Allegheny Health Network Esophageal Institute Mistakes are Hard to Swallow

This is somewhat jumbled in my brain, but I’m going to try to write it down.

I went for an endoscopy this AM at Allegheny Health Network, the goal was to affix a Bravo chip to my esophagus to monitor ph levels for a few days.

I woke up in agony. In addition to the chip, they had dilated or stretched my esophagus. I don’t remember discussing that procedure because I don’t think it is a very useful procedure. So I am in pain and a bit of despair that someone violated my bodily autonomy without my informed consent. I may have signed a release while starting to go under anesthesia, but …

What they didn’t know because they didn’t ask is that I have some childhood medical trauma issues and this triggered most of them. I tried to discuss it with the institute leader, Dr. Blair Jobe, but he’s ignored all my communication. So they are doing all of these procedures involving oral and anal orifices for people who are medically vulnerable without any conscious attempts to be trauma and anxiety informed.

It got worse. The Bravo has a monitor that I would carry with me for a few days. They showed it to me before my procedure and assured me the device and instructions would be given to my wife afterwards. Fine. It looked simple enough to use. I was more focused on the fact that I hadn’t had anything to drink for ten hours.

After the procedure, I was completely out of it. They gave Laura paperwork and put me in a wheelchair because I was a fall risk. I crawled into the car, completely exhausted and wondering why my throat hurt so much. After going home, I realized there was no device. We searched everything. I called the AHN Esophageal Institute. First they blamed me, then pointed out the device cost $7000, and eventually demanded I return to be connected to a new device. Then they found my device but didn’t actually apologize, just kept demanding I come in. I explained repeatedly my wife had to go back to work and I was about to collapse. Then I just did collapse and fell asleep for many hours, exhausted from dehydration, the agonizing pain in my throat, and the gall of them bringing up the cost of the device – why would I steal it?

So now I am going to try to heal my broken body bits, then find a new esophageal treatment team. I have zero hope of Allegheny Health Network trying to set things right and I certainly would never trust them after these violations.

The other disturbing thing is this is inside a hospital and they removed my mask telling me they would put another surgical one on me. They never did. They just crammed my mask under the blankets like it was a pair of socks. I was so out of it that I didn’t even realize I was sitting there talking without a mask in a place filled with people who have COVID-19 are housed.

I need to go to bed now, but it makes my throat hurt a lot.


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