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Robinmojo

Sudden loss of parent due to medical mistake

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Hello All,

Talking about this is hard but I figure an online forum may be easier.  To give some background my Father recently passed January 30th.  We were very close, some people said we were like twins we were so similar.  He had a wicked sense of humour and a joy of life.  Until he started getting all these health issues: throat cancer (successfully treated 12 years ago), prostrate issues and finally bladder cancer.  He was only 66 when he died and I feel so alone.  I can't believe I am looking at potentially 30 years without my best friend.

The worst thing is he should have lived!  He did the chemotherapy like a champ! He went to Toronto to do the surgery.  The cure!  All seemed to go well they got it all he was given a 90% chance that the cancer would never return.  But there was an odd EKG reading prior to the surgery.  They passed it off as a problem with the machine and proceeded with the surgery without asking him or me. After the surgery they did more tests and it was afib.  They treated it all seemed well and within 5 days he was ready for release.  But that night he went into resipiratory failure and was given the diagnosis of septicaemia, pneumonia and septic shock. My mother and I were by his bedside waiting for 15 days for him to wake up and let us hear his voice again.  He never did.  He had refractory septic shock, he relapsed 3 times.  The last time all his organs failed and his intestines were dying.  We had to make the call to take him off life support and let him go.  Later I found out that afib is a sign of blood infection and since he was on chemo he did not show the normal signs of infection.  So basically he was a dead man the second the surgeon started the operation.  The doctors ignored an important test that gave a sign that he was not well enough to do the surgery.  If they had waited and figured out what was causing the afib they could have fixed the issue did the surgery later and he would still be here.  I feel he was stolen from me.  I have been diagnosed as having PTSD.  I didn't find this out until I had a health scare...no headache migraine scary... and I lost it in ER as the room they put me in looked like my Dads ICU room.  I thought I was dying.  I don't know what to do or how to make this better .  It has been 5 months since he passed and I can't sleep, I can't enjoy life and everything seems so hard.  I would love to hear from anyone who has dealt with a similar loss.

Thank you you for reading.

 

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reader   

Dear Robin,

I'm so sorry for your pain and sorrow. I know you loved your dad very much. I'm so sad to hear about what happened with the EKG. I would be so angry too. I don't know what is wrong with the medical profession sometimes. I know we are all humans and no one is perfect but we do expect doctors to have better judgement.

I'm also very angry about my father's passing. I hated his doctor in rehab after the stroke. My dad went from being on no pills to 10 and the side effects were devastating. In three months he was down almost 40 pounds. He almost starved to death. He became so weak and mentally disorientated. Everyone was dismissing my concerns. After 6 months we finally got the meds right or so I thought. Then he started having teeth issues and skin issues. My dad got stubborn and decided he didn't want his pills. I let him get away with it because he almost starved to death. I tried to get him back on track but he only got angry with me. It was all too late. He had a series of heart attacks and died.

When we were at the hospital the doctor told us that dad had heart failure but believed he could live another 6 months to one year. She gave me a false expectation. Because 2 days later he died. I saw him the day he died. He was very weak. But I thought, it will be fine, I will see him tomorrow. 2 hours after I left his bedside the doctor called to tell me, he had passed. I hate the doctor so much for her judgement or inexperience. Or maybe giving him too many water pills. But I feel as you do, he should have lived longer! He should still be here.

Losing my father has been the worst day of my life. Its been 8 months for me and I don't know when I feel normal again. I have tried almost everything to wrap my head around what happened. Grief counselling, grief support, reading books and articles, talking and talking but sometimes I really don't know. I've also tried to distract with myself with watching movies or finding new classes to take. I think it just reminds me my dad is really gone. And then I get tearful. I have been going in circles but I keep trying anything and everything in hopes that more time will make the pain less intense.

Thinking of you. Sending you all my thoughts and prayers.

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Thank you for sharing your experience with me.

I too knew something was wrong before the Doctors but they wouldn't listen.  Doctors are only human so why do so many not listen to the family.  We know what is abnormal behaviour in our loved ones they don't!

i have a lot of guilt that if I had done this or that.  Had pushed harder that I could have saved him.  It's hard to move on when it feels too soon, preventable or someone's else's lack of care. 

I will be seeing a grief group soon to try to understand the PTSD and how to cope.

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The Girl   

I'm really sorry you lost your dad.  I feel like w/o fail one way or another the medical staff will make a mistake.  Usually it's something minor or just something negligent that didn't actually cause harm, much to the patient's discomfort, but sometimes those mistakes are huge.  You have every right to be angry.  They should have be cautious and held off, rather than assume it was a glitch in the machine.  I'm very sorry you and your family have had to go through that. 

Dealing with Drs and hospitals isn't always easy.  My mom was in and out of hospitals her last couple years and I've literally told them they were wrong a few times, but they never listened.  Everyone makes mistakes, and that's usually okay.  But hospitals have so many patients they don't have enough time for and who are almost constantly rotating.  The Drs spend so little time with each patient that you just have to hope they're on their A game that day.  

I lost my mom last Feb in a very similar situation.  She had been battling chronic pancreatitis for a long time and had various infections that led to sepsis three times.  The first and the last time she went into septic shock.  She experienced a-fib when she was recovering in ICU the first time.  Until I read your post I was completely unaware that a-fib was a sign of sepsis.  They just told us she was getting too excited.  

The last time she went into septic shock she was at home.  My dad worried something was wrong but she kept telling him she felt fine.  She was going into shock when he rushed her to the hospital.  I text her that morning and my dad responded saying she had a c-diff infection causing septic shock and she was going in for emergency surgery to remove her colon.  Nothing was working to raise her blood pressure and she was dying, so there was no choice.  For a few days they thought she was just really drugged and having a hard recovery.  Then they realized she had had a stroke.  They said her BP dropped to 60/30 during surgery.  They did an MRI and EEG that showed significant signs of a stroke.  She was paralyzed.  We waited for signs of improvement.  My mom had gone deaf a year before, so we couldn't talk to her.  She was on a vent, so she couldn't talk.  She was paralyzed from the neck down (excluding organs), so she couldn't write or gesture or anything.  The stroke affected her ability to read, so she couldn't understand even the most simplest of signs I made for her.  After about a week all the Drs signed off on her and we had to let her go.  All her vitals went back to perfect or near perfect, she recovered from sepsis yet again, but we still couldn't save her.  

From this I learned that some things in life are just completely horrible.  That doesn't mean you can't be angry or blame someone.  You absolutely should, b/c people should be held accountable for harmful mistakes and they aren't always.  But that's something that has got me through this a bit.  Just knowing that some things will really suck and there's no helping that.  I was just talking to a friend the other day who mentioned these losses not being fair.  I said something that fair isn't the right word.  There's never been a guarantee of fairness in anything.  But some things will be really terrible and we'll never be prepared for that.  

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Thank you  for sharing your story somehow it helps to know I am not alone in my experience.  I intend on taking the hospital to court to try to prevent anyone else having to share this horrible experience.

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I am in the same situation. I'm so mad that my Dad lost his life at 68. It truly had turned my world upside down. I will post my story when I have the time buy just wanted to let you know you're not alone.

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I'm so sorry for your loss.  I just wanted to point out that afib is a common heart condition where the heart beats irregularly and rapidly, it's not caused by infection but can certainly be made worse by it. 

It may help to mourn the loss of your Dad and try not to think about the what ifs, you'll drive yourself crazy. 

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Rach128   

I am so sorry for your loss. My Dad passed during open heart surgery at the age of 64. It's only been 10 months. Sometimes the grief is manageable and other times I still feel like I am in shock. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

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