March 10, 2011

Doctors Who Feel Your Pain Heal More Patients

Doctors Who Feel Your Pain Heal More Patients

This is a subject that causes my blood to start percolating. Fourteen years after the fact I still look back and my blood turns cold. I had just retired from the work-a-day world, and was feeling great, that is except for a little back pain. I went to the doctor and he took x-rays and prescribed some pain pills. I returned for a follow-up and the doctor took another x-ray, then asked me to walk for him. I did. He did not like the way I walked, and looked at the x-ray once again. He sat me down, and said he had no good way to tell me this, but I had multiple myloma and it was fatal. He asked for an interview with my wife. At the interview, he questioned our glum attitudes saying, "why so glum? I had two years to live. On the strength of one x-ray he diagnosed me as having a fatal disease. To make a long story short, they put me through three weeks of tests until they finally did a biopsy. It turned out I had disease of the hip and it was a mess. The x-rays had shown that part of my anatomy as a black area and the doctor had concluded it was a malignant cancer. It turned out it was a missed diagnoses and I am still here, but the cavalier and unfeeling way he treated me and my wife I still find unconscionable. He did the right things, but in a cold uncaring way that scalded those days on my memory. I still get chills thinking of it. It would not have changed anything in the final outcome, but a few kind words at that moment would have made what followed much easier to take. I understand that doctors cannot become personally involved in all their patients lives and still maintain some objectivity, but ice cold indifference is unacceptable.

1 comment:

Hazel said...

Dear Lord yes, both our lives (we thought)were ending with that fateful news! The memory still causes me to weep.
Love you,