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What to do now?

Posted by CR 
CR
What to do now?
December 06, 2004 12:13PM
Having more or less recovered from awful surgery and removal of sigmoid colon, during which the surgeon cut a ureter in error and had to call in a urologist to reimplant it (take a breath here), it has been discovered that my left kidney was damaged during the surgery, and part of it has ceased to work and is dying. Apart from feeling hysterical about another bit of me being unwell, feeling out of control and traumatised, I also feel that I should have some answers. The urologist related to me as if I were a lump of wood with no feelings, who should be an expert in reading xrays.I couldn't think of questions to ask, but can now. Who thinks I should put the questions in writing and ask for answers in writing? A friend has mentioned contacting the Health and Disability Commissioner, but am unsure how he/she could help. Can anyone out there give me some support. Yours in despair - CR
Ang
Re: What to do now?
December 06, 2004 07:11PM
Hi CR,

wow, so sorry to read about that. You definately have to go over the heads that should roll. Perhaps your family doctor or hospital chaplain could steer you in the right direction as well as whom your friend suggests. I'm afraid I don't know, but surely that would be a start to finding the correct channel to take action. Make sure you have everything written down and your progress after the fact. Meanwhile, just take one day at a time and don't forget to put yourself first smiling smiley
Raewyn G
Re: What to do now?
December 06, 2004 07:13PM
YES YES YES!!! You definetly need to get this in writing. I am sure some informed person on this site will be able to direct you in the right way of handling this traumatic mess up.
I can sence your anger and quite right, I'd be blinken furious too. Direct your anger and grief positively and if you have no luck, contact your MP for directions on the correct proceedure for laying an official complaint.
Please CR keep us posted with your progress.
Wishing you all the very best
With caring thoughts,
Raewyn
Bev
Re: What to do now?
December 06, 2004 07:18PM
What a terrible time you have been having, I would definately be instisting on some answers, unfortunately whether you get them or not is a different matter. Some of these specialists seem to be a law unto themselves and their "bedside" manner leaves a lot to be desired. I would keep pushing for answers though and do not give up. I recently flew to Sydney to seek a second opinion on a spinal problem and came away fully informed (although not good news) about what is going on with my spine. I spent 2 hours with the specialist in Sydney rather than the 5 minutes I was getting here and that is in the private heath sector!!
I know it is a terrible time for you and remember you have lots of support from your Foodlover "family".
Take care
Bevsmiling smiley
Re: What to do now?
December 06, 2004 07:36PM
Sorry, no advice, but I think its absolutely disguisting that you can't get the answers which you so rightly deserve. My Dad has been in and out of hospital for the past few months. Finally got some answers to his angina, but it was a long and slow progress. Made more stressful by the Dr's suggestion that we just call 111 if we're concerned. sad smiley Our daughter (9yrs) has had two operations on her ears, privately this year, as we weren't prepared to wait the 4-5yrs on the public waiting list.

The whole public health system here is in need of a major revamp. I'm sure there are many others who have had personal experiences, which haven't been the best. Sorry, I've stop my moaning now.

I really hope you can get some answers, and wishing you a speedy recovery.



Linda.
Re: What to do now?
December 06, 2004 08:16PM
CR,

Below I have copied and pasted what I said in reply on another thread to someone who had also experienced cavalier treatment from health professionals - the person did not reply so I don't know if she has pursued the matter!

.............copy...............

I wonder if you know that you have rights for complaint in cases like this via the Health and Disability Commisioner - you would need to contact your local Health and Disability Advocate in the first instance [www.hdc.org.nz].

............end....................

I have just rechecked the site and realised that one is a bit difficult to access - here is the much easier one [www.hdc.org.nz] - there is a menu on the right which contains all the information you need and should have an 0800 number under 'Advocacy' via which you can contact the Health Advocate in your area initially. I feel it's well worth at least having a chat to an advocate.
and your options should be made much clearer!

Sounds like you have had a very bad time and someone should be held accountable!

Good luck !

Renée
Re: What to do now?
December 06, 2004 08:22PM
PS: should have added that if you type Health Commisioner New Zealand into Google search you will be able to access other sites too - including one by 'Consumer' which is not encouraging but well worth reading!!!
Lyn
Re: What to do now?
December 06, 2004 09:11PM
Gosh I can't believe what you have gone through doesn't give you much faith does it? But...for one person there must be dozens whoa re excellent. The only advice I know of is ACC do have a medical misadventure part in their system who will investigate try them worth it.
Re: What to do now?
December 06, 2004 09:32PM
So very sorry you are having such a difficult time.
Yes, I agree, definitely have everything in writing - you will then have it to refer to when/if necessary in the future.
The above advice seems excellent, but if you still have problems getting help, especially at a time when you are so naturally upset, maybe a friendly practice nurse or pharmicist may be able to point you in the right direction.
Although I worked for many, many years in the medical field, sadly, I really would only trust a few Drs. A private specialist in Auckland pressured me to have a surgical procedure after an investigation procedure. We were just about to move, and somehow, I didn't think it felt "right", so didn't go ahead. I have since been to a specialist here, and he got a copy of the CD made of the investigation, and told me, ( and showed me the CD picture) that it wasn't as bad as I had been told, and I didn't need to have anything done . He had it checked by a couple of other specialists as his opinion was different to the Auckland spec. and they all agreed. I was very relieved I hadn't gone ahead.
I know how upset you must be feeling, but I hope you will have the strength to get advice and the help you need.
Take care,
Heather

Re: What to do now?
December 07, 2004 06:33AM
Hi CR, I feel for you and the situation you are in, but if you feel you are in the right frame of mind and well enough to do something about this then go for it.

Keeping a special file with all the information you have and diary notes would be a start. ACC would certainly be the first avenue I would look to and I would suggest you also contact your local MP for further direction - that is what they are there for. Perhaps you could make contact with the Minister of Health, Annette King and also the Opposition Minister of Health, Judith Collins, who incidentally I have heard great things about.

I hope you find the strength and motivation to empower you to take this further. All the very best.

Regards
Linda N
Re: What to do now?
December 07, 2004 08:35AM
Firstly take a deep breath, calm down and be thankful you are alive and things could be worse.
Whilst the loss of a kidney is not acceptable the brighter side is that you can live very comfortably with one kidney with no ill effects. You need to establish how the kidney was dmg or was this going to be a side effect. Was it really dmg during surgery or were there signs beforehand that it was not functioning properly.
Secondly we are all human beings. How often have we made a mistake at work? Surgeons are human and I guess probably through overwork they get tired and do something in error. Unfortunately there job is fixing other humans up and we expect them to be perfect (Are we all perfect). He did rectify the situation and if there is no lasting side effects is it worth all your stress.
I suggest you make an appt with the specialist and take someone along with you for support. Just go to the appt in a calm manner and listen carefully to what he says. If you are not satisfied then take a step further.
CR
Re: What to do now?
December 08, 2004 01:20AM
My thanks to those of you who have replied in a supportive, non-judgemental manner. I have taken the advice of my GP who feels I should have answers to my questions, in writing, and I have written to the urologist, and made an appointment to see the surgeon again. I shall get an advocate, too, as I feel very worn down by all the illness and psychological trauma. I'm not up to doing this alone. My thanks again. CR
Re: What to do now?
December 08, 2004 09:01AM
So glad you have taken the appropriate steps CR! And the support of your doctor is invaluable - I believe that not all GP's would offer that!!!

I think sometimes we feel powerless and can't see that we have choices or options and then we feel emotionally traumatised.

It's good to see that the really caring people on this forum have made suggestions that maybe also allowed you to see you had choices.

Sincere good luck - and perhaps one day you'll feel up to letting us all know what progress you are achieving.smiling smiley

Renée

Re: What to do now?
December 08, 2004 10:29AM
Your story is sad and unfortunately you are not alone!
I think it is important that you follow it through to some conclusion - for your own benefit and also so the people involved are held accountable.
Good luck and do let us know!
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