Patients depend on trustworthy healthcare professionals. The majority are trustworthy and understand their limitations and boundaries and others do not. Who else better to trust than an understanding neuropsychologist? This was someone who represented herself as a professional in Akron, Ohio. Having a brain injury, I thought I could trust people that specialize in brain injury. There are not too many brain injury specialists around in Northeastern Ohio. I must have been fooling myself. From 1992-2000 things seemed to go well. Many things I just never was able to figure out. I attended routine sessions and she helped me a great deal, so I thought! Not only did she help with some cognitive retraining, but with many referrals. Later, I realized she helped herself to my finances as well.
In 2000, I was instructed to take a home equity loan out to pay for the balance I owed her. I explained this to my husband. I did exactly as I was told. She made sure to it that I had very clear notes of what I needed to do. My son accompanied me to my next appointment. He knew her well and was treated by this same neuropsychologist on-and-off during this time. He knew I was asked to write a large check in the amount of $4,477.40 for services- rendered, but at 18 years of age who would even question anything further. She did write an excellent letter for his admission to a private college. These are the questions I ask myself so many times over. How did I misjudge her for so long? Were there clues I missed? Does it pay to trust?
What do you do if you are required to pay a significant amount of money immediately to your healthcare provider? Do you know that if you have insurance the insurance company and your provider has a contract with each other, and they have to abide by that contract? i was clueless, but have since learned.
In other words, if you have an issue about payment contact your healthcare insurance provider before ever paying out money. If you have difficulty with handling these issues see if you can find someone to help you out. Telephone calls can be difficult, especially when they ask so many open-ended questions. If you are like I am, my spontaneous conversations are easy and come naturally. When I am being asked all sorts of questions, I may not able to retrieve the information quickly or for some time without knowing I automatically answer (confabulate or compensate) that sounds appropriately as though I knew what I was talking about. I don’t even know I am doing that…and that is what causes problems. Communication can sound so appropriate, but not be.
Immediately after I entered I gave her the check she requested. Both my son and I were present. She was suddenly rude like we have never seen her before. We couldn’t believe it, and there was no known cause for this behavior either. It was totally unexpected.
I was being blamed for nearly everything. I was told there was a fire in her barn where she kept all her medical records. It destroyed all her medical records. (I don’t know if this is true or not, I just know this is what we were told). We were informed that my records were kept in the office so nothing happened to them. I thought she was just upset because of this situation. She than became belligerent with me and told me never to return. This behavior came out of no where. I am certainly happy I had someone with me to witness it. My son knew her well, so we were both stunned. We left immediately, if not for any other reason except fear.
I really thought I built a solid professional relationship, especially since 8 years of treatment should have meant something. In retrospect, her professional relationship was all a facade and someone who knew exactly how to manipulate others with brain injuries. How many other patients has this happened to? How many other people will this happen to while receiving cognitive retraining? I hope not many so I just want caregivers and survivors or anyone seeking neuro-psychotherapy of any sort to be aware for this type of thing happening. In my mind, I’m thinking this is a rare occurrence and should not cause alarm, but be cautious. Somehow, somewhere or someone was the root of this issue, but I have never been given an opportunity to know the answer. Neither did I ever return to her office. Why on earth would I? I am not going to deliberately expose myself to an environment or person that has the potential to harm others.
I am aware that medical records come up missing frequently. I’ve witnessed this in both my personal life with my own healthcare and earlier in my professional career as a nurse. Both my husband and I witnessed a copy of a letter written by a neurologist’s colleague pertaining to my health…this letter being destroyed by this physician right in front of us. We knew him for 13 years as a physician who also prayed with us that we were in the right place for help. He said “we don’t want this in your file” and tore it right up.
He also had the secretary come in and make sure there are “no other copies floating around the office”. Now how stupid is that? What he didn’t know is that we already had and have a copy of that letter. Professionals know what they can and cannot do.
- Trust who with your life and healthcare? why? following traumatic brain injury (braininjuryselfrehabilitation.com)
- This is a big reason we can’t get health care (braininjuryselfrehabilitation.com)
- In All the Wrong Places for Healthcare or Was It Just All the Wrong Professionals After TBI (traumatic brain injury)? (braininjuryselfrehabilitation.com)
- Healthcare professionals with a traumatic brain injury. Who should know better? Part 1 of 3 (braininjuryselfrehabilitation.com)
- Healthcare professionals with a traumatic brain injury. Who should know better? 2 of 3 (braininjuryselfrehabilitation.com)
- Healthcare professionals with a traumatic brain injury. Who should know better? Part 3 of 3 (braininjuryselfrehabilitation.com)
- Could This Be The Reason Traumatic Brain Injury Is Misdiagnosed and Untreated? (braininjuryselfrehabilitation.com)
May 21, 2012 at 1:04 am
Edie, that’s a terrible story. Thanks for Helping others avoid such an awful scam by those in power.
Please, Please, please, take the image of your check down. I’m really concerned about the potential for identity theft because of the information it contains (account#, address, etc,).
I want to know that you are safe and happy for many future blog posts!
brain injury self rehabilitation (BISR)
May 21, 2012 at 1:28 pm
Heidi, Thanks for pointing out about the check. I haven’t had that account in years, and no longer reside at that address. Should there still be concern? If so let me know one way or another. If I need to remove it I will or I can black out parts that are important. Take care and stay safe. Edie
brain injury self rehabilitation (BISR)
May 27, 2012 at 11:23 pm
Heidi, I did remove the image of the check from my website. Thank you for helping me, Edie
May 27, 2012 at 10:16 pm
Edie, someone who is cunning might be able to follow a trail from this image and injurt you and Al financially. I’m no expert about such things, but have a gut feeling that it would be better to black out parts or remove it. Remove it seems best.
Sorry this doctor didn’t do the accepted thing: set up a payment plan for you, whatever you could afford to pay monthly. That she would give you advice about how to procure money to pay her, and advise you to take out a home equity loan, is wrong in many ways. I’m sorry you had to go through this, plus her change in attitude/behavior toward you and your son.
God bless you now! Experience is a great but PAINFUL teacher.
brain injury self rehabilitation (BISR)
May 27, 2012 at 10:26 pm
Maria, Thank you for bringing that to my attention. Heidi also said I should remove it. I just did! I shouldn’t be so trusting that something more couldn’t happen! I’ve had problems with my internet (or me!lol) so I’m a bit behind. Take care and stay safe, Edie
May 27, 2012 at 10:45 pm
Take care and stay safe, kiddo!