Monday, June 29, 2009

Personal story time....

... this post (read the linked article), brought to mind a story I heard many years ago. Some of the details may be faulty (we're talking 25 years ago, folks), but the essence is accurate.

I was working in a hospital research laboratory, and my "partner" was a research fellow. She was originally from Ireland, via residency in a prestigious London hospital (the name of which escapes me some 20 odd years later). She was an extremely brilliant and interesting individual. She was a little unusual, and we shared many stories when we were working together. She was also a knitter and we had a few miscommunications regarding jumpers and afghans. But that's another post.

When she was completing her residency in London, she gave birth to a son. It was a normal uncomplicated birth, however, the infant didn't thrive. In fact, he was not eating very much. As those of you who have given birth know, hungry newborns are very loud and insistent, and Robert, was no exception, except he only got a few tablespoons in him at a time. Something was clearly amiss, however, the pediatrician was not scheduled for this big hospital until later in the week, and the staff didn't think it was critical. My colleague, however, being a doctor, the mother, and all, knew differently, something was dreadfully amiss. As they approached the 36 hour mark, and the baby still wasn't taking enough milk, she began to bitch, to no avail. However, when the baby exhibited projectile vomiting bad enough to hit the hospital wall, it capped it. Little Robert had pyloric stenosis. It didn't matter, now that it was clear, at least to my colleague, Robert needed a surgeon, she was still put in a queue, while her baby was slowly starving.

In order to have her child moved up the queue, she practically had to threaten everyone with bodily harm, and finally the pediatric surgeon showed up. Robert's valve was repaired, and everything was fine. She never forgave the British health care system for torturing her baby. Here in the US, a baby would never go this long between diagnosis and treatment. An idiot can diagnosis pyloric stenosis. How do I know? My nephew developed pyloric stenosis, and he was in surgery the same day. A world of difference.

Most people are worried about not getting to choose their doctor...that's the least of the worries people. What really matters is not being able to choose your TREATMENT. And the older you get, the fewer options you will have. Think about that.

3 comments:

kemtee said...

Oh, I'm thinking.

When the most helpless among start become victims and statistics of this madness, will people understand why we fight so hard against it? Will they then break through the fog of hopeychange when it's their kid? Their grandmother? Themselves?

All ultimately too late. I can only hope enough people speak up while there's still time.

Chrisknits said...

Sing it sister! I just can't understand how people can not see what's right in front of their faces!!! We can only pray and work diligently to prevent this monstrous mistake to get s foot hold in our country.

FredV said...

Reading the Facebook bloglets on the Pyloric Stenosis Support page is a reality check. No doubt this condition is often diagnosed promptly, and the death rate is very low, but all too often parents go through hell before their baby's ps is recognised. Also in the US, I'm afraid.