Lily’s health issues began several years ago when she noticed she was perpetually exhausted and had no energy despite being a healthy, active person. Her quality of life started to decline. She visited her family doctor who insisted there wasn’t anything “physically wrong” with her. Lily continued to struggle with low energy and fatigue for three months until one day, her legs gave out and she had a fall in her home. She went to her family doctor for help but he insisted there was nothing wrong with her. That same week, Lily suffered two more serious falls in her home and ended up in the emergency room.
“When I entered the hospital my heart rate was 20,”she said. I was told that if I had gone home that day I would have died.” After her hospitalization, Lily finally got a diagnosis of cardiomyopathy.
She needed a pacemaker and a variety of medications to treat her condition. Because there was no history of heart problems in Lily’s family, the doctors told her the cardiomyopathy was caused by a viral infection. Life went on as normal for Lily, although the medications she was prescribed left her feeling fatigued and caused her to have extremely low blood pressure. In the following years, Lily found herself struggling with more health issues: endometrial cancer and a potentially serious skin condition that her specialist was not certain how to treat.
Confused and unsure of who to turn to next, Lily decided to contact Best Doctors, which she gained access to through her employer, the College of New Caledonia, part of BC Colleges Consortium.
Lily’s medical records were collected and sent to Best Doctors for a review by a leading cardiovascular surgeon in Chicago. When she received the report from Best Doctors, she was stunned to get a completely different diagnosis for her condition.
“From beginning to the end – having the records sent to me, the great personality of the Member Advocate (Registered Nurse) and the thorough Best Doctors report – everything was excellent.”
“I had always been told that I have a viral infection which is why I need the pacemaker. The Best Doctors specialist said that I do not have a viral infection – instead I was diagnosed with cardiac sarcoidosis,” she said. The expert further explained that the skin condition was a manifestation of cardiac sarcoidosis.
Lily’s family doctor and her cardiologist both reviewed the Best Doctors report and agreed with the diagnosis. Based on the new diagnosis, they decided to alter Lily’s medications. “My family doctor said they now have a different way of wanting to treat my heart condition,” said Lily. She added that the report provided specific recommendations for medications and next steps that were clear and actionable. The Best Doctors specialist also suggested a PET scan in order to substantiate the diagnosis of cardiac sarcoid, which her cardiologist will need to arrange.
After her experience with Best Doctors, Lily has urged others to try the service.