Of all the horrible things that happened the worse was the lack of access to information…

…in March of 2009 my husband was suffering pain, he went to the Doctor many many times, he went to an ER twice by the mid March of 2009 my husband had been on 4 types of pain medication, 2 types of muscle relaxant and 4 types of laxatives and we still didn’t have a diagnosis. He was hospitalised on March 25 for tests, on March 27 of 2009 he was told while he was alone by his oncologist he had tumours and growths throughout his abdomen. The oncologist then left town for a medical conference for the next 4 days and would be unreachable by cellphone or email. My in-laws and I would scurry all over the hospital asking questions, what’s going on? What’s happening? What’s the diagnosis? What’s the treatment plan? What are the next steps? And the oncologist came back a few days later and he went up to my husband at 7.30 (am) rounds and said ‘Mr Holliday, I was wondering, um, I understand your wife’s been asking questions about your case’ and my husband just looked at him and was a little worried and he said ‘Yes’ and the Doctor said ‘Well if Mrs Holliday, Mrs A-Type personality, has questions she should come to my office hours to ask them’. And I did and this is a painting of that day…

Regina Holliday Failing to communicate

…He never closed the door, he never stopped taking phone calls, he never stopped talking to that one nurse about that one parking lot problem and that one parking space and that one employee who parked in the wrong space in the lot, or Miss Rosen’s chemotherapy booked in later that day. And all the while he’s speaking so rapidly and saying words I don’t understand so I say ‘please, please could you slow down because I’m writing these words down so I can research them online’ and he says ‘I don’t like people who research online’ and I said ‘I’m sorry but my only way to understand you is to research because I don’t have a background in medicine’ and he said ‘and that’s right I’m the one with the medical degree’… …and Ted asked me ‘of all the horrible things that happened what was the worse thing that happened?’ and I said ‘it was lack of access to information’

Regina Holliday, Artist, Speaker, Author

If you fail to see why we need to routinely let patients share their own health information and for their Doctors to document the consultations they provide and the advice and information they share with their patients and carers please watch this video again.

Boris Pasternak When a great moment knocks on the door of your life it is often no louder than the beating of your heart and it is very easy to miss it

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