Monday, March 10, 2014

Eric Carson, Doctor God

Due to an assortment of reasons, delay in diagnosis of CRPS is probably the foremost cause for treatment failure.

That's why I wish the diagnostic criteria were clearer, physicians and nurses were better informed, and, in those cases where litigation over injury/negligence/malpractice is ongoing, disinterested medical care were made available concomitantly.

There's nothing quite so demoralizing as having a competent physician, experienced in CRPS treatment and research, interrupt your Castles in Spain presentation to say, "Retired Educator, there is nothing, no treatment, no drug, left for you to try... It's not going to get any better... It's only going to get worse." That ranks up there with the doc who muttered, "If I had CRPS, I'd kill myself."

In my case, a group of doctors (Carson, Sween, Kelman and friends) and a hospital (SJHA) kept me undiagnosed and untreated long enough for the CYA statute of limitations to kick in after I developed CRPS after a fall in the ICU.  In lieu of suing, I asked for an investigation by the state, who uncovered enough details that investigators declared the 2002 clusterfuck a "Sentinel Event."

Dearest doctors, dearest hospitals!  You'd be surprised at how far honesty and compensatory action in good faith would get you.  And by "compensatory action," I mostly mean just doing your best to make things right.  Like providing prompt and appropriate treatment.  That kind of stuff.

So, my longtime readers are rolling their eyes in boredom, with thoughts like, "grow up and get over it" quite rightly popping up in between their ears.

I had been wondering why my first visit to my new Pain Management Dude last week was "off," beyond the significant impact of his radiating body odor -- which I am willing to attribute to an overnight shift and hard labor.  When he inquired about the genesis of my CRPS, I began to give him the extreme short version, but even that was cut off.  This is what I got out of my mouth before he gave a huge cough and began shuffling papers:  "I fell while in ICU and broke..." From there we went directly to his predictions of doom and hopelessness, with well-placed exclamations of "oh, my God" when he pried the slippers off of my feet.

His name was so familiar.

I deposited that name into the wondrous search function of my browser and voilà... he is part and parcel of the offending and offensive orthopedic group that spearheaded the 2002 ClusterFuck.  That's why there was no need for me to finish my story, provide my medical history -- because he already knew it. He clearly could not bear to hear it again.

Recently, during one of those late night screaming orgies we so love, I sent an email, between spasms, to Dr. Eric Carson, egotistical major mover of the 2002 SNAFU.  It's gone unanswered, which is good, as there's no appropriate response.  He's now attached to the University of Virginia, practicing Sports Medicine and Orthopedic Surgery.

People have asked me if I don't fear reprisals from people like José "The Turd" Ochoa, or Sween, Kelman, and Eric Ward Carson.  No, I don't.  Were I posting lies, yes, I suppose I'd be scared.  But since it is just the sad truth that I present, I doubt any of them have the courage to look in the mirror.

Dr. Carson,

This coming May will mark the twelfth year I have been living with CRPS.  It has spread to all four limbs, and part of my face.  The pain is unrelenting, the disability total and permanent, and no one told me about the likelihood of spasms.  But then, not telling me anything was a major goal at the time.  The failure to administer stress dose steroids pre/peri/post-op, the ensuing adrenal failure and fall, requiring further surgery, and the evident development of CRPS -- followed by a malicious attempt to avoid prompt diagnosis and treatment -- it's still beyond the pale.

I developed chronic and untreatable osteomyelitis, and eventually, that left shoulder prosthesis had to be permanently removed.  Despite 5 years of surgeries and PICC lines, intravenous antibiotics, the infection remains, believed to be in the form of a "biofilm" community.  It spread to the right shoulder, as well.

I need to let go of the rancor I feel at the mention of your name or every instance requiring an explanation of the genesis of the syndrome, or the infection.  It's hard, for you have essentially gotten away with murder, and apparently are unrepentant.

The often repeated lie, that hubris is necessary to be a top-notch specialist, is the only thing I can imagine at the root of your psychopathologies -- which I suppose would be better described as your "alleged personal problems." 

Please don't allow your ego to so get in the way that you ever disable another patient like you did me. Mistakes happen, and then should simply be acknowledged and addressed.  Covering things up, dismissing your patients as ignorant wastes of your time -- that's where you do enormous harm.

I will never forgive or forget you, but I have to trust that the "system" keeps an eye on you, and that, in spite of your natural proclivity to refute any insinuation of error, you've traveled the length of a helpful learning curve. 

I know you're scoffing at this email.

I hope you've changed.

The Retired Educator

Well... time to move on.  Try, try, to fake it 'til I make it!  I've some chores to do, some lovely creatures needing me, and the promise of a kickass fish dinner to fulfill.

I am grateful and happy for and about many things and relationships. For instance, Marmy has so come around in her feelings for me that I'm perpetually gifted with a soft 8-pound wad of fluff attached to my midsection.

The sun does shine, the flowers do bloom.  The kids break into a run for no reason, and Fred is as sweet as only Fred can be.

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