Sunday, September 27, 2009

I was injured at Duke Hospital

It has been some time since I have felt strong enough to blog.

About two and one-half weeks ago I had a (should have been) simple MRI at Duke University Hospital (North) in Durham, North Carolina. My orthopedic surgeon in Chicago requested an MRI. Since I am in NC caring for dad and since I have seen the same orthopedic surgeon at Duke for 7 years, I thought that my Duke surgeon could communicate with the Chicago surgeon for the benefit of the patient. Silly me.

The procedure was stopped abruptly when the technicians realized that I had metal in my leg. Odd that this revelation was made during the procedure. I had been a patient at Duke for seven years and Duke orthopedic surgeon Mark Easley, MD placed the metal in my leg.

During the procedure, my knee was placed in an extremely uncomfortable position. I was in extraordinary pain during the procedure.

Within a few hours after the MRI, my knee and entire leg began to turn black and swell. The picture is a few hours out. It worsened. I asked my orthopedic surgeon at Duke (Dr. Easley) whether I should seek medical care. Deafening silence.

My ankle is now swollen and I am having trouble even bending my leg.

Duke University abandoned me as a patient after I became I vocal advocate for my dad's health care. I will not accept medical care providers mistreating my dad. Period.

My physicians at Northwestern University in Chicago felt compassion for me since no one at Duke University would help me. God bless Chicago physicians and surgeons. They are helping me with cancer treatment (after Duke abandoned me), heart problems (after Duke ignored the symptoms) and now, thank God, my knee.

My dad is almost through with his orthopedic care at Duke. Dad actually cried yesterday. He knows that no orthopedic surgeon at Duke University Medical will help me. Dad senses that it is because of my advocacy for him. But it makes dad sad to see me unable to walk.

Yesterday dad asked my what doctor he can trust. I continue to tell dad that Dr. Mark Easley and his staff are terrific and that they care very much about dad's recovery. Then dad just says that he "hopes" Dr. Easley and the rest of Duke Medical will not hurt him or stop helping him.

The practice of medicine has changed a lot in the last 20 years. Physicians' priorities have changed. I do question motives and incentives.

I told dad that I hoped so too. After dad left my room, I cried and prayed to God that Duke would care properly for my dad.

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