You have to be your own doctor!

22 Dec

I’m back to normal after my 7 days as a radio-active liver. But frustration builds upon frustration.
I was supposed to have chemo on Friday but my platelet levels were way, way down. Platelets affect blood-clotting and according to the Oncologist suggest I have been bleeding somewhere.

There are two possibilities: One is that I lost more blood than usual having the procedure in Auckland, or that I am bleeding internally.  I have gastritis and possible ulcerated stomach as a result of the the Auckland Hospital medics not prescribing the preventative medication I was supposed to be given on discharge. That is in spite of returning to the hospital because of stomach pain towards the end of my sojourn in Auckland.
I will not be too hard on the hospital staff. They are fallible mortals trying to do their best and they have the added stress of living in, and getting around Auckland.
The Christchurch Oncologist cannot understand how the oversight occurred as it is documented in the patient information sheet that prescription of this drug on discharge is part of preventing side-effects of the procedure.
In future I am going to be more diligent in researching proposed treatments for myself and running checklists. More than 75% of the procedures I have had so far have been accompanied by ‘medical misadventure’.


Posted by on 22 December, 2008 in Medical


2 Responses to You have to be your own doctor!

  1. annette pais

    23 December, 2008 at 10:56 am

    The New York Times compared the Institute of Medicine, rate of “errors” in U.S hospitals to 3 jumbo jets crashing every two days.”If the airlines killed that many people annually,public outrage would close them overnite”
    While i understand doug that we all at some time decide to be more diligent with our treatments etc,what about some medical accountability???

  2. John Roxborogh

    23 December, 2008 at 1:15 pm

    Agree totally you and someone close to you need to be your own doctor and nurse in terms of being up with what is going on (and in!) alongside trusting others.

    The www is both helpful and tricky – great for the instant expansion of vocab – but this is not a time to be testing the system for faults by not asking what is happening.

    I think it is possible to walk the line between being too pushy and being assertive about what is going on.

    Patients should not self-medicate in hospitals, but they and a primary carer should read the charts and double check what is being administered.

    This rings many bells. Peace.



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