Monday, July 30, 2012

Coping post-hospital

I hate to cross this site with my health site but sometimes they parallel. As I said, we took Mom to the hospital Thurs morning and got her out Sun afternoon.

Me being me, I had "observations," which I communicated to the hospital...In shortened form:

...Regrettably, there were many things about my 94-yr-old mother's three-day stay that did not impress us and even alarmed us.

Thurs AM, Mom was uncommunicative and vomited. She also could not speak--garbled. She lives in a group home five mins from us--we decided to let them call the EMTs. We wanted her at a hosp in her plan. They insisted they were not allowed to take her there because there was no "neuro facility." We ended up out of network.

They said she had irregular heartbeat. They made no mention of her speech in triage (the neuro part). I was the one who asked about (the stroke medicine) TPa--the doctor sort of blew it off--must be within 4 hrs, who knows how long ago this started, etc.

Although she had heart issues, they put no leads on her--I had to ask. They let her drink water, then many hours later, would not give her any jello or pudding--it was way past lunch. They told us the ER had no food--which we know is not true. The CT scan showed normal aging. They wanted to admit her--out of network--this was a hassle, which I hope was settled that her plan would cover it.

Upstairs (many hrs later), we spoke to a cardiologist, went over the DNR options, and we never saw him again. We did have confidence in him, tho--at least he spoke with us.

We repeatedly asked to speak to the hospitalist ("her" doctor, hah!)--we saw him strutting around the nurses ordering MRIs for everyone, he saw us outside her room, never came over. We never saw "her" supposed neurologist, either.

There were issues over her swallowing--they did a bedside test and the therapist could not recommend soft foods without a modified barium swallow--which we reluctantly agreed to, and she passed and then could spoon up her own food soon after. Basically she had an expensive test to eat Jello.

She is home now--talking much better, wobbly, ate her own dinner last nite.

I would like to praise two people...her nurse who kept in touch with my sister and me and when she said she would call, she did. We appreciated that. A man in the ER named B watched me all day hanging on the walls to walk and when it was time to go to the upstairs room, he turned up with a wheelchair and insisted I ride. That was great.

Otherwise, your treatment of us oldies--I would give it a C.

I am also getting a copy of her chart--I recommend this.

I hope you don't need to COPE with this, but if you do...keep your eyes open and exercise commonsense, if you can get anyone to listen.

Otherwise try to get some Jello for yourself.

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