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ARGH! My dad's doctor is frustrating me!

Discussion in 'Family Life - Stories, Pictures & Updates' started by BarkerChickens, Oct 22, 2009.

  1. BarkerChickens

    BarkerChickens Microbrewing Chickenologist

    Nov 25, 2007
    High Desert, CA
    My dad was born with a severe harelip and cleft palate. Given that he was born in 1956, docs repaired the harelip and did some reconstruction in the inner ear (which is commonly affected in severe cleft lip and palate cases), but left the palate open, etc. He had the cleft palate repaired about 10 years ago.

    Well, a few years ago he started having excruciating headaches and was referred to an ear, nose and throat surgeon. The surgery he had as a baby resulted in a cavity in the inner ear that collects fluid and debris (since he does have developed Eustachian tubes) and it has formed a mass in his ear that has caused severe hearing loss (due to damage to the ear drum) and was likely causing the headaches too. So, they removed it (surgery #1 - September 2008). At the same time, they reconstructed one sinus and a deviated deptum (both related to the deformity.

    After the surgery he still had the headaches. Doc said that the surgery resulted in scar tissue in the ear, but that isn't causing the headaches. But, the sinuses still need more reconstruction (doc says they are related to his deformity, but calls the polyps, which is different, so [​IMG] ) and the deviated septum returned to the previous position and needed to be redone. Doc also calls for 3 CT scans at various times throughout the process. So, surgery #2 comes and goes (August 2009). Doc sends Dad home with 2,000 mg/day Amoxicillin to prevent infection. About a week later, my dad is miserable and in a lot of pain. Doc says he has an infection in the sinuses from the surgery and ups the dosage to 4,000 mg/day of Amoxicillin. After a few days, I talk to me dad (which he explains the med Rx to me) and he says he still feels horrible. I tell him that if he got the infection AFTER being the Amoxicillin, then it is resistant to it and up-ing the dosage is about as useful as taking Smarties (candy) for the infection. I ask him to talk to his doctor about possible resistance. Doc says, nope, all is well. [​IMG]

    So, now, 2 mos post-surgery, Dad is still miserable and goes back to the doc (he's had several post-op appts in between). Doc FINALLY does a swab of the sinuses. Raging bacterial infection AND fungal infection. [​IMG] So, basically, the Amoxicillin did NOTHING for the infection (RESISTANT! [​IMG] ), killed off the good bacteria and resulted in a fungal infection. They put him in a anti-fungal antibiotic and a bacterial antibiotic. The bacterial antibiotic is Clindamycin, which is commonly prescribed for staph infection. Doc didn't tell my dad was type of bacteria it was other than, "I should have tested for this sooner". [​IMG] You think?!?! Doc also says that the fungal infection is in the bone. This doc is a joke! The doc said he wanted to run a CT scan. My dad said it'd be scan #4, maybe try something different? Doc agreed and scheduled an MRI for next week.

    My dad goes back tomorrow and this time he is bringing my mom with him since she is better with medical lingo than he is (they've been divorced since I was a baby, but still friends). I hope we get insight into what the doc is thinking.

    BTW, my dad still has the headaches that have plagued him for years. [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

  2. Laney

    Laney Songster

    Mar 25, 2009
    Spring Hope, NC
    I'm just going to calmly suggest that perhaps it is time to stop worrying about the Doc's feelings, collect copies of the 4 cat scans and the MRI and his Medical Records from this Doc and get a second opinion.

    This doctor should not be offended by this in the least. In fact, you shouldn't even need to talk to him to get copies of the CAT scans and the MRI, just call the radiology dept where they were done.

    I'm not telling you to dump this doctor, but get a back up opinion before harm that can't be undone is done.

  3. BarkerChickens

    BarkerChickens Microbrewing Chickenologist

    Nov 25, 2007
    High Desert, CA
    My mom and I both want my dad to dump the doc. But, my parents live in southwestern Idaho. There aren't a lot of options in the area. His best option is going to Salt Lake City (4 hrs away), but convincing my dad (and his insurance) to travel that far is about as effective as talking to a wall. If I remember correctly, the only other doc in the area (not my dad's) that can deal with this has a bad reputation and, I believe, malpractice lawsuits against him. The current doc is the "best" one around...at least for a several hour radius. The locals usually say if you want good medical care, go to SLC.

    Depending on what the doc says tomorrow, my mom may have a better chance at convincing him to go to SLC. [​IMG] Then, it'll be a matter of getting the insurance to approve it. I just want my dad's headaches to go away once and for all! [​IMG]
  4. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

    May 14, 2008
    North Phoenix
    My Coop
    He could get some great care at the U of U medical center in Salt Lake.
  5. BarkerChickens

    BarkerChickens Microbrewing Chickenologist

    Nov 25, 2007
    High Desert, CA
    Quote:I agree! But I am not sure that his insurance would go for it. He has Blue Cross. [​IMG] Paying out of pocket is not an option for him. He has an 80-20 plan right now, so he's has medical debt now from having to pay 20% on all the surgeries, lab work and doc appts. He may be able to go back to his primary and explain what has happened and see if the primary doc will put in a request for approval for him to go to Utah. My dad is stubborn, which makes the situation more difficult. I think he'd be in such better hands if he could go to Utah!
  6. deb1

    deb1 Songster

    Jun 26, 2008
    Quote:Unless her dad is suffering from Alzheimer's, I don't think that she can collect his medical records. It is up to her father to do this. She needsd dad's permission to get his records.

    If she wants her dad to cooperate then she needs to consider his feelings because she has(nor should she have) any real authority in this situation.

    I think that the best thing is to ask dad to pacify you by going to another doctor. You can tell him that it will just make you feel better, even if it is silly. That way he feels that he is doing something nice for his daughter without having to feel like she is telling him what to do.
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2009
  7. BarkerChickens

    BarkerChickens Microbrewing Chickenologist

    Nov 25, 2007
    High Desert, CA
    Quote:That is usually what I have to do to a) get him to the doctor or b) talk to the doctor about something. That's what I did when I asked him to talk to the doc about the possibility of resistant bacteria, which the doctor (incorrectly!) said wasn't a problem.

    Regarding the earlier question, my dad is 53 and as sharp as a tack (and equally as stubborn).

    I am crossing my fingers that the doc is better at today;s appt. than previous ones! [​IMG]
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2009

  8. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

    Apr 15, 2009
    I am sorry your dad is having such a rotten time of it. Hopefully he is on the road to recovery, although it sounds like it may be a long road. The antibiotic resistance thing is an increasing problem. Doctors have become very complacent about prescribing antibiotics without identifying what culprit is the causative agent. Even after several years of increasing antibiotic resistance, doctors still resist culturing for specific bacteria and instead opt to A) refuse to give antibiotics until the patient is half-dead from an infection, B) give the weakest antibiotic available for whatever may be the problem, or C) give a broad-spectrum antibiotic that kills everything in its path. It just seems to me that it would make more sense to target a specific bacteria by culturing it and treating it right the first time. I can understand your frustration.

    My niece has ear problems and was finally diagnosed with MRSA after 2 years of chronic ear infections. Years that we begged for cultures to be drawn on several occasions. Unfortunately, the diagnosis did not come soon enough to save her hearing. Fortunately, it did come soon enough to save her life.

    Good luck.

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