Goodpastures Syndrome

Too close for comfort - a near-fatal encounter, told by the patient

5. Diagnosis Bronchitis - Prelude to Goodpastures Syndrome

(This is a true account of my experience with Goodpastures Syndrome, but a few people‚Äôs names have been changed, indicated by *.  My aim in writing this is threefold; first, that victims and families of people suffering from Goodpastures Syndrome can have some knowledge of what to expect in a serious event but also to show that Goodpastures is survivable, even in a case like mine; second, it would do no harm for physicians treating Goodpastures Syndrome or other devastating diseases, not to mention GP’s prescribing medication to patients, to read this as there are lessons here for some of them; lastly I am trying to exorcise the psychological after-effects of my experience with Goodpastures Syndrome).

Having no experience of doctors in Port Elizabeth I asked Mr Stott if he knew any. He mentioned his G.P., a Dr. Smit*. On my way home, I stopped off at his chambers and was in due course examined by him. He diagnosed me as having bronchitis and gave me a prescription for a course of antibiotics which I duly collected before going home.

Over the next few days I faithfully took the pills, coughed more and more, getting less and less sleep, progressively lost my appetite and grew steadily weaker.

In childhood I had contracted chickenpox and measles but from that time on I had never experienced illness or injury apart from the occasional cold.  The fatigue due to the coughing and concomitant lack of sleep was unsurprising but I was appalled at just how ill I felt.  I had had bronchitis before but had never felt sick like this.

During the evening of 7th June Alan Stott paid me a visit and was visibly shocked at my condition. Saying that he thought I had pneumonia he immediately bundled me into his car and took me to the Casualty Department at Greenacres Hospital. Dr Smit* being unavailable that evening his partner, Dr Muller*, was called out. Upon arrival he too examined me and again diagnosed bronchitis and issued a prescription for some different antibiotics.

I continued at home as before, faithfully took the new course of pills and continued to deteriorate, growing still weaker and almost totally losing my appetite. This was something I found quite strange as I had always been a hearty eater and had never imagined the possibility of finding the thought of food repugnant.

On the morning on 9th June, Alan Stott again paid me a visit by which time I could only walk a few paces unsupported.

He was openly angry to see my condition and reiterated his belief that I had pneumonia. He once more conveyed me to Dr. Smit* who examined me yet again and this time diagnosed pneumonia, booking me immediately into the Provincial Hospital.

Alan Stott took me home, assisted me to get together the few things I needed and to make arrangements regarding keys etc and then took me to hospital and helped with answering questions during the registration process. I was then taken to Mosenthal Ward.



Diagnosis Bronchitis - Prelude to Goodpastures Syndrome             copyright 2011 Richard Binstead Goodpasture's Syndrome

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