Discussions By Condition: Medical Errors

Joint Pain And Lung Cancer

Posted In: Medical Errors 2 Replies
  • Posted By: overworked1341
  • January 26, 2007
  • 07:15 PM

About 9 months ago my knees and ankels started hurting terribly and swelling so bab I thought the skin would pop. It came on virtually over night. I didn't have health insurance at the time so I went to the local clinic. One of the first things the doctor noticed was my clubbing fingers. I have found out since that clubbing (with a few rare exceptions) happens only with lung or heart issues, and that what ever the issue is, it is VERY serious by the time clubbing is seen! Well despite the fact she saw them she ran NONE, ZERO, NO test on heart or lungs. She did how ever run test on every thing else from AIDS to thyroind test and that cost several hundred dollars. I had 6 or so appointments with her. Them with my new job, my health insurance kicked in and I went to a diffrent doctor. The first thing she noticed was my clubbing fingers. You guessed it she ran a thousand tests, but ZERO, ZILCH, NO test on heart or lungs. By this time I was walking with a cane because the pain had gotten so bad, I had to give up my 2nd job, I was hurting too bad to do it. Again all those test cost another several hundred dollars (have to satisfy deductable,coinsurance etc), and now I was out my other income on top of it. So that doctor decided that it was time for a specialist. So she set an appointment for me, but it was 7 weeks away. My pacience had worn out by then so I called around till I found a specialist who could see me sooner. So here we go again. The first thing she noticed was, that's right, my clubbing fingers. Now we are at the specialists office mind you, and did she run any tests on my heart or lungs? NOOOOOO instead more blood test (vitiamn levels etc..) Then shots of novicane in my scar from getting my tubes tied(????), some sort of electric or frequency treatments, and some arthritis meds, even though arthritist blood test had come back negitive. In all this time none of them ever xrayed my legs, never pulled any fluid out of the joint or any other standard test for arthritist except the one RA blood test. By the 4th visit I had taken all I could take and I told her that she couldn't possibly treat me correctly if she didn't find out what was wrong. So she says "well some times joint pain and lung issues are related, let's do a chest xray". It showed the golfball size tumor in my left lung. I am greatful that she finally found it, but she would have kept sucking a few more dollars off me for as long as I let it go on if I hadn't gotten demanding about it.
All three of these high paid professionals knew of my 25 year smoking history, my family history of heart desiese, including Gma dead at 32 (heart) Mom two quadruple bypasses by 63 years old, All aunts and uncles dead from heart desiese. And family cancer as well. Despite that, clubbed fingers and toe, 8 months and 3 doctors and no one thought it prudent to look at my heart or lungs. They didn't even run the standard arthritist test to rule that out.
Since finding the tumor my ordeal hasn't improved much. I have had one test every 2 weeks for 3 months and I am still waiting to be staged and then treated. It is no wonder so many people die from lung cancer. If any of the doctors I saw would have done there job it could have saved my life. If the doctors would have ordered all the test they needed right away instead of one every 2 weeks, it might have saved my life. I still don't know that I am terminal, but while they piddled around with the tests (and still are) I have developed a noduel on the right lung. If it is cancer I go from stade 1 and treatable to stage 4 and fatal.

Not knowing is so much worse than knowing.
I really wish they'd get it together. In all this I'm still trying to work, but I'm getting sicker and so tierd, I miss work some times, and I miss work over these stupid drawn out one every two weeks tests!! I have had a cat scan, pet scan, bone scan, 2 MRI's, and 2 biopsies, and now they remembered that they better do a brain MRI. My research tells me the brain is one of the most common places for lung cancer to go, but no one saw fit to get that done sooner. All these things could have been set up for the same week or two at most, one week to wait for results, and then on to treatment. Instead I had to make appointment for cat scan (one week away) get cat scan, wait one week for results, make apointment for next test, (one week away) go to it, wait one week for results, etc.. etc.. etc.. Now I am waiting to get scheduald for brain MRI, quite sure it will be a week or so till they can get me in for that, then another week to get results, then if it is clean make apointment with sergon, I'm sure it takes a week or so to get an appointment, then he will schedual surgery, my guess is it will take a week or two to get that schedualed. It will have been 10 months since I started going to the doctors, and 4 month from finding the tumor till I will acually recieve treatment. If I'm terminal I would rather not waste my last few months trying to work at my 7.50 an hour job. I would rather get my diability and spend what little time I have with my family.
Now for the explination of joint pain and lung cancer. What causes the joint pain is an autoimmune disease called Hypertrophic pulmonary osteoarthropathy. That's a mouth full! It is kicked off by the lung cancer. The clubbing of the fingers and toes is caused by excessive collagen fiber deposition and accumulation of intertitial edema. The bad joints come from the formation of extra bone. This usually happens to the long bones in legs and arms. In my case the elbows and wrists only got a little sore and swollen, but usually it will get those too.
My advice is DON'T TRUST YOUR DOCTOR!! Do your own research, be demanding, don't forget >well people don't spend much money at the doctors, so getting you well might not be there top priority. The son of the owner of the company I work for is going to medical school. I asked him why he wanted to be a doctor, he said "The money of course" I said "you don't care about curing people and a higher calling and all that?" He said "***l NO, I just care about the money. I know this young man and he means just that. We all want to believe if they are a doctor they are kind and compassionate and caring. NOT ALWAYS TRUE!! Get second, third opinions and do the research your selves, it may save your life!

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2 Replies:

  • I just happened to come across your blog and felt I had to reply. My Mom was misdiagnosed and ended up having late stage lung cancer. When she first got sick in July she was dx with Pneumonia, treated with more antibiotics in August because it was not improving. A biopsy was done and came back benign, but my poor Mom got sicker and sicker, lost tons of weight was unable to eat/swallow. We persisted and went to many docs, when they finally did surgery it was all over her body. That was in November, she started Chemo and radiation but passed away in Jan. It happened so fast and I still sometimes feel that maybe there was something else I could've done to get a quicker diagnosis. I miss her terribly.I don't want to scare you, from the research I've done I know it is treatable survivable and not a death sentence when caught early. I am writing to you to say be persistant. There are many Doctors with many different attitudes and approaches to medicine. Find someone who will care and listen for you. Dont let them set you up with this or that specialist waiting weeks for appointments. I got so sick of everyone asking did she smoke-yes for years, it doesen't matter you should still get the best medical care available. Best of everything and God Bless.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • January 26, 2007
    • 08:04 PM
    • 0
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  • My heart breaks for you losing you mom and so quickly. THANK YOU SO MUCH for your kind words. Your advise is right on target! God bless you!
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • January 26, 2007
    • 08:36 PM
    • 0
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