Getting consistent treatment

I was going to write on something else today, until I saw this story on CBC, all here in Kelowna.

MRIs are crucial for lots of MS patients, as they show that type of active lesion I talked about. In Kelowna, the wait can be 6 months for a routine MRI.

I was very lucky in my diagnosis. First it was very clear. Clinically, I lost the ability to walk over 4 days, so I was first diagnosed as tranverse myelitis, which was later changed to include MS.

I was admitted to hospital and had an MRI less than 24 hours later, as an emergency, and because I was in hospital. That MRI was of my spine, but it showed lesions in my neck and the radiologist said that I should have a further MRI of my brain. By this point I was an “urgent outpatient” and I was on the list for cancellations.

I heard nothing for over a month. When the neurologist followed up, it seemed there was a small error on the form, and if there’s an error, they throw it away without telling the doctor that submitted it. I waited another month.

Fast forward a couple of years. I have a new neurologist in Vancouver and I take a CD of my previous MRIs with me. He orders a full spine and brain MRI, in Kelowna, to make life easier for me in travelling. I’m in the machine for 2.5 hours and when the scan comes to my neurologist they haven’t done the spine, because the radiologist can over-ride the neurologist, and he decided it wasn’t necessary…and the scan was also unreadable.

I now have my MRIs in Vancouver, just 5 hours travel each way for something I could have done here.

MRIs are the only scan we have in MS, and as I mentioned days ago, they don’t show everything. The type of damage I have will hopefully be covered in the next generation of MRIs.

Once again, the message is the same. Advocate for yourself. There are excellent physicians and technicians and poor ones everywhere, just as in every job.

It seems here the man paid for the same poor quality I received for free.


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