Tag Archive | ostomy

Please treat me…

So, if you’re reading this you are probably well aware of my health condition and how I got it. In a sentence a doc poked a hole in my gut during surgery, didn’t notice, left me for dead…I’m now left with a belly full of strangulated and glued together innards that cause a type of pain that is intolerable.

I’ve been living or more like existing with this pain for years, seen doctors who can barely look me in the eye when they say, ‘I’m sorry, but there is really nothing we can do but try to control the pain.” Then they pat me on the shoulder or leg and walk away.

I am left feeling that the doctors around here are in some “boys club” where they all golf together and have a code where they stick up for each other, and won’t or can’t bring themselves to say or do anything with a patient who has been mistreated by another in their group.

Some of the docs I’ve seen have been fairly empathetic, and I felt that they wish there was a simple solution to my situation, but there isn’t. But there have been a couple of docs who treated me as if I had purposely done something horrible to THEM! This one came into my hospital room, and literally yelled at a lab guy who was there to draw blood, then proceeded to treat me as if I was a convict on trial for a crime against the medical establishment! His name is Charles Morrison…that was the first and last time I had ever seen him…I honestly got the impression he may have been a buddy of the butcher doc who did this to me years ago…Geoff Cly. Because he just looked at me with such annoyance. It was bizarre.

Yes I filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the doctor that perforated my intestine, failed to recognize it, left me in ICU on a ventilator in a coma, to endure around 16 further abdominal surgeries over the next year…the trial didn’t occur for four years after the fact…the laws here in Indiana are completely ridiculous and very much protect the doctor, not the patient. At any rate, the jurors found in favor of the doctor…absurd of course, since he admits he did it, admits he didn’t check it out well enough to discover it, the medical records tell the whole story…but, when you sign the consent to treat form and you are told of “possible” mal-occurance…you are then screwed. Do not get me wrong. I know accidents happen and doctors are not perfect…my fight was just that if you make a mistake, especially a potentially deadly one, that you find that mistake and fix it within a certain period of time. But, Dr. Cly, being rich, had a slick lawyer…a team of em actually…and me, being poor….well, I had a small town guy who meant well, but just didn’t have the time or manpower to fight this claim I guess. The jury was not educated enough in all things medically related to even make a judgment. So, because I knew there was a danger of an organ being perforated during the surgery, I have no case. So, again I got butchered.

 

But, all that’s behind me now. All I want now is for some doctor to actually give a shit and try to figure out a way for me to have my life back! I cannot live this way, the pain is so debilitating I am in bed most of the time. Breathing hurts, laughing, coughing, sneezing and crying hurts like hell. Moving hurts, I can’t eat right (yes I’m chubby…I eat alot of mashed potatoes, puddings, ensure shakes…things easy to digest)…so the docs look at me like “looks like you can eat to me!” but I cannot digest most foods! I get blockages constantly. I can’t eat veggies, fruits, nuts, seeds, fiber. The pain is getting worse, so either the adhesions are growing thicker around my organs and ribs, therefore making things pull and strangulate, or the nerves that are entrapped are causing it, or parts of my colon are dieing or twisting, or there is something else going on in there. All I know is, the pain is getting worse, I’m bloating bad, I’m nauseated all the time, the pain feels like a hot poker stabbing me and tearing me apart. I understand I’m a complicated case due to all the surgerie I’ve had, making me high risk for surgical complications, perforations, death. But with all that we can do medically, I just can’t believe they can’t help with this abdominal mess that THEY caused!!!

I don’t expect miracles. I don’t want problems with anyone. I just want the pain to stop so I can get out of bed and live my life in peace. I want to be able to take care of my parents, my grandparents, my kids, my husband my animals…I want to be a useful member of society, I want to work in healthcare again. I’m 44 years old. I feel 84. I can barely make it thru the grocery store anymore. I’m at the point of placing an ad in the paper for some caring doctor to take pity on me and try to help me! You know that whole week I was in the hospital, none of the docs touched my big bloated belly with their hands. They just looked at me like I was Medusa and they didn’t want to get to close.

Oh, here’s what prompted me to blog today. So, there’s a surgeon here in town who come highly recommended. So I called today and said I would like an appointment. The lady started asking me questions, the normal name, birthdate, etc. There was a point in the conversation after I could tell she had my info in front of her on the computer, she says to me “What is is you expect Dr. Goldstein to do?” I was like “Well, I was just hoping he might be able to examine me and help me figure out why the pain i persisting and if anything other than swallowing morphine allday could be done for me.” She kept talking with the whole, well you’ve been seen by several good docs, I don’t know what Dr. G can offer you that they didn’t…I mean I was having to beg to get a damn appointment…at the end she says, “well, I can put you in for the 19th if you still want to be seen?” by now I was crying…I said at first “No, just forget it…..wait, no…I DO want to see him!” I wasn’t gonna let that bitch decide if I saw this doctor or not! But, I’m thinkin she maybe his nurse and she is probably right, he won’t offer me anything else. Even she said I need to go to “The Big Guns”…which pisses me off, why are there only “good” doctors in certain big cities? I mean Ft. Wayne is big…why do we have shit docs?

So I will go on the 19th, only to be looked at and treated the same way I have been for the past five years. They all just want me to go away. Quit reminding them that they can hurt people. I am a reminder to them that they are fallable, they make mitakes that affect people forever. Do they care? Do they have feelings? Doctors have distanced themselves from patients so much nowadays. We are charts. Not human beings. We are their next vacation, their next boat. I respect doctors, I respect the whole medical field, it’s hard work…they have human lives in their hands. I used to be a nurse,a few of my best friends are nurses. I just want answers. Can anything be done to stop this pain? Is it something that is literally going to kill me? Why is it happening? Should all my intestines be removed? Tube feedings? Ostomy? Try another mesh or spray shield? I feel none of them are taking the time to even try to find answers because it’s such a complicated case…they just wanna move on to the next easy case. That’s a fact and I know it. I need a doc who’s up to the challenge. Is there one? Maybe at the IU Med Ctr…I have a friend who had some of my issues go there and had success, Mayo? They have a big rep and talked nice to me on the phone atleast! Alot of adhesion patients go to Germany, but I can’t afford that.

Crap, it’s just hard living this way. I’m getting depressed for sure, and who the hell wouldn’t? Do they think I enjoy this? Going to docs, hospitals, tests, meds, bills that are taking us quickly down the road to bankruptcy? I mean seriously…wth?

I need a doc who still has empathy. Who still thinks he can make a diference. One who gives a shit. So, anyway…if anyone reads this, do me a favor and say some prayers, I know not everyone is religeous per say, but any kind of faith is good, pray to God, to Jesus, to Budda, hell, pray to a rock for all I care, but just say a little prayer that someone helps me with this problem!

I apologize for misspellings, my keys are sticking, the s is really hard to press…of course my laptop is gettin old and junky. My cell is too, so is Jessies and Jims…and it’s Christmas…being poor at this time of the year is especially a bummer…but it could be worse. We have a home. We have food. Most importantly we have each other.  I’m practically a burden somedays I’m sure, but I know my family loves me and still wants me to stick around…but I also know that they would love it if someone could solve my health problems so that I could be the full mother, wife, daughter, granddaughter…that I was meant to be. I know I’m on this planet to do more than I’ve been able to do so far. I want to help people, but with this body I can’t do much. I can’t even cook or do laundry alot of days…I know people complain “Oh, I gotta go do laundry, or cook or clean, blah” but I would love to be ABLE to go do those things…and I can’t because I literally have times when I can’t stand up strait…today has been a day of tears, doubled over…scared.

So come on…send me to a doc that WILL treat me….please?

Happy Holidays to all who celebrate…thank you for reading…

T

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Butchered again!

I look so good...what could possibly be wrong?

Dr. Butcher wondering why I'm upset?

On November 3, 2005 I was butchered.  On September 30, 2010 I was butchered for the second time.  The first time as most of you know was during an ovary removal…by a doc whose name I won’t reveal quite yet, just in case.  Now during that surgery, there is no question that the doctor punctured my intestine with the trocar (a spear type intrument that pokes the initial hole in the belly for laproscopic procedures).  He failed to note this 5 mm hole, even though he knew he had gone thru the omentum which is a filmy covering that lays on top of the intestines.  He also ended up having to cut me open (laparotomy) due to finding adhesions in the pelvic cavity and not being able to get to the ovaries the way he needed to.

Now it may or may not matter to this scenario at all, but he was scheduled to leave on his family vacation some hours later (was his mind on the surgery or on his flight plans?).  At any rate, he left me in ICU and went to Disneyland.  For three days in ICU I grew more and more ill.  High temperature, delirious, swelling, copious drainage from the incision.  My husband kept telling the nurses, who said they had told the doctor on call for my original obgyn.  The nurses were even getting angry that the group doctor wasn’t doing more.  Finally on the fourth day a general surgeon was called in.

When she cut me open from breastbone to pubic bone, she was aghast at what she found.  My abdominal cavity was so full of infection that my intestines were the consistency of tissue paper and literally fell apart in her hands in sections.  But she could clearly see the hole that went thru one side of the small bowel thru the other right under the umbilicus.  She didn’t understand how it was missed.  My abdomen was left open for almost a year, first about softball sized opening, gradually to about a pingpong ball for my intestine to poke thru.  I had a wound vac attached to drain the infection.  I wore ostomy bags to collect waste.  I had drainage tubes.  I had central lines in my chest, peripheral lines in my clavical area, IV’s in my arms.  I was fed intraveniously.  I was in a coma and on a ventilator, as I went into respiratory failure due to the sepsis (blood infection).  My family was told to get my affairs in order in the beginning.  I endured around sixteen further surgeries to correct the damage, some to remove parts of bowel, some to debride the dead tissue.  I developed necrotizing faciitis (flesh eating disease) in my abdomen.  I had pneumonia (hospital acquired).  I had many blood infections due to the various lines.  I developed blood clots.  I had to go thru physical and occupational therapy to try to build my body back up.  My hair fell out due to stress and nutritional deficiency.  My electrolytes were dangerously out of whack at different times.  I spent most of a year in three different hosptials, including the burn unit and a nursing home type floor.

I missed holidays and birthdays.  My son graduated high-school and left for Marine bootcamp and I wasn’t able to celebrate with him and the family or prepare him or send him off as I would have had I been able.  The day he left for bootcamp, I truly believed I may never see him again, and I could barely get my arms around him to hug tight enough, then I sobbed like a baby. 

can't move...gotta layand cry and pray

There were moments during that year I can’t remember, mainly during the first three months…its pretty foggy.  But thru it all I can vividly remember the pain…horrendous pain.  I mean I was eviscerated, literally.  My insides were on the outside.  When they would change dressings I would be screaming in my head, if not outloud (but there was plenty of that as well).  The couple of times they pulled my vent tube out were extremely traumatic, suctioning was a nightmare…as they disconnect you from the vent and you literally cannot breathe while they suction the mucus from your respiratory tract…I remember laying there, looking up at the respiratory therapist while he watched the tv on the wall while suctioning me.  I was terrified and he wasn’t even looking at me, I wasn’t a human.  During much of this time I felt non-human.  There were periods where my hands were tied to the bed, for my own protection to keep me from pulling lines or tubes out, I can’t tell you how awful that sensation was.  I felt like I was going insane, and in fact at one point they diagnosed me with drug induced psychosis and depression…well, duh!

In November 2006 the general surgeon was able to finally close my abdomen up, they also inserted a mesh to try to fix the abdominal wall because all my muscle tissue was gone from the flesh eating disease and all the surgeries, this mesh has since then failed and I believe contributes to the pain. I can’t tell you how thrilled I was to finally be closed up.  I had scars like a map, no belly button and still had pain…but it was closed and my bowel was reconnected!  I could eat!  The pain gradually got worse and worse but I wanted to stay as far away from the medical field as I could, so I just took over the counter meds by the handful and limited my activity.  Then in July of 2007 we were rear-ended in a car accident.  I got whiplash (my neck was unstable from having neck surgery in 1999 and degenerative disk disease), I went thru a couple months of therapy for that, then was sent to a pain center where they started me on pain medications.  I never heard of Pain Centers before, so was thrilled there was a place that gave medications for people in pain…not just injections which I had received in my neck years ago without relief. Meanwhile my abdominal pain continued to worsen.  I saw my family doctor who said I would always have pain but did a CT scan, which just showed a large ventral hernia from breastbone to pubic bone.  I went to the Cleveland Clinic and that surgeon said it was a shame, but that no doctor would touch me with a ten feet pole with the condition my insides were in.  My abdomen is full of adhesions/scar tissue, all the organs are basically glued together.  I’m not a candidate for surgery because the surgery would be too dangerous, probable perforations and possible death.  That the only way a doc would go in was for life or death, as in the event of an obstruction or death of bowel or strangulation of bowel.  So these doctors said all we could do is manage the pain and change my diet.

So at the end of that Summer, while at the pain clinic being checked for my neck meds, I asked those docs if they thought they could do anything about my abdominal pain.  After their exam they said the pain was caused from many factors, the huge hernia, the adhesions, neuromas (little tumors on the ends of the nerves after being cut and resewn so many times) and just the movement of the intestines as they digest food (since they are glued to the abdominal wall and other organs)…it is a horrid pain, I can only describe as a burning, tearing, ripping and stabbing pain.  It’s worse with any increased abdominal pressure, such as laughing, crying, sneezing, couging, blowing my nose or lifting or pulling, also with prolonged standing or sitting or walking.  At any rate, these wonderful doctors put me on strong enough pain meds that it takes the pain from about an 8 to a 6…which means I live in constant severe pain…but it’s duller than when I don’t have the meds, and I’ll take it!

me waiting for the meds to kick in and help dull the fire!

I have to watch what I eat, as anything gas producing kills me, I can’t eat lobster, shrimp, redmeat, raw veggies/fruits or anything high fiber.  I spend most of my time in bed, on the computer, watching tv or reading.  I work very little and its a sitdown job.  I can’t do alot of things I used to do, like ride a bike, dance, hike or walk for long.  My hernia makes my belly look about 7 months pregnant. I must wear an abdominal binder 24/7, and they are uncomfortable and hot.  I can’t pull laundry out of the washer.  I can’t run the vacuum.  I can’t do alot of things.  My husband and daughter must handle alot of the housework, and care of our three not quite trained dogs. (But I must say, my life wouldn’t be the same without these dogs, they are with me on my bed most of the time and provide me with companionship and affection when no one else can.)

So, all that sounds like enough tragedy…does  it not?  Well let me add a bit more.  Now, I know alot of people do not believe in law suits.  I never liked them either, until this happened.  Now we have no money, so my husband went to a firm when I was still very ill, and for whatever reason they turned down the case and somehow my husband ended up with an attorney who did take it.  It was filed within the 2 year time limit for medical malpractice cases. Then due to the many hoops one must jump thru in the state of Indiana to get a case like this to court it took until September 27, 2010 for it to go to trial.  A jury trial, with seven jurors.  Now, we don’t have money for a good attorney…do you think the doctor had money for a good attorney?  HELL YES.  His attorney had around 10 partners and many assistants.  They had all this high tech stuff that looked impressive!  Had 4 doctors testify on his behalf.  Criticized our expert witness.  Tried to make me sound like a drug seeking liar.  Had the nerve to blame my fibromyalgia, claiming I had been on narcotics for that since 1997…which I was most certainly NOT.  My lawyer was outgunned in my opinion.  I don’t place blame on him, I mean he tried, but it was clear by day two that we were not making our case clear enough…my lawyer only called me, my husband and our expert witness to testify.  That surgeon who spent so many surgeries fixing the damage?  Yea, she refused to testify on my behalf, saying it was a mistake (she in fact herself has been sued more than 5 times I now find out).  A mistake….yes, the whole trial his “people” kept calling this a mistake, a mal occurance, a recognized danger of the surgery.  They kept yelling that I signed the consent KNOWING a perforation of an organ was a possible mal occurance of this surgery!  I agree.  I knew it could happen…but I also was told that should anything go wrong…someone would FIX IT!!!!

The wise jury of seven, took less than 45 minutes to find him NOT GUILTY of malpractice.  When the verdict was read, that butcher doctor and his slimy lawyer smiled, laughed and patted each other on the back, then celebrated with the rest of their deceitful cronies, while we left the courtroom.  Stunned.  What the hell just happened?  How?  I cannot tell you the feeling.  It was much like the rape victim being victimized allover again on the stand.  That’s what they did to me.  They used my past medical history to make this surgical “mistake” look like either my fault or not that big of a deal. At one point during the Butchers testimony he said he prays for me every night and that he was so happy when he saw me because I LOOK so good!  Anyone who knows me, knows I am one tough cookie.  I also have pride.  I also try to look my best whenver I can.  So, yes…I had combed my hair and put on mascara and a pants-suit and was standing erect.  I had taken my pain meds so I could bear to sit thru this trial.  Was I sposed to look my worst?  Not comb my hair?  I have a wheelchair, I could have used…but I don’t do that.  I don’t show my agony to the whole world!!!  Only my loved ones really know the extent of my pain.  They see me crying almost daily, in the fetal position in bed.  They see my limitations.  I don’t want the worlds pity!  I don’t want that bastards prayers!  I WANT JUSTICE!  He should fess up to what he did!  Yes, the lawsuit was for money, as distasteful as that is! But I will have medical bills for the rest of my life due to this one event!  FOREVER!  I suffer every minute of everyday.  I was owed restitution.  Instead I got butchered, yet again.

My lawyer said we can’t appeal…and I figured, fine.  But when I started looking stuff up, that doesn’t seem to be the case….but I’m still looking into that.  If I can’t appeal, I have other things in mind.  It won’t get me monetary restitution from him, but it may get me just a minutia of justice, even just mental.  I need to make sure anybody who is thinking of going under the knife realizes the danger they are in, not to blindly trust their doctor.  Really be careful about who you choose as your physician.  Study about your illness or upcoming surgeries.  Dont’ just go to Healthgrades.com and accept their rating of the doctor, because if they have settled cases out of court it wont’ be there, neither with most malpractice cases or info.  I will try to educate people about that, and also try to change some of Indianas laws regarding malpractice, because quite frankly, they are bullshit.

So, here I am again, another Friday night in bed with the dogs, watching reruns.  But I’m not dead yet.  I have a fire in my gut of another kind.  This isn’t over…like I told my friend Julz…”It aint over til the fat lady sings, and I haven’t even cleared my throat!”

song requests?

Thank you for reading such a long post, I left some stuff out for lengths sake. Let me make it clear…I didn’t present every iota of this case nor was this doc found GUILTY of negligence. 😉

this blog is the property of tammy spice and tammy spice only

I will prevail.  I will.  Wait for it.  You will know it when it happens.

The Little Girl…part 7

Cancer!  That is what the doctor said, but what she heard was DEATH!  She couldn’t believe her ears!  “There has got to be some mistake!” This just can’t be happening to me, she kept thinking over and over…I am just getting used to living with Lupus…I can’t do cancer!  But here she was…just beginning to deal with “The Big C!”

It was found during a routine pap smear.  The yearly test women despise.  It was stage 3.  Fairly advanced.  But encapsulated to the cervix.  They recommended a total hysterectomy.  She was fine with that.  She hadn’t intended to have more children.  It was scheduled for the next week.  This was all happening so fast!  She still hadn’t wrapped her head around all of it when she was telling her family.  They all had so many questions, to which she didn’t yet have the answers.  Being an analytical type, she of course got right on the net to research this new monster that had invaded her body.  Afterwards, she wished she hadn’t.  So many sad stories.  So many bad outcomes.  She was scared.  She lay on her bed in the fetal position and cried…and prayed and prayed and prayed.

She and her husband showed up at the hospital at 7:30am.  The surgery was to take a couple hours.  She could go home tomorrow.  She was on the stretcher, donned in the beautiful hospital gown and cap.  Feeling very, very vulnerable and fearful.  She jokes around with her husband and the staff…hiding her fear.  The doc came in, the three of them held hands and said a prayer.  She was wheeled into surgery…she looked deep into one of the nurses eyes…and squeezed her hand, as the general anesthetic was pushed into her IV…a tear slid down her cheek.

She awakens, she feels heavy.  Her mouth feels dry…something is lodged in her throat!  She tries to move her hand to her mouth, but she can’t move her hands!  They are strapped to the bed!  She looks side to side…her husband is there.  “What is going on?” She wanted to scream…but she couldn’t.  She was on a ventilator…the hissing sound as it pumped air in and out of her lungs was audible.  She goes back to sleep.  The next few months are a blur.  She is heavily medicated.  She has multiple hallucinations due to the medications, some were horrifying.  She remembers trying to climb out of the bed.  She has unbearable pain in her abdomen…pain like she had never imagined!  It feels like her belly is on fire.  She is in and out of consciousness and being unconscious is preferable to be certain!

When her mind is finally clear enough to figure out what has happened to her, she can not believe it!  Her luck!  Evidently the surgeon had made a surgical error and punctured a hole through her intestine, this is a complication that can occur with any abdominal operation, but it’s rare, and when it does occur…it is usually noted rather quickly and measures are taken and recovery is generally speedy.  Unfortunately, it was not noted quickly and by the time it was diagnosed, alot of internal damage had been done.  She was septic.  Her intestines had become so infected they were like wet tissue paper when the next surgeon went in. 

She would end up losing a large portion of her bowel.  She would end up with an ostomy…but not a normal ostomy…it couldn’t really be done in the normal fashion, so the bag wouldn’t seal properly and therefore there were always leaks…this caused major skin breakdown and irritation.  She had peripheral lines it seemed everywhere!  In her clavical area, her armpit, her hand…the catheter for her urine…she felt like an alien.

She couldn’t stand to even look down at her own abdomen.  Therefore she could not perform her ostomy bag changes or empty the bag.  She would have to put her call light on and have the nurses come and do it…some of them would get rather irritable with her.  They felt she should do it herself.  But it looked horrid!  Her bowel was sticking OUTside her body!  She was in so much pain and had grown so weak from laying in a hospital bed, it was also just physically hard on her to do anything…she was doing physical and occupational therapy twice a day.  It wore her out…physically and emotionally.  Some days she would just feel like giving up.  She felt like she would never be the same again, would never be useful again…couldn’t imagine living with this pain everyday! 

Her husband was there at the hospital with her everyday.  She lived for the moment he walked in the door.  She knew when he was there she could rest.  Or have someone to talk to.  She wasn’t allowed to eat, and could only drink limited amounts.  She was so thirsty!  The commercials for food and drinks on the tv would just about drive her bizerk!  She was too weak to read, she couldn’t hold the book up.  The only thing she had to pass the time was tv and when her family visited.  She felt somedays as if she was going out of her mind.  She felt like a caged animal…an ABUSED caged animal at that!  To add insult to injury, her hair started to fall out in huge clumps!  She had bald spots throughout her scalp…she had  always had extremely thick and wavy hair…now she is going bald.  Also, she was going through menopause due to the ovary removal…the hotflashes where awful!  She felt like she was having a heart attack frequently.  Alot of the nurses were not sympathetic to her physical complaints.  They acted like she was being a whiner or something!  One evening she complained of being short of breath.  The night nurse took her time coming into her room, even after she had told the cna about being short of breath and having chest pain.  When the nurse did finally come in her room, and took her vitals, she said”Oh, you’re fine!  You just need to work harder in therapy!  You’re getting lazy!”  She could not believe this.  She knew something was wrong!  She was having a heart attack!  “I need help!” She told the nurse…the nurse left her room…she was scared to death she was going to die right there!

To be continued

Breathe, Believe, Be