Herald-Journal
Winsted-Lester Prairie Journal, Feb. 28, 2000

Beware the doctor's office - it's your life

By OPAL "GRANDMA" HABISCH

To all my friends who read my stories, I want to apologize that I didn't have a story in the paper last week.

I went into the hospital for an in-and-out surgery, but it didn't happen that way. I was in for 42 hours.

I went into the hospital for an epidural steroid injection for my pain. It took me two weeks to decide to do this, as I did not know that much about it. They gave me an information sheet, but it had nothing on it about side effects.

If you wanted to know more, you would have the choice to ask and make up your own mind. I was told that I would be out of the hospital in about 4 or 5 hours, so I had it done.

A certified registered nurse anesthetist took me to a room to do the injection. It is done on your back. The nurse located the epidural space, and gave me the injection.

Right away, I knew something was wrong. My right leg went numb, all the way up past my knee.

I told the nurse and he stopped the injection. Now, nobody told me that some people cannot have this injection, especially if you have had back surgery, which I have.

I found out too late that they should have done an MRI instead of a scan. The next day, they did do the MRI ­ I would say, a little late. It was ordered by an orthopedic surgeon.

I went to see the surgeon to find out what happened and he told me he had other patients to see and walked out on my husband and me.

I am still walking with a walker and my ankle is still stiff.

So I tell you, we older people better be watching these doctors like "eagles." To them, we are just old people and they don't care about what they could do for us. They never explain, only spend about 11-14 minutes with us (I have been timing my visits) and then, they charge us $45 for an office call.

It is a shame that our Medicare has some doctors that don't belong in the medical field.

I hope you enjoy good health and that you find a good doctor.


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