted what the ex rays clearly showed. When I asked him for my records, I learned that dropping incident was not included in my files. My general practitioner had not recorded the incident either. And the hospital where I went through rehabilitation has gone out of business.

I choose the doctor whom I went to for the second opinion to preform the knee replacement. I have a slight phobia with ambulance attendants and I take very good care of my new knees.

What do your think? Did the doctors cover up the incident so that they would not have to get involved in a possible law suite? Were they protecting the hospital that they are affiliated with? Do they simply keep inaccurate notes?




Hinsley Ford said...

UNREAL. first, my Mom and step-monster have both had knee replacements and their pain was out of this world. They both said, "Never again!" though a doc is recommending another one. However, she has been through 8 months of physical therapy and treatement through a new doc and her knee is feeling really good, so she is hoping to avoid the operation. I think we all know docs recommend unnecessary surgeries or at least do NOT inform about alternative cures or therapies. As far as cover up, it happens every single day everywhere. You can't get a copy of the report? Between HMO stuff and malpractice insurance/suits docs don't make the moneybags they used to, especially in the 80's. I know when I had my tonsils removed with unsterile tools ( a nurse and surgical attendent later told my general physician, who is a close friend of the family's) it was the late 70's and people weren't talking about suing docs and hospitals. Back then, docs were on such a pedastal, all was forgiven. I came close to death after it - had such uncontrollable fevers for weeks in the hospital that all of my skin burned off. I can still remember the smell of burning flesh. Thankfully I recovered, but we didn't find out the cause until months later.

Anyhow, more to read on your blog!


Mckay K said...

Hensley, I only recommend knee replacement surgery as a final resort. It is unbelievably painful and it is dangerous.

Sorry for what you went through with the removal of your tonsils. That had to fell like you were dying.

You are so right. Doctors do recommend unnecessary surgeries. I have learned to respectively decline and inquire about alternatives treatments.

Be Well :-)