Reply To: Anyone sue a doctor for bad diagnosis
I empathize with everyone. Unfortunately GBS, which I am recovering from, has such a variety of symptoms that it is often difficult to detect early on. I was lucky in a way. My first symptoms were a mild headache (I seldom got headaches unless I had a cold) and just felt really tired. I went to work, nonetheless, for three days. Then I came down with severe diarrhea for three days which really drained my energy. I rested and drank lots of fluids on the fourth day which helped me to regain some energy. I went back to work the next three days, but the overall fatigue did not go away. Finally I saw our family physician. She checked all my vitals, did a thorough exam but could not come up with a diagnosis. She figured that maybe my bout with severe diarrhea was still a factor and suggested that instead of going back to work, I go home and rest, which I did. The next morning I woke up with severe neck pain – the back of my neck as well as both sides. I could not turn my head. And the tiredness was still there. I called my doctor who recommended I go to the ER at our local hospital. The nurse practitioner on duty at the time gave me a muscle relaxant for the neck and an IV to rehydrate me. I left the hospital feeling better. The nurse practitioner on duty also prescribed six more muscle relaxants, one each 12 hours apart. I went home and went to bed. The following morning I took another muscle relaxant and within a short time I started feeling worse. I felt dizzy if I moved my head fast and it felt like my energy dropped about 30%. When sat down on the edge of my bedthat evening to take my Sox off I could not raise my left leg onto my right knee. I didn’t think much of it and used my hands to raise my leg.
The next morning my wife watched my go the the bathroom and noticed I was dragging my left leg. She became alarmed and insisted we go back to the ER. I walked into the ER. The doctor on duty looked at the way I was walking asked me a lot of questions and within the hour suspected GBS even though he did not mention it to me. All he said, as he waved his index finger warningly “you are not going home.” He ordered an ambulance to take to the university hospital and there in less than 24 hours they confirmed with a spinal tap that I, indeed, had GBS. Within 24 hours of my diagnosis I could not move my legs, arms, hands and fingers. I could not sit up, scratch my nose or turn in bed. It was scary. I was in in-patient care for nearly six months. Today, 18 months later, I continue strengthening exercises and mobility exercises. I am back about 80%. All I can say I have a whole new appreciation of life. I learned much later that the ER doctor had encountered GBS before, so he had some familiarity with the symptoms.