I don’t share my medical issues on social networking because they are personal. However, I recently learned that an online friend is going through a “mystery illness” that may be related to her heart.
I know my body better than anyone else, doctors included. Last summer I knew something was wrong, and I had to push and push and push. I finally left one provider (Trinity) and went to another provider (Sanford) because I was tired of being dismissed.
The following is my story, in letter form, because I sent this letter to my former provider’s CEO as a complaint letter. I’m sharing this story so that others don’t have to needlessly suffer for months like I did.
My letter to my former provider –
My story starts in early June and lasts through early October. Trinity’s lack of serious attention and concern for my symptoms could have killed me. Because of Trinity’s lack of attention and concern for my symptoms, I suffered physically and emotionally for those four months.
With Trinity – Because of high blood pressure, my doctor put me on Lisinopril. She also ordered blood work/labs since I’d never had them done at Trinity. I was told the blood work and labs all came back within normal levels.
I took Lisinopril for about a week, and I suddenly started to have chest pressure and chin tightness. I had several mild episodes while visiting my family in Delaware. During one serious episode, I had my brother take me to the emergency room. At emergency, I was given an EKG. I was told it was normal.
I called the Minot Trinity doctor’s office the next day and left a detailed message. I continued taking Lisinopril. I finally called the doctor’s office again, and was told the doctor never got my message. She told me to stop that medication, that I might be allergic to it. She prescribed amlodipine besylate. I took that for a couple weeks. My symptoms persisted. I was told to stop taking that prescription.
The doctor ordered an EKG. I was told it was normal.
The doctor ordered an echocardiogram. I was told that was normal.
The doctor then suggested Nexium, that possibly my chest symptoms were heartburn. I took that for two weeks. The symptoms persisted.
I called the doctor’s office again. The nurse suggested I talk to the cardiologist about my echocardiogram – I asked why since I was already told it was normal. She said something like “just to be sure.” Wasn’t the cardiologist sure the first time he looked at the echo?
The nurse set up an appointment with the same cardiologist. I called again and talked to the nurse, voiced my frustration, and asked why should I spend another $25 for an office visit when I was already told the echo was normal. I was terse and rather agitated.
The nurse later called me back (after talking to my doctor) and said that the doctor suggested that perhaps some Xanax would help calm me down.
I felt like I was being written off as a hysterical female.
I cancelled the cardiologist appointment out of frustration. I decided to go to Sanford.
With Sanford – Within one week of my appointment with Sanford, I took a stress test, was told I had a 90% blockage in a coronary artery and had a stent implanted. I have been told by numerous professionals that this was the first test that should have been conducted.
For four months, I experienced discomfort and pain, anxiety and worry. I had to keep calling and asking my doctor’s nurse, “What next?” I knew something was wrong. I counted on Trinity to help me and heal me. They did not.
So, if you know someone who is experiencing medical provider angst, tell them to keep at it, keep calling, keep asking questions. And if you are not happy with how you are being treated, go elsewhere!