Doctor Negligence

Hi all! I was wondering if anyone has ever experienced a time when a doctor didn’t take them seriously. The reason I’m bringing this up my personal experience and talking with other people.
I have been suffering with chronic pain for 10-15 years and I finally got some answers in the spring of this year. I was finally diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis and a herniated disc with a pars defect.
I know there’s some talk on the topic of women struggling with doctor negligence. But I think it’s so much bigger than that. I’m a lady in my 20’s. And I’ve heard so many times that I’m too young to have problems and they think I’m “being dramatic” or perhaps drug seeking ( I have no history of substance abuse). Even after I had all the tests and imagine done I still got negative comments from the PA at my primary care office.
I really feel this topic is not discussed enough and I think something needs to be done about this.
Have you experienced something like this? I would love to hear about it.

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Hello,

The answer to your question about experiencing negligence from your PCP and/or other specialists, yes. I had some pain and went to the emergency room due to having pain when I walked and I was told I need to exercise and lose weight. My problem was ignored for almost 5 years and was finally diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. My PCP ignored the fact that my uric acid levels being elevated. When I mentioned it to him the second time, he stated he will not treat me for gout. 5 years later, I have gout and it is really affected my ability to use my right foot. Sometimes, you have to push the doctors into listening to you or just change doctors. I pray that you will receive the best care from your doctors. Just remember that it’s your body and you’re paying them.

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It is a problem even with those of us who have been on both sides of the healthcare system. I am a disabled physical therapy assistant so I know which questions to ask and how to advocate for myself. But I will start with one of my own experiences where this happened with me. I started having balance issues in 2015 in the fall. My CNP sent me for a neurologist eval. I actually ended up seeing the PA. Explained that I was losing my balance but was NOT dizzy. I mentioned that my migraines had gotten worse because I wasn’t sure if it was related. So he starts with meds that may help my migraines and gives me a script for an MRI of my brain. Medications cause additional issues and I tell him I am not taking them.(caused short term memory loss and I got lost going home from work) so now he thinks I am noncompliant. He says he can’t put me on disability until he finds out what is wrong. I tell him I want to find out what is wrong so it can be treated because I don’t want to be on disability! He sends me to an ear nose and throat dr who wants to run this very expensive test because he wants to find out why I am dizzy. (The PA at the neurologist office had sent paperwork saying I was dizzy and noncompliant neither of which were true.) Fast forward six months I am still working but worried I will fall with a patient. Then in the summer of 2016 I fell (luckily not at work) dislocate and shatter my elbow. I switch neurologist. I ask new neurologist if this could be coming from my back. I have degenerative disc disease and being a PTA I am aware of issues that nerve damage in back can cause. He sends me for MRIs on my whole spine,does EMGs on both arms and legs. Sure enough weakness shows up and I get sent to neurosurgeon. Unfortunately nerve damage had gone on too long. I wasn’t really having pain at that time but surgery to see if reliving pressure on nerves would help, unfortunately no. Now I have fallen a few more times and have pain. Neurosurgeon says my back is so bad that he is afraid to touch it. But usually I am pretty forceful about dr paying attention to what I am saying. Good luck. You’re not alone.

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I myself paid for Medicaid to the tune of 650$ which I was charged at that time for low cost State (CT) insurance. 2 years prior it was only something like 249$ or less. But I digress…
During that time period I couldn’t see a covered Rheumatologist there were none available on the paid for 650$ level.
Unfortunately/but fortunately I was involved in a head on collision in 2013. I needed 2 surgeries on a busted thru (compound) radius. that’s your wrist bone joint to laymen. I also suffered severe lower back trauma as well as neck, breast contusion (the size of a base ball) that I had to have repeat mammograms on for 2 years before it went away. That injury came from being a 4’11" passenger with a standard height seatbelt. Normally it would rise to across my neck so I was thankful it was almost halfway there. I think it would have choked me dead. So yeah, I’m already feeling lucky at that point, the first night in the ER. Again I digress…
Since the accident the admin at Yale hooked me up with no pay State Medicaid (it’s where I had the 2 surgeries) as well as a lawsuit against the driver that hit us. I was finally able to get a referral thru the free paid State medicaid thru a gastroenterologist I saw during and after a Diverticulitis attack, go figure round about way it was. The Rheumatologist saw me within a couple of days and via the symptoms I had described (again and again to PC’s and every other doc since the accident they kept saying it was due to the accident. She did what is called a VECTRA test that showed I had sero-negative RA. It can only be ordered by a Rheumatologist and the blood testing is only done at Stamford University, CA. So… long story short I did have a dr check for RA in my bloodwork 3 years prior BUT a sero-negative can only be found in a Vectra test or was 3 years ago. I did read something recently that something within a normal blood test can pick it up. I’m sure you can google it to see when it was possible for this test for your lawsuit. Also, not sure if you ever were able to see or get a referral to a rheumatologist and did they do the Vectra test. A good hint you may have it or fibro many times both is a diagnosis of polymyalgia (many points of pain -simplified) and or multiple joint pain. Sidenote: My wrist surgeon said I was just wired wrong when I’d show him pain points. I think of that often now… should have been my first clue had I known the symptoms.
On a positive note my Rheumatologist is God. I take everything she says, my RA number dropped drastically the 1st year and… she saw me in great pain everytime she saw me. 5mg Prednisone worked a little but was nowhere near enough. She referred me to a pain management clinic where I get the narcotics and muscle relievers I need. My sister also has RA and her Rheumatologist is also a pain management doctor. So… if looking for a compassionate Rheumatologist see if they also do pain management doctor… I was lucky to have a compassionate one who saw my pain levels and wanted to help.
Anywhooo… that is my experience and hopefully some facts you can use.
Thanks for letting me vent!
~Sally

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I went through it for 19yrs then my append burst. It was gangrene and I could have died.
Then I went through it with a neurologist and now have a spinal cord disease (CIDP), cerebellar ataxia and rely on a walker. I’m 47.

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Sadly no. All my doctors have taken me seriously and have prescribed the appropriate pain medication. I would go from doctor to doctor until I found one that helped me. Life is too short to live in pain. Good luck…

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Yes!!! Even when tests and arthroscopic surgery revealed the true extent of my pain, the military doctors treated me like a whinning female! Even as they were telling me that I needed to have a joint replacement; they said I was too young and had to wait 20 years for the joint replacement surgery I needed. Meanwhile, there were males my age getting joint replacement surgeries. This is an area that must be addressed! If you have the option, I strongly suggest finding a (real) doctor to address your needs.

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Not believing patients or discounting what they say is a common problem.

I used to be a supervisor in our local ED and got called because a doctor and patient were having a verbal shouting match in the hallway.

The patient was insisting that his foot was broken and wanted them to fix it. The doctor insisted it was only a sprain as proven by the X-ray. The patient refused to let the doctor wrap it because he was sure in was broken.

When the patient had arrived in the ED that night he had a blood alcohol of 3.5 which is 3 times the legal limit here. He was also poorly dressed and obviously poor so the doctor discounted what he said.

I got everyone calmed down, got

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A nurse to wrap his ankle, got him crutches, and arranged a Medicaid cab to take him home.

About an hour later I got a call from the radiologist who had just reviewed the X-ray and told me the foot was indeed broken.

The patient had no home or cell phone so I had to send the police to pick him up and bring him back so we could fix his broken foot.

I spoke with the doctor who had argued with the patient and told him he would apologize to the patient and would take care of him until orthopedics could arrive.

I share this because it was man to man, not even man to woman. We all make assumptions but we are not always correct.

Doctors should always believe patients until PROVEN wrong. We know our bodies and what we experience.

I hope you no longer are a patient of that doctor. But if you know how to reach him or her I encourage you to find out what was finally diagnosed. It is a great teaching tool for doctors.

Doctors don’t always have answers. It is ok to tell a patient they can’t find the source of the problem. But they should believe you. If you are still a patient of that doctor then please fire him or her and tell them why.

Hope that helps. God bless you. 🙏🙏🙏 Prayers for help for your issues and a quick recovery.

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All it the time for over 19 years. Only now I have found good doctors. However, finding new doctors or going into an ER/ urgent care is a crapshoot.

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Wow Sally! That is such a crazy story! I am actually lucky I found a rheumatologist who is wonderful. Luckily my insurance doesn’t require a referral. I thought about going because I also have a strong family history of RA. We are still working on finding something that will work better for me. I am now on Olumiant it’s a very new medication. Nothing has really worked yet. The one who is really giving me the problem at the moment is my primary. Unfortunately I have to go there for my medical clearance for my back surgery. I really don’t want to see that primary again. She has such a bad attitude. But she can’t say it’s nothing now.

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Wow! He argued with a patient before the x-rays were reviewed. I agree we know our bodies best. I kept saying I think it’s really something more serious but you hear these negative comments so much you start to question if you lost your mind, Unfortunately I still have that primary because I need medical clearance for my back surgery. After that I will be looking for a better one.

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Yes same here I had 3 doctors tell me that I’m too young for a spinal fusion and I couldn’t have it until I’m 50. Thankfully I found one who said this is my only option and he will do it. Now I just have to wait. Keep pushing for treatment. Honestly I wouldn’t be where I am without my husband as my advocate. I think having another support helps a lot especially if they know how to be assertive.

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I am so glad to hear you have an advocate in your husband! He is an invaluable resource! I never had that.

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Yes thank you! I used to get tossed around and ignored before he came into the picture. He only got involved after we got engaged a year ago. Now that we finally got an answer it just amazed me how so many doctors could miss something so common. My husband is truly my life saver.

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Youcomment caught my attention when you mentioned doctors negligence because I happened to have been a victim of when a doctor didn’t care and I know what you’re doing through. In my case it dealt with me loosing my prolapse I didn’t really know what was going on so for three years I kept going back and forth trying to get answers without any results. Sometimes they put me in a room the doctor would stick his head in to inform me that the patient in the other room was more sicker than me and then he was gone. Since I am in a wheelchair about 15 minutes later they were pushing me out to the medical van to go home. I called my insurance provider to let them know what was going on and sent me to another doctor in a different city when he interviewed me I let him know what was happening he end up sending me to a specialist and during her visit was when the prolapse dropped out, she mentioned if this had been taken care of even 6 months ago this would not have happened but all she could do now was to reroute the bowel to come out on the side therefore I ended up with an Ostomy. All I can say to you if this doctor isn’t listening do the research and find another doctor who will, there are excellent doctors out there I know because I now have a excellent team and they do not sit back and throw out pills but really give quality care. Plus I don’t take pills anymore now it’s nutrition what the body really need not chemicals
Take care and I hope everything works out well for you, lolasweetpea

I found the same problem bit when I went to see dr’s outside of Sebring Florida. I went to pain manage Dr in Lakeland Florida and then I got the help. you just have to find the right Dr. But if your blood work is not showing anything no Dr will do anything. If you have arthritis you blood work will show it because I have the same thing at the age of 45. If your blood work does not show that you do not have it. It has to be something else. Your blood tells even if you are in pain and how much. The Dr can see if you are telling the truth all with blood work. So if you think you can fool the Dr you can not because of the blood work that they Dr.

I get this a lot! I feel like you have to be real assertive and at times that doesn’t work. I feel like doctors have cookie cutter responses and they don’t listen to you. Like you said when you ask for pain meds they think you are an addict and all you want is relief! Even though the FDA came out with a statement that they didn’t mean doctors should withhold pain meds from chronic pain patients. It’s hard to find good doctors that listen heaven knows I’ve had plenty!

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Ok so I have spinal stenosis I’ve had 2 shots one didn’t work at all the second one helped but is wearing g off I wasn’t fully out of pain but better than before the shot. I spoke to a surgeon its my L4L5and S1. Bone spurs arthritis pressing on my nerves. He said he could make me 50% better. I’m not sure about the surgery due to risks anyone’s thought on surgery

You could be me. I am having all sorts of issues and losing my balance is one of them. I am not dizzy. I walk like I’m drunk. It is transient. The first time this happened, I tore a meniscus and had to have surgery. I fall several times a month, sometimes more, sometimes less. The most recent fall was backwards off my garage steps. Landed on the concrete on my tailbone, hit my head on a dog crate and then my husband’s camping backpack fell over and the metal frame hit me on the bridge of my nose. I’ve seen all manner of doctors, including two neurologists - of course I didn’t have any of the symptoms when I saw them, so they did the same with me. MRI was clear. EMG normal. All kinds of bloodwork, including syphilis. You’d think I’d know that, right? I also have visual problems - rare, incurable ones. I see a neuro-ophthalmologist because of my eyes. He is testing me for myasthenia gravis. My most recent symptom is binocular diplopia (double vision that goes away if you cover one eye) - one of the most typical presenting symptoms of MG. The first neurologist diagnosed me wrong, said I have monocular (close one eye and you still see double). He put in my records that I didn’t have any balance or nerve problems and that we did several things which never happened. He put that he told to see my psychiatrist about it. Nice, huh? I see three doctors at Duke, and thank God they are so good. Now I’m in a battle with STD with work. They use a third party that administers leave. When this all started, I was out for months. Then my regular eye doctor lied on the paperwork and said there is no reason I can’t work and he never told me that. I do tech support over chat. I see double. And there’s no reason to be off? He forced me back to work with that little twist. My stats were tanking, I was missing work, my manager told me the higher ups were watching me closely and I might want to talk to my doctor about leave again. So my neuro-Opthalmologist took me out, sent in 26 pages of my medical records, and they denied my claim. They have a nurse review things and they decide if you are approved or not. Apparently a nurse (no offense to nurses) knows better than my neuro-Opthalmologist at Duke - one of the leading doctors of his specialty in the country. It’s been a nightmare. I still have no answers about the falling. At the one neurologist I almost fell stepping off the scale but he didn’t see it and apparently didn’t believe that I did. It’s so incredibly frustrating. They dismiss me out of hand and tell me it’s in my head. I have fibromyalgia as well, and some docs don’t even believe that’s a real thing.