When TikTok user omqgabbi went to the doctor with a bunch of hearing problems, they just brushed her off, ignoring alarming signs. Eventually, she decided to share her experience in an attempt to inspire others to speak out against medical negligence as well.
"I couldn't hear low tones, like men's voices, very well," omqgabbi explained in a TikTok. "And ... if there was background noise, hearing was not a thing. I just — I had to intently focus on you to understand what you were saying."
"I tell the doctor I hear well in a perfectly silent room. What does he do? He puts me in a silent room and tests my hearing. He proceeds to be like, 'Wow, your hearing is perfectly fine.' He turns to my mother, thinking he's funny, and he goes, 'Maybe your daughter doesn't have a hearing problem, but a listening problem.'"
Turns out, omqgabbi has an Auditory Processing Disorder.
She also asked people to share a time when their doctor completely ignored them when it was evident something was very wrong. Sadly, they delivered.
More info: TikTok
As of this article, the TikTok has nearly 750K views
Image credits: omqgabbi
Alright This Is Gonna Be Hard To Believe. When I Was About 21, I Went Into Pre-Term Labor (At Five And A Half Months) And Had A Stillborn
About eight hours later, the nurse brought my baby back in the room and told me that she was actually alive — that she was struggling to breathe and would I like to hold her while she passed away. And, of course, I held her for another eight hours. The doctor kept telling me she was dying. Her Apgar scores are low, she can't breath — I finally fired him. I had another doctor come in and after she checked her, they took her to neonatal intensive care, where she spent the next four months. Today, she's 26 with two sons.
To get a better understanding of why these things happen, it's important to hear out the other side as well. General practitioner, medical researcher, and founder of PrimeHealth Clinical Research, Iris Gorfinkel, M.D., told Bored Panda that there is a number of problems doctors face at work that interfere with helping people. For example, some assume that doctors are more connected than they are, especially in Canada.
"I can't speak for every health system, but the bureaucracy and trying to connect points on a graph that don't necessarily easily connect, that's one big challenge," Gorfinkel said. "Patients often assume that we know more than what we do actually know about all the services that are available. And the truth is, there are a lot of services, and I'm happy as a family doctor to refer to those services and don't pretend to know where they all are."
At 2 Years Old, My Daughter Started Growing Pubic Hair And I Asked Her Pediatrician. He Said It Was Just A Burst Of Hormones And I Told Him He Was Wrong
Wouldn't listen, wouldn't do any other test. Fast forward - she's 4 years old. Now she's getting acne and really bad body hair, on top of a full bush. Pediatrician says, 'Yeah, that's kinda weird.' Four months later, sends us to an endocrinologist. He does one blood test and says, 'Yeah, her male hormones are slightly elevated.' OK?? Ten months later, we get an MRI. She has a very large tumor growing on her adrenal gland, causing them to turn on. She had the male hormones of a 17-year-old boy at age 5. Fast forward another month - we've been at St. Jude's ever since. My daughter has stage 4 adrenal cancer. A very rare form of it as well. She almost died.
A second issue—and a huge one—is the time. "Typical family practice appointment might be 15 minutes, and a lot of the time ... that's not nearly enough. Time is a big constraint, and when it runs out, patients get frustrated. And in truth, I'm frustrated as well, not having the time that I always need."
Plus, some things are simply not within a doctor's control. Those are called the social determinants of health. "A person's occupation, a person's income, a person's educational level, we know that these are major determinants of how well we'll do physically and emotionally," Gorfinkel said. "Trying to meet them some way midway, especially when there are educational or cultural barriers, sometimes language barriers, they can be big challenges."
When I Had My Youngest Daughter, I Gave Birth Vaginally And Then My Doctor Came In Because He Was Very Late To My Delivery
So, he starts to pull out my placenta and immediately I knew there was something wrong. I asked him, I'm like, 'Please, something doesn't feel right. Something is wrong.' He looks at me and says, 'No, it's OK. It's almost out.' So, he's like forcefully pulling it out and he proceeds to pull out my placenta attached to my uterus attached to my fallopian tubes. Everything comes out of my cervix. At this point, I pass out and they take me back to the OR and call a code white because there's blood literally everywhere. The last thing I remember is the anesthesiologist and the nurse screaming at each other back and forth and I hear my doctor say, 'We're doing a full hysterectomy.' I woke up an hour later and I had a double blood transfusion.
The fourth thing is the disease itself; sometimes it just doesn't have any cures. "I think one of the greatest things a doctor can do for a patient when faced with a challenge of an incurable condition is having that patient take on the perspective of running toward the light," Gorfinkel said. It's a perspective she also tries to share with her own patients.
"You have two attitudes in medicine. The first is, 'I'm afraid of disease, I'm terrified of getting sick.' This is ultimately what we all suffer from, right? We don't want to be sick alone. We don't want to die alone, and in pain, those are huge fears. But is there a better way to live our lives to make the most of the time we have? I call that running toward the light. In other words, why do you do healthy things, it's not just so that you won't get sick, it is so that you will live better today."
I Was 15 When My Daughter Was Born And When She Was 4, She Grew A Large Lump The Size Of A Golf Ball On The Left Side Of Her Neck
I freaked out and took her to the hospital, where they were ke, 'Oh my god, it's totally normal. We'll just do a little incision and drain it.' So they did and it never healed. And every time I took her to the doctor, they rolled their eyes at the stupid teen mom who didn't know anything about healthcare and dismissed me. I started asking for referrals to the sick kids [unit of the hospital] and they refused, like I was questioning their medical judgement. ... One day, I hooked my feet around the legs of a chair [at the doctor's office] and said, 'I'm not leaving without a referral to sick kids.' Doctor comes out and says, 'Don't make me call security.' I said, 'Don't make me call the newspaper.' He gave me the referral, I got her down to sick kids. She was diagnosed with atypical mycobacteria and cured within weeks.
The last thing Gorfinkel highlighted was stress. Burnout. A lack of life balance. According to her, many of the advances we've made in modern medicine—for example, electronic medical records—pulled doctors away from their patients.
"We used to look in the eyes of our patients and take their history, we used to place our hands on their body in order to understand what it was actually saying to us. And this, unfortunately, is rapidly becoming a lost art."
In College, I Hurt My Ankle And After A Few Days Of Leaving It Elevated, My Calf Was Double The Size Of The Other Calf
I went to the emergency room and they told me I have a muscle cramp and to just massage it out. I knew this couldn't be right because I've been playing softball for 17 years — I know what a muscle cramp is. I went to the next emergency room and they told me again it was a muscle cramp and now accused me of just being a drug seeker. I go to the third emergency room, where they finally do a sonogram and find a blood clot in my calf, a blood clot in my groin — a piece dislodges and lands in my lung, giving me a pulmonary embolism. Had I massaged my calf the way the first two emergency rooms told me, I could have dislodged the blood clot, giving me a heart attack or a stroke. Ten years later, it took ten years to find out that I have an autoimmune disorder that causes me to be prone to blood clots. Medicine fails Black women.
Gorfinkel is really sorry about that because, in her mind, these are healing acts. "Doctors are spending—and this is actually a thing—80 to 90% of their time staring at a computer screen. So I ask you, is that necessarily healing?"
"If the problem is simplistic, yes, perhaps it could be done that way. But being the old school person that I am, I think the greatest healing is not done that way. It is still done with contact. I'm talking about contact on every level so that we can better understand one another; the psychological level, the spiritual level, the physical level..."
I Woke Up One Morning With A Really Bad Headache
I said to my GP, it hurts so much when I cough, sneeze, bend over, laugh, anything like that — when I sit up from bed. I said that the pain went all down the back of my neck and that over-the-counter painkillers weren't doing anything. He said, 'Sounds like a tension headache. Take some painkillers!' After a week or so, I went back in agony saying, 'Please, there is something wrong with my head. Please, take me seriously.' He reluctantly referred me for an MRI and said about three times, 'It's probably nothing, but I'll refer you for an MRI, even though it's probably nothing.' I was also having problems with my vision.... I was admitted to the hospital the same day for severe Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension.
However, sometimes things go wrong. To err is human. When Dr. Atul Gawande, a surgeon in Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital, wrote of his own medical mistake, he noted that while healthcare can make "dramatic improvements", there is still human fallibility to contend with.
"No matter what measures are taken, doctors will falter, and it isn’t reasonable to ask that we achieve perfection. What is reasonable is to ask that we never cease to aim for it."
From The Age Of 16
Gorfinkel explained that the vast majority of mistakes that a doctor makes never gets out of their head.
"People are not going to know the majority of mistakes a doctor makes. And that's because most of these mistakes don't need to be known," she said. "They're relatively minor. They don't necessarily have an impact on a patient's health."
They may be mistakes on how something is documented—that's probably by far the most common error—and they may be mistakes that could've been but weren't. For example, a doctor sends a wrong dose to a pharmacy and the pharmacy then calls them to correct that.
These things usually happen under the radar; the patient doesn't necessarily even know they happened.
Went To The Doctor. Told Them I Had A Bunch Of Hearing Problems. That I Couldn't Hear Low Tones, Like Men's Voices, Very Well
And that if there was background noise, hearing was not a thing. I just - I had to intently focus on you to understand what you were saying. I tell the doctor I hear well in a perfectly silent room. What does he do? He puts me in a silent room and tests my hearing. He proceeds to be like, 'Wow, your hearing is perfectly fine.' He turns to my mother, thinking he's funny, and he goes, 'Maybe your daughter doesn't have a hearing problem, but a listening problem.' (@omqgabbi has an Auditory Processing Disorder)
But Gorfinkel said there are other errors that are important. Ones that have to be brought out into the open and discussed with the patient.
"The error of misdiagnosis, the error of landing on a diagnosis too quickly, the error of interrupting a patient to not fully understand their experience—these are all common errors too," the doctor said. "The best way around [these mistakes], as far as I can see, is open communication, talking about [the issue] so that things can get better in the future. [In these cases,] we can't change what was in the past, but we can change what plays out for future visits."
Ultimately, the best reaction to these situations probably comes from the doctor themself who says 'How can I do better?' Their internal motivation to strive for perfection is what makes things better.
"Yes, there are external bodies that oversee ... but generally, they're there for really egregious mistakes," Gorfinkel said.
This brings us to the worst medical errors. The ones that weren't solved by speaking to the doctor. If something really bad happens, patients can talk to the licensing body of the doctor.
"My personal view is there is a way to improve things. And that's to make sure that both parties have a chance to sit down together. This is really the way it should be," Gorfinkel added.
"I have made mistakes. More than I want to think about actually. And I would like to think that these mistakes were chances for me to grow, both in terms of my knowledge, and in terms of how I practice medicine."
When I Was In Grade 2, I Was Requested By The School To Do An Eye Test
If something tragic happens to a patient, there is a chance to use their horrible experience to help others. To improve the way their (and other) doctors practice medicine. It may not sound like much, but it's something. And something is better than nothing.
"When people are looking to sue a doctor, they're really upset about an error that was made. And rightly so," Gorfinkel said. "One of the things they look for is restitution in terms of is that going to change how things are going to be for someone else in the future. That is actually one of the key things we're looking for."
As the doctor pointed out, outsiders often think these people are looking for money, they just want a suit. Actually, a lot of the time, that's not true.
"What they want more is to know that that same error will not be made in the future. That the doctor has learned from their mistake, and that there will be systems in place to protect others from having to walk that same path."
There Was A Few Times But I Will Talk About The Most Egregious One
I was going to a doctor for four years about my back. Like, literally every few months I would go in and go, 'Look, the pain is still there. Nothing is helping. I don't understand what is going on.' They would give me painkillers and [screw] me off. After four years, I got really exasperated. I was like, 'When are you actually going to do something about this? This has been going on for ages. Nothing has been done.' And, at the time, the doctor that I was seeing told me that every time I had gone in they had put it down as a separate, weight-related back issue. Don't get me wrong, being overweight can cause many problems, and indeed with your back. But this was because I fell down the stairs and tore two muscles in my back. Four years and they were noting it down as weight.
Having Your Heart Stop Twice Hurts
"They continued to blame it on my anxiety but turned out I had bad heart condition. Admitted into to the hospital, having your heart stop twice hurts"
I Went To The Doctor With A Lump In My Breast
I went to the doctor with a lump in my breast and it was leaking pus from my nipples. And with my long family line of breast cancer issues I thought that it will be taken a little bit more seriously. He was telling me he will order a bunch of ultrasounds and tests he actually never did that. When I called ultrasound people they said we don't have anything for you, no requisitions, nothing. So you need to go to the hospital, emergency room right now, because it can be some serious bad juju. I figured out nothing was wrong but I got finding a new doctor and complaint about the doctor because thats some serious stuff
When My Daughter Was Almost 3 Months Old, She Was Having A Hard Time Breathing
Doctor Refused To Switch My Birth Control Even I Was Having Some Major Side Effects From It
I had to find myself another doctor who could prescribe me a non hormonal iud. Because that was not an option in my doctors eyes. It was not going to help any of my issues. When i switch my birth control all of my issues gone .So not going back to that doctor
My Doctor Wouldn't Listen Turns Out I Had A Brain Condition
Went to the doctor as I could hear my pulse in my ear constantly, they told me it was an ear infection, so they gave me antibiotics. This did nothing. Went back again and they said there was water behind my ear drum and that it would resolve on its own, that the liquid will come out slowly over time. A year later still no improvement.