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  1. #1

    Dealing with a medical error that almost killed me!

    April 16, 2004 I went into the hospital for a Laporoscopy. The surgeon nicked my bowel. Admitted to me and my husband that he had hit the bowel but said he only bruised it and I would experience some swelling and bruising so I was sent home. So the next day when the swelling and bruising started I wasn't concerned, but then I started getting really weak and couldn't eat or drink I was just managing little sips of water. This occured on a weekend. by Tuesday I was in bad shape so my husband called the surgeon and he said to bring me into his office and when I got there I was ushered in to back. I was so swollen I was holding my stomache up! A lady in his office commented that I must be in labour! The surgeon was and OB/GYN. He examined me and gave me a prescription for Tylonel 3 and an antibiotic plus he marked the bruising on my stomache and told my husband if the blackness goes above the pen mark take me to the emerg and sent me home. The next day I was weaker still and I said to my husband I have to go to the hospital I feel like the life is draining out of me!(Didn't know at the time it was)So he called 911 and just by stroke of luck and the good Lord my local hospital was on redirect and I was sent to another town and there began my whirl wind! The ER doctor could not beleive that a surgeon had seen me less than 24 hrs earlier and sent me home. To make a very long story short. My bowel was severed and I was septic at this point and required life saving surgery! I ended up in critical care on a resperator and my family was told I might not survive and the next 48 hours were critical. I lost a portion of my abdomin and was hooked up to machine called a KCI Vac which heals your wound from the inside out because they could not close the wound it was 9 inches by 8 inches and 4 inches deep! I stayed in critical care for 3 weeks then was moved to a private room where I stayed for 6 weeks for a totoal of 9 weeks in hospital! I went through a living HELL! The dressing changes were so painful I was given Morphine and another drug I can't spell the word just to take the edge off. If you are not familar with the KCI vac its a sponge that is inserted into the would and then sealed with a plastic drape and there is a tube that connects to it and the tube is connected to the vac system which basically vacum seals the wound so when it was time for this to come out and be changed (everyday in the begining) it was very painful cause it would be stuck to the open wound. Then I developed a fistula in the bowel and it would drain bile sometimes when this started happenign I was taken of the vac and they had to use conventional dressing of packing and tape it, well there were days the bile would poor so bad my stomache would be burned and blistered! I had to wait 6 months before they could repair the fistula which meant I had to have home care and dressing changes everyday once I was released from hospital. So in November of 2004 I went to yet another hospital and had another bowel repair done and then I still had home care and dressing changes until the middle of January 2005. The pain and suffering I have went through this past year has been at times unbearable! I am left with a huge scar and a portion of my abdomin is still gone and I will require reconstructive surgery to remove the scaring and give me a belly button. I have always battled with my weight but now with this I cannot lose any weight at all. I am supposed to lose at least 40 lbs before my reconstructive surgery but I can't. Its only been this past month I will sleep next to my husband without any clothes on. Up untill then I couldn't even have sex with him without keeping my nightie on. He has been wonderful through this and supports me and tries to make me feel loved and tells me I am beautiful but I don't believe him because I have convinced myself that there is noway any man would want me or find me attractive with being overweight and having this deformatity. There is so much more to my story but it would takes days to tell it. I don't know where to turn or what to do. I tried going to see a Psychiatrist but I didn't feel comfortable. I have always been a very strong person and to me it was like admitting I couldn't cope. I never went back and have been trying to deal with this on my own. Is there anyone else who can relate to my story??

  2. #2

    Dealing with a medical error that almost killed me!

    My 2 cents: I would see a therapist, as well. In my experience, therapists are often easier to open up to than psychiatrists. The first visit may not be comfortable, but ensuing visits will usually get more comfortable. If you haven't already, I would also consult with a lawyer about suing the surgeon for malpractice.

    ...but I don't believe him because I have convinced myself that there is noway any man would want me or find me attractive with being overweight and having this deformatity.
    All that crap on TV and in magazines with morbidly thin women will do that. Most adult Americans are overweight and have very imperfect bodies. You may be helped by viewing the scarring as a symbol of strength and survival.
    "What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us." ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

  3. #3

    Dealing with a medical error that almost killed me!

    Thank you for your response. I have contacted a lawyer. I never really considered a therapist I went where my family doctor recommended. And I never thought to look at my scaring as a symbol of surviving. Its been one heck of a ride I can tell you that. I am going back to my home town next week to see my family for the first time since this happened. I live in Ontario but come from a differnt province. It will be an emotional time for me and alot of reliving the experience. I would really like to find someone who has been through a similar situation. My family has been great but its hard to get them to understand how I feel. Everyone just says well be thankful you are still here and don't dwell on it. But it's easy for them to say they have not lived through it and I cry whenever I see a medical show where someone is on a resperator!

  4. #4

    Dealing with a medical error that almost killed me!

    In addition to seeking legal advice re: compensation, you might want to file a formal complaint with the College of Physicians and Surgeons.

  5. #5

    Dealing with a medical error that almost killed me!

    I haven't done that yet. But wouldn't my lawyer do that?? I will ask him I never really thought about it I just automatically assumed that would be done.

  6. #6

    Dealing with a medical error that almost killed me!

    And I never thought to look at my scaring as a symbol of surviving.
    There is a theory in evolutionary psychology that large wound scars (such as from the body healing after animal attack) could have been a sexual attractor. The logic behind this is that such scarring would have been a good indication of someone having a healthy immune system:

    Marks of Mystery - PsychologyToday.com
    "What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us." ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

  7. #7

    Dealing with a medical error that almost killed me!

    And I never thought to look at my scaring as a symbol of surviving.
    There is a theory in evolutionary psychology that large wound scars (such as from the body healing after animal attack) could have been a sexual attractor. The logic behind this is that such scarring would have been a good indication of someone having a healthy immune system:

    Marks of Mystery - PsychologyToday.com
    "What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us." ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

  8. Dealing with a medical error that almost killed me!

    Your lawyer should be able to assist you in filing such a complaint. While I've never been through what you went through, in the course of my work I have dealt with others to whom similar things have happened. For the surgeon to have sent you home knowing full well there was a problem (and he DID know) was, in my opinion, tantamount to neglect. I'd be doing everything I could to have his liscense.

    The wound vac was placed because a septic abdomen cannot be closed like a normal surgical wound. That would lock the infection into the abdomenal cavity and cause more problems. The wound vacs are supposed to increase the efficiency of healing while drawing off the toxins. Sometimes, they work well. Other times, the good old fashioned way of doing things is the more effective way, as in your case.

    The scars are a badge of courage. You didn't create them, so you have no reason to be ashamed of them. They just show you were able to deal with a problem that would send many into a complete tailspin. Let them be a beacon of your strength and courage, hon.

    I do hope you get some therapy to help you come to terms with what happened to you and your feelings about it. That can only help you.

    Hugs, luv. I'm so very sorry you were victimized in this way. :o(

  9. Dealing with a medical error that almost killed me!

    Your lawyer should be able to assist you in filing such a complaint. While I've never been through what you went through, in the course of my work I have dealt with others to whom similar things have happened. For the surgeon to have sent you home knowing full well there was a problem (and he DID know) was, in my opinion, tantamount to neglect. I'd be doing everything I could to have his liscense.

    The wound vac was placed because a septic abdomen cannot be closed like a normal surgical wound. That would lock the infection into the abdomenal cavity and cause more problems. The wound vacs are supposed to increase the efficiency of healing while drawing off the toxins. Sometimes, they work well. Other times, the good old fashioned way of doing things is the more effective way, as in your case.

    The scars are a badge of courage. You didn't create them, so you have no reason to be ashamed of them. They just show you were able to deal with a problem that would send many into a complete tailspin. Let them be a beacon of your strength and courage, hon.

    I do hope you get some therapy to help you come to terms with what happened to you and your feelings about it. That can only help you.

    Hugs, luv. I'm so very sorry you were victimized in this way. :o(

  10. #10

    Dealing with a medical error that almost killed me!

    I haven't done that yet. But wouldn't my lawyer do that?? I will ask him I never really thought about it I just automatically assumed that would be done.
    No, or at least not necessarily. Your lawyer would represent you for any civil action for damages. A complaint to the College would be a request to investigate whether this physician should be censured, required to retrain, or have his license to practice suspended or cancelled.

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