Monday, May 15, 2006

BigMamaDoc is recovering

I am very happy to learn that BigMamaDoc, of the fabulous blog Fat Doctor, is recovering from the strokes she recently suffered. I was saddened, but not surprised, by some of what she had to endure during her treatment:

...Do you need to go to a hospital?" I agreed to go if Coworker, who took care of me during my last hospitalization, felt it was appropriate.

An hour later, we were at the ER, where the resident found my exam inconsistent. Sister insisted on an MRI. Resident sent me despite his hunch that I was faking.

In radiology, a very kind technician alerted the radiologist that I am a physician. Radiologist came to meet me, explained that they would do the MRI and look at my carotids only if they saw something on MRI. "Hold still," the tech said. Her voice, tinny and remote, came from a speaker somewhere near my head. I'm too fat for this machine, I thought again and again. The test seemed to last an eternity. I thought of Son. I thought of Husband. I thought of Job and Patients and Peers.

Technician came to reposition me for a carotid view. Oh no, they found something. "Did you find something?" I asked. She pretended not to hear me.

Radiologist never came back. As I was wheeled back to my ER room, Dr. Resident said, "Well, you've had several more strokes. I count at least 8 new lesions. Maybe more. This is very interesting. Let me repeat some of the physical exam. "

Oh, so who's the faker now, buddy?

A young woman with a history of thrombotic strokes presents to the ER with new symptoms. The resident doubts her, the technician is rude and the radiologist does not discuss the finding. Is this the way they would want to be treated?

She is almost certainly getting a higher level of care because they all know she is a physician, and this is the best they can do. Imagine if she were just a regular person.

By the way, when her sister insisted on the MRI, she was acting as a patient advocate.

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