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Thursday, July 11, 2013

11 - Please help me help you help her

Today is day 11 (and my 11th post) in the 30 day blog challenge I joined.  For anyone "just tuning in" this post may leave you wondering what the heck I am rambling about.  I promise it won't take too long to go back and review my first 10 posts so you can catch up with my story.  For anybody thinking there is nothing here that could affect you, I hope you're wrong.  I hope you are wrong, not because I wish bad things for you, but because that would mean that you are truly alone in life.  You see, although my story revolves around senior care giving and health care, I believe there are lessons within my story that could be applied to ANYBODY that might EVER know someone (or be someone) who is incapacitated, no matter their age.

When I arrived at the hospital anticipating moms imminent release there was a doctor there talking with her that I had met briefly in the emergency room at some point.  I wasn't surprised, or concerned with his presence.  After all, we had seen so many doctors since this had started, I had lost count.  Just as I was about to enter the room the nurse stopped me to ask a question.  I swear I turned my back for just a second to answer her.

Am I losing my mind?  I know I just saw a doctor in there.  Where did he go?  What did he want?  What did he say?

No, I wasn't losing my mind.  Mom and the nurse confirmed that he was "just there".  Mom went on to assure me that he would be back and he wanted to talk to me about "some oxygen thing".  Mom couldn't remember exactly what he said, but something about "there might be a way to help her".  Well, that sounded good.  Now, of course, I wanted to know all the details..... what it was; where he was; and when he would return.  It's anybodys guess!  I had an idea.

"Mom, I'll be back in just a little bit" and I darted out the door.  I stopped briefly to ask the nurse to "Please have the doctor call me on my cell phone if he comes in before I get back".   I made sure my phone number was on moms chart as well as on the white board in her room (of course that had been done from the start and no one had ever called).

I returned a short time later with a micro recorder.  I got it set up, showed mom how easy it was to run and buzzed the nurse so I could enlist her help.

I had to get more information than I was getting and I had to get some sleep.   I showed the nurse the recorder and explained that I would like it turned on when the doctors came to talk to mom while none of us were there.  She seemed dubious and told me that she would "have to tell the doctor it's here".

That's the idea.  I want the doctor to know it's there and for someone to turn it on when they talk to mom if one of the family was not present.  It would also give our family a way to get information to all of us AS IT IS INTENDED.  The rest of the family wouldn't have to hear it from me (or whoever happened to be lucky enough to catch the doctor), it would be in the doctors words.  It would also allow us to listen again if we might have missed something.

I thought the recorder was a perfect solution.  A couple of the doctors thought it was a good idea too.  Most, though, either forgot or refused to turn it on.  I sleep better when I just assume it was the former.

 It seemed to me this might also be a great solution to the time I seemed to waste waiting for doctors.  I know they are busy.  I am too.  This might keep me from stalking them!  Stalking is an exhausting business and it tends to make people nervous!

The next morning when I arrived mom was pretty pumped.  That doctor I had missed yesterday?  He had just been in.  Oh, brother.  "What did he say"? I asked her.  She started trying to tell me but really couldn't remember a lot about it......just some oxygen thing.  "What's his name and I'll go see if I can find him", I said, feeling more than slightly irritated.  She made several attempts at recalling his name, but just wasn't sure.  Here we go again!

I was really starting to work up steam (In my head of course, mom doesn't need to know I'm upset).  What was so hard about this communication thing?  Did they teach these people to be elusive in medical school?  Maybe they offered elective courses in how to be callous.  Maybe there was a conspiracy to drive me completely crazy!

The sparkle in moms eye that had been there when I first arrived had faded.  Clearly she knew I wasn't happy.  "I'm pretty sure he left his name on the recorder", she said softly.  "You got it turned on"? I asked quickly as I reached for the recorder.  What a relief.  Mom was obviously pleased that she had accomplished what I wanted, but of course she wasn't about to take credit where credit wasn't due.

"That nice doctor turned it on" and she went on to tell me how kind he had been and how comfortable he made her feel.  He had even asked if he could pray with her and for her.  I think I might have pinched myself about then to make sure I was awake.  I had to meet this doctor.

I listened to the recording.  I didn't really know what he was talking about, but that was OK not only because he left me enough information that I could at least start researching, but also because he had articulated his name and a phone number for me to call him and discuss it further - even a time that he was "most likely" to be available!  Wow!  Amazing!

It's time we work on this together.  It's time they let us join the team.  It's amazing what is accomplished when we work together!

I don't even need a uniform!
Just help her.  Help us.  Let us help!
Please, help me help you help her!

It's been a long day.

Relax and count your blessings
I'll be back tomorrow to count more of mine!

Night mom.


Bonnie Gean said...

I hope this story has a happy ending!


Donovan Dreyer said...

You just fell in the right spot to post for me on UBC today, but I am hooked on your in-the-moment life story! What a great story and what a great moral you pulled from it to share. I am ready for some teamwork!!! We sure can use it in so many different areas. Maybe now is the time! I hope the momentum continues for you all.

healthcare hostages said...

Thanks for stopping by Bonnie!

I hope you join us again to discover the ending.

Have a great day!

healthcare hostages said...

Thanks Donovan.....I'm glad you were forced to stop by! I hope you will be back to visit and follow it through.

Thanks for your kind words! I appreciate it......makes tomorrows post easier!

I hope you'll be back to see what happens.....even if I don't happen to be just in the right spot on UBC!

Have a fantastic day!

Anita Scott said...

You need to keep all of these blogs and publish a book when you're finished! :)