Misdiagnosed for 15 years.

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I am 30 and he mother of two almost three children. I started to care for my father last year. About 15 years ago he was diagnosed with hepatitis c. He decided to get a second opinion. That Dr told my father he had been misdiagnosed that he did not have hepatitis c. 15 years later the hepatitis c he didn't have is rediagnosed. Because of that second opinion my father now has cihrosis of the liver. Which causes him excruciating pain. I quit my job to take care of him. Which made my husband very angry. He wants me to put him in a nursing home but i refuse. I decided to leave my husband over it. My dad has three Dr.s they all say he needs care 24/7. That is why I quit my job. There is a cure for hepatitis c it only takes 24 weeks and he will be cured. The liver damage though will take more time. At least 5 years the hepatitis c Dr says.
My father has to have fluid drained off of him twice a month. Is there any way i could have my dad take the second Dr to court because if he had never been misdiagnosed he would have never had the liver failure and would not be in so much pain.

17 Comments

I'm confused. If he doesn't have hep C, why would he need to have the 24-week treatment to be cured of it? What was it that the doctors did that led to cirrhosis?
Let's see if I can follow this: Fifteen years ago your father consulted 2 physicians. One said her had hepatitis c; the other said he did not. He chose to accept that he did not. But he actually did have hepatitis c, and by not treating it he developed liver damage. Is that right? And now you are wondering if you can sue the doctor whose diagnosis he followed. You should consult a lawyer who specializes in malpractice suits, but my guess is that it is too late. I'm NOT a lawyer, though.

The second part of this situation, it seems to me, is that now that the diagnosis has been revisited, your father is getting treatment and needs 24-hour supervision. This will last about a half year, and then there will another 5 years for healing the liver. Will Dad need 24-hour care then, too?

You quit your job, left your husband, and are taking care of your father around the clock. You have 2 children and are pregnant (?). I guess you didn't ask about this part of the situation, but I expect you are going to get advice anyway. I'll start.

It is very understandable that you want to see your father get good care, that you love him, and are willing to sacrifice for him. He has had some raw deals in his life!

But what kind of raw deal are you willing to hand to your children, depriving them of a normal two-parent home? What are you willing to sacrifice of your own future. If you aren't working, and aren't married to someone who is, what is your own retirement going to be like? Should your loyalty to your father outweigh the vows you took to your husband?

If Dad went into a skilled nursing facility of some kind, there would be 3 shifts of workers to care for any need that arose. They would all work their shifts and then go home to the rest of their lives. They would sleep. They would come back refreshed. One person taking all three shifts plus taking care of children (or are you leaving them, too?) can't possibly provide the same level of care that a professional staff can in a setting that is designed to keep patients safe and comfortable. Do you really want your father to have less than the best care possible? What does he think about this? I don't think we are talking the rest of his life, here. Perhaps he'd be there 6 months. The job of visiting and advocating for him and making sure he is getting good care is a great deal to take on, but it is far more feasible to do while also caring for a family than trying to do it all yourself.

After the treatment for hep C, then the situation can be re-evaluated. Does he need a convalescent setting? Continued skilled nursing? Could he return home with some in-home help?

This is a very sad situation. I am sorry you have to deal with it.
From what I have read, diagnosing HepC is very difficult because most people do not have any symptoms, so how could you blame the second doctor for malpractice? There might be an attorney out there that would take the case, but what if your Dad lost the court battle.

Most people if are faced with one doctor telling them they have a certain disease, then go to another doctor who says they don't, will have a 3rd opinion to see if the first opinion or the second opinion was correct or not.

Your Dad had a choice and he decided by his own doing of staying with the doctor that said he didn't have HepC... remember this was 15 years ago, maybe the testing back then wasn't as accurate as it is today.

Sadly because of his choices, and because your Dad choose the path of least resistance [the doctor that told him what he wanted to hear] he put you in the situation of choosing between him and your husband. Thus, you left your husband. Does your Dad own up to his part in this breakup? Any chance of fixing the marriage?

I am hoping everything works out.
I have to agree with jeannegibbs here. You are probably aware that only a tiny percentage of people in your position would have made the same choices as you. There are reasons for that, very good ones. You may be thinking that your husband is healthy and can take of himself, as opposed to your poor dad, but what about your kids? There is no way to care adequately for a newborn and two growing kids while taking care of a very ill parent who needs 24/7 care.

I believe you need to think long and deep about why you feel compelled to make choices that fracture your family this way. Does your father, or his current state of helplessness, hold some powerful hold over you? Are you perhaps trying to win the affection and approval you didn't get from him in younger years? Are you trying to prove something to somebody else in your life by rejecting the option of a nursing home for your father? I hesitate very much to tell another person what's right or wrong for their situation, but you are making some very costly choices here, and you are not the only one who will pay the price. Please think about what you're doing here. Good luck!
I understand now. Thanks for straightening out my reading, guys. One thing that came to my mind here is that the drug that cures hep C has been a recent thing. We went through the treatment with one of the members here on the board. Before the drug, immune bolstering medications were used and some people (e.g. Jim Nabors) had to get liver transplants because of the damage. Because hep C was not curable until recently, I don't know if a lawsuit would be successful, particularly given that one doctor of the two had correctly diagnosed it. You could try, because sometimes insurance companies will choose to settle rather than to take it to court. An attorney well versed in malpractice would be able to give you a better idea of what he/she thinks the outcome would be.
BTW, did your father continue to see the doctor who had misdiagnosed him with not having the virus? Or was it a one-time visit? That will, I'm sure, be a consideration.
There is a statute of limitations on bringing forth a malpractice suit. Each state has their own time frame. 15 years is way too late in any state. Anyway, I see no validity for such a lawsuit based on your father's decision and choices. Hope for your children's sake, you can reverse your decisions and get back the life you had.
Ok first of all I am divorcing my husband because we live with my father. My father pays all the bills. We moved in with my dad when my husband lost yet another job. My husband does not work. I did. I would go over to my dads house (before we moved in with my dad) before work to fix him breakfast and give him all of his medication. I would fix him a cold lunch for later. When i got off work I would come home fix supper for my family and then take the kids with me to my dads to fix him supper and give him his night medicine. I did not leave my husband **** just ***** because of my father. My father pays all of the bills yet my husband won't watch the children while i work. I have to have a baby sitter. i left him because he will not do anything and i hoped it would wake him up.
By the way the Dr that misdiagnosed my father also misdiagnosed at least three other people and has been sued for malpractice twice.
Jessiebelle the Dr that misdiagnosed my dad It was a one time visit. My dads family Dr at the time diagnosed him. So he went to a "local specialist" who said he didn't have it. So my dad believed the specialist and changed family Drs.

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