Wednesday, 27 May 2009

She just couldn’t see it

This incident happened to me in late 2003…

I was playing badminton and I had to take a dive to retrieve a smash. My right ankle gave way and I heard a crack. Being a gung-ho person I am, I got up and continued the game. I was actually surprised that I felt not much pain at my ankle. But as I continued my game, there came a very sharp pain somewhere around the metatarsal area. It was then that I stopped.

I managed to drive home despite the pain and as the day progressed, the pain became quite unbearable. The next day, someone took me to the hospital. It was Sunday and I reckoned most of the private hospitals will either be closed or less doctors so I decided to head to University Hospital in PJ. Part of the reason was also because I wanted to save money, not a very rich person I am.

After doing all the necessary registration and a brief explanation to the nurse, I was told to get an x-ray. I think I waited for an hour before the doctor saw me and it went something like this…

“Kenapa ni? Main bola?”
“Bukan. Main badminton”
She put the x-ray film on the panel and gave it a good stare.
“Ahh, takde apa-apa lah. Semua ok, saya bandage saja lah”
“Ok”

The mere touch of the bandage on my foot intensified the pain and she could see it from my facial expression. And again, she looked at my x-ray film.

“Takde apa-apa pun. Mungkin cedera otot”
“Jadi macam mana?”
“Saya hantar jumpa specialist lah”


She sent me to the orthopaedic department where another doctor greeted me. From the brief information with him, I got to know that he was from Nigeria and is currently doing his Masters in the hospital. So technically speaking, he is not a specialist yet.

He read the diagnosis from the previous doctor and asked me to do certain movement with my foot. He then asked me to show him the x-ray. He looked at the film for 3 seconds and said…

“There is a crack in your bone”
“What? The other doctor said I was ok!”
“No, you have a crack. Look here, a hairline fracture”


It was there. Me who is not a doctor saw it, a good 2 inches fracture of my right metatarsal bone. Sounds like a professional injury eh? The Nigerian doctor saw it in 3 seconds. The other “takde apa-apa pun” doctor stared at the film for more than 1 minute accumulatively and saw nothing.

I am sure some of you would have your own experience or heard of stories of doctors in public hospital. That was my version. And I am glad it was just a misdiagnosed of a tiny fracture.

P/S: Have you voted your
best Zewt Laugh yet?

22 comments:

Yvonne Foong said...

Hey Zewt,

Salute you. For some reason this post appeared humorous to me. Maybe it's your choice of words. Or maybe your posts are often humorous so we come to perceive your more serious posts with the same affection. Hehehehe...

Hmmm... maybe the General Practitioners at government hospitals tend to take patients more lightly as compared to the specialists because there may be many people who go to the hospital unnecessarily. Like how in St. Vincent, during the Swine Flu outbreak, people are advised not to crowd the ER or visit the hospital just because they exhibit the usual flu symptoms.

Hey, the tak ada apa-apa doctor was a GP right?

xabi said...

haha! at least she didnt send you home! did you go to the ed? the importance of a good ed doc....hehe!

mh said...

Despite general perception, I was pleasantly surprised at the professional service and level of care given to my father-in-law during his heart by-pass at the Kuching General Hospital. And no, it was not one random individual. All doctors and nurses we encountered were genuine and warm, courteous and knew their job. In fact, I dare say it was better service than some private hospitals who charge you an arm and leg for service WITHOUT a smile.

Fi-sha said...

Good morning Zewt

Nowadays, i have to be very well prepared aka smarter than the GP so i dont get b**llsh***ed by the GP.

I met several foreign doctores who do their specialist training here and it is not hard to see how mediocre our GPs are especially at the Gomen hospital/clinics. Can we accept their reasoning - low pay so low standard of service, which can be easily translated to idiotic GPs?

Thank God you met the second dorctor Zewt! Hope you are recovering well there...

vincent said...

For this, you can blame the hundreds of JPA scholars who, after getting their medical degrees decide not to come home to serve.

doc said...

for all the faults the 1st doctor exhibited, she redeemed herself by referring you to the orthopaedic MO. she could have sent you home with a bandaged foot & both of you would have been none the wiser.

in UH, you will not likely get to see the specialist unless the MO ask for his opinion, but most of these MOs are experienced enough to detect hairline/crack fractures like the one you have, & manage accordingly.

but do take comfort that you are in the same company as David Beckham & Wayne Rooney!!

Mei Teng said...

She's a doctor? Maybe a quack doctor.

Did you go back and tell her about her misdiagnosis? You should lodge a complaint with the hospital.

pinknpurplelizard said...

I have twisted my foot twice. Once I left of a low wall and landed on uneven ground with a loud "CRUNCH!" with all my frens staring at me in horror...

2nd time is I tripped over someone's gigantic pair of shoes which were left in the middle of a dark walkway. Went flying onto a cold, hard slate floor... Ouchie...

From this I learnt to do ankle bandages very well. LOL

missironic said...

Hahaha.. ur post reminded me of when i had my elbow fractured. Went for a swim. No wait, it was before i swam, fell down, hit my elbow on the ground and thought nothing is wrong although felt the pulsing at my elbow. Can still continue to go on swimming then. Hahaha..

Next day, can't stand the pain at all, went to the doc and luckily for me i didn't get any quack doctor. I was told I fractured my elbow. Same, hairline fractured.

Some docs just don't seem like docs, eh? Wonder how they ever passed.

suituapui said...

Don't start me on this! I have LOTS of stories about doctors...but the best would be the one who asked me if my auntie still had her periods - she was over 8o years old, dying...and I rushed her to the A & E in the hospital and the doctor was taking his sweet time filling in the form and when he asked me that, I took my auntie home...to die in peace!

pharmalogik said...

always try to get a second opinion.. i have many customers experience diff diagnosis also..

Huei said...

not surprised..always get a second opinion!

Freethinker said...

I guess that's the tricky bit... If you were given the background of how good the doctor is, by theory, they would produce better diagnosis...


...if you're given the info of a doc whom barely pass, chances are, you'll be sceptical to his advice...

-eiling- said...

A sign of Malaysia Boleh!

littlepolaris said...

=)
Yea... that's why when I was at Serdang GH A&E department... it was so obvious there were pleural effusion in the chest X-ray and the doctor told me it's pneumonia... which makes me go.... "eerrrhhhmmm?"

And the doctor put a D for us in the evaluation paper to submit to the health minister. =_=. And he was the same doctor that let an indian man died because of respiratory failure. When head of department ask him why never give him oxygen therapy, he answered " sebab MA belum ambil ABG". HOD was like =_=... "kalau nurse tak buat kerja mereka, kamu tak boleh ke ambil ABG patient tu sendiri?"

Purple~MushRooM said...

Funny. What amuses me is that you can still play after that fracture. It's a delayed effect eh?

zewt said...

Mei Teng - definitely a quack doc! Nah, I was in pain and not in the mood to do anything. besides was also quite estactic that i was given 5 weeks MC!

pinknpurplelizard - u sure u didnt break a bone?

missironic - hahaha... still can swim, we are really overly sporty lah. how they passed? errr...u know i know ler.

suituapui - you did the right thing. that doc was totally brainless.

phamalogik - well, her stare at the film convinced me.

zewt said...

Yvonne Foong - yeah, she was a GP, one that should never be given the chance to be a specialist. i wonder how many patients she had takde-apa-apa away already.

xabi - errr... wat's an ed doc?

mh - good to hear that. i guess there's much hope for ppl outside KL.

Fi-sha - yeah, good thing i kept complaining about my pain, else, i might just be walking around and made the thing worse. imagine the possibility of permanent damage. they are just pure mediocre.

vincent - and they are...???

zewt said...

doc - hahahaha... yeah, i always tell ppl i have broken my metatarsal before... sounds kinda cool.

huei - at that time, i thought i didnt need it ler.

freethinker - i reckon reading x-ray films should be a very basic thing.

-eiling- - absolute bolehness.

littlepolaris - at least the HOD questioned him. our education system has collapsed, but it wont cause lives. when medical collapsed... it will.

purple mushroom - young and strong mah... haha!

pinknpurplelizard said...

No broken bones. Did x-rays and had some family frens in medical field look at it after consulting doc. So in a way, I was lucky. Had to ice it often, bandage it right plus do the correct exercises to strengthen it. :) Hope your foot's better now.

neno said...

wakakaka..the doc forgot to wear her specs issit?

zewt said...

pinknpurplelizard - much better now... tomm going to put it to the test.... badminton! :P

neno - i could remember, she wasnt wearing one :P