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May 19th, 2010

Mom update @ 12:36 pm

Mood: annoyed annoyed

She's been home since Friday afternoon,

Monday, when we talked, she had trouble completing long sentences, sounded like she wasn't able to catch her breath. She had a G.P. visit that afternoon, he took blood and listened to things and took pressures and pulse - told her that he would call w/ the results of the blood tests, but that she should see the pulmo doc.

She *finally* able to call the pulmonologist, they are only open 2 days a week, Weds & Thurs, and got an appointment for the 27th - !8 days away! Mom called me up all happy that she got an appointment in less than a month. I was Not Amused. I said 8 days - WTF is wrong with those people?? She was taken aback. I asked, don't they realize that you're still having difficulty?

[I went on for about 20 minutes] listing why they should be seeing her sooner. About mid way through, I got the inclination that she didn't realize the seriousness of her condition / symptoms and that the pulmo doc probably thinks that she's already under the care of another pulmo doc and just transferring or that this is a *new patient* visit.

she got all quiet and withdrawn, I felt a little bad, but wasn't saying anything that her G.P. shouldn't have already told her.

Eventually she said, she would call them back and find out about an appointment sooner. I said make sure that you tell them about the issues that you've been having and list the meds - lasix & breathing treatments in the hospital.


Dave suggested that she might not want to find out what's wrong - OK, possibly.

Why, because; oooh, she was a 40-50 year smoker, so she's afraid to go see a lung doc because she doesn't want to hear what he has to say? F*** that!

OK, then you want me to sit idly by and you let whatever this is that's slowly choking you; kill you? FINE; tell me that and I'll let it go and you can deal with the choking and stuff and I'll deal my sh*t.
 
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From:danthered
Date:May 19th, 2010 05:48 pm (UTC)
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Oy. *HUG*
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From:geekbearjeff
Date:May 19th, 2010 06:33 pm (UTC)
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[HUG]
Thanks!
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From:choochoo68
Date:May 19th, 2010 06:12 pm (UTC)
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*hugs* k it's what she needed to hear even if she didn't want to
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From:geekbearjeff
Date:May 19th, 2010 06:37 pm (UTC)
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[HUGS]

Thanks.

yup...

as if being sent to the hospital, the 2 units of blood and all the procedures and treatments that they did to her between Monday evening and Friday afternoon last week weren't enough of a wake-up call... she got one today, I'm sure of it.

As Dad would say, if he was still alive - "Quit fucking around with it..."

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From:boomerz1
Date:May 19th, 2010 06:38 pm (UTC)
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Sympathetic hugs for you right here. Before my dad passed away, there were many, many times I had to get a little tough with him in relation to his health. It isn't easy but are obviously a very good son.
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From:geekbearjeff
Date:May 19th, 2010 11:28 pm (UTC)
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Thanks. You're right, its not easy, especially when the 'talk' netted the desired result, but there was no better appointment to be had. the doc she was told to see doesn't have any open slots before June, so the office scheduled Mom with another doc who still only has an opening next Thursday (8 days).

[hug]
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From:beartech420
Date:May 19th, 2010 06:47 pm (UTC)

I'm going to say something your not going to want to hear.

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Being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes last November had shown me a lot on how the health care industry works or more importantly doesn't work. It has been my experience that if you are ill you need a "medical advocate" to work for you for your medical needs. My older sister Jeanne was this advocate for my father, mother, her husband and me. And you could not even hire one if they existed because part of the position means having a knowledge on who are the doctor's and hospitals with good reputations and those who bury their mistakes. For instance a friend of mine lost 3 older relatives to infections they caught while being treated during a hospital stay. And just this situation I don't think that you can research and find out what hospitals have these kind of problems.
It is sad but even with health insurance you still need someone who is familiar with the system and can cut through delays and red tape.
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From:geekbearjeff
Date:May 19th, 2010 10:20 pm (UTC)

Re: I'm going to say something your not going to want to hear.

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Hi Pete,

I think you are speaking truth, which is why I'm pushing her so hard on getting to see a good pulmonary doc and soon.

Its becoming rather clear, after my conversation this morning, that Mom is not aware of some issues that she is having that I have been able to easily perceived remotely over the phone.

I have asked her, on numerous occasions, if she would like me to intercede with the doctors on her behalf, but she says no.

And then goes back to complaining about feeling tired and run-down or depressed and when I tell her to call her G.P. and get an appointment to talk to him, she hems and haws and says that she has an appointment in 2 or 3 weeks...

All I can say is that I think that she need to go sooner and she should call them Today, and she hems and haws. I think I'm doing the best that she's going to let me do, but is that enough? I don't know.

On several occasions I've told her that waiting a month or 2 weeks for an appointment with this new pulmo doc is bullsh*t but she won't call the cardiologist, who referred Mom to the pulmo, and ask for the name of another doctor that has office hours more than twice a week and I've suggested, but, she won't call the G.P. and ask who he works with for pulmonary.

The problem is that She's autonomous and in possession of (mostly) all her faculties; so, do I have the responsibility to push her aside and call on her doctors to get a better alternative, without her say-so?
I'm not sure.

I haven't seen where she's been mistreated or cared for badly by any of the health-care professional, so I haven't needed to push the issue.

I hope that it never comes to that, but I'm keeping a (remote) eye on things so that we're not both blind sided...
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From:beartech420
Date:May 20th, 2010 08:59 pm (UTC)

Re: I'm going to say something your not going to want to hear.

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"The problem is that She's autonomous and in possession of (mostly) all her faculties; so, do I have the responsibility to push her aside and call on her doctors to get a better alternative, without her say-so?
I'm not sure."

You really don't have the authority to do anything without her say-so. When I found out I was diabetic my sister read me the riot act on how I have neglected myself (one of the reasons I didn't have health insurance) and even then (and now) I have to chip away the denial I have on my situation.

"I haven't seen where she's been mistreated or cared for badly by any of the health-care professional, so I haven't needed to push the issue."

One suggestion I can think of...do you have any friends who are nurses or other health-care professionals? They could at least give you some good advice on what places and people should be avoided. I actually moved back to greater Boston for the health insurance and Beth Israel hospital. In all the different procedures here I noticed that the doctors,nurses and med. tech. are totally on top of keeping instruments and hands clean during examinations. You can't walk 5 feet in this hospital without seeing waterless hand cleaner. And during exams everyone has an alcohol wipe handy cleaning an instrument before and after it was used.

I'm really sensitive about this. Six years ago I got a MRSA infection and it took me over a year of antibiotics to get it out of my system and that was 6 months after I finally found out what it was. I first thought I was getting an occasional boil. Because of the use of antibiotics MRSA is a big problem in many hospitals.

Roles are reversed when our parents get older there's the rub!
BestRegards,
Pete
(no subject) - (Anonymous)
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From:geekbearjeff
Date:May 20th, 2010 01:17 pm (UTC)
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Jeff,

[hug]Thanks.

Sorry to hear about your Mom. I hope that she will find peaceful resolution.

Mom had breast cancer about 10 years ago, she's been going to see her oncologist faithfully on schedule and he hasn't reported anything that would cause concern. I've just got this feeling from time to time that there's something more to her frequent coughing than irritation in her throat from, as Mom says, the tubes during her open heart surgery, also years ago.

[hugs to you, too]
(no subject) - (Anonymous)
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From:geekbearjeff
Date:May 20th, 2010 01:49 pm (UTC)
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I have allergies, so its not unreasonable that Mom could also have allergies, too.

Mom was on a 'puffer' and nasal spray for 3 or 4 weeks before her admission to the hospital for the anemia issue. I know that she wasn't using the puffer correctly, she showed her doc what she was doing and he gave her a different procedure, but I hope that she had given the naasal spray (steroid/Nasonex) a chance - it takes a couple of weeks to start working in my experience. Ultimately, they didn't seem to be having a good-enough effect for my Mom either.

When she was hospitalized for the anemia, she was given 5 or 6 'breathing treatments' via nebulizer and she seemed right-as-rain, so I'm kinda hoping that when she gets to see the Pulmo Doc, he/they, will consider putting her on one at home.

[hug]
(no subject) - (Anonymous)
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From:geekbearjeff
Date:May 20th, 2010 02:17 pm (UTC)
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[after writing this it almost sounds like I'm defending, but I'm not...]

I think that depends on where you and your doctor are in life, what insurance you've got and the doctor's estimate of your ability to pay for more expensive diagnostics/procedures. For example, down here in Central NJ with the doctors we have, they are more likely to give an MRI for something that Mom's doctor, in Northern NJ (older guy), would give an X-ray procedure for.

Mom's on medicare, so I would like to think that the diagnostics and procedures that the docs have called for are more tuned to be cost-effective w/ that insurance.

The MRI/CAT scans, etc, tend to be more costly, may not be as well covered on Medicare, so the doctors might tend to not give them to folks on fixed-incomes.

I don't know any of this for certain.

There will come a time, very soon, that I will insist on being there when Mom sees her doctors, in the mean-time, I'm trying to keep a close watch on what's happening.

[hug]

Edited at 2010-05-20 02:18 pm (UTC)

Jeff's GeekBearCave on LJ

[no user serviceable parts inside.]