Posts Tagged ‘sorry’

“Do you remember?” Yes. Yes. Yes. I can’t forget. I’m not the doctor, but I relive those days over and over. I never left the building.

Great talk by Dr. Brian Goldman on how doctors are trained to be perfect and are not prepared for mistakes. All people will make mistakes, its how you handle them that makes the difference.

Part of the problem is the culture of perfection and shame that causes silence. This silence is damaging for both patients and doctors. The shame of the mistake is projected on the patient who then becomes a victim (or eventually a survivor, when I think I’ve survived I’ll use that word). It’s a vicious cycle and it needs to stop. I can accept that everyone will make mistakes, but you need to be accountable and responsible for them. How you make it up to the other person will make that mistake better. I don’t mean punishments, I’d love if the private clinic I went to required everyone to take a sensitivity and confidential workshop, but largely I want people to try to make things right. Often admitting the error and expressing regret is what many of us need to hear.

If the all the medical professionals I encountered were able to accept that they made mistakes it would have caused me less suffering. If the offending parties had apologized to me and then try to make it better I wouldn’t be as damaged. Instead they did everything to protect their selves and as a result destroyed my life. I am still alive, but I will never be who I was.

I’ve had so many things done wrong to me while trying to get healthy, that if all these doctors actually stopped and said:
“I remember 2006, I’m sorry I yelled at you and didn’t listen.

I remember 2006-2008, I shouldn’t have told you it was no problem and that’s just the way you are, I’m sorry I didn’t test your blood or send you to a specialist even though you kept coming in and complaining. I’m sorry that I made you believe you were okay, when in fact you were not. I’m sorry that my arrogance eventually led to your near death and caused cognitive and physical impairment. That if I had listened you could have a minor surgery or no surgery, rather than a major surgery that resulted in the loss of 50% the usable surface of one of your organs.

I remember July 12 2012, and I’m really sorry that I did that to you. My colleagues and I shouldn’t done that. It should not have happened. We shouldn’t have performed either of those wrong procedures/tests on you without medication or have humiliated you in the waiting room. I’m deeply regret that after hearing the troubling results of your condition that our staff subjected you to public humiliation, ridicule, and breached your confidentiality. I cannot imagine the physical pain and mental anguish we put you through. I should have followed up to see if you were injured.

I remember Sept 24 2012, my resident should not have said that to you and I should have listened and treated your pain. I’m sorry that both of us acted inappropriately and failed to treat the damage that my colleague did to you. I am sorry that I teased you about your upsetting experience with my colleague. I realized that my teasing undermined my initial apology when I said I deeply regretted the incident.

I remember Oct 29 2012 and I’m sorry that I misled you about your surgery and I should have treated your pain. I’m sorry that I did not take the issue of blood loss seriously. I wasn’t expecting someone so unusual. I’m sorry that you were harmed.

I remember Feb 15 2013, I’m sorry I didn’t listen to your history and give you the appropriate pain medication. I’m sorry that I misunderstood your heart rate and sobbing as anxiety rather than pain.

I remember Feb 16 2013, I’m sorry I didn’t read your chart and gave you the wrong medication and forgot to give you another medication for two days. That I forgot to get to you sign the DNR and that I didn’t put your medical stockings. I’m sorry that the 3 separate times you rang for assistance to go to the bathroom I always told you I was too busy, and left you in horrible pain.

I remember April 8 2013, I’m sorry that you suffered in constant pain for 8 months, the pain was preventable and I should have given you that shot and taken the blood loss seriously. I didn’t. I’m sorry. I’m sorry that I didn’t take any of your medical issues seriously.

I remember you, I’m sorry that you cannot step foot in any medical institution because of what we have done to you. I’m sorry that you need years of specialized mental health treatment for the pain and suffering we caused. If we had listened and treated you with basic human decency this could have been avoided.”

It would be a huge weight lifted if the responsible parties would own up to that. Actually the one time that someone apologize for their error was in mental health and I wept.


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