by Anura Guruge
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For quite a few months (possibly 6 months or longer) up to Monday, March 17, 2014 Deanna was being prescribed 5/325 Percocet 3 pills a day (and possibly one to two more if the pain got real bad).
[See chart below for explanation of 5/325 … 10/325.]
On Monday, March 17, 2014, he changed her dosage to 10/325 Percocet 4 pills a day. [That is MORE than doubling the dose!] Yes, I know, and he told us multiple times, that it is ‘OK” because it was below the maximum dosage (which I think is 6 10/325 pills a day).
On Monday, April 7, 2014, Deanna was admitted to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center (DHMC) in Hanover for 8 days.
On Monday, May 12, 2014, he took her OFF Percocet giving her 6 days to slowly reduce her dose.
So within 2 months Deanna has gone from 10/325 Percocet 4 pills a day to ZERO.
She is not doing good. To me this was grossly irresponsible.
Yes, I go to nearly all of Deanna’s appointments. I won’t mention names. We have been seeing him for 3 – 4 years, know him quite well and like him. I, as you probably can imagine, don’t keep my mouth shut.
When he (more than) DOUBLED the dose of Percocet I expressed, quite clearly, that I didn’t think that that was such a good idea.
Deanna only took the HUGELY increased dose for a few days. I knew it would do a ‘number’ on her. It did. She ended up in hospital. I called up the doctor and told him what had happened.
Then on our next visit, last week, he refuses to prescribe Percocet to Deanna. Nothing has changed. I told Deanna and the doctor that this was a HUGE mistake. Yesterday was Deanna’s first day without any Percocet. She is not happy.
To me this is totally irresponsible doctoring.
I am thinking of finding a Medical Malpractice lawyer. They are hard to come by in New Hampshire.
Continue reading if you want more of the gory details.
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As some of you know, Deanna who was a Licensed Nursing Assistant (LNA) for some 9 years got hurt at work (while working for St. Francis Nursing Home in Laconia) in 2006 when she was trying to transfer an 80 year old lady from a chair to her bed and the lady decided to drop down. She was diagnosed with two herniated discs and it has been a downward spiral since. She is still covered by Workmen’s Comp. and was declared disabled a few years ago.
This has been quite a saga for us. Initially, for the first 5 years, we went to the famed Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center (DHMC) in Hanover for all her back care. Just prior to her injury we had had Teischan and we had ended up transferring to DHMC halfway through the pregnancy because Lakes Region General Hospital (LRGH) failed to spot that Deanna (once again) was having gestational diabetes. I had a hunch and spent 4 days on the phone begging DHMC to take us because I was sure that LRGH had dropped the ball. They had. DHMC diagnosed her with fairly bad ‘gd’ within 90 minutes of our first visit. Towards the end we were going 3 times a week to Hanover — a 90 minute trip each way. But, DHMC, as we will always gladly admit, did us proud with Teischan! The scheduled C-section to deliver her (though we didn’t know whether she was a he or she before she was delivered), with 12 doctors in attendance (along with I), was a work of art. So, in 2006, when Deanna got injured we thought DHMC was the Cat’s Whiskers.
Well, in hindsight, DHMC was pretty lame when it came to treating her back and 100% of that was due to the doctor that was assigned to us. One way or another, and the blame is 50-50 between us and the doctor, she was advised not to get back surgery. He was convinced that time would heal. So in addition to physiotherapy, acupuncture, spinal injections, whatever, whatever she was given pain medication to bide the time. That Teischan insisted on nursing for way longer than normal only compounded matters because it limited the drugs that could be prescribed.
Fairly early on they put her on Percocet. I can’t remember the dosage. It was probably 5/325 (where the 1st number ‘5’ is for 5 mg is the amount of Oxycodone Hydrochloride and the 2nd number, ‘325’ is for 325 mg of Acetaminophen). Well the pain level fluctuated but got progressively worse. Towards the end of 2010, 4 years after getting hurt, she was, with the blessing and prescription of her doctor from DHMC taking a LOT of Percocet. At one time it was 8 (or even more) pills a day. I once went to collect her prescription from Hannaford’s and one of the ladies who served me — and they knew me well since I was always there to pick up stuff for Deanna — said: “do you realize that you have $600 of Percocet in there”. It was sobering. We paid zero because it was all covered by Workmen’s Comp.
Deanna, in February 2011, finally had back surgery. That is how we ended up at the Bedford (N.H.) New Hampshire NeuroSpine Center.
Yes, of course, we met with a (maybe ‘the’) back surgery surgeon at DHMC. He proved to be a total and utter clown! So we started looking around.
Eventually we ended up at the New Hampshire NeuroSpine Center. The surgeon, an Iranian, proved to be good. The surgery per se seemed to have worked well.
After the surgery the aftercare and as such pain management was assigned to this Indian doctor at the Center. He tried, like some Indians are prone to, to show-off at our first visit and it backfired, terribly — in his face. Though Deanna had done fine with what she was on, he insisted that she change to a different type of back patch (from the Lidoderm patch she had relied on for years) and a muscle relaxer. Both of his suggestions proved to be duds and within a month he was forced to put her back onto what she was on when we went to see him. That kind of chastened him a bit.
Six months after the surgery she was doing quite good. She was still taking 2 or 3 Percocet a day.
Everybody was telling her that she needed to get off the Percocet.
The doctor agreed. At that point I didn’t know that much about pain medication. Now I am a world expert. I am not joking. Ask me …
So she was weaned off Percocet and we thought that after 5 years we were finally on the road to recovery.
WRONG. Very wrong.
Six weeks after she was taken off the Percocet ALL HELL broke loose as far as pain was concerned.
Every inch of her body ached.
I knew the answer. So did the doctor.
She was put back on Percocet.
That is how we got to this point.
Now we are off Percocet. Day 2.
Give it time.
This is just a Heads Up for others out there.
If you know of a good Medical Malpractice Lawyer in New Hampshire please let me know. I might need help.
All the best.