Why won't anyone listen?
I know my mother and she (after living with severe rheumatoid arthritis for 50 years) knows pain! However, I have very rarely heard her complain. Her thought is that it won't make her feel better and will likely make people not want to be around her.
After finally getting the IV in they gave her a dose of dilaudid; 1/2 an hour later no relief. They gave her a dose of morphine; minimal relief for about 15 minutes. Then a dose of valium; total relief - SHE QUIT BREATHING! Mom told me later that it was a peaceful feeling with no pain and that she could see & hear us all yelling at her to breath as she hovered above us. The next words from the doctor absolutely dumbfounded me.
Ok, now we are getting somewhere! Or, so I thought. It's like a nightmare that you can't wake up from. Within 24 hours mom was so sick that she literally could not move at all and was getting worse fast. Something more than a fracture was going on here, I just knew it. I tried to tell the doctors that there had to be something more. WHY WON'T THEY LISTEN??!!!
|Why won't they listen to their own stats?|
Mom now falls in to 5 of these risk categories!
Another day or 2 go by when they finally discover a "pocket" of staph......guess where! At the site of the fracture. They drained the pocket and inserted an antibiotic flush. The knee still looks not quite right, but I am told they can't worry about the knee until they clear the staph. I ask if they can at least drain the fluid that has collected and am again told that it wasn't necessary. WHY WON'T THEY LISTEN??!! Finally mom seems like she is on the road to recovery, but still has a long way to go. After nearly 3 weeks in serious condition and still looking very ill, she was sent to a Skilled Nursing Facility for rehab.
She still can't feed herself; brush her teeth; or really do anything for herself. She can't hardly even talk at this point, has a catheter, a PIC line for IV antibiotics......was she really ready to be released from the hospital? As a family we made sure someone was there as many hours a day as was possible, as it was obvious that mom was NOT getting the care she needed without us. Meals would be set in front of her and then taken away with a comment that "she didn't eat". If we hadn't made sure one of us were there to feed her at every meal she would have starved. We tried to tell them that she couldn't eat by herself and needed assistance - WHY WON'T THEY LISTEN?!
I felt that moms health problems were getting more complicated rather than improving and again asked for outside referrals. I had researched a number of top health care facilities all around the country, and was willing to take her ANYWHERE but was told that "We have the best health care in the country right here in the valley", and brushed aside. What a scary thought! This is as good as it gets?? Somethings NOT right!
WHY WON'T THEY LISTEN??
That is a question that I found myself asking over and over. It seemed to me that they had already written her off and were just waiting for her to die. Was it her health or was it her age?
|mom's "morning" pills!|
Don't get me wrong, many seniors will do just fine handling all their own affairs UNTIL THEY DON'T! Many seniors find themselves seeing multiple specialists in addition to their primary care doctor, with each prescribing medicines, etc. My mother is very sharp mentally, she does crossword puzzles; reads; balances her checkbook among other things. Even so, with the number of medications and the effect and/or side effects it became overwhelming for her - and sometimes for me! I kept exhaustive lists and spreadsheets of her medications and needed complete silence to make sure I didn't make a mistake. I made sure and carried a copy of the spread sheet to give to each doctor we visited. Most of the time they just tossed it aside. Of course they would go through the medications and ask us if she was still taking each one.....I understand the need to ask the questions, but at least show me enough respect to at least act like you appreciate my efforts. I know that a drug interaction or reaction could be trouble! The results could be devastating if there is not continuity in the care provided. It can also be devastating if even one of the many medications are given/taken incorrectly!
Many parents, whatever the reason, don't want to burden us with their problems. I suspect the reasons vary from denial that there is a need for an advocate all the way to a true fear that they will lose their independence if we know they need help. Unfortunately, with the growing number of cases of elder abuse, some senior truly have a reason to not tell their family! It's sad, but true!
If you happen to be a senior reading this blog and are in a situation that you truly don't feel that you can trust a family member please find other resources through your Church or local Senior Resource Center! Don't let yourself become a health care hostage, but don't set yourself up to become a victim either!
Again, I wish I had become way more involved in moms health care BEFORE she really needed me! It sure would have made things a lot less complicated. It's not fun figuring out what has to be done when you are in such an emotional state and your loved one is literally on their death bed. Don't follow my path - if there is even a chance that you will become a care giver for a parent or any other senior - get on the road BEFORE YOU'RE DUE TO ARRIVE as there are sure to be obstacles!
Have a great day! Oh, and go see or call your parents, other senior relatives and aging friends!