Thursday’s Epiphany: I got lousy healthcare Day 4

Photo by Fakurian Design on Unsplash

Such an epiphany to finally understand and appreciate consistency. When things are inconsistent, they’re unpredictable, and that can cause angst.
My baseline inconsistency took on a new flavor after traumatic brain injury (TBI).

I became chaotic. My attention, focus, memory, and organization shot after TBI. For five years following the head injury, my diagnosis was abnormal behavior. My old PCP didn’t do her job in overseeing my care. Like Tufts Medical Center, she never gave thought to the triad of new-onset HTN, head injury, and abnormal behavior to make the diagnosis. Although it was a classic presentation of brain injury, the doctors were satisfied with portraying me as an angry black woman. That became my diagnosis.

My PCP didn’t care, and neither did most of the doctors I saw during the five years before a diagnosis. They were not worried about malpractice because, in Massachusetts, the system is so corrupt they knew I would not get a lawyer and no oversight agency would care. I believe it pleased them greatly when they harm people like me. The entire system works together to accomplish this feat while making the public think they’re concerned about people like me.

They sought to sabotage my health. I will never forget having a stroke 60 days after a head injury because my new-onset HTN was ignored, and the medications that caused me to pass out were continued. At the PCP’s office, my blood pressure was about 160/110. The PCP remarked that’s no big deal. She was not going to treat it despite me just having a stroke. I had to insist, and even then, she claimed I had a history as if a history of HTN negated treatment. We went through the chart, and there was no history of HTN. At which point, she made me the doctor in deciding what antihypertensive medication to take. I, the head injury patient with abnormal behavior, was charged with making that decision. That is how seriously she took my hypertension.

I have never had consistent or good healthcare, and I reside in the healthcare Mecca of the world, Massachusetts.

My blackness prevented me from accessing good healthcare for my family and me but did not prevent me from working to save their lives.

Author

  • Angela Grant is a medical doctor. For 22 years, she practiced emergency medicine and internal medicine. She studied for one year at Harvard T. H Chan School Of Public Health. She writes about culture, race, and health.

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