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Vancouver Sun: June 11, 2014 – Vancouver’s beleaguered chronic disease clinic loses a third doctor

Facility has 1,400 patients on a waiting list for care

By Pamela Fayerman, Vancouver Sun

A third doctor resigned Wednesday from the year-old, beleaguered Complex Chronic Disease Program at BC Women’s Hospital.

Dr. Liz Zubek quit because she believes the clinic is “going backwards instead of forwards in terms of meeting its mandate,” said in an interview.

The clinic opened a year ago but fewer than 200 patients have been seen and 1,400 are on a waiting list for care.

Zubek has a family medicine practice in Maple Ridge so she worked there only a day a week. The three other doctors work an average of 1.5 days, so it is clear the clinic will never make a dent in the patient waiting list unless it hires several more doctors, something that hospital president Dr. Jan Christilaw said in an interview she plans to do.

Zubek said she was recruited by Dr. Alison Bested, the former medical director of the clinic. But Bested, a leading national authority on fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome and Lyme disease, resigned last month over a dispute with hospital leaders about how to start moving more patients through the clinic. Her leadership duties have been assumed by Dr. Ian Hyams, but he only works there a few days a week.

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  1. I was seen by Dr Bested about 6 weeks ago – one of the lucky ones. I live in the Okanagan and have been struggling for many years. I had a lyme diagnosis about 6 years ago in the US – confirmed by Dr Bested. The chronic fatigue and pain are crippling. Dr. Bested is amazing!!! After having spent over $200,000 of my own money trying to cope I was astounded the Province would allow this program to fail – it would save the taxpayer so much money in the short and long term – and hopefully help many of us who suffer. Jane Fleming. Kelowna

  2. We asked our family Doctor here in lethbridge Alberta to check our chronically ill daughter for Lyme disease as she exhibited all the syptoms. He told us it was not Lyme diesease and that whatefver it was would clear up. We aksed him what it was and he said he did not know and aksed us why we thought it was lyme disease? We told him that the symptoms are described at several Lyme disease sites. He dimissively told us we read the internet too much. He wold not submit her blood for testing saying nothing would show up.
    We are having trouble in Alberta finding any Doctor who takes Lyme disease or even westnile seriously.

  3. I too was negative for lyme here but was positive for barronella (cat scratch disease). I didn’t have a cat. The disease was actually shrugged off by my lyme literate doctor wonderful Dr. Murakami. He asked if I would like to get tested in California as he mentioned our testing is notoriously inaccurate. I had 200 symptoms and they were all lyme related i was ready to try anything in fact due to all the abuse from the medical professionals along with my family and the horrible pain I had to endure along with the fear associated I was ready to die. Imagine feeling like you are on your death bed everyday for two years, and everyone including those that are close to you dont want you around because you are negative, annoying, trying to get attention or crazy.

    It all started around the time I found out i was pregnant. I had this cute little dog I used to sleep with and was laying on my bed one day after what seemed about three months of ear pain and i had felt something crawling on my ear and picked off this sticky weird clingy spider beetle thing. It was tiny and had never seen a bug like that before, it was black and brown and thats how I described it those many years ago. This was at least a decade ago. Shortly after I started having weird flu like symptoms that seemed to never go away. Shooting pains in my arms, and anxiety. At the time I just associated everything with my pregnancy and stress. It wasn’t until i gave birth to my daughter I started to experianced the many symptoms that would debilitate me and prevent me from going back to work. I started getting pains in my chest which then went to pains in my legs and my arms and in my jaw. Even my friends who knew me thought those were scary symptoms that I brushed off thinking they would just subside. My friend one day gave me a scare and made me call the nurses line which i said ok and did and was told to go to the hospital asap so I did which started this bizarre journey of becoming a laughing joke by the whole medical profession along with my family. The symptoms progressed from there.
    chest pains (sharp, crushing)
    Shooting pains down or up arms and legs
    twitching in arms painful
    squeezing feeling in arms
    joint pain in all joints
    painful jaw
    sharp pains in head
    Pains in head that feel like crushing Styrofoam
    symptoms of shock
    irregular heartbeat, felt like my heart had stopped at one point and when it came back it was fast. 220 bpm.
    tachycardia 220bpm on one occasion
    Reynauds Phenomenon
    infections in my fingers and toes. They would swell and puss would come out the nails. No cuts
    short term memory loss, i would forget things i did or said 10 seconds prior
    brain fog
    speech problems
    i couldn’t remember the names of common everyday objects
    one time i was talking to my fiance when i started speaking gibberish but i could hear myself and that wasn’t what i was trying to say.
    blue lips after any physical exertion
    severe vertigo, had trouble walking straight.
    blisters on my hands and feet
    Allergic reaction to foods and medicine I did not have before.
    digestive issues
    vision problems. Floaters white and black.
    circular eczema like rashes on both arms
    anxiety and panic attacks
    feel better when consuming alcohol then would black out and feeling of passing out next morning.
    Im sure I missed some symptoms but the point is this was a two year process that I was labeled crazy and you look at my symptoms and anyone with these many symptoms would go crazy. I believe i was labeled from all my visits to the doctors where at one point my family physician slammed her cupboard and said i was anxious without hearing any of my symptoms and prescribed me celexa an anti depressant which as i mentioned before i had formed a sensitivity to all medications so when i took it i became really sick and ended up with a heart rate of 220bpm. I was alone at the time, my fiance was always away at work so my fear that I would pass out or die in front of my new born scared me to death. I had to pretend to so many people I was happy and it was all in my head which made me think man humans are a weird species. I went on like this until finally passed from doctor to doctor finally met Dr. Murakami who saved my life. I was on antibiotics for just over a year and was able to get on with my life and contribute to society. Then about four years later some symptoms started to come back, just weird infections throughout my body. Then I began to have issues with my liver and the doctors have completely turned their heads at me, I have never had these kind of issues before and now im noticing my family is having the same issues. The most concerning is my nine year old daughter who is dealing with swollen hands, blisters on her hands, vomiting, fainting, irregular heart beat, she also had pnemonia this year. I can’t get her a pediatrician are even now saying she may be crazy and referred her to see a counsellor.Even Children’s Hospital questioned my daughters motive like maybe it was psychological. I said even the blisters and pnemonia. I am so confused and need help understanding these people. I even told Dr. Prevost I believe it is in pediatrics at Surrey Memorial ” its fine to let me die i dont care about that but this is a child were talking about here” this is of course after he was incredibly rude and said i can’t be getting referrals abd using them as a gateway for treatment whatever that means. Someone please enlighten me I have quit my job because the muscle fatigue and my dizziness was so bad i could not do the job that was asked of me. And i can’t go on disability because im not sick as far as the doctors think. I also think there is something on my file if that is even possible because we have been brushed off so many times i end up leaving thinking that was a waste of time and taxes.

  4. That is so aweful David. Im so sorry to hear what you are going through my daughter too has been very ill. The other day she just randomly started to faint and couldn’t see for a minute, the doctors sent her home saying she was ok. Her blood pressure has been steadily quite low 80/50 and heart rate over 100 all the time. Why wouldnt the medical professionals do anything possible to save a person or child for that matter? I dont understand its a simple test. If theres something wrong with our testing, then fix it. It is not complicated. Where is the research on this disease? If we know so little about it then why are the medical professionals acting as if they know what they’re talking about? Because its an obvious fact that they dont. I would like to see testing done on the effects of this harmful bacteria on humans better yet, why dont themmedical professionals volunteer to show us it can be treated and cured with two weeks of antibiotics. Why is there no testesting on these bacteria from mother to child? I bet if one of these doctors children became ill with this disease their attitudes would change quite fast. I wish you all the luck and prayers in the world for you and your family. I hope all Is well David and your daughter does not have this horrible disease.

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