Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Dr. Gagadam was finally convinced to consult with an ENT, who just happens to be the same doc who set C.R.'s broken nose about 14 years back. This doctor seems to know what he's doing, thank the Powers That Be!

We went to his office in the hospital late yesterday afternoon; C.R. had his ear flushed out and a wick inserted (which HURT severely, esp. since this doc is not known for his gentle hands!) to facilitate the delivery of newly-prescribed Cipro and steroid drops.

More good news is that this is NOT septicemia -- HURRAH!!!!

The bad news is, one of the nurses was being EXTREMELY snarly with him, jabbing the morphine needle in and quickly plunging it into the IV rig rather than being gentle like the other nurses have been, and almost ripped the entire rig from his arm with her rough movements.

We had to see Dr. Gagadam again yesterday. This time, he asked if the reason the wick was inserted was because C.R. had a punctured ear drum because "that is why wicks are used, to put into perforated eardrums." WHAT???? Even we know better than that! He also said he would need to prescribe some oral antibiotics, which the ENT said would NOT be effective for this illness. Again, he made several other comments that made absolutely no sense.

BTW, we got our hands on C.R.'s records. . . Dr. Gagadam mentioned that C.R. was "combative." What reasonable, intelligent human being wouldn't be when faced with stupidity of immense proportions???

We WILL be filing a report against him with licensing boards as well as the AMA, if appropriate.

My husband has been stressed to the nth degree, paranoia has become his constant companion as he lives in fear that Dr. Gagadam will harm him. It should not be that it takes a horrible "accident" and a malpractice suit to bring wrath down upon a physician!

We were outside for awhile this afternoon and heard others discussing Dr. Gagadam; from the sounds of the conversation it seemed that they did not care for the "good doctor" any more than we do. We have seen the looks on some nurses' faces when we discuss Dr. Gagadam and it appears that he already has a negative reputation. Our favorite nurse, Bethany, even mentioned that he is "weird" and that she cannot understand him most of the time because he makes no sense. Even the ENT, who either cannot or will not pronouce "Gagadam" correctly (calling him "Gagaman" instead) does not seem to like him very much.

Tomorrow, the ENT will remove the wick and, hopefully, be able to also remove whatever is hurting C.R.'s ear so much. After that, I'll be bringing him home whether Dr. Gagadam releases him or not. If need be, I'll sign him out AMA but he can't stay there any longer than absolutely necessary. Last night he had nightmares about Dr. Gagadam butchering him -- he would dream of his hand being cut off, or his head being sliced into and horrendous scars being left behind. He would wake up, trying to scream but no sound coming out. The fact that the medical community can cause this kind of abject fear is incomprehensible and unconscionable, as well as disgusting. Something MUST be done!

Monday, October 31, 2005

On Saturday, October 29, 2005, at approximately 2:00PM CST, I took my husband, C.R., to emergency room at Huguley Hospital in the Ft. Worth/Burleson area. He'd had an ear infection for the past 5 days or so, had even been to the Huguley ER two days prior when they placed a wick in his ear to facilitate receipt of ear drops the ER physician prescribed for him.

They removed the wick, started an IV with antibiotics and gave him morphine for the extreme pain. They also took blood samples to send off for testing; they said they would be checking for a staph infection as well as possible septicemia.

After spending several hours in the ER, C.R. was admitted to the hospital at about 9:00 PM CST. The IV was continued and he was approved to get a dose of morphine once per hour.

We had an absolutely excellent nurse that night; her name is Bethany. She is without a doubt the most capable person we have encountered at Huguley Hospital, as well as being very proactive, nice, sweet, helpful and just an all-around great nurse.

It was Sunday night, fairly late in the evening, before a doctor -- Dr. Dayaker Gagadam, a pulmonary specialist (WHAT???) -- came to see my husband. The very first thing this doctor did when he walked into the room was say, without even looking at me, "You are the mother, yes?"

NO!

After C.R. blew up on this "doctor," he said, for the first of several times, "Oh, I wasn't paying attention." Of all people, shouldn't doctors pay attention??? Not to mention that he never apologized for anything...

Dr. Gagadam is a complete idiot -- he started out by asking stupid questions ("Have you ever been sick before?" is one example) and not listening to the answers. I commented at one point, "Wow, for a doctor you sure aren't very 'with it' are you?" His reply? "Yes, you are right." He did not look at C.R.'s chart because, according to him, charts are inaccurate because people (read nurses and ER personnel) don't enter all the necessary data. He didn't even examine C.R.'s ear!

We are trying to get another doctor but have met with resistance at every turn. We were basically told that if we want another MD, we have to find one ourselves. Well, I made several calls this afternoon but without insurance no other doctor will see C.R.! We've faced nothing but BS since this began. I've started this blog with the intention of going to all the local media outlets, as well as CNN's Sanjay Gupta, with this information.

We started out on Sunday night by asking the on-duty nurse (Bethany) if we could get a different doctor. She said she would have to put in a request to Social Services and that someone from that office would visit us in the morning to let us know what needed to be done. We were told, when the girl from Social Services arrived at about 10:00 AM Monday morning, that we would have to find our own physician. We asked for her supervisor and later that day were visited by the charge nurse, LaCheryl, who ended up giving me a book that (supposedly) lists all Huguley Hospital doctors and telling me that yes, indeed, we would have to find our own alternate physician as they could do absolutely nothing. She told me we'd need an Internist, so I started calling the Internists listed.

The first number on the list was no longer in service. The next doctor didn't practice at Huguley anymore. The third call took me to voice mail, the fourth put me in touch with a doctor who refused to see C.R. The next number didn't work (again with that!); after that came a number for a doctor alright, but not the one listed in the directory. Then more voice mail, more non-working numbers, including one that went to a residence where the young woman was completely perplexed why her number was associated with a doctor.

I finally reached an office manager for a listed doctor who no longer sees individual patients, but advised that I report the charge nurse to Huguley's administration and call Tammy Whitley in Patient Finances. There was no answer from Tammy nor from her supervisor or anyone in the department. (However, a couple of hours later a man from Patient Finances showed up to speak with me regarding the bill already at almost $7k. . . )

I was also advised to report the charge nurse to hospital administration, so I called the number I was given and made the report. The woman in administration whom I spoke with, Linda, informed me that it is a national policy that hospitals do not refer patients to other doctors due to the fact the hospitals do not actually employ doctors; they feel it would be a political nightmare to do so regardless of the reason another physician might be requested. She told me that the only person who could change my husband's attending doctor was the ER physician who admitted him.

I called ER and spoke with Megan, who informed me that the doctor who had admitted my husband (Dr. Osborn) was not in but that she would do what she could to help and would call me back. When she returned my call, she said she had not been able to find out anything other than the fact that this matter was out of Dr. Osborn's hands. She put me on hold for a moment, and her supervisor got on the phone. Her supervisor seemed very angry with the situation and assured me that she would do whatever she could, then call me back.

When she did call back, she let me know that she had spoken with the 5th floor (the floor where my husband's hospital room is) nurses, who had been very amenable to encouraging Dr. Gagadam to transfer my husband's care to an ear/nose/throat specialist. She told me there was nothing else that could be done, but took extra care to ensure that I knew that if necessary, I could check C.R. out of the hospital AMA (against medical advice), then return to the ER in hopes of having another doctor assigned to his case.

We still do not know what is wrong with C.R., how serious it is or how long he will be ill.

C.R. is absolutely terrified of this doctor, and of the nurse on duty tonight as she seems to be the only one we've spoken with who defends this medical moron; she has already treated him like crap because of our complaints, jerking his IV around and apparently giving him a lower dose of morphine than he should have had. He cannot sleep and when I'm not there, he's absolutely petrified that he'll be so out of it due to the pain and meds that he won't be able to fight back should something happen. And this "doctor" alluded to perhaps going inside C.R.'s head to cut out the infection, something that no other doctor has mentioned!

I will NOT entrust my husband's health care -- his very LIFE -- to a moron who admits that he does not pay attention and acts as if he is either very, very mentally slow or very, very stoned.

I have always been told that as Americans, we are participants in our own health care and that we should never settle for treatment or doctors that we do not trust. Apparently this is not always so. . . my husband and I have been given dirty looks, "smarted off" to, and treated like dirt for trying to get a physician whom my husband is comfortable with. It seems that if you don't have top-notch, A-1 insurance, you cannot get anything more than that which you are given -- crappy, inadequate care from bottom-tier doctors.