Apr 6, 2013

"You're Dehydrated" .. She Said

For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong.

We have been going to the same doctor now for a few years.  General practitioner. Nothing more than a yearly check up is all we required until a few months ago.  Every time we go to her Arvid has always mentioned that his leg cramps up all the time.  Every time she passes it off as nothing unusual.

January of this year, the problem was worse.  We told her that he is hurting his foot sometimes gets puffy and just about everything causes him to almost cramp up.  She performed a test on him.  She took his hand, picked up some of his skin and said, "the problem is that you are too dehydrated"  She then proceeded to do the same to me and to herself, thus demonstrating that we were not as dehydrated as Arvid.  Truth is Arvid drinks more fluids than I do.  Always did and still does.

After the doctors visit, the cramps continue and so did the pain.  In the meantime, Arvid also had a hernia operation.  Few days afterwards, Arvid's foot is swollen and he appears to be suffering quite a lot. He moved around but it was always with difficulty.  I decided to call the doctors office and tell her that Arvid needs to go and have an ultrasound of the leg ASAP!!

After some haggling, they decided it was OK.  I took Arvid to do the test right away.  Within minutes of the ultrasound, the technician makes a phone call.  Next thing you know Arvid was being wheeled into the Emergency Room.  He had/has a blood clot that goes all the way from the foot to the upper thigh.

We were told that things could have taken a bad turn had Arvid not come when he did to the hospital.  Immediately, he was admitted into the hospital.  His INR levels were LOW.

The INR is a test of blood clotting, which is primarily used to monitor warfarin therapy, where the aim is to maintain an elevated INR in a range of 2.0 to 3.0.  It is initially checked frequently, but as treatment is stabilized it may be done less often.

Five days, four nights was Arvid's stay in the hospital.  For me it was frightening and overwhelming to see someone you love helpless and so vulnerable.  In that moment our lives changed.  Arvid may always be on Coumadin.. that we can live with, but the fact that I could have lost him forever had we been one day or so later to the hospital is something I will never forget.  All because a doctor said he was dehydrated.
 Link: INR

After we came out of the hospital, the routine was once a week a blood test at our doctors office. Arvid was out of the hospital January 18th 2013 (have to check the discharge papers).  His first visit to our doctor for the blood test was Jan 21st.

Not a big deal.  Blood was drawn and Arvid told the girl drawing the blood that she made it so easy and that he would not mind coming and doing this test because she was gentle.  So far so good.  The doctor stopped in for a fast visit.  Arvid had on socks.  She never looked at his foot, the swelling nothing.  She never even pretended to show an interest.  All she said was "sometimes these things happen." and left as fast as she could.

After the blood test no one called with the results.  I called and this was almost at the end of the work day.  Answer, "his medication needs to be regulated"  I asked how come no one called to let us know.  Answer, "we did"  Well they did not and I said in the future I would like a call back no matter what.  This was new to us and we were just getting used to Arvid taking medications and to seeing his foot purple and swollen all the time.

As the time went by, the staff was becoming more and more "distant"  At one time they claimed there were no tubes to draw his blood ; this was a period of close to three weeks.  I thought this unusual and of course I said so and asked how could they operate this way.  We asked to speak to the doctor.  Several times in the last few months actually.  The answer was :  She is in Africa.  We cannot draw your blood at this time.  They did say we could go to another lab, but Arvid was not comfortable there.  Another time we asked to speak to her we were told we would have to wait a little until she was done with a patient.  We said OK.  Half hour later we were told she had an emergency and left to go to the hospital.  This went on every time we tried to see her.

Again on Thursday April 4th we were there for the usual blood test.  Normal blood test is between 8:30 and 9:30am, but we were told we could come in anytime if we did not mind waiting.  We always came in around 10am.  On this day we were told to leave because they will not do the blood test.  I asked how come?  I mean we did the test always around 10am.  Well not anymore.  We were asked to leave and come back the
following day.  The glass window closed in our face.

I needed to get some answers so I knocked on the window.  No one answered nor opened the window.  I knocked again.  The girl without opening said she was going to call the cops because I was trying to break the window.  I told her to go ahead because we will be here.

In the meantime, I also asked to see the doctor.  Window still closed.  Finally someone opened the window and said I would have to make an appointment.  I said OK.  I would like to make an appointment to see the doctor at her earliest available time.  I was told that they could not give me an appointment.  I would have to call and get it.  Now how come everyone who came out always got their follow up appointment right before leaving the doctors office and we could not.  We had to call it in.

All the time we were more than ever convinced the doctor was afraid to see us.  I knew she did something wrong and I knew she was afraid to face us.  When Arvid did not have this condition she was always smiling with him and joking with him.  We were always able to see her.  Most times the same day as when we called for an appointment.  All this before she misdiagnosed him.

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Back to the closed window. The cops did show up.  Told us to please leave.  I asked why???  The cop was very nice, but as he put it these were the doctors policies...  We left, and there was a report filed.  Just for the record.  As we were leaving I said we will be back the following morning during the hours of 8:30 and 9:30 for Arvid to have his blood drawn.  The girl said OK.

Next day we were there at 8:25am  Just one person ahead of us.  That person was called in.  We sat, we waited.  9:35 the waiting room had quite a few patients.  We still were not called in.  Having another appointment by 10am  (it was now 9:45am), we decided we had to leave and return another day.

As we were leaving someone ran out of the office and said "she" wanted to talk to us.  I thought the "she" would be the doctor.  Arvid was ready to leave because we were already late for our appointment.  I told him it might be the only time the doctor would see us so we should wait.

Turns out it was the doctors office manager.  He said the doctor does not wish to have us as her patients anymore.  I was shocked.  Of course I asked why?  His answer, "she and the staff feel threatened by you and we have the police report".  He immediately wanted us to sign some papers.  We did not.

Now Arvid has not had his blood test taken in two weeks.  It took me almost three hours to find another doctor.  His next blood test is 5 days from today.

I believe his doctor did something wrong and she is now afraid to face us!
This is wrong.  Something has to be done because Arvid could have died because our doctor, someone we trusted said he was "just dehydrated".
 got the bill for my surgery.  
Now I know what those doctors were wearing masks for...