A PA misdiagnosed my years-long battle with endometriosis as anxiety
See a midlevel, lose your ovary.
Originally posted by u/eks5549 on Reddit. Lightly edited for clarity.
I’m in my mid-20s and first started having problems with my left ovary in 2018. I went to a gynecologist who was supposedly “one of the best in my area.” My left ovary always throbs, leaving me in excruciating pain. The first semester I started grad school, I had to miss finals because of it (this was around this time). I went to this gynecologist's PA, and she did not do an exam, any bloodwork, or imaging. Just told me that “school anxiety was causing my pain.” Sure, whatever you say. The pain kept getting worse and worse, and a few years later I started having nonstop bleeding outside of my periods. I suspected around this time that I have endometriosis, only because my aunt had it as well. Again, went back to this gynecologist PA, who told me that there was no way I had endometriosis because I would “only be in pain on my period.” A month later, I ended up in the ER because I was hemorrhaging and nonstop vomiting, with a stabbing pain on my left side. I ended up in emergency surgery, where I lost my left ovary because of a 6 cm endometrioma. They also found stage IV endometriosis, which had attached to my uterus, bladder, and rectum together. It is over a year later and I am still raging at this PA. She could have saved my ovary if she sent me to someone who knew what they were talking about. But she was totally clueless. I just want you all to know that the chronic illness community is definitely becoming more aware of people like that, and we are just as angry as you are!
We're quite saddened to hear of what happened to the author, and the fact that her pain was overlooked and dismissed by the midlevel physician assistant who saw her. It doesn't take a seasoned malpractice attorney (who we've encouraged the author to speak to) to see that the midlevel's initial workup, or lack thereof, wasn't anywhere close to the standard of care for undifferentiated genitourinary pain and abnormal vaginal bleeding. In the author's own words, the midlevel PA "did not do an exam, any bloodwork, or imaging", and wrote the author off as simply having anxiety. At the very least, the midlevel should have ordered a pelvic ultrasound. And contrary to what this PA apparently told the author, there's certainly no hard-and-fast rule saying that endometriosis can't cause intermenstrual bleeding - because it sure as hell can. The end result of all this midlevel madness? The author unfortunately lost one of her ovaries. With clear evidence of harm and injury due to substandard care, we think that the author has a slam-dunk case for medical malpractice to pursue.