Port Augusta Clinic.
To Dr. Nataros, Staff and Management.
This is a letter to state my utmost discontent with the services provided by your Port Augusta Clinic and staff. When my family joined your practice last year I underwent a lot of research to see which doctor would be able to provide the best care for our family. At this point Dr. Olsen was not available for care as her schedule to start was after we were needing care. I was impressed by Dr. Nataros’s attention to his professionalism and improvement of knowledge in his field of expertise. His young energy gave us the confidence that we would have a doctor able to look after our family needs without the chance of retirement soon. Our last family doctor was partially retired for the remaining four years of our care which meant we were never able to get in to see her as she had other doctors filling her spot. We felt like her care and attention was elsewhere, projected into the future where her retirement was. After many lost files and bones forever displaced because paperwork didn’t get from A to B we decided we needed a new doctor.
During my first consultation with Dr. Nataros I went to the effort to open up to him about my sexual abuse as a child, as well as my mental state and need for mental support. It is hard for me to do this, to open up again and again about the trauma because it heightens CPTSD symptoms. However, it is crucial to me that my family Doctor know my of my history so my care is understood. I told Dr. Nataros that I was going to pay to have comprehensive files transferred for myself and my husband as usually only two years are transferred and I needed history of my childbirths and childhood trauma to be understood. Dr. Nataros seemed to understand and offered me confidence at this point. However my family was not able to get in to see Dr. Nataros whenever we seemed to call in for an appointment, he was often away doing things and not available usually for at least ten days. To me this seems inappropriate for a family doctor. This meant we had to make appointments with other doctors at the clinic for ready care. Something I was trying to avoid when we changed doctors, we don’t want to be passed around like a game. We want solidarity and this was far from the case with the care Port Augusta Clinic gave us. We very quickly lost any relationship with Dr. Nataros after we couldn’t get in to see him and he didn’t seem to be made aware or actively keep up with the appointments that happened with his patients while he wasn’t there.
When my situation drastically changed in late November of 2019 I needed a family doctor more than I have ever needed in my life. After learning that the abuse that happened to me as a child was far more life threatening than I had remembered, my body began shutting down as it remembered information previously forgotten. A state called dissociative amnesia occurs during the “freeze” stage in trauma, this means the parasympathetic nervous systems takes over the body, switches off the hippocampus and leaves sensory information unprocessed in the medulla oblongata. This information can consolidate at any time in the victims future. And this is where I found myself. Remembering being held down, hands on face to stop breathing, screams being subdued until my heart gave way and body went limp, night visits from my brother that ended in chronic submission and shutting down of my body. You think this is horrifying but the saddest truth is that people have it worse than me. Do I need to stand on top of a building on fire and scream this at you for you to actually hear me? POEPLE HAVE IT WORSE THAN ME! People have no support, no family and no one that believes them. Many people are already lost to the darkness that calls us. Most trauma survivors can’t even make an appointment with the doctor because they are so lost in self blame and depression, disgust, dissociation, avoidance and submission that they have literally nothing to give. NO thing.
Your clinic just watched me kicking and screaming and trying desperately to be heard. Acted as if I didn’t exist, like my cuts and suicidal thoughts and history WASN’T SERIOUS OR IMPORTANT. Your clinic dismissed me as if I was worthless. Worth less, or lacking-worth.
There will likely be a lawyer involved once I get well enough to accommodate this and here I pledge to any lawyer that may come across this letter/blog post that I would like someone who genuinely sees my truth and wants to help me mediate this journey.
Money, status, justice. Those are just outcomes you see. While I know justice will be served, that isn’t what you should worry about. Because all that is truly left here is the truth that you left me to die. You fucking left me to die. You cannot deny this truth if you seriously look at my history, my records, my maltreatment. (Altering my records at this point would grow illicit energy in your hearts). You cannot deny that if you look in your hearts. The reality you have to face, your truth as a doctor and clinic, is that you treated me with nothing short of neglectful and abusive care. It is uncommon for one English word to perfectly describe a human situation but here the word is perfect; gaslighting.
I will cry myself to sleep tonight, wandering how many other people have reached out like I did and not had anyone take them seriously. I will cry for the lives already lost and that pain, it ripples from my heart through my entire body. This feeling is called empathy. HOW MANY PEOPLE COULDN’T GET THROUGH BEFORE ME? AFTER ME? HOW MANY PEOPLE HAVE ALREADY DIED BECAUSE YOU GASLIGHTED THEM?
When an individual lives in a state of chronic trauma like I did for six years, the nervous system looses its ability to function naturally as stress hormones toxify the system. This means the individual finds it almost impossible to lay down new memory as the hippocampus goes “offline” sporadically.
When my remembrance occurred and the information began consolidating I tried to make an appointment with Dr. Nataros. As. usual he was out of the office for ten days. I really needed my family doctor at this point, someone that knew my history. I tried to talk to Dr. Nataros in advance so he knew and was aware of where I came from but it became clear in the following acts that his care remained in empty words rather than actions.
I ended up in emergency unable to stop anxiety attacks that were paralytic and stopped me breathing. I was very suicidal at this point, I was unable to see how I could live with this knowing, these memories. My care at emergency was very poor and your office already has an article here about this encounter, you can read about it at www.suzannayellow.ca if you missed that (this letter is also posted in my blog there).
What was really hard for me after being in the Hospital was that your office didn’t even follow up with me. Didn’t even check to see I was OK or still alive! I have had my children and husband in the hospital and emergency many times. There is always a follow up phone call, always. But suicide doesn’t qualify for this? I had to wait for Dr. Nataros to return to work because I didn’t feel OK seeing anyone else. My Mother flew out from New Zealand to support me because I couldn’t get in for ten days. My Mother flew here from the other side of the world because your office was unable to provide support for me. She arrived and cared for me before my own family doctor in my own town could even call me to see if I was OK, or have someone do this on his behalf. Just to reiterate that after being suicidal in the emergency department at the Comox Valley hospital, there was no follow up or means of reaching out by your clinic. Period.
I hoped Dr. Nataros would see my case, help me find a therapist, a Psychologist and offer services to support me. But what he actually did was give me a handout of therapists saying I could decide for myself. If he was aware of the mental states of highly traumatized patients he should have been able to discern that I was unable to make any decisions myself let alone these big decisions. He did not check my medication here. I ended up having to visit Dr. Roddie twice for Ativan and this was a horrible experience for me as he didn’t know my history. On my second visit for Ativan I had to again pour out my history to Dr. Roddie as he didn’t understand why I needed Ativan and I actually felt “home-less” asking in this way. During this appointment I spoke to him about my medication and he said it clearly wasn’t working and told me to change to this other anti-depressant. Which I did. And I have had no follow up from Dr. Nataros on this and I actually have no idea if the amount I am on is correct or if this is helping or anything. Most likely Dr. Nataros isn’t aware my medication was changed. So to be clear here so we can’t make mistakes about what happened, my medication was changed randomly by a doctor that wasn’t mine and then I was left to just adjust to this without any follow up. This is not by any means OK. My father is a GP in New Zealand and he was devastated to hear there was no follow up, he believes that mental disorders and any medication change should be taken seriously and followed up. Perhaps the standards of care in New Zealand is different. Perhaps doctors here don’t have to follow up on suicide and hospital visits and medication changes. And if that is the case then that is just so sad. Doctors have become machines; Robots. Seeming to lack compassion and human heart. I don’t understand what has gone so wrong in the heart of man. That not one doctor at your clinic could see my pain, my desperation, and offer a hand. I am left feeling so defeated. I pleaded with reception to have Dr. Olsen take over my care, when the receptionist said she was sorry to hear of this and would discuss this and get back to me. No one did. I called because I needed an urgent appointment, it was implied something was being done. And then nothing. I called for an URGENT appointment and no one got back to me for FOUR DAYS. Emergency doesn’t want to see me, you don’t want to see me, the walk in clinics don’t understand me, no one cares about me. I am worthless in your eyes, not worth it.
When I phoned early last week I needed to see a doctor to sort out my medication and I also couldn’t move my neck from the anxiety attack I had in your office a few days prior. During which Dr. Nataros saw me in a terrible state and didn’t follow up with me after I left his office unable to wait for his exam. He left me in a room for 45 minutes. I needed a sexual exam to be carried out, I pleaded for a female doctor, no one would help so he said he would come back and do it after his day was over and that I could wait. He just left me there, sitting in a room having breathless anxiety attacks while thinking of him coming to do a sexual exam on me. After he knew my history, my plead for female doctor. To leave me in a room with this thought of a male coming to do a sexual exam for almost an hour proved that he has no idea of what trauma and dissociation and near death look like on a patient.
My family will not be needing care from your clinic from this point forward. How could one trust the care of her family in a clinic that displays such human maltreatment?
I hope that all of your staff consider taking a course in understanding trauma and mental distress as the lack of empathy is disconcerting for a medical profession.
My Father, has stopped seeing his patients in New Zealand for two weeks, because he is on his way here to ensure my life continues. He is coming to Canada because I haven’t been able to find a female doctor to care for me. He is coming all this way to advocate for me and ensure I have care. If your clinic took me seriously I could have had a female doctor that cared for me and your name could have been lifted out of the dirt. All these patients would still be getting care in New Zealand and your clinic wouldn’t have disrupted a clinic on the other side of the world. Do you see the effect? That one tiny ripple can send out through the entire cosmos?
Everything that has happened with my care has been recorded. My life, after almost losing it to the monster that lived under my bed. Will now be spent making sure this kind of care is brought fully to the light of the entire world. Your clinic is the perfect example of the disconnected place our society has reached, in some ways I feel like thanking you. For treating me so poorly because it has ignited a flame deep within me. I shall rise from the ashes. I made sure your clinic wasn’t the reason I went home and killed myself, I made sure I stayed alive after Dr. Nataros dismissed my care that day, and the next and the next. After being though all I have been though to live, how could I let something like your clinics maltreatment be my final demise? I have fought so hard. You have no idea how strong I am. I made sure I didn’t kill myself after my second defeat at emergency. I made sure I lifted my head from my bed and my feet one in front of the other. I made sure I stayed alive for truth. Or maybe it was God that made sure I stayed alive. Something did, so I could live to make an example of the incriminating care that led me to this point. Where I stand is for the hope of the heart of mankind.
It is so sad that professionalism has darkened the hearts of doctors, the healers and carers of our community. The people who went to University thinking they cared so much about people that they wanted to make a change. These people are now left behind a facade of stigma that leaves them unable to reach out and truly care. The ones that thought they cared the most now are conditioned to “think they care” when in-fact they are leaving death to prevail.
The actions of an individual will always show their true nature.
When we spoke you asked me if I had done any body work, any “yoga”. And yes I have, I study yogic philosophy and Sanskrit language. I can see my energy body. Some weird extra-sensory thing that developed through disassociating with my body so much over time. I see truth. I am not here on Earth for money or societal wealth, for beauty or popularity. I am here for truth. To teach the truest essence of the heart. That deep down we are one. That our hearts are all connected. I see our hearts all connected, the actual energy vibration of this, and I see everyone cutting this tie over and over again. It hurts yet I am used to this knowing but You.
You just ignored me. Ignored that our human condition is about connection and kindness. And then my Dad, he told me some people don’t become doctors because they genuinely care about people. He said they become doctors because it shows intellect and gives a good pay cheque. It’s the saddest truth to hear because he just genuinely tries so hard to help people, he is truly so caring and it sucks that while he was out delivering babies in the night I was being sexually abused by his eldest Son, its devastating, but its the circle of life you see. Every profession has its downfall. I burn myself with 1200 degree molten glass if I slip in my job, I risk blowing myself up with natural gas every.single.time I go to work. But I take that risk because my heart, it knows that it was born to do that. And I love feeling what is true from my heart, not what society tells me is correct. I hope you can see past this Dr. Nataros. And offer care from the heart to your future patients. If you truly believe in “yoga” and “body work” then please be my guest in knowing that my abilities as “seer” or “Rishi” allow me know that energy fields, which grow from our hearts, are all connected. You gave me Yoga as your number one recommendation as a doctor so please. Learn what Bhakti and Jnana, Raja and Karma Yoga are. Learn what TRUE yoga is before you start prescribing something you have no idea about, to your patients.
The biggest gift you can give yourself is connecting with your heart and living from a place of compassion, love and kindness, THAT is what yoga is. THAT is what the big secret to life IS. Its not about looking bendy in a pose, it’s about connecting with your heart and breath and understanding our “oneness” flows deeper that this superficial fight for survival.
I will fight with every breath of my life to help other people who were sexually abused and traumatized, who are stuck in this horrible game of gaslighting and bemusement to find justice. To find peace, to find a voice. To find so many things that are lacking in todays care.
With a deeply saddened heart,