The Kaiser Papers A Public Service Web Site
n Copyright Since September 11, 2000
Help for Kaiser Permanente Patients on this public service web site.
Permission is granted to mirror if credit to the source is given and the
material is not offered for sale. The Kaiser Papers is not by Kaiser but is ABOUT Kaiser
Why the thistle is used as a logo on these web pages. |
Kaiser Permanente Patient Horror Story

Evelyn Delaney
San Luis Obispo, CA

Up until the summer of 1994 I enjoyed what one doctor called "robust" health. Walking on the beach for 4 or 5 miles was an easy, pleasurable walk for me. I rode my bicycle regularly and enjoyed lap swimming in an outdoor pool.

In July of 1994, I began feeling tired and my body ached. It got worse each day and I developed a rash liked none I'd ever had before. I went to the walk-in clinic at my HMO. After a cursory examination the doctor prescribed Naprosin (an anti - inflammatory drug) and suggested I see my regular doctor. I had to wait three days to see my doctor who never reviewed my chart, did not ask about my rash and never shared the results of a blood test that had been taken at the drop-in clinic. She told me that I was just getting old and should go home and take an aspirin.

I continued to become sicker and sicker. I tried to get an appointment to see a different doctor but the HMO refused. In exasperation I went to see a doctor outside my HMO. This doctor was immediately concerned about my health and was appalled that any doctor would let me be in this state. He did a thorough examination and referred me to a dermatologist. Extensive tests were performed resulting in a diagnosis of hypereosinophilia (a potentially fatal allergic reaction). I was given the appropriate medications including cortisone (a stronger more effective anti inflammatory agent).

I then went back to the HMO and told them of my diagnosis. They final relented and let me see a new doctor. This doctor insisted that I was fabricating my illness and refused to continue cortisone therapy. Within months I was again sick. To this day I remain debilitated, have difficulty walking and suffer pain constantly. The discontinuation of my cortisone has cost me heavily. I am appalled by the lack of access to doctors in HMO's and have found out that the type of care you will receive is anyone's guess. I am an elected official in San Luis Obispo County, but have found it doesn't matter who you are you can still be treated poorly by your HMO