"My heart sank at how heartless he could be"

About: General Practice

(as the patient),

I have had back problems for a few years and one day I woke up and couldn't get out of bed. The pain was like nothing I felt before. It took half an hour to get down the stairs in absolute agony. There was a pain that was in my back and radiated down my left leg to my toes. With my boyfriend at work and my parents out of the country, I rang my gran in floods of tears, begging her to bring me to a doctor. She arrived quickly to bring me to Mullingar Hospital but when I tried to sit into the car I was nearly screaming in pain. I could not walk, sit or do anything. I lay in the back seat and we realised I needed to see a doctor closer. My gran drove me to Midoc in Longford where I slowly dragged myself out of the car. There is a metal hand railing going up a ramp to the door. I hung onto the railing, pulling myself up to the door in the worst pain of my life. It was visible to anyone that there was something serious wrong. By chance, the doctor arrived as I was hanging onto the railing. He looked at me crying and in pain and passed me on the ramp and walked inside. He never said a word, he never asked me am I even ok. He passed by a patient in need and never even acknowledged me. I couldn't believe it. As far as I'm concerned, it was his job to help me inside or at least get someone that would. After waiting for an hour with two people ahead of me, I eventually was seen by the doctor. I went into the room still in floods of tears and told him there was something wrong with my back and I couldn't do anything. I explained that the pain was the worst I had ever felt and begged him to help me. He sat back in his chair with his legs stretched out and crossed and said he would give me some pain relief tablets but that was all he could do. I asked him could he give me an injection for pain or prescribe something a little stronger as I could not handle the pain anymore. He said that there was no point as there was probably nothing wrong with my back and that an x-ray would say the same. I began to cry even harder and literally begged him to help me. He sniggered and said 'what do you want me to do, perform a miracle or something? '. I could not believe it. My heart sank at how heartless he could be. The tears flowed so hard my top was soaking. I asked him how somebody, whose job was to help people, had no empathy. He replied 'yeah ok, that's your own opinion', while turning away from me. As I left the room with a prescription that would only help a headache, I told him I was shocked at his lack of care. I said that I presumed any doctor gets into the job for the love of helping people and that when a patient begs for help and a doctor refuses and doesn't really care that maybe he's in the wrong career or in this career for the wrong reasons. I always wanted to report him but never knew how. It still boils my blood to think of that day. Since then I have had an orthopedic specialist, a neurologist and a spinal surgeon who had to perform extensive spinal surgery. I now have bars and bolts pinned to my spine and a large scar down the middle of my back. My back was that bad, they had to rush the appointment for surgery as they thought my bladder and bowl was about to fail due to the damage of my nerves. The doctor’s determination that day was very wrong and there was very clearly something wrong with me. From his diagnosis I could have been left with serious life altering problems.

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