Angela Grant BL  Failure to Listen


My Medical Journal

Here, I will share my experiences with you as I see them, from my perspective—objective and subjective. I intend to keep on top of my medical problems, which seem headed in the wrong direction. My fear is a diagnosis of ALS; for some reason, I am not fearful of cancer… Why? Something is not right with my body, and my blood pressure is always the first to know.

I waited 2-3 months for this appointment, and this is the one appointment I wish I had missed. However, I did stumble upon the physician in charge on my way to the appointment. I want the opportunity to talk to him, not to complain, because I think the system is excellent.

Do you know why the resident thought of hysteria and ignored his exam (I am curious to see the documentation)? My father committed suicide, and my husband committed suicide; this resident presumed I must, therefore, have a severe mental illness: severe depression and PTSD. Do you see the problem here? This neurology resident had no clue what was going on because my symptoms were in his textbook. Rather than admit as such, he told me my symptoms were emotional and in my head. His attending an old white male believed him without an exam until I questioned the diagnosis, the attending then begrudging did his job and examined only my foot.

This neurology fellow told the attending my exam was normal despite that not being the case. His attending believed him and was not going to examine me but instead wrote a script for hardcore psychiatric meds. The fellow was not very smart, and neither was the attending. They both told me a lumbar MRI could not be ordered or nerve conduction studies because they would not know what to do with the results. Those words came from a Massachusetts General Hospital attending and fellow.

I kept thinking that fellow will be among the 20% of physicians responsible for most wrongful death lawsuits and his MGH attending was the perfect one to train him for this future.

The fellow must have read Tufts Medical Center medical records as he kept talking about my motive and how the mind worked. I was at a lost for words and a good thing too. Neither bothered to get  the discharge summary of my recent hospitalization in NH, a week ago  to find out I needed: a MRI of my lumbar spine; a contrast MRI of my cervical spine, a possible lumbar puncture, an EMG/nerve conduction studies, and neuropsychological testing if they thought hysteria was the reason for a foot drop.

Never again will I allow myself to be evaluated by anyone in training and neither should any of you, particularly, if you are ill. You have a choice! I am tired of being nice.

The above was not meant to embarrass this resident; instead, I hope he reads this and learns not to let his prejudices (biases) interfere with his judgment. I am not calling him a racist, just someone who needs a lot more training and more supervision.

How many white male doctors diagnosed with hysteria?

I expressed my concern about the care through the proper channel and about a week later saw a neurologist who specialized in peripheral neuropathy. Using EMG/nerve conduction studies, I was diagnosed with peroneal palsy. After several months strength returned to my foot and I could once again walk without a brace.

Medical Journal: Video of my Foot Exam | Entry Two

My Medical Journal: Interval Exam | MRI today | Entry 3