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Hello, I had l3 to s1 fusion on June 25th and my Dr. left town before I even got my staples out.

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,000
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:35 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
What now?

I went three hours from home to use a certain surgeon, because she used to be local and had done my husbands sucessful lymenectomy sp?

My daughter lived in that town and had agreed to be my care taker. That worked out fine.

My surgery was on June 25th. and before I could even go get my staples out the doc left town. I received a call telling me that I would have to be transferred to another Neurosurgery group that was opening in the hospital and that my doctor wasn't there and could no longer practice in the Des Moines area. What?

(During this time I was recovering very well and walking on the bike path and feeling great. I had gotten to where I could even walk around the house without my cane.)

So instead of seeing my doc for my post-surgical followup on July 29th I was to see a stranger.

During that same time frame I ran out of my very heavy pain meds., they had me on and the new doctor wouldn't prescribe any because he hadn't seen me yet.

Here I was three hours from home and all of my regular doctors in extreme pain.

Finally my daughter called the doctors office and yelled at them about leaving me to withdraw cold turkey from 20mg of Hydrocone every six hours, 5mg of Methadone every eight hours and flexeril every eight hours. So they gave me an appointment to the following Monday. I was finally able to receive my meds.

However during that time I had been in so much pain that my progress had stopped and I had actually gone down hill physically and had also began to swell in my feet and legs.

When the Neuro say the swelling and pain he check me for a blood clot and sent me home.

After a few days the swelling got so bad that the skin on my legs started splitting and blistering. When I called my family doctor three hours away she said go to an urgent clinic and get help.

I went to the Mercy (same as Hospital) Urgent care. As soon as the Dr. saw my legs he sent me straight to the emergency room.

When I arrived at the emergency room the triage nurse came running out and took my pulse-ox and the alarm went off on the machine. I went through tests for blood clots, in my legs and in my chest and then sent home. Even though my pulse ox kept dropping down to 77 and below causing the alarm to go off. They never even came in and checked it when it would go off. I told them I had history of CHF and they didn't even check that. They sent me home with advice to go get tension stockings to pull up over my blistered raw legs.

I went back to my daughters knowing it was only going to be a couple of days until I could get home and see my own doctor.

I came home on Sunday and to my doctors office on Weds., and she sent me straight to the hospital to be admitted for extensive testing. After some testing I was diagnosed with CHF, causing dependent edema, causing cellulitis, and tendonitis too. I was in Hospital for five days on iv anti-biotics, lasix, and pain meds.

I was released after five days however I still have the some swelling and redness and lots of pain.

I also still do not have a neurosurgeon to tell me how long I have to wear this stupid brace. Thanks for listening. Sorry so long. God bless you all, Peg


  • I also had 16" cut off of my hair after surgery and donated it to lock for love to be made into wigs.
  • The user and all related content has been deleted.
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  • No, I am in America. Iowa actually. I can't understand how I was allowed to fall between the cracks in this situation.

    I have several serious illnesses, and have several great specialists here at home, however they weren't much help when I was three hours from home.

    The reason we had used this particular Dr. was because she was supposed to be one of the best. She used to be located here in the city I live in and had done my husbands (very successful back surgery) about ten years ago. That was why we chose her. Since my daughter lived in the same city and was able to be my caretaker, we believed it would turn out great. We never expected the doctor to leave.

    Oh well, it's about getting better now. I am looking into the possibility of seeing if there is a lawsuit or not.

    I see my Rheumatologist today to follow up with the swelling and leg pain. I'm hoping he can check my fusion himself or get me a quick referral to someone who can, so I at least know where to go from here.

    Thanks and I appreciate your time and advice. God bless you, Peg
  • sorry triple post
  • Sorry double post
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  • I do recommend you contact the Iowa state board of medicine; every state has very strict statutes regarding "abandoning" patients; particularly when they are in critical phases of care. It sounds as thought the doctor actually lost her license to practice in the state - they will be able to tell you that (its public record). BTW if that is the case, don't assume its because of her being a poor surgeon, sometimes it can be over "paperwork" issues like not keeping perfect medical records, or if a staff worker didn't mail her DEA or other license fee and she wrote an Rx, it can actually be somewhat petty. I know of a doctor that lost his license because an employee downloaded internet child porn at his office - it took six months for his name to get cleared & his license re-instated that he had nothing to do with it!
    I am a little disappointed that the covering doctors didn't assume care quicker. Hopefully, the surgery itself was a success.
    As to whether there was malpractice from the ER @ Mercy - that is for a lawyer & expert witness to assess.
    Just focus on getting better for now, worry about past later...
  • Optimist, thank you for your support. I am going to concentrate on getting better and worry about the rest later. Thanks and God bless,Peg
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