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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Mishawaka, Indiana

    Default Misdiagnosis of a brain tumor and improper treatment

    I was treated for depression for over 6 years by a Mental Health Facility here in our county. Shortly after I begun treatment there in June of '06', the psychiatrist began to treat me aggressively with numerous psychotropic drugs; which only worsened my condition to the point that between '97" and late '99,' I had 5 hospitalizations; 3 major suicide attempts, was in therapy at a point 2x per week along with group therapy. I was so disgusted at the feelings of having to hurt myself (which I did) and the suicidal ideations while on the medications, but when I would tell the psychiatrist that I stopped taking them, he would threaten to place me back in the hospital for non-compliance, and it would start over again. I finally, by sometime in '01,' just stopped taking them, took the prescriptions and did not fill them. Once in awhile, I would fill it and not take it in case they checked. You see, after my last hospitalization in '99,' different events spawned my suspicion that things were going on there that should not be, and I began reporting them to IDMH, JCAHO., FSSA, IPAS, the Attorney Generals Office. Of course, every single complaint (which I would not have filed had I not had documented proof or a credible witness more to save face and not look like a fool), that I filed with everyone, was thrown out, refusing to be reopened, and by the time that I was able to demand to see their rebuttals to them- especially to the Attorney Generals Office, it became clear that the reason that their attorneys were able to convince everyone to just 'ignore me and I will go away,' was due to the fact that all of my complaints, etc., were all part of my illness; not uncommon for patients in my condition and the lies that I had reported that they had told them was merely 'how patients with my condition perceives things.' I was livid. They were successful again... and they avoided investigation into their huge corporation that is even birthing centers in other counties as well. They managed to get the other mental health facilities to close or move over an hour away, and they also managed to encourage all of our medical hospitals in So.Bend and Mishawaka to merge with them and close their psychiatric units. No attorney around here, whether they feel that you have a case or not, will touch them with a ten foot pole. The media will not expose anything; neither will our local newspaper unless a patient hurts a staff member or a patient commits suicide there and they have to, but they get by with that, too.
    Anyway, on Nov. 24, 2004, a seizure sent me to the hospital and a large meningioma was found on my left frontal lobe. The neurosurgeon said that by his estimation, because they are very slow growing, it had to have been there anywhere from 5-10-15 yrs of so. (It was slightly smaller than a tennis ball). Within a couple of weeks after it was removed, the depression was gone-except for situational depression due to deaths of loved ones, etc..
    Now, I have reported all of this to the Attorney Generals Office and my case with them has been reopened. But, I can't even find an attorney 3 hours away that will touch them, yet everyone tells me that I do have a malpractice claim. A letter today from an attorney told me that my 'statutes of limitations for malpractice expires after 2 yrs., so he would not take the case, as he did not have time to file a claim in a short period of time; he was to busy, and it would only had given him a couple of months. What if the tumor had not been found until '06?' It wasn't until it was removed that the depression left and we realized that I was being treated for something I never had for all of those years. My husband told them more than once that he did not believe that I had bipolar, etc., and wanted to 'see proof,' and they told him that there was no way, except by the symptoms that I was displaying. My husband almost lost his me more than once; my 5 children almost lost their mother; I almost lost my life as well as my job as I went for over a year with people trying to get rid of me, etc.. I have so much documented proof of things that happened just to me, that I am willing to represent myself if I have to to get them exposed. No one else has any guts with them. In fact, I am even suspicious of the states involement and participation, but cannot prove it.. Just a gut feeling after a couple of events. I am lost as to what to do. The problem is that it is NOT just me... The patient rights violations occur time and time again, as well as other 'abuses,' and not only the emotional and mental abuse either. This facility is filling their greedy bellies at the expense of people in pain and it is not right. They do and say anything they want; don't say or do things that they should and are completely ignore the standards and codes mandated to them without any fear of reprimand. Most have no rights to choose due to ins. or lack of transportation and are just 'stuck' going there. I do NOT know what to do. My husband works 2nd; we have 1 car and there is only so far I can go. But it makes me irate to see the events that take place there; it makes me irate to think that the with the revelation of the REAL diagnosis, that it does nothing to restart my statute of limitations with regards to medical malpractice. What can I do and how can I legally represent myself? If I get no money and they are exposed and forced to comply with mandates, then all of that pain will not be in vain and maybe some others with true mental illness can at least find someone to help give them some relief and improve their quality of life. I see this as frightening and through those years, I have felt the anguish that so many feel and it is beyond words.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005

    Default Misdiagnosis of Brain Tumor

    It would be extraordinarily difficult for you to pursue a medical malpractice case without a lawyer. The costs of bringing a malpractice case can be $30,000.00 - $100,000.00 just to get to trial. The procedures are complex. I strongly advise you to obtain assistance from a law firm if you are going to try to pursue a medical malpractice case.

    You have already been told that the statute of limitations is running out, so it would benefit you to act quickly. You may want to try the attorney directory provided by the Association of Trial Lawyers of America.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Mishawaka, Indiana

    Default Misdiagnosis of brain tumor

    Thank you for your reply, Aaron, but as I said, I have spent much time during the years of 2000 and late 2001, trying to find someone to represent me. I have been told by every attorney that I do have a case, but as one said, "You will never find an attorney around here to come up against them. They are to big; to powerful; have to much money and the best attorneys and for anyone of us to come up against them is like David coming up against Goliath- you can't win!" (If he recalls, David DID win). I proceeded to tell him about all of the proof that I had and he told me, "It doesn't make a difference how much you have. When clients come to me about what they do or don't do, I just tell them, 'you can't win." This year, after the dx. of my tumor, another attorney said, "Unfortunately, I have heard all of this before, but there is nothing that any of us around here can do. Just be thankful that you are out of there and stay as far away from them as you can." Others are eager to take the case, yet, as soon as you tell them who they are up against, immediately refuse and encourage you to get someone else as soon as possible. Now, I'm searching for attorneys up to about 3 hours away, (except for counties that they have opened up business in) and they tell me that since the statutes of limitations are going to expire since I left treatment there in fall of '03' they don't have time!!!!
    As far as $30,000 to $100,000, we can't even afford to help our kids with college. In fact we even had to file bankrupcy in Feb. of '99'- thanks to them.... And yet, the Attorney Generals Office has reopened the case and told me to get a personal attorney, although the complaints I filed with them have gone beyond the statutes of limitations period. I'm really confused.
    Let me add, that I have experienced serious or potentially serious, had it not been found early, medical errors from medical doctors, etc., in the past, but I have NEVER filed a suit towards anyone for 'free' money. I saw it as I make mistakes and I can't expect anyone else not to make them either. But, what many of us have and are experiencing are NOT mistakes. Mistakes are NOT plotted and intentional to spare their butts. I was told that the only thing that was going to hit them and possibly straighten up the corruption there is to hit them in the pocketbook. No one else will. Even sexual abuse cases give up! Yet, if it were even harrassment in the work place or with a medical doctor, the media is there to grab it and people receive thousands to millions in lawsuits. I see the woman who was awarded the high sum of money b/c her coffee scalded her when she placed the cup in her lap, but my money says that if it had been 'cold' coffee, she'd been back in there throwing a fit.
    Sir, I do NOT exaggerate at all with anything I've said. But to threaten a mentally ill patient with termination if their family member does not pull the attorney so the family (he was hired from out east and her sister has plenty of money), does so as to not upset the patient; or patients in hospitals are afraid to report things b/c they will deny them and say, "Oh my, they are more ill than we thought," places the health and safety of our whole community at risk. My best friends husband is a physician who states that he would NEVER send his patients there unless there was absolutely no other alternative...he 'hates' that place,' and a friend who has worked for a large law firm said that there is, 'no attorney that has been here any length of time that would ever send any of their loved ones there,' is frightening and makes one wonder what is going on BEYOND just that facility. In fact in 2000, I had reported a patient right violation to IPAS; the woman called back and told me that those rights were different when one was on Medicaid. I asked her who told her that; that I had 2 ins. policies and even if I were that would be discrimination towards those on Medicaid. She said she'd get back to me. After 2 weeks, I called her, only to find out that she no longer was employed there. In March of 2003, a woman from the Hope Rescue Mission was refused hospitalization, even though the director was a MSW, and charted for 3 days that she did not sleep or eat, was hallucinating and seeing demons. Every attempt he made to get her hospitalized was futile. Finally his driver went back to get her and no one could find her. A 'code blue' was heard. An employee walked into the restroom to find that she'd taken a garbage bag and hung herself. They told the state that she had denied any thoughts or intentions of hurting herself and avoided any reprimand. She's dead; her little child was left at HRM, now without a mother and they are in business as always. What was sad was that they had told me in Feb. of '97' that if I did not commit myself, they would commit me involuntarily, because I WAS CRYING AND COULD NOT STOP. Oh, that is right. She had no money and I had 2 ins. policies. During my treatment, especially between late '99' and '01' especially, I would find things in my chart that proved that they were lying to everyone; demand copies; at first would not get them; only to find pages missing and others rewritten to save their butts. During fearful times for my family, calls would not be returned, my husband would tell them to page the doctor and he was told, 'I don't think he has his pager on.' (click) Some of my family doctors correspondance, telling them he was not happy with the treatment, was removed, I gave them another copy, (I kept all of those after I finally was allowed to access and buy copies), and I went back in to find that that was gone, too. Once I informed the psychiatrist that I had showed my PCP his notes, after I found that he had written in my office notes that my PCP was happy with how they were treating me and was encouraging me to comply, he no longer would return his calls, respond to his letters or even send him medication revisions. AND THIS IS 'NOT UNUSUAL' FOR THIS PLACE?????? LAWYERS HAVE HEARD ALL OF THIS BEFORE AND HAVE NOT DONE ANYTHING?????
    I have even gone so far to agree to accept charges against me if I lied about anything, because I did not submit one complaint, unless I had proof to back me up. As far as the state and FSSA, they said to me, "If you don't like it, go somewhere else."
    I am very upset by the lack of advocacy; by their negligence; by the fact that during all of that time, a CT scan nor an x-ray was ever done which could have spared all of us much grief and financial devastation, but even more that they did everything to make me look like I was crazy to cover their butts and it continues. What can I do not represent myself? At least if anything, it may expose their corruption and pave the way for safe care for others..
    What steps would I take? As I said, I have very little money but do feel that we deserve compensation for this.

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