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View Full Version : PSA and a bit of a rant about healthcare (sorry, long).



MunchkinsMom
Apr. 8, 2012, 03:30 PM
Just thought I would post this PSA about eye dilation drops and their possible side effects, and how we consumers have to be our own advocates in this mess of a healthcare system we have today.

3 weeks ago I went to the eye doctor for a routine exam. During the post dilation part, it was discovered ai have some optic nerve damage in one eye, cause unknown (but that is not germain to this topic).

Next day I thought I was having a heart attack (12 hours post dilation). Called 911, taken by ambulace to the ER. EKG and bloodwork and xrays showed no heart attack, so I got shuffled out to the waiting room for 6 hours of hell.

When I finally got back into the ER, the doctors were baffled, but admitted me (despite my protests), and when I got to the cardiac unit, even that doctor had no idea why I was there, but they ordered a battery of unpleasant and invasive tests, that took 3 days because their system is FUBAR (do the test in the AM, don't look at the results until that night, then order more unnecessary tests, "just to be safe").

After all that, I get told my heart is very healthy for a person my age, no blockages, or artery damage, etc. Go figure.

Followup with my PC, he gives me drugs for heartburn and muscle relaxants (treating the symptoms, not the root cause). I had even typed up all the chain of events, and all the symptoms for him to just hand to him so I would't forget anything. Both drugs were a waste, didn't fix anything, and I didn't like the side effects.

One week later, I go to another eye doctor to look at the optic nerve damage. Again, this requires eye dilation.

When I could finally see that night, I started doing some internet research on eye conditions, and found that one of the side effects of the eye dilation drops is. . . heart attack like symptoms, as it impacts the central nervous system, digestive issues, and rigid muscles. You can Google it if you want more information.

And sure enough, 12 hours later, same damned symptoms that I had the first round. So I spent some time on the phone with my regular doctor, the eye doctors (both of them), and everyone was pointing fingers at each other and telling me to go to the ER. I told them all the only way I was going to the ER was if I was on a gurney being straddled by the EMT pumping on my chest performing CPR.

So, my point is, be sure to question everything that any doctor is going to give you, ask about side effects, and be an informed consumer.

You would not believe the drugs they tried to give me while I was in the hospital, for no reason at all, and I refused most of them.

I know medicine is not an exact science, but this was a bit over the top, and I'm not looking forward to the bills that will come in soon, as I have a high deductible health insurance plan.

WNT
Apr. 8, 2012, 04:52 PM
My guess is it's the lawsuit-phobia rampant due to sue-happy folks and lawyers. Docs and hospitals have to cover their a$$es with so much testing, paperwork and everything else just in case something goes wrong, some tiny thing gets missed and the patient sues everyone.

And people wonder why our healthcare system is so screwed up. Money.

Frank B
Apr. 8, 2012, 05:21 PM
Two words: ambulance chasers. And with lawyers having a stranglehold on the Legislative, Judicial, and Executive branches, it's not going to change anytime soon.

Shakespeare had the right idea.

LauraKY
Apr. 8, 2012, 05:37 PM
I think the OP's point is not that they performed a bunch of tests, but that no one picked up on the eye dilation drops as a possible cause. Too many in health care find it impossible to think outside of their specialty, let alone thinking outside the box.

MunchkinsMom
Apr. 8, 2012, 10:05 PM
I think the OP's point is not that they performed a bunch of tests, but that no one picked up on the eye dilation drops as a possible cause. Too many in health care find it impossible to think outside of their specialty, let alone thinking outside the box.

It was a bit of both, mostly yes, that they just treat symptoms, toss drugs at them, and don't think outside the box, and look at you like you have two heads if you suggest anything other than what they are seeing.

I get it about the money and the lawsuit happy society we have become, and that the hospital's system makes it such that they have to keep you for 3 days for tests that could be done on an outpatient basis in a single day. That is the money angle, and why our health insurance premiums are so high.

west5
Apr. 8, 2012, 10:16 PM
I'm a nursing student I knew half way into your story that it was possibly eye drop related.

A lot of eye medications cause systemic symptoms that can mimic heart attacks, etc … has to do with receptors that are all over your body not just at the target of medication … think parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous system

Anyway, I highly advise that every one buy themselves a good drug guide - or go on the internet (reliable sites only) and check out medications, their side effects and contraindications before taking them for the first time

I cannot begin to tell you the crazy stuff I have seen in the hospital and the mistakes (I hate to say it but usually by MDs) that I, a student (granted an older second career student), have caught.

Be your own advocate and if you are too sick to advocate for yourself bring your friend/relative who is the pushiest and has the biggest mouth.

Stay safe everybody!

MunchkinsMom
Apr. 9, 2012, 12:37 AM
I'm a nursing student I knew half way into your story that it was possibly eye drop related.

A lot of eye medications cause systemic symptoms that can mimic heart attacks, etc … has to do with receptors that are all over your body not just at the target of medication … think parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous system

Anyway, I highly advise that every one buy themselves a good drug guide - or go on the internet (reliable sites only) and check out medications, their side effects and contraindications before taking them for the first time

I cannot begin to tell you the crazy stuff I have seen in the hospital and the mistakes (I hate to say it but usually by MDs) that I, a student (granted an older second career student), have caught.

Be your own advocate and if you are too sick to advocate for yourself bring your friend/relative who is the pushiest and has the biggest mouth.

Stay safe everybody!

Thanks!

And read the side effects carefully, if it says rash or hives and to get to the ER right away, don't wait, my good friend almost died from Stephen-Johnsons (and if you want to scare yourself Google that one), and she is still recovering almost 2 years later.

FalseImpression
Apr. 9, 2012, 10:16 AM
Did you tell them you had had the drops? Maybe you did not make the connection until the second visit and how would they know you had had the drops?
Thanks for the PSA anyway since I am going to my optometrist next Monday and she told me to come earlier to get the drops!! I will ask her.
At least here, we would not have that large bill if we went to the ER.
Once my daughter started having very itchy burning eyes. Went to the ER and the ER doc told her to keep putting the drops given by the optometrist, even more often, and lectured her about wearing lenses that "tore pieces of her eye off every time she removed them." That's where I started questioning that doc but it was a Sunday, could not do much else.
Symptoms got worse.
Monday am first thing, we called the optometrist who said to stop using the drops immediately as they are meant to use only 2 or 3 days (which my daughter THEN remembered she had said!!). She got us to see an ophthalmologist the very next day and he called the hospital and REQUIRED the name of that doc. He told us he was going to give him a lecture on eyes and lenses. He was furious!

oh, and no bill for ER and ophthalmologist visits. We do have to pay for the optometrist though since eye care is not covered, but the specialist is.