Discussions By Condition: Medical Errors

Army Wife misdiagnosed for years

Posted In: Medical Errors 1 Replies
  • Posted By: Anonymous
  • June 1, 2009
  • 06:14 AM

We were stationed at Ft. Campbell in 2001. I started having stomach pain in 2005. I was taken by ambulance to Blanchfield Army Hosp. E.R. with severe abdominal pain, and fever. I was diagnosed with being constipated and given laxatives and sent home. This went on for about a year, when, in 2006 we were stationed at Fort Benning, GA. Again, I became ill, and was taken to the E.R. several times. I was referred to an Endocrinologist(they thought I was diabetic), a Neurologist(it was a mass on my brain?). I was told once by an Army Doctor at Fort Campbell that my stomach pains were called Messerschmidt(ovarian cysts) and there was no cure. Finally, in October of 2008, I was very lucky because there was a Surgeon on call the night I came into the E.R. Dr.Justin Reckard ordered a simple CT Scan and it showed that I had a 9 lb (yes nine pounds) cancerous tumor on my liver. I was transferred to UAB in Alabama and had to undergo surgery that removed 20% of my liver, the tumor, my gall bladder, and part of my intestines. My Surgical Oncologist, Dr. Martin Heslin, said that the tumor had been growing for years to become the size it eventually became. I now have a 27 inch scar going across and up and down my stomach from the 51 staples it took after surgery to close the incision. I was on oxycontin, vicodin, muscle relaxers, and nausea meds for 4 months after surgery. Addiction to pain pills was becoming an issue. All of this could have been avoided had just one Military Doctor in the E.R. looked at my low white blood count, or did a CT scan.

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  • A friend of mine is suffering from a similar thing and has taken oxycotin and methadone for pain for several years. He hasn't found anything better. Recovery is slow. His attitude is that it's better to be addicted to those pain meds than to be without them. Please read my reply to DSchaeffer, above, regarding medical malpractice claims. I sincerely hope his recovery proceeds at a faster pace than my friend's has.
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