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I would love to see a system where the patient came first. As a healthcare user, I would love for someone to take the time to explain to me exactly what my options are...but most of the time the medical professionals and their supporting staff are just too busy to be bothered...I cannot count the number of times that I felt as if I was an inconvience that had to be tolerated.

A few years ago, I had was done tumor removed, radiation began..all of this, from diagnosis to radiation happened in the course of a few days. While beginning radiation it was noted that I had not had a chest xray. Yep, went through surgery with no chest xray. So, one was ordered.

It was noted that there was something abnormal in my chest cavity. So a biopsy was ordered. I am sent to a world famous Thoratic surgeon...and his partner was a world famous heart surgeon...well, I am impressed...but good lord, I am in for a biopsy...kind of like overkill to me.

So anyway, he decides that due to my size (6'10") that he will just go right ahead and open up my chest cavity and remove the abnormality....I disagreed. I wanted to attempt the less invasive methods first.

So, day of surgery comes...out comes the consent form and guess what...they want me to consent to thoratic surgery...I say No that is not what I agreed to....

Surgery was scheduled at 8:30 am. So back the nurse goes....comes back and says doctor is I sit.

At 3:30pm they come back with a consent form that lists out what we agreed to first this, second that, and then thoratic surgery last.

I sign it and at 4:30pm I am finally wheeled toward the operating they medicate me the attending nurse informs me, while I am on the gurney that the Doctor has decided to go with Thoratic surgery.

Well, I could not roll off the cart due to the meds.

I woke up at 2am in intensive care on a respirator tied down with a huge gash running down the center of my lungs had collapsed in surgery...not quite how I expected to be after going in for an outpatient biopsy.

The surgeon never once bother to come see me...I was released by one of his assistants, without ever receiving an answer as to why and what...and when I asked for an antiboitic I was told just to use soap and water...well a few weeks later I was back, wound had to be reopened due to the fact that infection had set in deep inside the wound.

Oh yes, did I tell you that this doctor performs 260 thoratics surgeries a year and that people fly from around the world to be treated by him and his partner...

Let me add...the abnormality was a smudge on the xray.

As I sat there recovering all I wanted to know is why wasn't I important enough to all these healthcare professionals to at least warrant an explanation.

Did I see an attorney you bet...I had the consent form. Did the attorney tell me I had an open and shut case...yes he did....but he also informed me that I would be suing someone who "saved" people and that I would need lots of professional witnesses and the case would take between 3 to 5 years but that I would win. He then asked me, as I was 27 at the time...if I wanted to spend the next 3 to 5 years of my life going to court....

No, all I wanted was an explanation...all I wanted was to see the surgeon face to face and have him explain to me what happened and why he did not respect my intelligence enough to follow my wishes...

So, my attorney got the meeting scheduled...I got my explanation and an apology. Found out that he had prescribed an antiboitic and had recommended soap and water...but his assistant hadn't got the notes I told him that he had to eat the cost of reopening the chest cavity due to the infection...and he did.

We shook hands....and I believe for a while he was a little less egotistical and so sure of himself...and I hope that benfited others.

Sorry, if I do not believe that free market will solve most of the problems inherent in healthcare and healthcare providers....


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