Tag Archive | ovaries

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.

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Blog Carnival Introduction!

Well first of all let me say this is my FIRST blog carnival!  I had never heard of them before my wonderful cyber-friend Jolene (of Graceful Agony) introduced me to them.  What a wonderful idea!  I have had so much fun reading blogs since discovering them in February. Yes, I know blogs have been around long before that, but I just never actually READ them.  That is until I decided to start my own after another friend started one…he has since quit blogging, even though he’s a talented writer and should be writing all the time…but  that’s when I found Jolene’s Graceful Agony blog, and it really inspired me!  She is a wonderful person and a gifted writer and everyone needs to be reading her blog at http://gracefulagony.wordpress.com/ …but enough about her….this blog is supposed to be all about ME! lol (said jokingly of course!) 😉

Me.  Well, at risk of boring most of you I will keep the life history of yours truly as short as possible.  I’m a forty-two year old married mom of two wonderful children, a 22 y/o man and a 16 y/o young lady and of course I love them both more than any words could ever convey.  My husband is very devoted and supportive.  I have two dogs who keep me entertained and provide me with unconditional love and affection.  My childhood was very rough and dysfunctional to say the least, but I won’t type all that out, as it is pretty much portrayed in some of my earlier blogs (The Little Girl). I love to read and to write.  My favorite color is pink…but I wear alot of black and white because its easy…lol.  I love dogs and babies.  My fave tv show is The Office.  I love Steve Carell and Will Farrell.  I love all music, rock, pop, country, spiritual, jazz and more.  I love Chinese and Mexican foods the most.  I like a good margarita once in awhile.  I love good movies…especially the classics…Cary Grant, Bette Davis, Deborah Kerr…those are great movies!  I bite my nails til they bleed. I worry too much. I am a denti-phobe to the nth degree. So that’s a little about me, now here is about my chronic pain/illness!

My “adulthood” was going along fine until about 1998 when I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, after a few years of having mysterious aches and pains, and going from doctor to doctor.  None of the meds they ever tried me on helped much…so I just didn’t take anything other than over the counter meds after awhile…and just gritted my teeth and got on with life.

Then I started having pelvic pain that just wouldn’t quit. So in 2005 my OBGYN at the time said a hysterectomy would solve my problems…but that he would leave my ovaries so I wouldn’t go into early menopause.  I was all for anything that would stop the pain that was really affecting my daily life at times. I woke up from that surgery in more pain than he had led me to believe there would be and found out that I had hemmorhaged during the hysterectomy and required a few units of blood…but that other than that everything went peachy…by his standards I guess.

I recovered from that hysterectomy, but continued to have pelvic pain.  I decided in my infinite wisdom to find a different OBGYN as I wasn’t entirely impressed with the other…which now in hindsight was quite possibly a life-changing decision.  The new doc was young, handsome and had a great bedside manner.  He impressed me with his knowledge and I believed him when he said that my pain was probably due to the cysts on my ovaries and if they came out the pain may stop as well.  Now, my thinking was…that of course the pain would stop…there would be nothing else in that area to cause the pain…right?  So, I was too trusting and didn’t do much research into any of it and actually was looking forward to the operation to get those “things” out of my body so the pain would stop. I would take that pain back in a split second compared to the pain I must now endure.

That surgery changed my life forever. I will make it as short as I can.  During the operation the doc punctured my intestine and failed to recognize it.  He went to Disneyland for vacation…I ended up in ICU on a vent and medically induced coma, and remember very little for a few months after the operation except alot of pain and being restrained to the bed to keep from me pulling all the different lines and tubes out.  I ended up over the next year having around fifteen abdominal operations, part of my intestine removed, having ostomies, wound vacs attached to my abdomen where the wound was left open (about the size of a softball) and the hose was attached to a machine that vacuumed out the contents for months, I was fed thru a line inserted under my collar-bone, I had other peripheral lines up around my arm pits, or in my upper arm…which frequently ended up giving me blood infections that I also almost died from, I spent most of that year in 3 different hospitals, and some of it at home with home care nurses and my family working to care for me around the clock.My husband and family became my nurses.  I missed many family events of course during all of this…basically I missed my sons entire senior year and my daughters sixth grade year.  To shorten this section up, I will end it by saying the last surgery managed to close up my abdomen, but the pain is non-stop due to massive adhesions (my insides are basically like hardened cement…organs glued together and to the abdominal wall), the nerve pain called neuromas from the constant cutting, and I have no abdominal muscle wall at all in the front…I have a ventral hernia from my breastbone to my pubic bone and my intestines lay right under the skin/fat layer.  I can’t eat alot of foods due to digestion problems.  I must wear an abdominal binder 24/7 to help ease the pain and hold the hernia in.  I go to a pain center every month and must take narcotics to even take the edge off the pain.  I can’t do alot of the things I used to do, no bike riding, no running, no hard exercising of any kind…basically I can’t do anything that requires using abdominal muscles.  The pain is relentless and hard to even describe to people, it is like your insides are on fire while at the same time being shredded.  To say it makes everyday life difficult is an understatement, but I am alive. Living with pain, but alive.

So, since I know that was long…even though I really did leave ALOT of stuff out! I will finish up here.  About the time I started blogging and finding others out there who were suffering with chronic pain just as I was, there was alot of depressing thoughts going through my head.  I was feeling down and useless at times, and still do occassionally.  But I am a fighter, I always have been.  Stubborn some people would say I guess.  But it’s that stubborness that got me through that horrific nightmare that I lived through…and continue to live through. Stubborness and a wicked sense of humor!  I read self-help books and look for inspiring blogs on the web.  I pray alot. I always said I would continue to live for my childrens sake.  I now feel I will continue to live for MY sake.  Even though there are so many days that I am crying in the fetal position and ready to jump off the nearest bridge, I eventually dry my eyes and decide that I won’t give up that easily.  I want to live, even if it’s with pain that would bring most people to their knees, I want to experience life…to see the beautiful sunsets/sunrises, all the beauty nature provides, and to see my family, my children, my grandchildren.  I love blogging because it’s free therapy for me.  I can vent, I can inspire, I can joke (sarcasm is my specialty!), I can pretend that someone out there actually cares!

Wow…this really did turn out long…if it’s too long I guess my buddy Jolene will have to tell me to shorten it up and I will!  I’m thrilled to be involved in this carnival and look forward to hearing everyones story! To anyone who suffered thru MY long story…thank you for reading!