Sep 052005

I saw this article today and it’s been tonking on the inside walls of my brain ever since I saw it.

The article is taken from here

Full text below:

Woman to sue over breast blunder

A woman whose breast was removed after she was wrongly diagnosed with cancer has branded a 44,000 compensation offer ‘an insult’ and is to sue the health authority responsible.

Marjory Patterson, 52, had a healthy breast removed by surgeons after being told she needed a mastectomy.

But doctors at NHS Highland’s Raigmore Hospital in Inverness later admitted that they had been looking at another patient’s tissue sample and had made a mistake.

Mrs Patterson, of Alness in Ross-shire, was offered 44,000 compensation by the hospital, but said the amount was an “insult” and now plans to take her case to the Court of Session.

In a statement today, Dr Roger Gibbins, chief executive of NHS Highland, said: “This was a tragic case where a mistake was made.

“We apologised to Mrs Patterson as soon as the mistake came to light and have been trying to negotiate a settlement.

“We would like to negotiate a reasonable settlement figure with Mrs Patterson to avoid unnecessary court action. It is essential that we learn from this mistake.”

He added that changes had been put in place at Raigmore Hospital to reduce the risk of such a mistake happening again, including a review of the circumstances surrounding the case.

“As a result of this review a number of changes have taken place and procedures have been tightened up,” he said.

Reacting to NHS Highland’s statement this afternoon, Mrs Patterson’s husband, David, said: “I don’t think they will come up with what we are looking for – they are very, very biased and very cheeky and don’t seem to understand what we have been through.

“My wife is a nice person who didn’t deserve this. We are not talking about 44,000, we are talking 200,000 or 300,000, and I don’t think they will come up with that kind of money. It will go to court.”

Mrs Patterson said she was devastated by the mistake but wanted to highlight her plight.

She said: “No-one can understand what it’s like to be told you have a disease that could kill you.

“Then to be told it was a mistake is just disgusting. They can’t bring my breast back – I am disfigured for life.”

A couple of things come up for me when I read this.

Firstly, that would be awful, to have had some nasty surgery and lose some of your parts and then find out that they made a mistake.
Big big bummer.

I mean, the hospital screwed up royally and that is dreadful.

But the thing I find odd is how many women experience the exact opposite of this problem.
That they know there is something fishy with their bodies, but no one will do anything for them or take them seriously.
Not that that relates back to ovarian cancer diagnosis and treatment, not one bit.

I was talking with my GP the other day and she said she had a patient who had a long history of breast cancer and she wanted her breasts removed. Didn’t want to deal with the possible consequences, given her history.
She met with all kinds of surgeons, who all looked at her file and looked at her situation and they all refused to operate.
Then she finally found a surgeon who would operate and…
you know how this story ends, don’t you?
Well, gee-whiz, look at that!
She actually had breast cancer and it was small and not yet showing up in the testing process.
So,that’s sort of the opposite of what the woman in England had to deal with.

But here’s what stuck in my craw.
I understand that reporters mangle quotes and whole stories all the time, but I confess, I wanted to hop on a plane and go tonk Ms. Lawsuit in the head for saying:

“She said: “No-one can understand what it’s like to be told you have a disease that could kill you.”

Really, Mrs. Patterson?

Well, here’s what I say.
Fuck you, Mrs. Patterson.
Fuck you twice.

No one can understand?
You get big whining wanker.
Careful, or you may end up with a case of terminal uniqueness.
I hear it’s not as rare as you might think.

And now the poor dear is “disfigured for life”.
What about me?
Am I now ‘disfigured for life’ cuz my abdomen will no longer have the look they so crave at Sports Illustrated for their famous swim suit issue?
Cuz honestly, I feel a little banged around, but I don’t feel ‘disfigured for life’.

Oh, and again…
Mrs. Patterson…
fuck off.

(fuck…grumble… fuck)

 Posted by at 8:43 pm

  2 Responses to “Oh Crap! Sorry about that.”

  1. Disfigured for life by surgery, mentally off one’s oats for a long time after a diagnosis, forever a topic of solicitous remarks, a constant niggle of dread in the back of one’s lover’s mind… least it’s not acne.
    I cannot tell you the many times I told doctors that my menses should be a topic of interest for them….that the symptoms I felt were troubling and not normal….it wasn’t until one doctor finally noticed the grapefruit sized mass while he was doing a routine abdominal check….4 prior doctors had never laid a finger on me during an office visit. But all’s well that ends….right?

  2. thanks again for helping Max so much–sorry I had to drop the ball. Max hadn’t realized you’d been on chemo and were still bouncing back when he asked you to help with stuff. My bad, bad bad bad.

    We ended up giving Tony’s scumbag roommate the bed and buying a new one. Got it yesterday, very noice.

    When’s our barbie?

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