kicktothehead (kicktothehead) wrote in bad_service,

Everyone else's bad_service regarding the medical profession has reminded me of a story of my own.

About a year ago I suddenly got very sick - imagine the worst flu you've ever had and then multiply the symptoms by ten. I was vomitting, had the worst diarrhea I've ever experienced. I had a fever that came and went, I was very lethargic, and towards the end of the week I began getting weird back pains.

I was like this for a week when I finally went to a walk-in clinic. The doctor I saw I since found out is a chauvinist bastard, but at the time I didn't know that.

Anyway, I told him my symptoms and he imediately said "Oh, you must be pregnant" in a very self-assured voice. Amazing, he's such a good doctor he can tell that kind of thing without needing a test!

I blinked and replied "Actually, I really doubt that."

"Well, are you sexually active?"

"Yes, but I also have an IUD, am on the pill, and always use a condom..."

He gave me a pitying 'you poor naïve little girl' look and said "Birth control can fail you know".

"...and I currently have uterine lining pouring at an alarming rate from my cervix," I add (seriously, the first couple of months after having my IUD inserted I bled like a bleeding thing that bleeds a lot).

He then argued with me for ten minutes over whether or not I was pregnant. Finally I asked if he was going to bother doing a pregnancy test.

He did and came back a while later to tell me (shock and awe) that I wasn't pregnant. Then, instead of actually trying to figure out what was wrong with me he told me that I was probably just stressed out, that maybe I should have a relaxing bath or something to calm myself down.

I was *very* pissed at this point and just left, only to feel worse for the next day. The day after I went to the walk-in clinic again and got a different doctor.

I told her my symptoms and she told me that it sounded like an infection and like it was getting worse. So she ordered some blood and urine test and in the meantime gave me a broad-spectrum antibiotic. I was told to stay home from work until I felt better and if I started to get worse to go straight to emergency.

Two days later I got a phone call from the doctors office. They had my test results back, and it's a damn good thing she gave me those antibiotics.

Can anyone guess what I had?

E. coli.

Yep, a bacterial infection that has been known to kill people*, and I was brushed off by the first doctor as being a hysterical female who needed a relaxing bath.

Later when talking to other female friends it turned out that many of them had had similar experiences with him - he would turn them away with an off-hand "Must be stress" when they ended up not being pregnant, only to find out later that they have ovarian cysts/ocular migraines/IBS and in my case, e, coli.

I wish I'd thought to keep track of this all at the time, because holy hell is this guy a malpractice suit waiting to happen.

*Thankfully mine was in my bladder and thus wasn't likely to kill me. But still.
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