I was misdiagnosed and found out after a lot of pain and money from a different doctor that I have an STD.... uh, should I sue? This is long, so if you're of the tl;dr crowd, bypass please.
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (40 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
This has never entered my head before today, and I'm not even sure if these are valid thoughts. So I wanted to bounce this off of my AMF comrades, instead of just rushing off to a law office.
In late June, I noticed a small red bump near my bikini line (I'm a chick). Quite honestly, I thought it was an ant bite - I had been in the garden sunbathing the previous day, so I didn't think anything of it. I woke up the next morning to find that there were now two bumps instead of one, and the first had started to harden a bit. Again, I thought nothing of it. Maybe I didn't notice the second one the first time.
But I started worrying a bit after a while. I spoke to a friend of mine that's older and more experienced in the ways of the world, and she said, "uh, get to the doctor NOW. it sounds like herpes."
Immediately, I launch into "omfg my life is over WTF HOW DO I GET RID OF IT SHORT OF CUTTING MY BITS OFF?!?!?!?"
I don't have insurance, so I went to one of those urgent care clinics they have around. I told the girl on the phone what's what, and she said, "come in now. we can take you as a walk-in."
I went in, and was soon greeted by a female nurse. I told her the issues at hand, and she was noncommittal. She left, and soon brought in a very nice doctor who was extremely charming and made me feel like I wasn't a leper - which is what I was expecting.
He looks for maybe 20 seconds, pokes and prods, then says, "ok, get dressed and I'll be right back.... no, it's not what you think, I promise." He comes back in after I've dressed, and he has a book with him (I assume it's something like a PDR) and starts to read from it. The passage mentions red bumps, no fever, no swelling, hurts to the touch.... it SOUNDS like what I have. He says that same thing and I agree. He tells me the name - to be totally honest, I really do not remember. It was a really long, medically sounding name that I didn't recognize at all. The doctor gives me a prescription for a Z-pack to kill the infection, and a shot of some whatever stuff. to help it along. I thank him, pay my $140+ bill and leave.
On July 3rd, I notice that the bumps have multiplied and appear to be draining. Oh, and I'm in a massive amount of pain when I pee. I'm a little worried, so I call back in and ask to speak with Dr. Charming. I'm put through to a nurse, who tells me "here's a prescription of hydrocodone for you to take. It'll take roughly 10 days for the infection to go away - it'll get worse, then get better. Call us back in a few days and we'll get you in." I take the prescription and start limiting my fluids so I don't have to pee.
On Friday, July 5th, it's horrible. Most of my lower nether region area is covered in white blisters. By this time, i can't even MAKE myself pee - as soon as I attempt to, I get greeted with the most disturbing and horrific pain I've ever felt... and I've woken up without anesthetic during a wisdom tooth removal before, so I know pain when I feel it. I've dropped about 5lbs and I can't force myself to drink anything for fear that I can't hold it and have to spend 30 minutes sobbing just to pee a tablespoon of urine.
I show up to the clinic again. The doctor, once again, isn't around. I see a nurse who takes one look at the blisters and leaves immediately. She brings another doctor in who tries to lighten the mood, but fails miserably. She begins to do a culture on the blisters, and I just fall apart - it hurt so much, I couldn't stop from screaming. She says that she can use a catheter and help me empty my bladder. I knew it would hurt, but I had no choice. Again, more screaming. The nurse - god bless her - rinsed me off because I'd been in so much pain that I had to avoid water "down there". She leaves while I get dressed, and when she comes in, I can tell what she's about to say. I already know the diagnosis - I have herpes.
She tells me that she's almost positive that it's herpes, but they'd send the culture off to double check. She gives me a dozen samples of Valtrex, and a prescription for a few more days' worth, as well as another prescription for hydrocodone. She also arranges for me to speak to a ob/gyn on Monday.
I was physically not able to go to work on Monday, as I was in too much pain. I couldn't sit, and could barely stand. Wearing anything but pj pants? Forget THAT. I did go to my new doctor's appointment, though, and she confirmed on sight - it IS herpes. She even commented that when she was looking over my file, she could not believe I was not diagnosed from the get-go.
Two weeks later, I received a phone call from the first doctor's nurse. "Oh, yeah, btw you have herpes. Just letting you know." Not those words, but that's what it felt like.
[ I'm not going to mention about all the mental turmoil I've gone through, because you guys normally mention that the OP shouldn't have mentioned that and tainted the overall incident with emotion. I tried to keep it out as much as possible. ]
Ok, so it's now late September. I'm adjusting to the medical side of things. I'm only just now recovering - because of the length of time I went undiagnosed, I had what my new gynecologist called "a very severe case" and my skin "down there" is just NOW thickening to the point of not tearing when I use toilet paper. All of July and August was spent on pins and needles - I wasn't able to use the bathroom without pain until the first of August.
I've spent close to $2k on doctor visits and medications (including a cream that is $125 for a small tube - like, American dollars... not pesos). My current state of mind? If I wasn't borderline depressed before, I'm definitely that way now. And sex? Forget about it. Maybe because I have herpes, maybe because I don't want my boyfriend to get it, or maybe all of the pain I was in, I dunno - but haven't had it and don't want to.
I'm not asking for financial retribution per se - I'm not one of those people that is demanding full payment of my treatments past and present. But I can't help but think that if I had been diagnosed on that first visit - the one where he said there's NO WAY I HAD IT - I could have saved a lot of money on my medical bills, I wouldn't have been in so much pain for as long as I was, and I probably would not be so damn depressed and jumpy now.
So, my question to all you me-fites out there...am I crazy for wanting the doctors at that clinic to understand what they did to me? The trauma - physical, mental AND financial - that I've been through? Suing someone has never entered my brain until today, and only then it was a "those bitches need to understand!" and not "those bitches need to pay!"