Friday, November 27, 2009

Doctor Hater? Well, no...

I am not a Doctor hater! As you read this blog, it may seem so. However, nothing could be further from the truth, at least BEFORE this debacle. My former step father is a Doctor of internal medicine in San Jose, Ca. I love him dearly as well as his new wife. My sister works for him in his office and I myself have worked in his office. We kept him after the divorce, although I would hate for my mom to find out that I am still friends with him!

The surgeon who performed the 4 open reductions on my femur when a horse kicked it clean in 2 back in 1986 is truly a wonderful man. His name is Dr. Paul David Levin, retired. I developed rotational instability twice which needed to be corrected. At no time did Dr. Levin doubt my words. His entire staff was kind and caring even though I was a difficult patient. (I tried to do too much after the surgeries, which may have contributed to the second rotational instability and I couldn't deal with casts.)

When I just couldn't face another general anesthetic both Dr. Levin and the anesthesiologist were more than happy to have me awake. In fact the anesthesiologist (that's right, a DOCTOR NOT A GLORIFIED NURSE) was relieved that I had broached the subject of being awake myself as he wasn't sure how I would take it... They had so much trouble with me under general anesthetic that nobody wanted to work on me and this particular Doctor was the only one who would do it. This was all before Versed became the drug of choice.

These kind Doctors went so far as to put up mirrors so that I could watch without craning around to see what was happening. No surgical drape. I need to know what happens to me. I heal better, faster etc. This is a proven fact and my Doctor marveled at how fast I healed up after the 3rd surgery when I was awake and aware. He called it astonishingly exuberant bone growth, which had been lacking after the previous 2 surgeries.

When I had to have an arthroscope procedure due to knee injury from this accident, they also had a screen up so I could watch the little drill thingy zip around taking out the stalactites or stalagmites under my knee cap. I had this done at the same time they took out all the pins, nails, screws and plates. Since medical people are now saying that the SOUNDS of an operating room are traumatic, let me say this; the sounds of the drill, the sounds of something like a clam opening, a wet popping noise etc. the sounds of the drill, were not alarming in the slightest bit. There is no need for Versed so that we don't HEAR the surgery.

Likewise I heard the entire surgeries on my femur, the drilling, the slide hammer, the wet noises, as well as the crunch of the nippers biting out a chunk of my iliac crest for a bone graft... The conversations were pleasant and I spent most of the time talking to my anesthesiologist about what was coming next, why they were doing it, how was the weather, what all my horse was doing, the anesthesiologist's airplane, just all kinds of interesting subjects. Nothing scary or traumatic about any of it. I could ask the anesthesiologist to give me more or less drugs depending on what level of pain was acceptable, and at the end I had him taper down the drugs, allowing more pain, so that I could get out of recovery faster. I was starving after 12 hours of surgery and couldn't wait to eat. The anesthesiologist explained that Domino's Pizza couldn't go through the autoclave...

What WAS upsetting to hear were the nasty comments made about me in the operating room when my so-called caregivers had knocked me on my keester with Versed in 2006. They imagined that I would have amnesia and were very candid about their opinion of truck drivers, my physicality etc. I was horrified and this probably contributed somewhat to my PTSD. I have never heard such snide comments in my life. They were all laughing at my expense. Since I had no idea that I was supposed to have amnesia this was quite a shock. I couldn't BELIEVE what I was hearing! I couldn't speak coherently or defend myself in any way, I was unable to leave etc. completely helpless. These were the people that were going to knock me out against my will and perform surgery and they had ZERO RESPECT for me as a person and were callous and uncaring, careless, NASTY, evil... Their conversation about me was the noise that traumatized me, the noise of the surgery itself would have had no impact on me at all.

Here is a link which puts forth the argument that the SOUNDS of surgery are traumatizing. What a crock. Is there no end to the excuses for the use of Versed? Anesthesiology - Medical Specialists - Health/Fitness - Thanks again Paula.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


I want to say a word about "consultations." This is a code word for "charge a bunch of money for an ordinary office visit!" Dr. X, my wannabe surgeon charged me 250 dollars for the privilege of allowing him to con me into an ill advised surgery which subsequently ruined my life. I got nothing but scare tactics, the "consultation" consisted ENTIRELY of him telling me how horrible my life would be if I didn't get the surgery. He didn't listen to a thing I told him about anesthesia, prior experiences etc. For his part he failed (purposely) to tell me about risks, his lack of expertise, the fact that he only works on unconscious patients, failed to tell me of common (his word) side effects like my whole hand being numb etc. His office lied to me about the cost of this surgery as well. Maybe the whole surgery should have been free, seeing as how I was a practice dummy?

So what did I get for $250.00? I got maybe 10 minutes of Dr. X's time. I got lied to about the NEED for surgery, I was NOT told of any side effects, the site of the surgery or any substantive risks, other than the usual infection and bleeding. Since I had already refused any general anesthetic, this was never discussed. I was not willing to risk my life (and mental well being) with general anesthetic for something as ridiculous as a broken arm. The word "sedation" was never, ever mentioned at any time by anybody, here at the expensive and phony consultation or any time thereafter. Sedation is a huge secret, to be kept from the patient at all costs. Once it is done, you have no recourse... and they can proceed with other dangerous but moneymaking procedures without your consent. I guess that this is all a plan to maximize profit.

Don't ever let a Doctor get away with charging you hundreds of dollars for a "consultation." This is a rip-off. All this is for is so that the Doctor can terrorize you into accepting very expensive and risky procedures. This being so, then this "consultation" is only for the Doctor's benefit, not yours and you as the hapless patient should NOT be charged this exorbitant fee, just so the Doctor can con you! It's a freakin office visit with some coercion thrown in for good measure. Why should the patient pay for something that is only in the DOCTOR'S BEST INTEREST, not theirs?

Dr. X also insisted on taking another x ray to go along with the "consultation." This was $95. The x ray machine was obviously faulty as it was vague, grainy and there were splatter marks all over the edges of the x rays. They didn't even bother to give me a lead apron when they used this dangerous machine! The reason for the x ray? So that Dr. X could use it to show me a miniscule additional "collapse" of the fracture in order to coerce me into allowing him to get some experience doing this particular surgery. The x rays are on this site and most people couldn't find this "unacceptable collapse" with a magnifying glass. Another spurious charge designed to maximise profit. This x ray was for HIS benefit, not mine. I was understandably skeptical about his marvy surgery... I wanted a non surgical intervention. So Dr. X freely spent MY money in his quest to con me into doing what HE wanted to do, not what was best for ME!

And they wonder why health care has become so expensive? These people are searching for tricks to charge more money for ordinary things. "Consultation fee," my foot!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Chart from Dr. V

Here is the entire chart from Dr. V. (2nd opinion) Please do NOT get the idea that I dislike this Dr. in any way. He is absolutely wonderful, kind and caring. However, in trying to calm me down, he told me a story about bones shrinking and settling, (last page) this without ever having seen ANY previous x rays. I think he imagined that if he told a little white lie, that it would make me feel better. All it did was alarm me. I want truth, honesty, and full disclosure. That is how I deal with things. I don't want to be placated, I find it insulting! If my surgeon Dr. X had been truthful, if he had paid the slightest bit of attention to what I said, if the CRNA Aaron hadn't thought that I was so stupid that he could proceed against my wishes, if ANYBODY had been up front and truthful I wouldn't be here this morning typing on a computer! On this chart, besides the final paragraph, I would like to point out just how forthright I am about anesthesia. Dr. V "heard me" (loathsome term) and actually wrote down what I said about anesthesia and Versed! Do you believe that I never said a word about it to Dr. X?