Change in laws to better protect those injured by doctors and clinics

Change in laws to better protect those injured by doctors and clinics

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Wendy Schraml-Nelis started this petition to W and

In 2017, I was victim to a severe reaction to a medication that I had been put on by my physician.  In February of 2017, I was on my way home when I had an episode that I thought was a full blown heart attack. I spent a night in the hospital being worked up with no conclusive diagnosis other than my heart appeared fine.  For several weeks after I suffered from continued elevated blood pressure and similar attacks that no one could diagnose.  I became very afraid I was going to die and was unable to sleep because I thought I might die in my sleep.   My doctor at the time, LTW at Aurora Medical Group, gave me a prescription for Seroquel to take 2 x daily.  I did not know at the time that this medication is not FDA approved for anxiety, or sleep and that it is contraindicated for someone with a known heart issue which I had had ablation done at one time for SVT, an arrhythmia which doctors were currently questioning if it had returned.  When I started taking this medication regularly as my doctor had suggested, my behavior started to change.  Family, friends and coworkers noticed the decline. The decline is also documented in my medical record as is increasing depression, anxiety, onset of dissociation and auditory hallucinations telling me to harm myself.  My physician was aware of this decline... as is evidenced in my record and would later be listed out for me and used to terminate me.  However, despite his knowledge and warnings from this manufacturer to discontinue use if behavioral changes or suicidality occur... my doctor did not stop treatment.  Instead, he sent me messages telling me  he believe me possessed and to go to church to be prayed over and then later that he thought I had an alter.  This coming from a physician I had worked with for years, never had such issues previously, and he never once questioned why all of a sudden there were these issues.  Instead, On June 21st during an appointment, with no warning, I was told I was being terminated effective immediately.  I have multiple messages from this doctor telling me he was fighting to rescind the decision and that he wanted to be my physician and telling me to write letters... to no avail.  I would receive a letter in the mail one week later, laying out all the episodes of dissociation of which I had no recollection of with the clinic stating I was a threat to the doctor, and the clinic.  I had the chance to review some of these letters they mentioned with Dr. LTW and none of them were threatening in any way other than degrading me.  I was terminated from practice, no warning as I had said, no doctor to follow, and left on the medication causing the problem.  I would later learn that they breached state statute for patient abandonment.  On July 3rd things got so bad that I was unable to complete my shift at work because I was constantly crying.   On July 4th, my landlords found me collapsed in my yard, crying and suicidal.  They helped me call local psychiatric hospital to see if I could get in, but I was told there was no room due to the holiday and to call the next day.  There were 2 other psychiatric hospitals in town but I could not go there because I worked as a nurse at one and doctors and nurses from my facility also worked at the other facility.  I then made a safety plan with my landlords to go by my father and uncle for the day and then try to get into the psychiatric hospital the next day as noted.  I made it to my dads, but ended up leaving due to severe anxiety, the auditory hallucinations and suicidal thoughts.  The plan was for me to go back to my hometown and try to get help at the medical hospital.  I do not recall anything after that, but apparently I had messaged everyone telling them I was killing myself and sent pictures of myself after apparently taking an overdose.... that prompted friends to call the police.  I would be admitted to the psychiatric hospital that had originally told me they had no beds available.. and spend 5 weeks there detoxing from the drug seroquel.  During hospitalization, I tried to contact LTW to tell him they knew this was the drug as the hallucinations and dissociation stopped after discontinuing and I also reacted similarly on a similar drug they tried in hospital.  LTW, called the hospital back and reported that there was a no contact order against me.  This cost me my phone privileges and would later lead to severe anxiety when I got out of the hospital in that LTW and I worked together at the same Psychiatric hospital and I could not figure out how to work there with such an order leading to severe anxiety and eventually loss of my job.  The things that he stated and the issues surrounding all of this would damage my career as a nurse, my reputation, strain my family to the point they shut me out.  LTW, and I went to the same church and lived in the same town, and my daughter bought a house just down the road from him.  Due to the so called restraining order he called and had put in my chart... I no longer went to church, became afraid of going anywhere for fear of running into him and getting into trouble which led to agoraphobia.  The loss of my job, career and reputation led to financial difficulties which led to repossession of my vehicle and living month to month not being able to pay my bills and on the verge of losing my home I rent.  I would fight hard to try to get this decision rescinded and a wrong righted.  At the suggestion of my old psychiatrist when I was inpatient, I had genetic testing done.  When the results came back my new psychiatrist told me that "no one could ever say that I didn't have a problem with medications or that I was faking side effects because my genetic test was a mess".  I tried to get him to call LTW and Aurora to advocate for me, but he wouldn't because of said restraining order.  I would become quite ill in December of 2017 and undergo many tests through March to find that doctors now believed that what caused the incident in February 2017 and the issues after with heart issues and BP were due to neurocardiogenic dysfunction and hormone imbalance to the change in life.  Still no one would advocate for me with this prior doctor or clinic.  Until... September 2018 When I spoke with authorities in both Brown and Kewaunee Counties and found there had never been a restraining order and even a no contact clinic order would have had to have been filed with them.  I was dumbfounded by the lie... Told my current psychiatrist who then agreed to contact LTW and Aurora.  My attempts to contact them had been blocked... A letter I even sent with my daughter to one of her appointments was turned down by LTW with the statement, "it would get him into trouble with his boss and cost him his job"!.  Attempts by my psychiatrist to contact LTW and Aurora were also thwarted and declined.  Then a friend of mine asked me if she could message him as he was a mutual friend.  I told her that I could not ask her to do that, but I could not tell her not to.  She asked me what I would want to say.  I told her that since he had praised me up as a nurse I would appreciate references to help try to get a new job and that I would appreciate him talking with my psychiatrist so he could understand this was indeed a drug reaction, that I had worked on the things in myself and wanted to work this out.  She sent me a few messages back from him.  One... with the promise to give me references as he had opportunity to see my work ethic, another of him promising to talk to my psychiatrist and one saying he looked forward to talking with my psychiatrist and thanked me for my message of forgiveness.  I spoke with my psychiatrist and authorized this conversation to happen, contingent on me being present.  Well, the week of November 26th, I would receive a message back from my friend stating that LTW had had a "good conversation" with my psychiatrist.  He now declined to write the references and stated the communication channel was closed.  I was devastated by the hope I had been given now gone, by the breach in authorization... again I continued to be victimized by this situation.  I have tried to get an attorney.  I have been declined many times due to conflict of interest with Aurora, because the attorneys only took malpractice to due with faulty procedures, faulty equipment and implants... but no one would deal with being injured by a drug that the doctor neglected to act on.  I spoke with national attorneys that had once sued the maker of seroquel... I was told they no longer took seroquel cases, and informed me that even if they had.. the liability was the doctors not the manufacturer because it was the doctor that failed to heed the warnings on the medication directions and stop the medication.  It was the doctor that put me on a medication of which was contraindicated for me.  So they wouldn't help me.  I had one attorney in Milwaukee tell me to file my case with DHS, DSPS, and the Medical Board.. of which I have done.  She also told me to make my voice loud and heard... tell my story everywhere I could.  That this doctor HAD neglected to act and the clinic HAD violated state statues, but she couldn't help me either because it wasn't her area of malpractice and she wasn't taking new cases.  She did tell me to reach out to news stations, newspapers, social media, tell my story  and write a book..  She told me getting my voice out there would be my bed friend to try to get a resolution and to make a change.  So that is what I am doing.  I am telling my story... I am hoping for resolution.  I did make mistakes during what happened, I crossed boundaries leaning on my doctor more than I should because we knew each other personally.  I have corrected those issues and had even written and promised that if they rescinded this decision I would never do that again.  However, it was NOT my fault for the reaction I had to this drug, that is fact and proven and it is FACT that the reaction to this drug is why I was terminated.  For over a year... I have been bullied by this doctor and clinic... I have been humiliated, used as a scapegoat to cover up their errors... errors they refuse to admit even thought they are documented in my medical record, messages and texts.  I want resolution.. I need resolution of this to hopefully heal from all the pain and shame.. the damage to my career... the loss of my family.  Something needs to change to protect patients from injuries like this.  Had I died during that suicide attempt.... there would have been no question.  The state would have gone after him for negligent manslaughter, but because I lived... I am dispensable and no one cares how much pain and suffer and damage has been done.  Change has to happen... Malpractice lawyers should be more versed to help people like me.. there should be advocate groups that will help legally with cases like mine... These doctors and clinics need to be held responsible for the damage they cause.  They took an oath to "First do no harm"... well, I can honestly say they failed and the legal system has failed to protect me.  Changes need to be made and doctors held responsible for prescribing medication for things not FDA approved and off label... as use for off label leaves these drugs open for potential serious side effects to the patient.  Seroquel is being used routinely for anxiety and sleep... uses that are NOT approved by the FDA but are being used off label.  There have to be stronger laws that hold doctors accountable for not properly monitoring patients and acting properly when patients have negative side effects to medications.  I'm sorry, but telling a patient they "are possessed" is not an appropriate reaction to a medication side effect!  I implore politicians and our president to make changes in laws to help those patients injured like this... those patients whose malpractice cases aren't big million dollar cases with headlines.. Why does a patient have to die to get help from our legal system?  This has to change.  I am not the only person out there that has been harmed in this way... Stop protecting those that harm us and start protecting those of us who have been victims.  Its our lives that have been destroyed... 

I literally spent the whole first year of this hoping and trying for an amicable and peaceful resolution to this situation.  If I had done something wrong intentionally, then I would have said I deserved what I got, but I was not aware at all of the dissociation or in control of it.  It was up to my physician to see this, protect me and stop the medication.  He did not.  All I wanted for a year, was for a wrong to be righted, for them to admit this occurred, to set boundaries and start over.  Instead, I am the scapegoat and continue to be victimized for a drug reaction... and to cover up a doctor not acting on a problem and a clinic that terminated me unjustly. 

 

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