I recently posted blogs about the “Chief Complaint,” which is the patient’s most important symptom. Another type of complaint is what the patients send in when they are unhappy with some element of their emergency department experience. The complaints that relate to the doctor are sent to the Medical Director of the emergency department. Since I was the Medical Director of our department for several years, I got to review quite a few of this type of complaint. Here is the longest one I ever received. I have reproduced it at closely as I could, changing things to protect the patient’s identity, of course. Please don’t feel like you need to read it all but it is a fascinating insight into one unfortunately patient’s situation.
10 June 2004
Re: Billing Account #XXXXXXX, SS# XXX_XX_XXXX Medicare
My aim was to never pay this account balance due and furthermore, the Federal Government Medicare system should be refunded for your charges.
Admitting Diagnosis – Principal Diagnosis 298.9 – psychosis NOS and Secondary Diagnosis 303.91 – alcohol dependence NOS
My aim was to retain an attorney and sue for elder abuse and misdiagnosed services I was given on 20 July 2001 and for the next 72 hours.
I contacted the State Bar of California to use their referral service – all law offices contacted stated the same message – that they do not file lawsuits against the County and State and this must leave you all free and clear to keep on abusing the elderly!
I am going to tell you the Hospital, the County, and the State right up front that one of the psychiatrists in the acute psychiatric ward, stated to me, my husband, and my daughter– “You should not be in here!” He was absolutely correct – his name, Dr N.
I primarily chose to go to the emergency care at the medical center for the following reasons: I was having a very bad allergic reaction to “something” for the past 20 days. I was having muscle contractions with stiffness and soreness. Pain in the stomach. I had an extreme metal taste in my mouth. I had been vomiting. I had diarrhea. I was dehydrated. I had an itchy red rash and hive bumps. My equilibrium was off balance. I was swollen all over my body. I was constantly belching a “mold like” smell and taste. My gums were bleeding and I could not eat properly. I had gone to another hospital for emergency care on 13 July 2001 (7 days prior.) I was given a referral to see an internist/allergist. I made an appointment, showed up – only to be told by the doctor, that she was not an allergist. This upset me. I just don’t understand why I wasn’t informed when I made the appointment! I left this office with the intentions of making an appointment with an allergy doctor I had seen in the past.
I began to feel much worse and I had to make another decision. I chose to go to the medical center to try and find the cause of the allergic reaction. Mold, mildew, gas smells, environmental pollution can and does cause a great deal of problems for me. Yeast infections are also a problem for me.
My son drove me to the medical center. He was not my choice to drive me there or represent me. He was my only ride! He did not know my health problems and why he was asked about my health problems by the doctor on duty, he accumulated some wrong information right up front!
I was never asked who my choice of a family representative was/is! It is/was my daughter. Reason – she never forgets what I tell her about my health! My husband is not my choice for a representative because he will listen to other people before he listens to what I have to say!
When I checked in at the emergency care desk, the desk clerk asked me what my problem was. I stated why I was there – I was having an allergic reaction to “something.” I “feel like” I had been poisoned. This woman asks who “I think poisoned me.” I told her, “Nobody, but that’s the way I feel!” I had been sipping on wine mixed with water earlier, as it relieved the belches and the itching and the bloody taste along with the metal taste in my mouth. I was not asked for any other symptoms – just go prepare to see the doctor on duty. I was actually prepared for a trip through hell! This female Asian doctor comes in to see me. She starts on me – – –
“You’ve been drinking? You’re drunk!” It made me very angry to be accused of being drunk. When I wasn’t. I told her to “get out of here” – that I didn’t want her taking care of me! They sent in another doctor. He did not apologize for the terrible bedside manner. I heard them asking every patient in the area to be examined – “Have you been drinking?” Why didn’t these doctors check my alcohol level before accusing me of being drunk? They would have found I wasn’t drunk!!
If that is your hospital policy about greeting people with – “Have you been drinking?” May I remind you that dinking alcohol is not against the law! You should post a sign that is noticeable in your waiting room that we ask “how much alcohol you have been drinking” even if drinking is not against the law. I won’t buy any explanation as to it helps you diagnose a person’s problems!
I was diagnosed with the two mentioned on page 1. I was put under arrest. I was thrown into your “Looney Bin” and it is a “Looney Bin.” I didn’t know why I had been thrown in? My gun rights were taken away and this police lady that came by and stated I was a danger to myself??? I don’t know who ordered the “drying out” pills that I was made to take. Strange, for someone who has never been drunk a day in my life – yes, I have drinks, but not to get drunk.
Next comes the pills to treat my “mental illness.” I tried to refuse these pills. No, there was no refusals available. I was threatened with a stay of an extra 9 months in some “holding place” and the head psychiatrist has one of his nurses shove a paper at me and ask me to sign it! I asked them (the head psychiatrist and at least four nurses) what the paper was about? It was a paper to give them (same people) the right to take away further rights and declare me unable, unstable, (whatever you want to call it!) of taking care of myself and they would have some county worker check in on me twice a week. I polled all the healthcare people present and they had to admit I didn’t have to sign the paper. I didn’t. But, I still had to deal with the threat of that 9-month “bonus.” I chose that “mental illness pill.”
It turned me into a near zombie. It made me sicker than ever. My pulse rate was extremely high. I couldn’t walk without running into the walls. “It was the wrong medicine” and this statement came from the psychiatrist. I went to see why these doctors at your hospital thought I had a “Mental Illness.” The pills they give me could not be tolerated. No further visits were needed.
It is scaring the living daylights out of me to get old and be treated in this way! That you can allow your doctors that represent your hospital, your county, your state, to use the judgment they declare to be correct – gained many many times by someone from a person’s family that is not the chosen representative. I learned later that your doctor that declared me to be arrested had caused a vengeance between my husband and me by telling my husband that I stated he had poisoned me. There was also written in my medical report that I was hooked on epinephrine, I had been stealing it to inject myself and I had something like 10 shots within the last 3 days. If these people – your doctors and nurses – make such claims, (I have no idea where they got such claims) they should have checked my body for justifiable proof. There was NO needle marks on me!
How in God’s World can anyone be sent to your “Looney Bin” and be cured of anything? When you are called, “You are coo coo head!” In my report: She has a persistent paranoia that she is infested with molds. She is delusional and preoccupied with mold. Her general appearance is loud and snapping. She drinks to get rid of mold. She is pre-occupied with her mother dying young from a “bee sting.” No, it was a flu injection! Where did they get all this crap? Is this the States, Counties and the State/County run hospital’s way of getting more money from the Federal Medicare system? I am reporting this mistreatment and abuse to the Federal Medicare System. We as human beings should be allowed a second opinion before we are abused and mistreated and thrown (arrested) into your Acute Psychiatric Ward. We should be asked who our choice of family representative is! We should be allowed legal advice before we have to sign any & there are many papers – often. We have had our rights taken away and without informing us older people that all the laws are on your side! You don’t need to ask or tell me when your doctors make a poor judgment! This stinks!
The temp help that came to our office to take my work area also came down with an allergic reaction. She was unable to drive herself to the hospital. I drove her. She was treated correctly! She was 22 years old. I am 68 years old! I now know the source for the allergic reactions was coming from the work place. I found it. Our office unit’s furnace room had uncovered water pipes that were leaking a steady drip into two large size plastic containers which was overflowing into wood. The wood was decaying and the plastic containers were full of green mold (I took pictures.) I had a building contractor and air conditioning –furnace contractor give me an opinion – – extensive changes had to be made and were made.
My workspace was first in line to get this poisonous rotten wood (also odor) and green mold spores (moldy odor.)
I called the State of California Environmental Department asking for information about the environmental condition. It is a poisonous situation and advise workers to use masks when cleaning and replacing the area, and the only real way to be rid of it is to remove and replace!
How could your hospital doctors and your staff declare the mold and poisonous situation was a figment of my imagination and diagnose me with the “Mental illness and a danger to myself” and Medicare (Federal system) is billed for this charge? This is wrong and should not happen to senior citizens! I can get a letter from the building contractor stating the situation he observed in the furnace room to our work place. I also learned that he has had to go for emergency treatment to the hospital for becoming overwhelmed by the poisonous spores wet/dry rot conditions.
I am not retired as my report states. I am not full supported by my husband as the report states. I am 50% owner of my husband’s business and I still do 50% of the work. I am of sound mind and body (still have allergies.) I had myself checked out for proof.
I am not an AARP member. I just don’t feel old enough and I do not have enough time to be a “good” member! But, I am for these members and their rights. We deserve to be treated better. The Federal Medicare system has got to quit wasting money for false diagnoses I call fraud! Medicare has got to start calling for second opinions if you people from the County and State of California can’t clean up your act of allowing older people to be abused by your system and doctors.
Every person arrested or declared mentally ill or both should be allowed a second opinion and legal advise for our own protection before being take by force to your “Looney Bin” and then asking our Medicare Federal System to pay this charge!
I want these people dismissed for abusing me – by false statements – getting wrong information through family members by causing vengeance and asking my driver for my health information then putting him (my son) down as a family member to contact. My adopted son had never been given that privilege. It’s apparent my privileges no longer mattered. I want my chosen family representative – everyone should be asked for their chosen family representative.
These persons should be dismissed from the medical center. Some names are not legible in the written report:
- The desk clerk (female) on duty for writing down the wrong information about the poison remark. Why would she misunderstand a statement?
- The first doctor (female) Asian that accused me of being drunk. Without proper testing.
- The other Asian doctor that took over after I didn’t want to be treated by the rude female doctor. I should have the right to refuse accusations when they are not true. This is the one that started the whole arrest process. He talked to my driver about my health (my adopted son.) He did not ask me if my driver had privilege to speak on my health issues. He didn’t and had never been given privileges! This doctor did not check me for injection marks. Yet accused me of having injections given to myself. I had no such marks! These doctors should not be working anywhere. No. I am not prejudiced toward Asians. I work with them and I like them as friends.
- AJ, MD. He had false information written in my medical report. He was using passed-on false information and misdiagnosing with this false information.
- The psychiatrist in charge of acute psychiatric ward. He has to go for sure. I was forced to take his prescribed pills for “drying” me out and “mental illness.” These pills made me very sick. I was forced with an extra long stay as already mentioned. I was detained for 72 hours against my will.
This doctor, his assistants (females) and your hospital handed me preprinted “rights” information and at the same time telling me what he had the power to do to me! Later, this doctor asked me to sign a paper stating I had “Anxiety.” I signed. His pills gave me anxiety. (It was really a very fast pulse rate.) I signed because I did not want that 9-month “bonus” of a hold on me. He wrote information in my health record that did not come from me the way I discussed/answered his questions. Example: What did your mother die from? I stated: flu injection. Which is correct. His report stated, – bee sting. Now, who in this world would want a doctor – especially a psychiatrist – to treat your brain for a “mental illness” that didn’t know a bee sting from a flu injection!
- I want my gun rights restored. I was surprised when a female police person came into my room and stated I had lost my gun rights – because – I was considered a danger to myself! I was so sick from the “pills,” I couldn’t even get my head off the pillow (I think, I had a pillow?) to give my protest! I needed legal advice. I don’t want my mind, body and soul taken over by the State of California!
Trackback from your site.