Why you should second guess that diagnosis

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I fell of the face of the earth, suddenly. I was there and suddenly I had to jump in my car and drive ‘back home’ again. It’s been like this for more than 2 months.

Every single time someone phones from back home my heart drops into my stomach. I expect bad news every single time.

My mom is old. She is weakened after chemo. Her bone marrow isn’t working and all the (oncologist) doctor does is pump her full of more medicine, more platelets, more time in hospital… and she keeps on getting smaller, older, weaker.

I’ve been questioning the treatment my mom received since chemo ended. Surely that when bone marrow hasn’t been kickstarted after 21 days in 1 month in hospital then it is time to call in someone that knows more than you?

She now has a second doctor, an internist. The first time I spoke to him he could tell me what is happening, what her white blood count is, what it should be and what the acceptable level would be, what he is currently treating and what he may do on Monday and even that he might call a bone marrow specialist back in Gauteng (there is no specialist for that here).

Now isn’t that what you would expect? Someone that listens to your concerns and that has a plan of action if plan A doesn’t work.

My question is how did the cancer get that far undiagnosed? Each time I come back to the same answer. There was a GP who didn’t think that a recurring complaint about swollen glands in my mom’s neck was an issue. Another doctor that thought that nah, I’m just going to sit here and not do the job I’m supposed to be doing. Another doctor that was too #### lazy to just do their job.

Is it too much to ask that doctors just be better and do their jobs? Is it really that much to expect care when human lives are in their hands?

I’m bursting at the seams to get in my car and confront my mother’s GP. I want her to know that her incompetence has cost my children their grandmother. I want her to know that she cost me my mother. I want her to know she cost my dad a wife that he would be able to retire with, go on holiday with. I want her to know. I want her to live with that. I want her to be better at her job. I want her to second guess each and every diagnosis she makes. I want her to feel bad about it each time she charges a patient and sends them home with a script because she didn’t take the time to think about it.

I know that I won’t leave it there. It’s not in my nature to just say oh well, it’s too late now. I can feel the anger and resentment building by the minute…

I am tired of doctors not doing their jobs. I complained for 20 years about the same thing to GPs and gynaecologist and yet I had to find out from a fertility specialist that I was right. So yeah, I have earned the right to question the competence of doctors.

I am a Johannesburg based freelance writer, social media manager - and of course share bits from my life with you on this blog. We have 2 kids through surrogacy and 3 black cats.

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