Tuesday’s Fear: Was I Branded At Tufts Medical Center? Day 9

In the back of my mind, when the Tufts surgeons operated on my face, they put a zipper contraption in place to reduce the dislocation and facial fractures. However, radiologic images of my face usually make maxillofacial surgeons gasps in wonder at the surgical hardware used.

The other day I was looking at pictures of contraptions used on slaves. My thoughts settled on the zippered contraption in my face. There were similarities. What’s in my face is not as harsh looking and has a partially opened zipper.

Whatever hardware they put in my face was not standard. On x-ray, it looked like a chattel mask of obedience on my face. I recall the attending surgeon did not think it worth his time to see me before the surgery. I had to insist. I needed to know that at least a real surgeon would be overseeing the surgery. It was clear the residents in training did the work.

The operating room nurses were upset that I was in the ED at Tufts for almost 17 hours and never got an EKG.

Did the surgeons make fun of me by putting a chattel-like contraption in my face? Did they experiment on my face with that zippered contraption? On facial x-ray, I look like a chattel slave.

It is infuriating attempting to get my medical records from Tufts Medical Center. The first time they sent me a redacted medical chart with all the caregivers’ names blacked out. It took years to realize that was not right. On requesting another medical chart, it took months of repeated requests and phone calls before I got a chart that was not redacted, and guess what? It was at least five times the volume of the initially sent medical chart.


Author: Angela Grant

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.

8 thoughts on “Tuesday’s Fear: Was I Branded At Tufts Medical Center? Day 9

  1. Please give us the words you used to get the nonredacted records. Mine, previously, have been “thinned” and not until I came upon a lawsuit in another state many many many years later did I learn specific words I must say to get to see very very specific details in my situation about a very very specific scenario. Unfortunately, those words don’t work in any other setting. I made the mistake of telling Spaulding Rehab the truth, assuming that the #2 treatment facility for the brain in the world, could and would appreciate all that my poor noggin had been through, at the hands of even abusive physicians. I shouldn’t have. For that began a new level of blacklisting and patient profiling which would insure I’d never been seen or treated with any ounce of dignity at their facilities….or, they’d fool me for a time, to abruptly abandon and pull the rug out…just as symptoms manifest at an all-time high, like nothing in my past. Cognitive issues soon became touted as “noncompliance” for impossible expectations and I wasn’t “actively listening” …no room for the truth, like covid symptoms not allowing me to make an appearance. No measure of grace. No shred of compassion. Treated like a liar, no matter the truth. Here’s the way I feel about things now : if I’m nuts, and they aren’t? That’s a hellalot of insurance fraud on THEIR behalf. Either way I shake it…I can’t see them without liabilities…never mind the trampling on my civil rights, given disability is a protected class…..and last I checked, even somatic disorders count under disabling conditions. Again, any way I shake it, what’s their excuse? Branding patients as nuts with brain injury has GOT to be somewhere in the oldest tricks in the book…..after page 1 of “do no harm”. The one time the commonwealth even touched an orefice thus far with my mouth? Primitive. At best. And here I thought they’d reserved the archaic methods just for domestic violence victims …..ahhh, MA, I stand corrected. It seems a sport, not a practice, We are the balls.
    I’m sorry for what you have been through. What’s happened to me thus far here pales in comparison. The branding resonated with me, from your chronicle above….though my story is quite different. The shunning the same, and the toll on the psych…the loss of things there are perhaps no words for? Equally resounding, as I read your other posts this morning. These should be actionable charges. Where is the justice? I couldn’t help but be reminded of Dr. Death podcast episodes when I read your words this morning…and the reality of those true tales and despicable practitioners all over this country. May we find peace…..and in the interim, be granted to read our own truth, on our own records, albeit through tear-stained pages.

    1. Hi Deanna. You need no special words to obtain your medical records. By law, you have the right to your entire medical records. Tufts Medical Center sending me a redacted chart was illegal. When I complained to HHS they were unconcerned. I was asked if I did eventually receive the record. It was some 2-3 years later, and they were not interested in that fact. They did a fake investigation where they believed every lie from Tufts Medical Center despite contradictory evidence in the medical chart. That is one way Massachusetts covered up its medical errors. Agencies created to support patients are headed by hospital administrators with conflict of interests who protect a system that does plenty of harm to patients like me and you.

  2. I’d like to know from my readers if I am boring you by writing about the challenges I face post -TBI. One feedback was that more people would read my post if it wasn’t about me. How can I write a story about horrific events that happened to me and leave me out of the story?

    1. I have some thoughts on this someone said to me once…but easier to say than to type. We should talk on phone some time soon. To me, people reading the posts is totally separate from sharing your story …
      Or maybe , better said, not necessarily related ? Again, I can explain via phone better lol

      But no, you ain’t boring me 😆😆😆 …clearly. But I know what you are getting at….these types of things I have come across myself. I have some thoughts to share may help …but to me, the more authentic the better…real resonates with real. For me, when it’s my stuff, for whatever reason, I tell it a whole nother way than when it’s someone else’s ….and also for me , I can lose people bc it’s SO personal and every detail monumental to me. You don’t do that …which is why I think you write so well, Succinct is a GIFT post-TBI…and difficult, applaud thyself! Finding your tribe or, rather, having them fine you, may be a different matter entirely 🙂 How much your fellow TBI tribe reads? Another matter ….but they ain’t the only ones likely to read it. And this is all my opinion, which is not the gospel, of course.

      1. Hi Deanna, thank you for your feedback. It made me feel better, and I appreciate it. When I write from the heart, I don’t know how I come across sometimes. It will be worthwhile to work on the titles. I am lousy at that. I am hoping my tribe finds me.

        Yes, Let’s chat on the phone.

  3. I am telling parts of a story hoping that it will land where something can be done to prevent others from experiencing the same and help me seek justice for the harm intentionally inflicted on me by Tufts Medical Center and others.

    1. Girl, I am grateful. Why? I called Tufts LAST WEEK! I promise I’m grateful if I can avoid the Dr. Deaths around here. Did I say Thank You yet? Am.

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