“I Missed It”: Doctors (And Patients) Are Sharing Times When A Patient Said Something Was Wrong, And Later Turned Out To Be Right

17. “My son had chest issues out of nowhere [and] labored breathing. We went to the ER and were told he was fine and was sent home. It didn’t sit right with me, so the next day I went back, and they x-rayed his lungs: pneumonia. They gave me antibiotics and sent us home. About two days later, he’s complaining about back pain. I can’t imagine what might be going on and feel stupid for bothering the ER, but back we went. Turns out it’s referred pain from his pneumonia that is now significantly larger and is the start of 3.5 weeks in various hospitals as they try to get his pneumonia under control, up to getting him prepped for surgery (although the surgery didn’t happen and wasn’t necessary in the end).”

“The thing is, none of that was the doctor’s fault. I completely get that they see hundreds of people a day. It just made me passionate about (politely) advocating for my health and my child’s health. 

In Australia, we have a law called Ryan’s Rule which basically means if a parent has a gut feeling that they are not getting the right care, they have the right to request a second opinion. It’s a good thing, not because doctors are incompetent but because they are busy and not omniscient. It’s really important.”