Patient: Klaus Friedrich Dorr, of Port Moody, BC. During the summer of 2008 , complained of pain throughout abdomen and severe in lower abdomen. Had many tests run through family doctor, but made several trips to emergency when pain became severe. Was checked out but the attitudes of doctors were that he was wasting their time and was just full of “poop” (literally). He continued to have severe pain and went to his doctor and asked his doctor to call the ambulance and please make them do something. The ambulance arrived and took him to Eagle Ridge, even though the doctor requested Royal Columbian, the paramedics said they would not take him to Royal Columbian. ( Oct 9, 08) He was looked at and given morphine then released at 1 am. He was told to come back to the hospital for another ultrasound the next day. He was in such pain by that time that the technician doing the ultrasound had a hard time doing the test. He was told to go home and “do what he usually did” after the test, even though he was in severe pain. He remained at home not knowing where to turn and in severe pain, until Saturday evening when I insisted we go to Royal Columbian Emergency.
We arrived at 7pm and had to take a number, by this time he was moaning loudly and the nurse let him have the 1 bed for the doctors to assess him. He continued to moan and scream and beg to die for 3 hrs before a Dr Street finally saw him.( Another Doctor in a different section had to go and get this doctor, which I think made him angry.) When we explained the pain and the steps and tests he had already had, Dr. Street said, ” I don’t know what you expect me to do about it”. I answered, ” please help this poor man”. Dr Street replied ” don’t poor man me!”. I replied, “please at least help him with the pain”. He assured me he would give him something for pain, but would probably just release him.
We felt so very hopeless. My husband continued to wait for another half hour before a nurse came and gave him morphine. In the meantime, he had to manage to get to the toilet, where he had sever diahrea, we told the doctors about this and they then asked if he had weight loss, and I answere, yes, at least 20 lbs since Sept. 08. At that point, they decided maybe they would reassess him. Fortunately for us, Dr Carpenito was on duty that weekend, this was Klaus kidney doctor and knew him. He said that they would take care of him. He was admitted later that day and taken to the 6th floor. Dr Carpenito decided to do another CT Scan, using the dye that had not been used before. We then got the news that they saw a mass in the pancreas and several foci in the lower abdomen in the perotineal cavity. We then waited 2 weeks as the doctors fiddled around trying to find some way to do a biopsy. They kept insisting that it isn’t cancer until it is confirmed by biopsy. In the mean time, Klaus dropped another 15 pounds. The pain continued and Klaus feeling of being looked after decreased. On day during his stay, he spent 10 minutes sitting on the toilet, calling a nurse, with nobody showing up, until another patient called the nurse to help him. Finally Dr Henry Chung found out about Klaus and took over. He had a connection with Dr Lam at St Pauls Hospital, and it was decided that a biopsy with an Endoscope through the stomach would be the least invasive and best chance of getting a biopsy result. He was released and had the biopsy the next week, Nov 6, at St Pauls. We learned that there was an inconclusive result and we then had to go to the oncologist who decided that it was not treatable.
Once the doctors sorted out what they were doing, we were at least given all the information we needed. I had to go directly to Dr Chung to get this, however, and there was a lot of conflicting information between nurses, interns and hospitalists in the 2 weeks that he was in RCH. The stress of conflicting information and whether or not further tests would be done was very unnecessary, and I feel more about the feelings of the Doctors rather than the patient.
The Palliative Care Home nurses were great, but the questions they asked before coming to see us were very upsetting and, although I understand the need for caution on their part, tact and care for a traumatized patient is more important than them running through their checklist. It is shocking when you are in that state to be asked about whether you will lock up your favorite pet, have drugs and alchohol in your home, or the best one, “do you have any guns?” At this point I was ready to do without this so called “help” I was convinced that my country had no heart at all.
I applaud Dr MacPherson who figured out how to relieve Klaus pain. I also applaud the nurses and the wonderful care for the last 3 days of his life in Queens Park Care Centre Hospice.
I do not applaud the many nurses and Doctors in both Eagle Ridge and Royal Columbian Hospitals, who are not really capable of giving”care” to their patients. This kind of cruelty is very costly down the road as those who have recieved it or witnessed it are traumatized on a very personal level. We are all the next batch of traumatized sick people dealing with a system. We treat our pets better than the humans in our care.
Money can’t fix these “attitude” problems. Only being exposed to the public and held accountable to the public will these health “care” providers be forced to learn to “care” or get out of the “business”.
I also think a lot could be prevented if the administrators would not make policy that hampers Family Doctors ability to do more than prescribe drugs. If people could get tests in a timely manner, based on a physicians experience and possibly his gut instincts, then maybe people would be diagnosed in a timely manner. It takes too long for people to get a test through their family doctor. Lets hire a bunch more technicians and fire the head of all the departments. Remove most of the Cheifs and let the Indians do their job.