Sing it with me now, “What a draaaag it is getting ooh olllllld.”
Most of you know that I’m disabled. However, until just this week, I didn’t get all the pieces in the puzzle, allowing me to understand what really led to my disability back 6, 7 years ago, and what caused my extreme poor health for the past ten or twelve. Simply, prior to this week and the excellent medical care that I have finally found, even I didn’t even know the extent to which I had been malpracticed by a certain doctor in Los Angeles whom I’ll call “A.G.” If you know an internist with those initials, you will want to kosmail or email me and I’ll tell you what documents to look up on the Medical Board website. Be prepared to have your jaw drop, as all the rest of ours have, who have read them.
Long story short, A.G. was my doctor for many years and there weren’t a lot of problems, initially, because I was basically healthy. If I got pneumonia, then I needed a heavy duty cough medication for a few weeks, a sinus infection needed antibiotics, pretty cut and dried.
A.G., however, liked to get creative with his diagnoses and with what he prescribed for them. He put me on Xanax back in the day before Xanax and benzodiazipines in general got the dreadful name that they got later. At the time, I had gone to A.G.’s office needing nothing more than a beta blocker (I found out later) due to a rapid heartbeat symptom at the onset of menopause — nothing unusual. Instead, for reasons known only to himself, A.G. prescribed me a high dosage of Xanax, eight milligrams a day. I found out later what a bad idea that was when I lost a couple of them and went into an involuntary detox mode one week. I had two grand mal seizures, one on a Wednesday night and the other one on a Friday night, and during Friday night’s episode, I had a near death experience on the gurney at Brotman Hospital. I tried to tell them about it, but they emphatically did not want to hear about it — why I don’t know to this day. But it was your classic NDE, floating feet first in the tunnel of bright white light, accompanied by a serene feeling — which broke the instant my eyes opened and I found myself back in the intense and distraught ER.
Needless to say, that scenario scared the hell out of me and I immediately cut my intake of Xanax and continued to taper it down and finally got off it all on my own.
Meanwhile, the plot began to thicken with respect to my dear doctor. He informed me last year that he was having a bit of a contretemps with the Medical Board and he couldn’t prescribe controlled substances for a brief period of time. I said, “That’s insane. That’s like a mechanic who is told he can’t use a wrench.” He laughed at that, but the more appropriate way to have stated the case would have been to say, “That’s like a mechanic who is told he can’t have the keys to the car anymore, because every time he gets them, he runs over the clients.”
So, I called a few months later and was told the same thing. Three months later I had to call on a matter related to a nursing facility that he had referred me to that had committed MediCare fraud with my name and social security number. I asked him how things were and he said nothing had changed. So I flat out asked, “Nobody will tell you what the problem is, is that right?” “Yes, that’s right.” Now, my best instincts were telling me that this was a line of b.s. because I have known three attorneys who got disbarred and they were under no illusions about what the allegations against them were. So I decided to go on the Medical Board website.
What an odyssey that was. There were complaints from at least 12 clients, alleging everything from ruptured appendix due to gross malpractice, to wrongful death, when a guy died because an HIV med was mis-prescribed to him by A.G. And here’s the killer — a recurrent theme was the mis-prescription of Xanax, prescribing it with no tests having been done and no indications that an anti-anxiety med was warranted at all under the circumstances. So I picked my jaw up off the floor and called A.G. and said, “So, no new word from the Board?” “No, none.” I said, “Well, I just read 112 paragraphs of detail from a number of clients, plus documentation on numerous suspensions and probations you’ve been on. This picture is in sharp focus for me.” Dead silence.
That was the last time he and I spoke, and believe me, this is a thumb nail sketch of how complex this issue really is. But on to the instant problem, A.G. saw my mobility deteriorate over the years, saw me start to walk with a cane, and he never even suggested an x ray be taken. I knew I had recurrent sciatic problems, but I did not know until this week that I have severe arthritis, and one leg three inches shorter than the other. Now all the pain makes sense.
My right hip is so degenerated that’s it’s bone on bone right now. I was admitted to the hospital a week ago tonight, because I just hit such a level of pain that I didn’t know how I was going to continue to go on. The tests have been onerous, lengthy MRIs, multiple xrays, blood pulled, etc., but at least there is now that magical commodity “a diagnosis” and if you have one of them going for you, a correct one of them, you are headed down the path of recovery.
I am so looking forward to bringing my physical condition in line with my mental, emotional, and spiritual. I can’t wait to be able to take long walks and even long drives and visit people. There are new friends, fellow kossacks, and people from PolitiZoom, that I’ve spoken with via phone or email, and they’re the first people I want to meet in person and eat a meal with. Murfster35 invited me to come to Las Vegas and hang out with him and Teri years ago. Now I can realistically plan for something like that. He said at the time, “We could take a walk.” I said, “I can’t walk, you’ll have to put me in a shopping cart and push.” To which he replied, “I’d have to steal a shopping cart, and they take a dim view of that here, and I’m too fat to run.” So now we don’t need to worry about petty larceny, oh joy!
As to A.G., that debacle is not finished. Like so many of us, “I have a lawyer acquaintance downtown,” that I’m going to see when the dust settles. There was one piece of testimony on the Medical Board website that I found that I wanted to share with you. I posted it on A.G.’s Yelp page a few days ago — this should raise a few eyebrows.
Briefly, a 27 year old woman came to A.G. for help with a bunion, believing him to be a podiatrist. He said he was an internist but she would need his help anyway. [A.G. was 57 at the time, and you’ll see why age is a relevant factor.]
Respondent [A.G.] informed her, that since she would need surgery for her bunion, a pre-operative physical examination would be necessary, and he would perform that procedure.
Then, without asking C.W. Respondent [A.G.] reached under her blouse, lifted up her bra, and used his hands to cup and roll each breast separately for about thirty seconds each, and then cupped and rolled both breasts simultaneously. While performing these acts, Respondent asked C.W. if her breasts belonged to her. When she replied that they did, Respondent remarked that her boyfriends must be very happy.”
Real professionalism there. At the rate this former M.D. of mine is going, Donald Trump should name him Surgeon General any day now.
Think of me tomorrow, my friends. I think surgery is 11:00 a.m. PDT, but kind thoughts and good vibes all day will help me, I’m quite sure.
This is the beginning of something wonderful, I feel. I have plans to move out of the madhouse I live in, with the crazy roommate. I planned to leave in March and being able to walk, drive, do all that’s necessary for a move, that will really happen now.
If you don’t remember my roommate going off his rocker and trying to have me removed from the house on a 5150, here’s the link. My God, what a night that was. I’ve been saving up bits and pieces to get out of there, but being able to actually pack boxes and look for a place while being pain free — that’s a miracle, in the condition I’ve been in.
They just gave me a med so I’m going to lie down.
Be with me in the fellowship of the spirit, my friends. With your help, I’ll get through it.