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Old 09-26-10, 04:23 PM   #1
cyclintom
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Death and Taxes

On December 17, 2009, I was riding down a bicycle trail. My ITM carbon fiber fork simply came unglued on one side and the other broke off dumping me on my face and knocking me out for over 5 minutes.

The riders with me called the ambulance which took me to the local emergency hospital. They treated me only for some facial wounds and released me after 3 or 4 hours.

On June 24, 2010, I became conscious of myself. It turned out that I had some sort of glandular damage and no short term and hence no long term memory from the time I left that hospital until someone finally called my brother who took me to a neurologist who took a single blood test and prescribed a couple different drugs. My brother made certain I took those drugs the night before and I awoke "me" the next morning.

I got into all sorts of trouble during that time. For instance - although I only drink a glass or two of wine with dinner upon occasion and perhaps a single beer every great once in awhile,I was arrested and jailed for driving drunk and wrecking my car. I wrecked my car AGAIN apparently while driving to a doctor. That put me in the hospital for a week and some sort of recovery home for senior citizens longer. And YET no one discovered this hormonal problem!!!

Because of the California limits on medical malpractice no lawyer wants to pursue such a case as mine so I have no way of recovering any of what I lost because the hospitals and doctors didn't pay attention to my case properly.

My advice is to be sure you're carrying insurance for EVERYTHING and to ride steel.
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Old 09-26-10, 04:29 PM   #2
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Wow.....
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Old 09-26-10, 05:16 PM   #3
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OUCH!! Hope you find a way to get some justice, somehow!
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Old 09-26-10, 05:22 PM   #4
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So sorry

If you are old (retired) or have a very significant disability, and your state has medical caps, no attorney will take your case. There are no lost wages, and you have a short life expectancy.

All we could do for Andy was complain formally to the Medical Board and hope they might do something. They didn't until we got a newspaper article they could not ignore. Now they are having an "investigation?". We are not holding our breath.
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Old 09-26-10, 07:20 PM   #5
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Sorry to hear about your issues.

Where along the line do you think the docs committed negligence? it's not apparent from your post.
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Old 09-26-10, 07:22 PM   #6
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Wow.....
Yeah.

This is a complex situation you're relating. I've got so many questions I don't know where to start!

The fork failure I think is where I would start. What fork and what trail? ITM is a pretty reliable brand but stuff happens and people get hurt.

The medical diagnosis part is less clear.

I am glad that you have found what it took to come to "your" senses.

So, what are you riding now?
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Old 09-26-10, 07:24 PM   #7
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I fell on my face and was knocked out for a long time. They should have observed me for a much longer time as well as taking the proper blood tests over a couple of days to ascertain if any real damage had been done.

Look, I worked on aircraft electronics and never a piece of equipment left my bench if it wasn't entirely checked out. Why wouldn't you expect at least that efficiency from a doctor dealing with human life?
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Old 09-26-10, 07:24 PM   #8
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Oh, and thank goodness for family that cares!
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Old 09-27-10, 06:56 AM   #9
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I fell on my face and was knocked out for a long time. They should have observed me for a much longer time as well as taking the proper blood tests over a couple of days to ascertain if any real damage had been done.

Look, I worked on aircraft electronics and never a piece of equipment left my bench if it wasn't entirely checked out. Why wouldn't you expect at least that efficiency from a doctor dealing with human life?
What blood tests?

Not cross-examining you, BTW. I'm no expert in neuro-trauma. If you're refering to studies on your pituitary-adrenal axis, you're probably more nursing a grudge than sitting on negligence. If that's the case, the sooner you recognize it and move on the better you'll feel.

But as I said, I'm no expert.

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Old 09-27-10, 07:18 AM   #10
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cyclintom, I had a similar delayed reaction to an accident. IMHO the ER did what they are supposed to do, complications even if not recognized by the one who crashed need to be addressed with the family doctor with help of the family.

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Old 09-27-10, 04:42 PM   #11
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I was taken into the emergency hospital and they were told that I was unconscious for over 5 minutes minimum. I would have thought in such a case that they would have at least kept me overnight and taken some blood tests to look for damage. Apparently all they did was patch up the scraps and scratches and sent me home - in this case the "me" wasn't there. I was essentially sleep walking with no memory and got into all sorts of legal troubles over the next six months until my brother took me to a real doctor who prescribed some medications and I awoke "me" again the next morning.

Now I have medical and legal problems up the ying-yang. I even got a drunk driving charge that has threatened my driving privileges and will multiply my insurance costs.
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Old 09-27-10, 06:36 PM   #12
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Seems your family or friends would have had a better shot at knowing that "you" weren't there than the MDs who treated you. Without the brother's input the MD that solved the problem might not have been successful either. Sad that you went 6 months before someone close to you figured out "you" weren't there.
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Old 09-27-10, 07:55 PM   #13
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What if you have no family?
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Old 09-27-10, 08:51 PM   #14
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Because of the California limits on medical malpractice no lawyer wants to pursue such a case as mine so I have no way of recovering any of what I lost because the hospitals and doctors didn't pay attention to my case properly.
That's an incredible story...as I recall the limits in California are $250k. Seems like if an attorney thought it was a winner they would jump on it. Lord knows there are plenty of attorneys here, should be one out there willing to go for it, like I said, if they thought it was a winner.
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Old 09-28-10, 10:44 AM   #15
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What if you have no family?
Hopefully you would have friends. How are the MDs going to know whether the "you" they are seeing is the "normal you"?

Years ago, my mom was in assisted living (Alzheimers) and had some medical issues that landed her in a convelescent home. We went to visit her when she arrived and talked to a nurse on the way in. We asked how mom was doing and she said "Great!".

That's not what we saw when we entered her room. We explained to the nurse that we'd all gone out to lunch a few days earlier. That put my mom's current condition in an entirely different light for the nurse. How was the nurse to know what was "normal" for my mom and what wasn't?

Medical personnel have to go by available information and treat the symptoms presented. And you did have family as evidenced by your brother finally stepping in. Seems he would have been in a much better position to see that "you" weren't there than the MDs who treated you.
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Old 09-28-10, 06:23 PM   #16
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CACycling seems to miss the point entirely - an Emergency hospital funded by tax dollars is supposed to make as sure as possible that the victim of trauma brought in is in sufficient health to be ABLE to go to a private physician. I spent six months walking around completely blank and getting into all sorts of trouble when they should have simply kept me overnight and given me tests to see if I was "there".
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Old 09-28-10, 06:45 PM   #17
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CACycling seems to miss the point entirely - an Emergency hospital funded by tax dollars is supposed to make as sure as possible that the victim of trauma brought in is in sufficient health to be ABLE to go to a private physician. I spent six months walking around completely blank and getting into all sorts of trouble when they should have simply kept me overnight and given me tests to see if I was "there".
I get your point. My point is, without knowing what "there" is for you, how can anyone know if you are "there" or not? The fact you "spent six months walking around" before any action was taken makes me believe it was not obvious that you weren't "there". You were arrested and jailed yet no one during that process was able to notice your weren't "there".

I also understand that this was a terrible ordeal with lasting effects but not sure how the MDs who originally treated you would have known or should have known.
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Old 09-29-10, 10:04 AM   #18
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I get your point. My point is, without knowing what "there" is for you, how can anyone know if you are "there" or not? The fact you "spent six months walking around" before any action was taken makes me believe it was not obvious that you weren't "there". You were arrested and jailed yet no one during that process was able to notice your weren't "there".

I also understand that this was a terrible ordeal with lasting effects but not sure how the MDs who originally treated you would have known or should have known.
They certainly aren't going to know if they don't bother to keep you overnight after such a serious injury just for observation.

You don't seem to understand how horrible it is to have lost six months out of my life and to have all sorts of legal and financial woes because I wasn't "me" and getting into all sorts of troubles because of that.
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Old 09-29-10, 10:32 AM   #19
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I crashed on a charity ride hard enough to black out briefly. At least I think I did, because I remember the start of the crash, and then the next thing I knew another cyclist was looking down at me and asking if I was okay. Had to take him a minute or so to get to me, so I believe I blacked out. The EMTs patched me up and asked if I wanted to go to the hospital. My BP was low, but I didn't feel that bad and so I declined. When I finally saw my primary care physician about two weeks later, because of lingering soreness/stiffness in my neck and shoulder, she was aghast that the EMTs asked me if I wanted to go to the hospital after hitting my head hard enough to black out. How could I possibly evaluate what was needed? She thought it should have been automatic, and she sent me to get CT scans "stat". The brain scan was negative; the neck scan found a thoracic lesion unrelated to my accident. So was the EMT decision appropriate? My brain was okay, so maybe, but the way the decision was made was questionable.

Factors influencing medicine in the US have caused an odd combination of needless tests, while at the same time needed tests are sometimes -not- being performed. It certainly seems to the layman that, having been unconscious for so long, further testing was warranted in your case. The public perception is that concussions warrant observation and tests for damage. Of course, it's possible more tests were done than you were able to remember.
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Old 09-29-10, 10:54 AM   #20
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Of course, it's possible more tests were done than you were able to remember.
I remember absolutely NOTHING between the accident on December 17, 2009, and the day after being given the proper medication on June 24, 2010. Certainly they would have been able to detect something if they even bothered to look.
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Old 09-29-10, 03:10 PM   #21
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They certainly aren't going to know if they don't bother to keep you overnight after such a serious injury just for observation.

You don't seem to understand how horrible it is to have lost six months out of my life and to have all sorts of legal and financial woes because I wasn't "me" and getting into all sorts of troubles because of that.
I can't even imagine what it was like to have gone through that.

My point is not that it wasn't a bad situation. My point was only that, given the nature of your injuries, the MDs took the course of action they felt was appropriate at the time. Also, given they didn't know that you weren't acting normal, there was no reason to observe (and if they had observed you overnight, they would probably still not known you weren't acting normal because they did not know what normal was for you).

It took someone who knew what normal was for you to see that you weren't yourself. And that was 6 months after the accident.
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Old 10-01-10, 04:47 AM   #22
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I was essentially sleep walking with no memory and got into all sorts of legal troubles over the next six months until my brother took me to a real doctor who prescribed some medications and I awoke "me" again the next morning.
So what medications did this doctor prescribe? If I knew I could give it a try, maybe I am someone else and don't know it ...
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Old 10-09-10, 01:36 PM   #23
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I can't even imagine what it was like to have gone through that.

My point is not that it wasn't a bad situation. My point was only that, given the nature of your injuries, the MDs took the course of action they felt was appropriate at the time. Also, given they didn't know that you weren't acting normal, there was no reason to observe (and if they had observed you overnight, they would probably still not known you weren't acting normal because they did not know what normal was for you).

It took someone who knew what normal was for you to see that you weren't yourself. And that was 6 months after the accident.
EVERYONE that knew me knew that I was definitely not normal but none of them knew what to do and of course they couldn't just take me someplace because they had no medical power of attorney.
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