Medical Error Interviews

Tracy Fossum: Chronic pain, chronic gaslighting, chronic bias and a heart attack

October 19, 2020

When Tracy Fossum had all the symptoms of a heart attack, the emergency room doctors thought Tracy was drug seeking and sent her away. Then her pain specialist physician implored her to go to a different hospital’s emergency room because they were heart attack specialists and would have to run appropriate tests. 

But they thought Tracy was drug seeking too and made her wait 6 hours before being seen by a doctor --- and even then and in spite of being in immense pain for hours, the doctors and nurses were shaming and denigrating Tracy -- that is, until her heart stopped beating.

At that point, the doctors and nurses suddenly became empathetic and supportive of Tracy -- not because they cared about her, but because they realized she was having a heart attack and her husband had witnessed the abuse and neglect and was about to witness her death by medical bias.

This is just one of many harmful medical experiences Tracy has endured while being sick since childhood -- and they have formed her advocacy work around chronic pain -- and as more Long Covid patients report chronic pain, the number of patients needing Tracy and her team’s support is about to explode.


Connect with Tracy Fossum:




Twitter: @HELP_AB


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