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'We Deserve Better'

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I am a cancer survivor. Since being diagnosed in 2013, I have had seven or eight different oncologists.

In October of last year, I came down with a cough. In December, I was referred to a pulmonologist. I couldn't get an appointment until April of 2019 because the pulmonolgist was overbooked. Due to an emergency, the doctor moved my appointment to June.

The pulmonologist prescribed several different medications and scheduled a bronchoscopy. The bronchoscopy was painful and I did not receive the information I should have to warn me of the aftereffects. It took two weeks and several phone calls before the doctor's assistant gave me the results of my test.

My oncologist spoke to a radiologist and they agreed that I should have a lung biopsy. On a recent morning I checked in for my biopsy. I spent four hours at the hospital with little sleep, no food or drink and a difficult, painful IV insertion. After the preliminary CT scan, I was told that the radiologist has decided NOT to do the biopsy.

This is the state of healthcare in Humboldt County — doctors who do not stay in the area long enough to get to know their patients and do not, apparently, share patient information with each other (Mailbox, April 4). Prescriptions and procedures are unnecessary or unexplained. Doctors order tests that are later rescinded by other doctors.

I have asked many doctors why they are leaving Humboldt County. Two main reasons appear consistently – lack of transportation in and out of the county, and lack of opportunity for spouses and family. Humboldt County supervisors, I am calling on you to step up for your constituents and provide the infrastructure needed to make Humboldt County viable for practicing physicians! We, the citizens, deserve better.

Cynthia Shepard, Eureka


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