Sunday, February 10, 2013

Another case of physician abuse

Following is an email I recently received from a follower. 



I will withhold my name for obvious reasons. I am a 56 y/o retired Coast Guard aviator (rescue swimmer, Dropmaster, Loadmaster and flight mechanic) living in Washington state and part time in remote Southeast Alaska. I write today because I tripped over your blog (thankfully) last eve when I returned from 3 days in a hospital in Puget Sound, where I was cardioverted twice in 12 hours for AFIB.  

A bit of history: We think my AFIB started 5 yrs ago when I was pulling a noxious weed called Scotch Broom from our property. The juices in the plants had turned my hands green, as I was not wearing gloves. Scotch broom has a very very powerful alkaloid that interferes with electrical signals to the heart muscle. I have yet to meet a doctor that knew this and have yet to meet one that cared when I told them. A few days later I came down with spatial disorientation, nausea, rapid and uneven heartbeat. It was eventually noticed by an anesthesiologist that recognized it as AFIB before she put me under for shoulder surgery.

Unfortunately, I picked the wrong cardiologist here on the Olympic Peninsula, and he put me on Coumadin and forgot about me for 5-6 months while my heart was remodeling and growing fibrosis. I finally wised up and started reading up on the effects of long term AFIB with tachy (34-220 bpm), switched doctors, found a electrophys that did a TEE on me and immediately cardioverted me to normal S/R. Unfortunately, damage was already done from remodeling, and recurrence is common if AFIB is not treated like the emergency that it is. There are still a lot of ill-informed practitioners out there that repeat the old saw that AFIB is not life threatening.

Since then, I have had perfect sinus rhythm except for what seems to be an annual “dumb stunt” like getting dehydrated, unknowingly taking ephedrine (cold capsule), etc. that puts me back into tachy AFIB. Don’t drink, smoke, or drug, so am pretty careful about setting it off. 

2 weeks ago I went into AFIB after accidentally hitting a galvanized bolt head with my cutting torch, causing me to get a snootful of toxic smoke. 15 minutes later I was in AFIB. I tried to get the E/P to also test me for toxic metals, because a cardioversion would be pointless if I was still toxic, as I would surely revert to AFIB. Sure enough, three days later I was back in AFIB. 

Went to a different hospital, different heart doc, and he too was uninterested in finding the causative for the AFIB, he just wanted to sell ablation and drugs. Before cardioverting me, he had them dose me up with AMIODARONE and start a drip. After two ‘HITS”, he successfully cardioverted me. They sent me home the next day (yesterday) with a scrip for AMIODARONE 200x2 per day. Absolutely NO warnings or instructions regarding this drug. Interestingly, they spent over an hour warning me about the warfarin side effects and dangers but refused to discuss AMI when asked. I knew at the time AMI was bad, but had not been near a puter so I could research it. 

What I cannot seem to find is info on how soon damage is done with this poison, and at what dose. No one at the hospital knew or cared, or they were told to clam up. Who knows. You will never hear doctors or nurses badmouth any drug. They actually claimed that Predaxa and Xeralto were being given a bad rap!

So the question begs, who do you trust? As soon as you quiz a doctor about the stuff they claim it is safe or they advise you to seek help elsewhere. I have tried to find someone with the knowledge or guts to admit this is a slippery slope and advise me of a safer drug to keep me in S/R without trying to sell ablation, which has a success rate of MAYBE 40%. The ablation doc I saw claimed 80% which in itself should be enough to scare off anyone that does their homework. 

These doctors stick together like mafioso and I will soon run out of doctors that will accept my insurance that will talk to me. They will all want to know why you left the doc before them....

In closing, I am eternally sorry for the injustice done to you. I would see him in prison if it were possible. These guys think they are God and cover each other’s backsides, and the FDA is a whore to the big drug companies. If anyone does not believe it, they can easily find proof that the big pharm lobbyists were walking through the halls of Congress handing out cash payments to the politicians we all vote for. As an aside, AMI was not approved by the FDA initially, so docs were buying it from Europe and Canada and using it. Then the manufacture of AMI told the FDA they would cut off the flow of AMI to the USA if the FDA did not approve it. 

AMIODARONE is still one of the only drugs to get the blessing of the FDA without clinical trials. I doubt AMI is even approved for long term use for prevention of recurrence of AFIB, but I cannot find it yet.

You are in our prayers and you can be sure I will pass the word and that your life and work to inform people will not be in vain.

God bless,

sign me:

Another AFIB patient stuck in the middle....

USCG ret

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