Discussions By Condition: Medical Errors

Miserable after wrong diagnosis

Posted In: Medical Errors 4 Replies
  • Posted By: LadyLeprechan
  • September 6, 2008
  • 05:55 AM

I was only 9 when the pain in my right knee started. My mom said it was growing pains, and they would eventually disappear. At age 11, the pain was only getting worse, so finally an appointment was made. My PCP referred me to an orthopedic surgeon. From there, it was x-rays, examinations, anti-inflammatories, and braces, way too much for an 11 year old girl who had already been a dancer for 8 years. I ended up in a hip-to-ankle immobilizer for 6 weeks, only taking it off for showers. Yes, I was instructed to sleep in it as well. Finally, after nothing helped, I got a diagnosis of Chondromalacia Patella, or worn cartilege. Since I was still very much growing, surgery wasn't an option at that time. I just had to wait it out. My left knee soon followed.

Through my teenage years, it seemed nothing helped. At age 14, I had already tried 3 different kinds of prescription pain meds(which is NOT what I should've taken at that age), Naproxen, and had been through dozens of different knee braces and supports. Somehow, I was still able to dance through it, despite the feeling of my knees exploding.

At age 19, I met a wonderful man whos sister also had knee problems. He referred me to her doctor. I made the appt. and he drove me there where there were more exams and x-rays. I was told I needed surgery for tilted kneecaps. The tilt was from my leg muscles not growing with me, and slowly pulling the patallae outward. The very next day, I lost my health insurance therefore losing the possibility of my long awaited surgery.

Finally, in Sept. of 2000, my dream came true, and my knees were being fixed. I had arthroscopic release done on both knees at the same time. It was an outpatient procedure, and I was able to wobble out on crutches several hours later. I was instructed back to my Dr. at 1 and 2 weeks post op, where both visits went exceptionally well. At my 2 week, I walked into his office with no supports or braces and it felt GREAT to walk without pain. Little did I know that he took pics of my cartilege and they were very healthy and intact. My original diagnosis was completely wrong. Tilted kneecaps are evident at age 9, provided the right x-rays are done, which they were not. Anyway, I would soon find out that TWO Drs. had done me wrong.

After my surgery, my Dr. never suggested physical therapy, and the surgery backfired. Not only did the cut muscles fuse back together, they fused back tighter than ever. Ha, the doc retired the month after my surgery. I was left in the dark.

In 2003, once again, I get a referal from a friend to another doctor, so another appt. was made. The proper x-rays were done and the new doctor just froze in disbelief. He even called his collegue into the exam room to view my films. He asked me "How the ***l did you even walk in here?" Like I told him, I'd like to know myself. My patellae were so far tilted, they had already worn away that healthy cartilege I'd had only 3 years prior. My doc also commented"When we do the bone scan, I can tell it'll light up like a Christmas tree". I asked if that was good or bad and he told me ANY light was bad. I was headed for an Osteotomy, which is the last step before complete joint replacement. Deja vu, I lost my health insurance the very next day, and couldn't get the scan or the surgery.

Here it is, 2008, 19 years after all this mess started and I'm in more pain than ever. I was on crutches from March 04 to August 06. Finally, I got on a program through my local hospital and was able to get physical therapy. I basically had to learn to walk on my own again, I just never anticipated it would be such hard work. I've been off the crutches, but still use my cane when needed. I'm only 28, and walk with the same cane I've had for 10 years. A teenager with a cane, what a sight. Now, I have no insurance and can't get back on that program again. I desperately need my surgery to get my life back. And all of this could've been avoided, if only I got the right diagnosis to begin with.

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4 Replies:

  • Sad story. Hope you get some insurance, free or otherwise, so you can continue to improve. I am wondering if you ever considered the fact that the dance lessons were too competitive, forcing you to push yourself into positions that hurt your knees. I studied dance seriously but my teacher always stressed the importance of "not pushing".In the meantime, I encourage you to practice EFT until you reach your goals:http://www.emofree.com/http://www.gloriaarenson.com/learn_eft_emotional_freedom_technique.html :cool:
    Monsterlove 2,921 Replies
    • September 6, 2008
    • 05:15 PM
    • 0
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  • :mad:I am angry and very confused. I 2005 I was diagnosised with Chronic Hepatitis C geno type 1a, liver biopsy showed mild scarring.prior to the 2005 Hep C diagnosis, I was treating Restless Leg Syndrome, told that I had Fibromyaliga, and Intersistal Cystitis (bladder problem). I treated the RLS with Klonipan from 2003 up to 2005. I got a tattoo in 2004 of a scorpion. It was about 6-8 months after the tattoo when I started feeling ill alot. I went to a new primary doctor and based on my history, and meds taking he did some blood test including liver enzymes. The next day after seeing him I was feeling worse, and at my doc suggestion I went to the ER. That is when they did the same blood test, and told me that I had to stay, and that my liver enzymes were elevated 10 times higher then normal. I was taken off the Klonipan, and stayed for 6 days in hospital. Once the enzymes were normal, and I was back at work, I was having liver blood test done, and Hep C blood test. Of the 3 or 4 2 were negative for Hep C, and in Oct of 2005 one test came back positive for Hep C, and geno typed 1a the hardest to treat. Soon after that I was put into a whirlwind, and talk of treatment and side effect were scarie for me. I was blessed that treatment was able to be determined by me, since viral load and biopsy showed mild. In 2007 I was ready for treating, and in Feb 2007 did one shot and one day of oral meds. The next day I was rushed to hospital, and then my doc stopped treatment since my reaction was very bad. I was sick for 6 months after that. Since 2005 I have not been able to treat the other eliments due to the liver disease, and the effects of most meds on the liver. Now to the present. I made the descion to treat the Hep C, and now due to insurance changes I have a new Hep C doc. I see him on Aug 4, 2008. He sets me up for a liver biopsy the protocal for treatment, and he did liver enzyme blood work. The results of the liver biopsy showed no scarring, and liver enzymes normal. My doc then looked at my biopsy from 2005, and his remark was REMARKABLE. I then asked him to test me for Hep C again. The test result come back positive for the antibody, but negative for the virus. So no virus to geno type. All the research I did during the 3 or more years of being convinced I had Chronic Hep C with the worst geno type, I was sure that there was a mistake in the diagnosis. I was happy that I was Hep C negative, but am mad because I spent 3 years of my life thinking that I had this virus that will ultimatly case me to deterate health, and the treatment inavitable. I know that once you are geno typed, and Chronic Hep C it dose not just go away. I also am mad now because I could have treated the other health issues, and be on the way to feeling some normalcy. I am going to be re-tested on Monday the 8th of Sept 2008. I am also asking so many questions. Remember the tattoo I got in 2004. Well I and the docs felt that that was the cause of the Hep C contraction, since I had no other risk factors.
    mrsbee1167 1 Replies
    • September 6, 2008
    • 07:41 PM
    • 0
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  • To Monsterlove, yes my dance was very competitive, but it wasn't by being pushed too hard. Dance was my love, my LIFE, and a personal decision, where I pushed myself too hard for too long. I wanted to be the best, and achieved that goal. I danced for 14 years before my knees gave out. Dance wasn't the only thing I did though. I was a competitive roller skater, played football, volleyball, and was a jr. body builder. Everything I did was out of my love for the sport, but all of that broke me down. I'd love more than anything to get back into dancing though. That's where my heart is.
    LadyLeprechan 24 Replies
    • September 6, 2008
    • 08:52 PM
    • 0
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  • mine, too...but I did modern creative, where you have more control over your body movements, unlike ballet....try EFT and see if you can make it happen or move into the physical world again. I know, I blew my knees and walked with a cane for awhile when I was entertaining..and I'm lucky they regenerated..
    Monsterlove 2,921 Replies
    • September 6, 2008
    • 09:34 PM
    • 0
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