Anne O’Brien – Co. Laois
The text shares a story of Anne, a Myasthenis Grevis patient, from the beginning of her complication until she become stable again. The story is told by her husband who had taken care of her during this period. It goes from how she started to get sick and through out their time to find the remedy for the illness.
At the beginning, she had a bout of heart palpations in 1976 but it was recovered quickly. But there were still minor recurrence 8 years later and it was maintained by taking Cordorone X.
In April 1999, (70years old) she had double vision problem, so they went to optician, but no problem was found. After that, her problem deteriorated, so the doctor sent her for the tests and scans to 2 consultants at 2 different hospitals.
Before getting the result, they went for a holiday, and that’s when her speech suddenly become slurred and developed pronounce lisp. The next day, her condition was better. They went to the doctor as soon as they got home. Soon, her condition worsened again. The doctor said it might be nerve or muscular problem.
For confirmation, he brought her to a heart consultant. There, they didn’t get a chance to see the consultant himself, but only a young doctor, a member of the consultant team. The doctor just wanted to see Anne alone and not with him.
He was not happy with the result from the young doctor, so he went again to see the senior member of the consultant team and then, Anne was diagnosed for Myasthenis Gravis. The doctor said, it will be in control in few days, but it did not. He thought the doctor did not really aware of Anne’s grave condition. Her condition later deteriorated, her breathing stopped.
After being revived twice, he was asked by the doctor whether to resuscitate her or not since she was so weak. He said yes and Anne was stabilized a little bit.
After that, Anne undergo dialysis treatment and sterois. 3 weeks later, she recovered and was under control 2 days after that. She went home, but still with monthly checkups and weekly visits to the GP.
This story is told by the patient herself. It is more on the struggle as a MG patient. Showing how at first, life of a MG sufferer might sound stressful and miserable, but by time, they can actually control their life and live their life in a more happier way.
She first experienced double vision in 2004, just after giving birth to her second daughter.
She went for eye inspection twice and was told nothing wrong with her eyes. Later, she experienced arm weakness, so she went to see her GP. The young doctor immediately diagnosed her MG.
Several months later, her condition worsened and was brought to hospital, and she was lucky to meet the consultant on that night. Tests were taken and confirmed for MG. Then, she went home, but after a week, she collapsed. Again, admitted to hospital. She was having several tests and medications, which was more like trial and error experiments. Her breath weakened.
By that time, her baby was 4 months old. Her medication was increased. She went for Plasma Exchange and then C Pap. She later needed to get thymectomy but it was not possible because there was no doctor in Tallaght who can do the surgery. The only doctor there had retired.
She was then transferred to another hospital for the surgery. During the surgery, she had another complication with her heart, so double surgery had to be done. She then needed a ventilator to breath. She could not do anything, the only thing that worked was her mind. To make it worse, the medication made her hallucinating and getting diarrhea. It took quite a time to find the corret medication for her.
The condition not only affected her physical, but also her mental and personal issue. She was worried of her daughters. Over the weeks, the doctor decided to lower her oxygen supply so that she can be off from the machine. She felt that they did not listen to her, because even though she said she was not ready for it, they still do it.
She went through physiotherapy. After 5 weeks from the operation, she can sit up in bed and had something to eat. Eventually she was sent to normal ward. That was when she got the chance to see her baby which she had not seen for 3 months.
Her condition later on became better with several minor complications.
Points from both stories
- Young doctor is seen as not reliable enough, like in Anne story. And the doctor’s decision to examine Anne condition alone is quite perplexing. Meanwhile, in Christina’s, she was grateful to meet a young doctor who was able to diagnose her instantly.
- In comparison, Anne story shows how her husband is always there to help her but in Christina’s, her husband was only mentioned once
- It also mentioned how sometimes the patients feel that they are not being heard by the doctors. In Anne story, her husband was worried at the doctor’s negligence towards Anne capability of ingesting the medication.