Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Ash Wednesday

With this being the first day of lent, this day already has a type of reflective flavor. But, for me, it's an especially reflective day. I remember it like it was yesterday.

It was the day that the above movie opened, and it was on Ash Wednesday. I was looking forward to seeing The Passion, and then, that afternoon, I received a letter. It was a letter from an attorney. It was a letter requesting medical records regarding a case that I was involved with 12 months prior.

It was a letter which sometimes starts the process which ends up in a court room. The accusation? Malpractice... Beginning that day, I could not sleep for months as that case went through my head again and again. I learned more about the legal system than I ever wanted to know.

Of course, I cannot talk about the particulars because of patient privacy laws. But, suffice to say that this day changed my professional and personal life forever. So, that's why Ash Wednesday is especially reflective for me....


~*SilverNeurotic*~ said...

Sorry Ash Wednesday now has such a negative connotation for you from now on. I mean, granted, it's not suppose to be a "happy" time for sure...but dealing with something like that is pretty terrible. But you made it through to the other side, and in the long run, that's the important thing.

The Curmudgeon said...

A long comment I just now tried to leave disappeared into the ether.... I'll try again:

Is this case over yet, Doc? If it isn't, I agree you really can't talk about it.

But if it is over... I'd be very interested in hearing about it from your point of view. You wouldn't use actual names anyway.

I think it could make for some very interesting discussion.

I'll check back when I can to see if you decide to follow up on this.

Medium said...

I disagree with curmudgeon, you shouldn't talk about it here. Regardless if it's over or not. Just as you began this blogging anonymously, it is out of respect that you keep the anonymity for as long as you can. Now many people know who you are dr.A. but look at it this way, if you share with us here on the blog what the issue was, it may AGAIN later in life come and hunt you even more.
My advice keep it to yourself. Know that if there is an educational point to this case, people will know about that as it comes along.

In my practice I keep everything to myself. If there is a moment I think is worthy of talking about on my blog, it is because it shows a very unique twist to my experiences. I would never ever reveal anything personal. If it does happen, names are changed, as are circumstances. That said, I'd never be sued in my profession.

I've gone through horrendous experiences that have changed my life forever. There are a couple of dates in my head I remember. But I always look at all the positives even though it's hard, and I hold on to that. One day you'll see why you went through it last year.

Best of luck with your case if it's not over yet.

jmb said...

An experience I'm sure you'll never forget, even if it came (or comes) out your way. The stress, let alone the expense, must be awful.

Mother Jones RN said...

Hi Doc A.

Being accused of malpractice is stressful. I've seen it happen to some of my favorite docs over the years and it's rough to watch. I can only imagine what it's like to be the one going through the experience. Sorry.


Cathy said...

I'm sorry you have had to go through this.

radioactive girl said...

I actually chose my gynecologist despite the fact that he had recently been sued. He is extra careful (as he always had been) and is one of the best doctors I have ever been to. It must be very stressful to be sued (and that may be one of the dumbest things I have ever typed because of course it is stressful!)

Anonymous said...

The date that stands out in my head is December 15, 2001. That is the day that a distracted doctor didn't have his head in the game and paralysed my teenaged daughter during surgery. Yeah, I know he's only human - but bringing suit was the only way I could assure my daughter would have the resources to pay for her own meds, therapy, and health care for the rest of her life. It was our only option.

Anonymous said...

I am sorry you had to/am going through this.

Curious, did you ever get to see the movie?

Do you celebrate Lent as a part of this season and if so would be curious what significance it has to you. Muddy

Anonymous said...

I am currently recovering from a simple surgery that turned into two near death experiences because of doctor error. All who have heard my story have thought I should sue. My Dr. was in every morning and evening during my 10 day hospital stay and called daily on my return home. I know she is remorseful. She has told me, with eyes tearing, of her sleepless nights because of what she had done. But while she slept in her own bed and was able to be home, I lay in a hospital bed in major pain, unable to think or focus because of drugs and weakness from blood loss and constant worry about my 17 yr old daughter home alone dealing with her own anxiety and depression. I have not contacted a lawyer yet. This is an excruciating decision for me despite what I've been through. What may be my motivating factor is that I don't want this to happen to someone else. Despite my Dr's regret, she mis-handled all the warning signs that I was in crisis in the recovery room until a nurse and the anesthesiologist were screaming at her.
In this litigation society I have had very little pity for the party bringing a lawsuit. Now I understand that each side has their own agony to go through.
I certainly wish my Dr. all the best as a person. I do care for her. But I am very concerned about her decisions for her patients at this time. Unfortunately how can sueing someone not be personal? It seems a personal attack on them and I wish it were otherwise.
You say you went through a personal and professional change. I hope in the end they are changes for the better. Sometimes we are on the wrong path in life and we need to be derailed in order to find the correct one.
I wish you all the best.