Discussions By Condition: Medical Errors

Brain Tumor Misdiagnosed as Brain Injury

Posted In: Medical Errors 5 Replies
  • Posted By: Anonymous
  • March 29, 2007
  • 00:35 AM

In 2002 I passed out and had a seizure. My husband took me to the local ER where I had a ct of the head. The ct revealed a mass in my right frontal lobe. A few days prior I had hit my head, but not in this area. My personal physician said the mass was inflammation from the injury and nothing to worry about. She never followed up with this even though I subsequently went to her for left sided pain, headaches and other vague symptoms. Jump to 2007, I changed my personal physician. I was continuing to suffer from these vague symptoms. He immediately noticed that this was a neurological problem and sent me back to the ER. At the ER they ordered another CT scan which again revealed the mass, except it had enlarged. Thus making a head injury unlikely. I was seen by a local neurologist who thought it was either MS or a glioma. He was puzzled as to why it had not been followed by MRI's. I was then sent to the major brain tumor center in our area. They immediately recognized it as a glioma and scheduled me for surgery. The surgery was completed last week revealing a oligodendroglioma. The team of doctors said I was lucky that it had been caught in time before turning to a higher grade tumor and that the original ct scan should have been continually followed up on. I am just happy that I changed physicians in time.

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5 Replies:

  • I'm happy to hear that you are OK now. Did/do you have cancer and require chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy, or was it benign? Your case is a perfect example of how doctors fail to properly examine their patients...or the tests ordered for them. It's sad really. Glad that you finally found a new (and better) doctor.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • Thanks. No I do not have the pathology report yet. However, they are suggesting that a low dose chemo might be best because they could not remove the whole tumor. I am just happy that I am alive and that I changed doctors. I think that if you look healty and are not overweight then you are generally treated as a hypochondriac. I will never trust another physician again and will follow-up on every test I have performed.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • Thanks. No I do not have the pathology report yet. However, they are suggesting that a low dose chemo might be best because they could not remove the whole tumor. I am just happy that I am alive and that I changed doctors. I think that if you look healty and are not overweight then you are generally treated as a hypochondriac. I will never trust another physician again and will follow-up on every test I have performed.jeez... I hear ya. I had a CT scan almost a year ago because of weird symptoms, pretty vague actually, so the nurse who saw me (and ordered the scan) thought I was nuts and sent me for a psych consult (next day, was given an antidepressant) had the CT scan done about a week later, but I’m guessing since the ***k who ordered it thought I was nuts, it was never looked at. after a year of still complaining, and the antidepressant not working, my primary doctor sent me for a neurology consult. neuro took one look at the scan, and said "things didn't look normal" and ordered an MRI. and of course no one would tell me anything. ...I'm waiting for my return appointment. I'm beginning to see why some people say they "hate" or don't trust doctors.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • So glad you're okay! I think Senator Mondale's daughter had the same kind of brain tumor (Eleanor Mondale) and she's doing well. She was also misdiagnosed. It's so frustrating! I had a tumor on my skull that was growing and for over two years I couldn't think straight. I went to doctors all the time and I;m sure they thought I was nuts. Had to quit my writing job because I was so out of it mentally and making errors all the time so I was stressed--about my career only. When I had surgery for the skull tumor, they also found a subdural hematoma.My neurosurgeon asked me how I knew it was there (I had told him it felt like there was something bleeding in my head) and I said "because I just knew, I could feel it." It baffles me as to why doctors think everyone is a hypochondriac. I broke up with a guy right after college who was a doctor because HE was such a hypochondriac--he felt his lymph nodes every single day, always thought he had a disease. I sometimes wonder if ther eare any true hypochondriacs or if they are just misdiagnosed patients. I hate going to the doctor and can't imagine anyone wanting to see one unless necessar because it's often frustrating and always costly.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • It's a common reaction for students to become temporary hypochondriacs, in any medical profession really not just internal medicine. Usually when the student learns about all these conditions and symptoms, they start to pay more attention to their own body and worry that they have them. It's especially true of psychology students. Usually this goes away after a short while but I guess in some cases the person can go on and become a full blown hypochondriac. There are real hypochondriacs though, it's a legitimate psychological disorder. While somewhat of an extreme example, typical behaviour might be having a stomach ache and fearing cancer or getting an ear ache and thinking of a brain hemorrhage. It's usually limited symptoms of a very short duration but which the individual assumes is a life threatening emergency and rushes to the ER. If someone has symptoms that don't go away then it's not hyperchondria at all, it's a legitimate problem that doctors have just not managed to solve. I've been to the doctor's numerous times and written off as a hypochondriac because I am normal weight and seem healthy. But that hardly means something else isn't going on, and doctors really need to wake up and start accepting this. Unfortunately their mind tends to fixate on the stereotypical presentations of diseases and always remain inside the "box". It's an outright disservice to their patients and the result is almost always a permanent lack of trust with the medical establishment. I hope everything turns out for the best everyone!
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
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