Friday, October 2, 2009
How it all started
Here is the original x ray from the clinic. Yes it is a bad break, but to say that it could only be treated surgically is a lie. If I had known then what I know now after years of research, I would have taped a golf ball under my wrist at the break and wrapped my arm so that the hand was pulled slightly under and down. I bet I would have been a lot happier and I would have retained hand function. I also bet that NONE of what Dr. M threatened would have happened! Unbelievably I found this link showing that what I wanted was NOT unheard of! Distal Radius
Here are the notes from my surgeon. I have NEVER SEEN A PATIENT CHART, just these notes written to the nurse who sent me to this Dr. This is against the law, but all I have are these notes. I want to show how inaccurate this can be. In the very first sentence, where it says I had a "fall from a horse?" This is inaccurate. I repeatedly stated that I had been knocked down by a horse. Big difference. On the second page it says that "...the fracture has settled further with an increase in dorsal tilt and dorsal collapse of the fracture leaving an overall unacceptable reduction." Unacceptable to whom? There WAS a barely noticable tilt, in the x-rays, but this was acceptable to me! However, using scare tactics and complete lack of pertinent information of was manipulated into having this surgery.
Here are the scare tactics; "...if this injury is treated non-operatively without any attempt at reduction that her wrist would likely go on to heal with considerable deformity leading to subsequent chronic pain and stiffness and posttraumatic arthritis of her wrist." (He also mentioned in another letter that he told me I would never work again in my profession if I didn't have this surgery. I'll put that up on this blog as well.) I wish he had tried this first. Maybe there isn't enough money in this?
At the top of the second page which contains this statement, read where "Other than the swelling, she does not have any visible or grossly palpable deformity at the wrist." So how come it would "go on to heal with considerable deformity?" On the first page it says "She has normal sensation and motor function in the radial, median and ulnar nerve distributions." This is not what I have now, due entirely to the surgery.
Also of note is this "Physical exam reveals a 51 year old female in no urgent distress. Her mood is pleasant, and her affect is appropriate. She is alert and oriented." This description is consistent all the way through every single chart, from the Dr's office to the hospital intake. "Pleasant woman in no distress" is what the hospital personnel said. I have not been the same since this ill advised surgery. Not physically nor mentally, nor financially.
Nothing in here about me declining general anesthesia. Nothing in here about me being "crazy to start with." Nothing in here about the severing of tendons, screw placement causing tendon rupture, nothing about where the incision was going to be, nothing substantive about the surgery, repeated surgeries, just the threats of chronic pain etc.
Later on this Dr. claims that he gave me a "choice" of having the arm reset in his office. Look what all he says in his statement. He never offered me this choice, just mentioned that if he tried something like that, that it wouldn't work anyway.
I was uninsured as my employer didn't offer health insurance. I wanted external reduction, not surgery. Did you note that an "external fixator" is never mentioned? He only told me about that option after I was in hysterics over the poor outcome of the ORIF. Yes Dr. M offered to let me pay in payments, but his office misrepresented the cost of the surgery, to the point that it is just impossible to pay off. If they had told me the truth, I would NEVER have consented to this surgery based on cost alone! (not to mention the horrible consequences of the surgery and the forced anesthesia!)
We need REAL HEALTH CARE REFORM WITH COST TRANSPARENCY! THIS IS WAY TOO EXPENSIVE FOR THE MEDICAL PRACTITIONERS TO CONCEAL OR UNDERESTIMATE THE COST!
I made 12,000 dollars in 2006 and my cost for a 70 minute operation was more than I grossed for that year. Angry about it, you bet. I am a conscientious consumer and I keep my bills under control. They had no right to quote me one price and then pad it by thousands of dollars. How am I to manage my finances with this kind of thing going on in the biggest expense after housing? This whole surgery was completely unecessary, and way too expensive for a poor truck driver.