Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween


Devan 2007
Copy of DSCF0361_361_296 by you.
Devan 2006

A couple of weeks ago, I bought one of those big bags of candy from Costco...filled with all kinds of chocolate bars. You can't beat the price and quality.


I have this basket but with the candy corn liner.

The plan was to take half of it and fill my Longaberger Pumpkin and drop it of at my urodoc's office. I did that last year and they really liked it. I even put little Halloween rings and skeletons in there. And I always have fun bringing my baskets in because they like Longaberger too. Well... I will be bringing them my Thanksgiving Pumpkin cookies sometime between now and Christmas. :)

Ah...best laid plans... then all the things were going on with my mother and so I ate a candy bar every time I passed by or grabbed one on the run or shoved them in a purse. Husband and son also helped finish the bag. I had so much chocolate that I broke out horribly. I know it was from the stress and the chocolate. I don't remember the last time I had so much candy. I didn't even enjoy it which tells me I was operating on a motion. I hadn't taken the time to grocery shop and so there wasn't any fruit, nuts or anything healthy to grab quickly. I don't, smoke, drink (rarely) or do drugs...but I will go for the food when stressed. Of course..I like it happy, sad, mad or when sick too. :) But that could be another post. :)

I am happy to say that my face has cleared up. :)

I have found that excessive chocolate, 1 big greasy ridged potato chip and a lot of broccoli will break me out! I have heard that food can't cause that... but those things do. And then hormones, stress and product fall out from hairspray, gels, etc., can cause that with people too.

We don't get many trick or treaters, and so I put about 18 bags together and filled them so we used up all the candy. If we gat 10 kids ...that's a lot. People don't want to waste time on country roads when they can hit the condos and knock on a hundred doors in a small area.

But I just got thinking...what if we do have a run on candy? I guess I can break up the second half of the bags to stretch it. can we give out cans of soup, frozen pizza or a box of broccoli? ;)





Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Health Alert

Subject: Health Alert
The Centers for Disease Control has issued a medical alert about a highly contagious, potentially dangerous virus
that is transmitted orally, by hand, and even electronically.
This virus is called Weary Overload Recreational Killer (WORK). If you receive "WORK" from your boss, any of your colleagues, or anyone else via any means whatsoever - DO NOT TOUCH IT. This virus will wipe out your private life completely.
If you should come into contact with "WORK" you should immediately leave the premises.
Take two good friends to the nearest grocery store and purchase one or both of the antidotes--- - Work Isolating Neutralizer Extract (WINE) and Bothersome Employer Elimination Rebooter (BEER).
Take the antidote repeatedly until WORK has been completely eliminated from your system.
You should immediately forward this medical alert to five friends.
If you do not have five friends, you have already been infected and WORK is controlling your life.

My friend sent this too me in an e-mail. Thanks Linda...I will take it under advisement when I return to work. :)

Monday, October 27, 2008

Scrubs "Like A Surgeon" & Post (revised)



I know this, but watching the Scrubs clip again (funny!), it strikes me that patients place so much trust in their surgeon(s). They ultimately surrender their bodies... leaving themselves totally vulnerable to whatever may happen... of course all the while hoping, praying and believing for a good outcome.

And the surgeons...they are a breed of their own. Certainly most people don't have the courage, skill or stamina involved for plunging a sharp instrument into someone, cutting them open ... working inside the patient to facilitate healing (sometimes with long hours and physical discomfort); all the while knowing all the risks involved to the patient and for themselves if things go south. Aside from the possibility of anesthesia complications, I've read that the buck stops with the surgeon in the OR. There are all kinds of gifts that people are born with that they then cultivate, usually through dedication and hard work. Surgical skills is one of them for sure.

It must be exhilarating to know they've saved a life (all areas of medicine) or given a patient a better quality of life because of their skills. It must be so cool to hold gallbladders, hearts and kidneys in their hands...to name just a few.!

One of the things that intrigues me is that surgeons have to be able to visualize 3 dimensionally.

Hmmm...I thought you just had to be male to do that? I'm KIDDING! ;)

I remember Dr Sid Scwab over in his Surgeonsblog writing about surgeons needing to view the patient 3 dimensionally. I don't recall from what post though. Okay... I am still a surgical groupie and I love that I get to read about these things in medical blogdom. :)

I have been a frequent flier to the OR, but fortunately only 2 were open surgeries and they were for C-sections. Now I am trying like heck to avoid a major surgery. So far...so good. May it stay that way.

I ve' read through various blogs over time where they have reduced the hours worked by surgical residents with the idea that there will be less chance of surgical errors because they are so overworked and sleep deprived. That makes sense to me.

But then I have also read (I wish I could remember the recent post and by whom) that the surgical training is rigorous. They want to weed out the ones who can't cut it. My understanding is because surgeons are thrust into an arena where literally not only are their skills important, but they must have the ability to overcome any adversity thrown at them...physical and emotional... so they can stay focused on the job at hand.

The other side of this is that if you have doctors who aren't used to the grueling hours they would've had in surgical training... then are these same surgeons going to be as capable of being working all day, being on call for surgery, then having to go to work the next day etc., and does that cause what was ultimately intended for good (reduced surgical training hours) to potentially cause more harm to patients?

I read about a surgical resident that said she was so exhausted when her shift was done, that on her drive home...she kept falling asleep at all the red lights.

Truly a profession not for the faint of heart.

The Weird Al version is the best (cause he's so goofy), but he has blocked embedding in youtube and so I am putting up the Scrubs version...which is also good. I love that show! :)

Saturday, October 25, 2008

He Really SCARED Me! :)

http://img112.imageshack.us/img112/3903/lmao2od9.jpg

LTAO (THEY ...Laughed THEIR Ass Off!)

The following post is actually a comment I left in response to a post called "Practical Joke and the New Nurse" written by a new blogging ER Doc.. Dr Evans. So go check out his terrific blog.. "Your ER Doc". Lot's of good stuff there! :)

Thanks to Medblog Addict for telling us "There’s a new ER doc in town".

I worked in ED registration for 20 years.

One day…when I just started working solo and so was still learning the ropes…I walked into the back stating that family was wondering how their relative was doing. He had come in before my shift started and so I didn’t know anything about his reason for being there.

There I was all innocent and looking to be helpful and I stared up into the face of this very tall male aide.

With a very straight and solemn face he looked down at me and said…

“He died.”

“Oh I’m sorry.”

“You have to tell them he died.”

My jaw dropped open and in absolute PANIC and FEAR racing through my newbie brain… I blurted out “I-I-I-I have to tell them???”

Then he got a big grin and said he was only kidding and with that was the collective laughter of him and the nurses. Geez! Got me good! :)

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Cooking Cat Food

http://davesalbacore.com/catalog/images/Salmon-Sampler.jpg

Our budget is tight... but not that tight. :)

I anticipated this though and so decided to burn TWO big Yankee candles this afternoon. Cinnamon spice and pumpkin spice.

Then I put the salmon patty, for myself in the pan with a little water to cook ever so slowly.

Sure enough, my husband came home and thought it smelled like I was cooking up a can of cat food. He doesn't like salmon. He doesn't like any fish, but tuna fish...although he loves to fish.

It's a feed yourself night and so I like to have them with a salad. Easy! Healthy! Alaskan!

I am eating Alaskan salmon until the political campaign is over in support of Sarah Palin. A girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do.

By the way... I am voting for Senator McCain because Sarah Palin wears dangling earrings and red leather blazers. A girl after my own heart. ;)

Okay... y'all know I'm kidding ...right?

I'm really voting for the McPalin team because she's a moose hunter!
;)

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Gross, Funny and True Story From My Past

I am planning a post called "2 Surgeons and a Doctor", but also was thinking I wrote about it in this blog and so began to scroll through my old posts. I came across this 3 part post "WHAT is in MY MOUTH????"I wrote when I was still a newbie blogger. I am putting up all 3 posts here for any one who feels like having a good laugh. Believe me...it was NOT funny at the time... but I do appreciate the humorous aspect of it now. :) So get yourself something to drink and settle in and make yourself comfortable... because all 3 posts together are long. I also left the original titles and dates, as well as varied the color of the fonts... so you can more easily divide where you leave off if you prefer to read it in parts. Also, if you click on each title...you can go back to the original post and read the comments. This event was one of the grossest things ever and makes my stomach turn just thinking about it. And perhaps... I overreacted...just a tad. But... my urgency in seeking help was directly proportionate to the level of stress I was feeling internally over that THING in my mouth. Hey... I am an admitted germaphobe (See Trench Doc's Germaphobia post/comments)... so can ya blame this girl for reacting strongly?! I'm not crazy germaphobe just cautious and prefer to take precautions when important. :) I loved working in the hospital and around patients and hope to be again sometime soon. Okay..I would admittedly have an internal freak out if a patient came into the ED and was thought to have scabies, lice or worse... meningitis.. but I worked there twenty years. I am only saying this because I know I reacted strongly to what was in my mouth... but I normally take things in stride...with precautions. :)

I am curious... what would you have done if that was in your mouth?

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

WHAT is IN MY MOUTH??? - Part I

WARNING: The following story is gross, but true.

A few years ago, I went over to our county seat for a mid afternoon doctor appointment. After the appointment I went shopping. It was a dreary November day that looked like something in a Currier and Ives picture. It was the kind of day where it feels good to be inside, all cozy and relaxed at home, but instead I had to go to work at the hospital that night. I was filling in for someone and was scheduled to work 7-11 pm.

I was feeling really tired and decided that a nice hot cup of coffee would perk me up. So, I pulled up to the drive in window at the Kentucky Fried Chicken and ordered a large cup of coffee.

When the man handed me the cup, I immediately appreciated the warmth in my hands, while eagerly anticipating drinking the coffee. With sincere appreciation, yet purposely and with a smile, being overly grateful in a joking way - I said " I am REALLY HAPPY to have THIS cup of coffee! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!" He just stared at me. I was charming (says me) and in no way did anything offensive. I am always very friendly (I even won Miss Congeniality in a beauty contest once) and am always the supportive type and would never intentionally insult anyone and certainly didn't do anything to him other than be friendly.

So...okayyyy - I thought and drove away. I put the cream in my coffee before I got on the main road. I put music on and was thoroughly enjoying the picturesque ride home while appreciatively sipping my cup of coffee.

I pulled into the driveway and shut the car off. I was now totally relaxed, yet alert and ready to start getting dressed for work. The cup of coffee was almost empty and so I took one last gulp that was left in the bottom of the cup. And too my abject HORROR... I now had SOMETHING... an obviously significant in size, foreign body of some sort SWISHING AROUND IN MY MOUTH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

To be continued....

Friday, January 19, 2007

WHAT is in MY MOUTH??? - Part II

So many awful thoughts flooded into my mind at once. Like a dam had burst and all the water rushed out. Except that my brain put up a 2nd barrier that had just enough of an opening to let my sense of reason out so that as my tongue felt the texture it screamed (it would have if it could have) to SPIT THIS SLIMY,THICKISH and GROSS THING OUT!

The brain really is amazing. Aside from spitting and thinking OMG - WHAT is this? At lightening speed I simultaneously felt repulsion, panic, fear, anger and shock. The image of the unfriendly man who gave me my coffee appeared. I was sure he sabotaged my coffee and that a crime had been committed. I felt violated! I was thinking semen! I was thinking phlegm! I didn't know what to think! I was thinking disease. I was thinking T.B. and Aids! ( I knew the aids virus is fragile, but still!) I was thinking hepatitis! I was thinking this isn't good! I thought I would vomit! The moment was surreal. Everything happened quickly, yet was simultaneously in slow mo.

I didn't utter a sound. I quickly put the lid back on the cup containing the mystery mass. I gathered my shopping bags and my purse, got out of the car and locked the doors. As I was walking to the door, every thought that was jammed up in my brain wanted to burst through, announced 1st with a primal scream that probably would've reverberated off the mountains.

Instead, I stepped inside and smiled , saying "Hi Honey" to my husband who was sitting in the family room watching TV. I turned away from him, packages in tow and laid them on the kitchen table. I then (while in total silence contained my emotions) proceeded to get a small metal baking strainer. You know, the kind you might use to sift some powdered sugar. I took the strainer along with a disposable plastic cup and the cup of whatever and headed for the bathroom. On the way I smiled and said hi to my son who was watching TV in the living room. I was on a mission and I was scared. I was afraid of what I was going to see.

I closed the bathroom door behind me. I took the lid off the cup and poured it's contents into the strainer which I had sitting over the plastic cup. I really thought I would be ill when I saw this collection of something, but I couldn't make it out because it had taken on the coffee color.

I went back out to the kitchen to get a toothpick, still in silence not letting on to my family what I was feeling. When I got back in the bathroom, I proceeded to poke at the "mass of whatever" and it was slimy. I could stretch it a bit, like bodily secretions can be stringy, sort of. I wanted to run water over it but I didn't want to compromise it in any way. So, instead, I obsessively (and feeling queasy) tried to figure out what it was by letting it slide back and forth between the cup and the strainer. I gave up. I threw the strainer in the garbage, picked up the sealed mystery cup and brought it with me into in our bedroom.

I proceeded to make a phone call. I wanted to get it analyzed by a lab. So, I called a local hospital but not the one I was working in.

I loved the people I worked with. My coworkers would be empathetic and the lab would help me if they could. However, they also have wonderful senses of humor. So do I - says me! But this event was ripe for the picking. They would not be able to resist teasing me. I am someone that can always see humor in all kinds of situations. I get the black humor when things are going really bad at work. If you don't crack a joke to break the tension - you'll crack. However, I was in no mood whatsoever to be teased and I knew the jokes would fly and so that is why I called a different hospital.

The lab tech said they couldn't do anything and that I should call the police or my doctor. Normally, I would've known that the lab can't just do a test because someone off the street requests it - that they need an order, but I was thinking crime and I wanted to get it analyzed! Ok, maybe I had seen one too many CSI's - but I wanted to know!

So, I called that town's police department, which happened to be the town that the Kentucky Fried Chicken was located in. The officer listened to the whole story but then said I would have to call the State Police Because the business was under their jurisdiction.

I called the state Police barracks and after listening to the whole story (everyone wanted to hear what happened) that officer told me to call the county Public Health Department.

I was still containing my emotions and every vile thought

I called the Public Health Department. After a couple of transfers, I finally get the right person, a nurse, who after hearing the whole story (which is now building because I am now relaying the order of people/agencies called.) tells me I should call my private doctor.

I called my PMD's office and thank God I got them because it was the end of the day and they were about to turn their phones off. I now relay the whole story to his nurse, who then has me hold for the doctor.

(It was not helping me when after telling the story, that everyone recoiled at the thought(including the men) and I could easily visualize the look of disgust through the phone based on the intonation of their voices.
No - their collective reactions were causing my internalized horror to exacerbate to the phobic side of the fearometer!)

My PMD is wonderful and I am blessed to have him for my doctor.

As I began to tell him what happened - I broke down like a little girl, sobbing. I was desperately trying to tell him everything through my tears and wavering sobs. He is a patient and reassuring doctor and he didn't react with repulsion, which helped me immensely. He's one of those doctors that you know really cares and he looks out for you. His British accent doesn't hurt either. Although, believe me, at the time I wasn't thinking about his British accent!

He told me to refrigerate it and to bring a sample in to his office the next day and he would send it out.

Still in the bedroom - I was able to regain my composure and I decided to call our lab - the lab in the hospital I worked in. I had to know about this thing that was in my mouth. Maybe they could at least rule out SOMETHING, ANYTHING!

After AGAIN telling the entire story, the wonderful tech said to bring it in, call him when I got there and they would take a look at it and they would do it on the side and no one would know.

(Even though I am digressing a bit, I will say that one of the perks in working in the hospital has always been getting pregnancy tests and Ua's for free or finding out about lab results before even the doctor's knew. My OB Dr. called my house one nite for something and he asked me for the results of my glucose tolerance test when he heard that I had my own printout. Of course, now the rules are more stringent since from even a few years ago - so I don't think that could happen anymore.)

I had regained my composure and I took the now specimen - evidence back out to the kitchen. I divided it up, placing each half in separate zip lock bags and refrigerated them. I took the cup (Thinking forensics could always analyze the cup if they had to - seriously!) and put that in a bag and stashed it in our bedroom closet.

Next, I went out to the family room to tell my husband. In retrospect, his expression was both priceless and alarming! He tried to reassure me, but I could see by the look on his face that he didn't believe what he was saying, so he didn't help. (Maybe if he had a British accent! Just kidding - I really was not thinking about accents at that time.) The truth is I couldn't be consoled. If you had that stuff in your mouth - you would understand! I had rehashed the entire story and it would've been ad nauseam if it were not for the fact that I HAD to get dressed for work. My eyes were puffy and I was totally drained, but you have to do what you have to do.

After getting ready for work (make up is a gift from heaven) I grabbed the specimen, stashed it in my purse and drove up to the hospital.

To be continued....

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

"All at Once" -- The Fray



"Sometimes the hardest thing and the right thing are the same."

Isn't that the truth!

Even the Doctor's Parents!!! :)

Dr Schoor, author of the Independent Urologist blog put up a post, with a picture of his parents that he uses as a sign in his office for the purpose of collecting all co-pays. What a clever idea and hilarious too!!! LOL! :)

Btw...I think Dr S. looks like his dad. :)

SeaSpray gives Dr Schoore's idea a five starfish rating! *****

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Recommendations and I'm Guilty of That

I just have to call attention to a couple of posts that caught my interest. Well there's really about a gazillion... but I have been so pressed for time lately... so I am linking to these 2 for now.

Dr Wes wrote this amusing..yet inspiring post about an elderly couple in their 80s who were/are sexually active every day... until a little snafu occurred. Dr Wes' humorous slant gave me some most appreciated chuckles. I say inspiring because this couple demonstrates that love and sexual intimacy is possible during our golden years... and not only is it possible... but desired. I LOVE it!

And good for them!! :)

The name of Dr Wes' post is "Oh, and Doctor, One More Thing..."

I am guilty of that. All I am gonna say is my urodoc has the patience of a saint and I am certain God has a special place reserved for him in heaven for being so patient with this patient. There was so much for me to take in and so much that I was going through (not just with health but other outside concerns) and it was such a roller coaster ride of emotions and treatments for me...that during that 1st year... I bombarded him with questions... and repetitvely. I feel bad about it every time I think of it. Then again...it was all new, I was afraid and so I will cut myself a little slack. That was then... now I have been layed back. Okay..maybe there is a little denial mixed in but it's also a matter of been there-done that. And now I have a system that I think I will use in the future with any professional.

I write out my questions/points but give the doc a copy of what I am looking at and that keeps us on task..okay me on task. I don't know why... but I can always go home and still have ANOTHER question or two. I think he expects it now.

Anyway... as my regular readers know.... it is because of how stellar this urologist has been with me and how wonderful his partners and staff are...that I highly recommend them to anyone I meet in my real life when the opportunity comes up.

And I am an equal opportunity girl!

I admit... it is a trait of mine that whether on the phone or in person with almost anyone ... I am going to utter those 4 little words... "Oh... just one more thing!" or 5 little words.. "Oh wait ... just one more thing!". One of my friends said "Just one more thing" should be my epitaph! :)

I am happy to see that Charity Doc from the "Fingers and Tubes in Every Orifice" is back and wrote a post titled "Fixing Our Broken Health Care System"... a post well worth reading. I think you doctors have to get together, form a plan and get media attention. Who better than the people in the trenches to influence and facilitate the implementation of a new health care plan?

And last but not least... a hat tip to Medblog Addict for announcing Charity Doc's return. :)

Oh...wait...just one more thing! ;)



Tuesday, October 14, 2008

A Good Report!

http://www.juddpage.com/njfall/faltree.jpg
Above photo credit goes to Tom Judd and here is a link to some other spectacular fall pictures in the area. I LOVE this picture and can get lost in it, particularly the crystal clear rippling water reflection. I imagine the water to be cold. I want to splash my fingers through the water and I wonder what is beneath the reflection... and I want to turn around to look up at the magnificent fall foliage contrasting the blue sky.

I am pleased to report that as of yesterday... I do believe my mother will be coming home in a couple weeks if not sooner! I was greatly encouraged by the progress I saw in her yesterday.

There haven't been anymore neglectful incidents with her such as what happened her first evening at the rehab. I am easygoing and polite and I was ... but I can be a tigress when I need to right a wrong. I was not rude. I was a restrained, but assertive and let my concerns be known and that I would be active in my visitations. I also made it clear that she was alert and completely capable of articulating her needs. I did this because she arrived at the facility in a weakened state and I did not want them to mistake that for someone who could be blown off because they assume she isn't aware. I talked to 3 staff people that night and the next day with the social worker.

Perhaps I was wrong to think that, but when went back and then saw she was in urine for hours... I saw red. I know they are overworked.

They have been terrific with her and she likes them all. She likes most of the food. And yesterday she excitedly told me she saw an old friend who used to live in her building who is now in this rehab as a permanent resident.

She stated that they had her walking across the hall.
She was sitting up in the wheelchair when I arrived and remained in it during the visit.
I asked her to raise her legs if she could and quite frankly was amazed at the progress she has made in such a short time!

*I told her if she keeps this up I believed she WILL be coming home and will have no problem raising her legs to get into bed or elevating them while in the living room. I only recently became aware (August) that she couldn't elevate her legs because she didn't have the strength. The doctor knew and so I thought that was just the status quo. Then recently he suggested a hospital bed but she refused initially...although finally agreed and it was delivered the Friday she was taken to the hospital.

She loves the bed in rehab and states it is so comfortable. She is happy to know she will have the exact same one when she gets home but with a remote to move it.

She was completely independent in doing things for herself around the room and wheeling the chair.

She does need assistance to the bathroom... but the good news is she is ambulating with assistance. She could hardly stand before.

And perhaps most important is that her attitude is so much better and for the first time in years, I see a zest for life in her again. She is thriving.

She also is keeping and happily wearing the new clothes I bought her. (That is a big deal and another post) And seems cooperative about my now doing things to assist her around the apartment. And when I mentioned I am cleaning...but putting things right back she did not get mad at me. yes...she still can have her testy moments..but nothing like it was.

I realize that she does not show lovey dovey feelings. I told her that I wanted to do more and be more involved but that she was always snapping or yelling at me and I just gave up and distanced. And I told her I never wanted that. I said I am glad that we are getting along now and I let her know I was proud of her for the progress she is making and I believed would continue to make. She had an opportunity to be reaffirming with me and let me know that she wanted us to get along better but just went to another subject. I could see she absorbed and appreciated my words though and so tis a good thing. :)

For the first time ever... in our relationship...I am optimistic that we may finally patch things up. Oh... no doubt...we ARE oil and water... and that's ok... I don't need or want someone to be my clone... but reasonable.. well ..I do appreciate that.

She is even agreeing to me setting up her meds in a 7 day pill container. And ...i see she is getting her coumadin at 5pm like her doctor wanted her to do but she refused and took it at 11pm.

Maybe this series of events caused her to realize that we all have only had her best interest at heart and if she cooperates...her quality and joy of life could be so much better. I hope so.

Oh... and one little trick I started implementing...and it might sound silly but it did help with resistance. Instead of me using my caustous, polite and sometimes pleading tone to get her to do or not do something... I have started using my professional tone.

And by that I mean...the tone that medical staff takes when they interact with most patients. The voice goes into a slightly different authoritatively polite professional tone... just a bit removed from being personal even though you are being friendly and personable. It's also a kind of positive can do-will do tone, when greeting the patient and while encouraging them to do something or telling them you are going to do something. I am not articulating this well... but I noticed even I, as the patient rep did it. You just do... and it is a good thing. Then as you have more contact and perhaps discussion you go back to normal range. It seems to work better with her although... I haven't done it at the rehab.

Anyway...I am optimistic. :)

P.S. Oh my gosh... I just have to say that the autumn leaves are spectacular and I have been thoroughly enjoying my rides (I go 3 different ways) over to visit her!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Things Aren't Always As Good As They Sound

http://www.playfulpups.com/Pictures/german_shepherd_puppies_s.JPG

Check out this post "HEALTH CARE IS A RIGHT (AND FREE PUPPIES) in which 911 Doc over at the M.D.O.D blog gives his opinion on what will happen with a socialized health plan.

As always... the comments are interesting.

The Public Needs to Know the Facts

http://www.bethelcollege.edu/users/roinilm/Mika%20Roinila%20Opening%20SUNY%20Homepage_files/us-flag1.gif

I was reading the Drudge Report and came across the following information regarding Senator McCain's and other politician's concern about Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac back in 2006. It isn't mentioned here but he also stated his concern about this in his book 2 years ago.

Why didn't he make his position on this clear during the debates?

Clearly...McCain, along with others recognized a problem and tried to sound an alarm.

Also..I was going to do a post on patient rights and stumbled on a bi-partisan McCain-Edwards-Kennedy Patient Bill of Rights that got voted down in 2001. McCain is telling the truth when he says he reaches across the aisle in bi-partisan efforts. He also has tried to effect change for the better in our medical system. Agree with him or not...Senator John McCain does have a long record of working for this country. He tells us to look at his record.

What exactly is it that Senator Obama has accomplished and has experience with that qualifies him over Senator McCain to be president of the United States?

I hope I am not offending anyone. It is a sincere question? I really wish someone would answer that question.

I'm listening.

"McCain Letter Demanded 2006 Action on Fannie and Freddie

by Human Events

Sen. John McCain's 2006 demand for regulatory action on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac could have prevented current financial crisis, as HUMAN EVENTS learned from the letter shown in full text below.

McCain's letter -- signed by nineteen other senators -- said that it was "...vitally important that Congress take the necessary steps to ensure that [Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac]...operate in a safe and sound manner.[and]..More importantly, Congress must ensure that the American taxpayer is protected in the event that either...should fail."

Sen. Obama did not sign the letter, nor did any other Democrat.

The full text of the letter appears below."

McCain Letter

Here is the link to the article and the more than 500 comments to this article and letter.

Bagpipes, Drums and a Big Long Thing


Wicked Tinkers with Craig Ferguson

If you don't want to get up and move with this...your DEAD!

Check this out... a tribal Celtic sound. Wow! Awesome!! I would love to have been there in person. I TiVoed this and every now and then play it with the volume up really loud and it sounds great! Bagpipes and drums... and big long thing...what a sound!

It looked like so much fun. :)

Anyone know what the big long thing is?

And is it true that it is a Scottish tradition for men to roam free under their kilts...no underwear? And aren't they itchy...with the wool kilts? I've been wondering this since the movie "Braveheart".

P.S. Bagpipes certainly remind me of my Scottish heritage and one of my most vivid memories of my Scottish grandmother...Isabella Taylor MacDonald (my grandfather called her Bella) ... is that of her doing the Highland Fling on her 80th birthday. :)

Saturday, October 11, 2008

On the Way to the Elevator

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Our younger son helped me shop for my mother and then came back with me to visit her at the rehab last night.

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As we walked down the hall toward the elevator, I noticed an elderly woman sitting in a wheelchair, up against the far wall, facing directly opposite us. She was sobbing... non stop sobbing. If you just ripped my heart out of my chest and stomped on it at that point... it couldn't possibly hurt anymore than seeing her cry. As we walked closer... I was wondering what was wrong. Does she always cry? Is she clinically depressed? Is there some other pathology that causes her to do this? I was so focused on her... that I didn't think to look at my son to get his reaction.

As we continued walking toward her and the elevator, which was on the corner just before where she was ...I was trying to decide if I should try to console her or go on the elevator to visit my mother. The nurses station was also on the opposite corner in this area, but there wasn't any staff anywhere and the halls were empty. It was just this elderly woman sobbing all alone.

To be honest...I was really tired and just wanted to get in and check on mom, show her the new things we bought her , visit briefly and go back home. I was feeling drained from the events of the last week. I was glad to have younger son going with me this time which kind of gave me a boost with not feeling so alone in this process.

But... I couldn't ignore her. I couldn't pretend that I wasn't near another human being feeling so distressed and not try to do ...something.

So... I walked over and while bending down directly in front of her... to face her...I asked if she was alright?

Her head was facing downward and she was sobbing so hard, that she was oblivious to our being there.

I quickly thought to myself "Of COURSE she's not alright or she wouldn't be SOBBING!"

So I revised my question.

"Hi...what's wrong?"

She was still sobbing and I was thinking maybe I shouldn't be interfering.

But I persisted a little more loudly, "What's wrong?"

With that she looked up surprised. She was still crying but her shoulders stopped heaving.

With eye contact now, "What's wrong?"

Still crying she said 'What?"

More loudly "Hi, I'm Pat...what's wrong?"

I was beginning to think I made a mistake and was beginning to wonder what staff might be thinking if they heard me because I didn't want to overstep any boundaries. You know how your thoughts go through your brain at lightening speed all the while you are engaged in an activity? I'm always thinking behind the scenes.

She said, "I can't hear you."

" WHAT'S WRONG?"

Through tears she said. "I lost my apartment." She bowed her head and continued to cry.

I said"I'M SO SORRY. I'M SORRY YOU LOST YOUR APARTMENT. THAT MUST BE SO DIFFICULT FOR YOU." (I was wondering was this recent or 20 years ago?)

I asked her what her name was.

She said "Richard".

"WHAT?"

"Richard."

At first I was thinking, okay she has dementia but just as quickly was looking at her trying to figure out if maybe I looked at her wrong and she was really a HE... a man.

She stopped crying for a few seconds and started again saying "I lost Justin, I lost Justin." (I was wondering was Justin her/his son, husband or a pet?)

Just as I was going to respond... another elderly woman wheeled toward me from the darkened room that was right there.

She said, "I'm her roommate."

Okay... I was right...she IS a woman. (I really thought she was... but admittedly was momentarily thrown off.)

So I extended my hand to shake her roommate's hand and said "Hi, I'm Pat. What's your name?"

"Paula."

"It's nice to meet you Paula! This is my son Chris." He smiled and said "Hi."

Also as I turned around to introduce Chris, I was surprised to see that another elderly lady had stealthily wheeled up behind me. We actually saw her in the front lobby when we came in and I saw her yesterday wheeling around with an infant baby doll in her arms. She still had the baby doll in her arms.

I turned to face her, extended my hand for a handshake and said "Hi...I'm Pat...what's your name?"

Shaking my hand she said, "Ruth."

"Well it's nice to meet you too Ruth and this is my son Chris"

He smiled and said "Hi."

I turned back to the lady (Richard) who was no longer sobbing.

Offering my hand I Loudly said, "IT'S NICE TO MEET YOU TOO RICHARD!"

She wasn't even crying anymore. She shook my hand. I said goodnight to Richard and Paula and when I turned to say goodnight to Ruth...for a split second...like in the movies... I expected to see that they had multiplied and that there were 20 elderly people in wheelchairs behind me. (my whacky sense of humor)

They all looked at us quizzically yet appreciatively.

I believe in firm handshakes...yet their hands seemed so fragile and gnarly...that I only gave them a gentle squeeze... if that.

Richard had completely stopped crying.

I smiled waved and said bye one more time as we got on the elevator. They watched us the whole time until we closed the doors.

I never did see any staff. I had to shout so loud for Richard...I am sure the entire unit
(both wings) could've heard. Like I said...I hope I didn't overstep my bounds.

While Chris and I were in the elevator I asked him if he minded that I did that? He warmly smiled at me and said no he didn't mind. And the look in his eyes was special. I could see that he actually appreciated the exchange.

I realized that without planning to...I taught him a valuable life lesson... and that warms my heart. :)

Also, we both had wanted to visit and leave... but instead we stayed a long time with mom and left after they locked their doors.

And Mom seemed happier and was telling us about the day's events. She said they got her up walking a bit during physical therapy. I felt like she was getting better care and felt comfortable enough that I have taken today for myself and doing things around the house. We will all visit her tomorrow and I will be going back over on Monday too.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

I Think I Screwed Up!

My mother was transported from the hospital to a rehab today where she will be spending the next 3 weeks rebuilding her strength and ability to walk again. I wanted to be there for my mother so I followed the rig from the hospital over to the facility. The driver was driving fast but I stayed right on him even through lights just turning red... but I cleared them. I had to park farther away but caught up with them in the lobby.

I worked in ED registration and closely with the emergency department for 20 years. I worked in my Lifeline job for almost 5 years. I have had plenty of experiences working with the elderly population. I have seen a lot.

But nothing prepares you for when it is your own parent suddenly in that position. I always felt sorry for the elderly people brought into the ED from a nursing home. I always hated if I heard someone refer to them as a GOMER (get out of my emergency room )... geriatric patients with multiple problems. I didn't hear it much.. but some people said it and I always worried the patient heard. One doc actually made fun of an elderly woman that was thought to be totally gorked but tears ran down the side of her cheeks. :( That being said...staff was really good with patients... but sometimes things slipped out when they shouldn't have.

And it seemed that these elderly people from the nursing home rarely had any family come in to the ED to meet them... and they'd be lying there alone. Sometimes they were shipped back out and sometimes they were an admit.

While working in my Lifeline job, the coordinator of our program and I covered 3 counties and serviced people in their homes and apartments as well as assisted living and retirement homes. I have to say that all the retirement homes or assisted living places were good to excellent... from what I could tell.

Today... the 1st thing that struck me was the large number of people sitting in wheel chairs, not communicating with each other in the front lobby that we entered through. It was pleasant looking, light and airy and so I was encouraged that her room would be too.

Um... I HATE my mother's room! They have 3 beds in a 2 bed room. She has the middle bed which in my opinion is the least private. They don't offer a telephone or TV... but she is lucky because she actually has a donated one in the room. But there is hardly room for it. Her roommate by the window has to negotiate a wheelchair between my mother's bed and the nightstand supporting the TV. You can bring your own phone and set up installation with the phone company and pay accordingly. (doing that tomorrow) You can bring your own TV.

There is a big bright window in the room. Her other nightstand is on the other side of her curtain because everything is off kilter having a 3rd bed in there but I am going to ask the social worker to take a look at it tomorrow because they just have all 3 night stands on the wrong side of the beds. DUH..so obvious! I'm sorry...I am ANGRY about something... I'll get to that. Also...her bed does not elevate with push buttons but has to be cranked from the front.

C'mon! We just got a hospital bed for her that looks exactly the same but has a remote.

So what that means is my mother is totally at their mercy for changing bed positions. Now it is a rehab and the goal is to get her out of bed and moving around. But for now... she can not support herself standing up... let alone walk. (I actually do not understand how she could have lost her ability to ambulate since last Thursday.) They will start rehab with her tomorrow and so hopefully... she will be able to go back to her apartment in 3 weeks.

I liked the nurse who did mom's assessment. However... I thought she was insensitive about protecting my mother's dignity because she immediately stripped her naked to do perform her assessment of mom's over all condition... but neglected to pull the curtain around her on the window side. That window is huge. Now maybe she knows no one can see in the ground level window but I am sure my mother did not and quite frankly... nor did I. When the nurse walked away...I saw my mother pull a sheet over her lower exposed region. She may even have felt awkward in front of me because she is very modest and even I...her daughter never saw her naked until recently. Her breasts were still exposed as she lay there unable to situate her self more modestly.

I am ashamed to admit...I was a bit slow on the uptake of that and should have immediately jumped up and pulled the curtain closed while politely commenting that she would appreciate her privacy being protected. With everything going on... I was still processing.

I also liked the clothing lady. The clothing lady showed me around, was good with my mother, answered my questions and introduced me to the social worker, whom I then met with. I liked the staff I met.

I asked the social worker that in the event my mother had to stay would she then go to a different room. She said they don't like to uproot the patients when they become familiar with staff and their surrounding area and room mates. I can not picture my mother in that middle bed with that set up for the rest of her life if she is unable to regain her strength enough to come back home. I can not.

So I was comfortable at that point with leaving my mother. She was joking with staff. I figured she'd rest and have dinner. Then I would come later with the rest of her things.

She was sleeping when I walked in the room. I woke her up and the first thing she said rather dejectedly was "I don't think they care about anyone here." Why mom?" It turned out that no one brought a bedpan when she told them she needed one and so she wet the chuck under her and her hospital gown. (She is on strong diuretics!) She pressed the bell again for someone to help her and no one came. I walked in about 7:45 pm and she rang the bell around 5pm. So she was sitting in her urine and wet bedding and gown for a FRICKEN TWO HOURS AND 45 MINUTES when I got there!!!

I immediately went to the nurses station and politely yet assertively asked for someone to please help her. She still had to wait. One nurse did poke her head in to say she was sorry and that the girl would be there soon. She said she had told someone and thought it had been done and she could see how old the urine was by the way the bedding looked.

I believe we had to wait past 8pm before the girl came in to clean my mother up. So She was at least sitting in the wet bedding and gown for THREE HOURS!!!

The girl that came in was alright. Didn't seem very motivated though. And then my mother had to void again. She said it to the girl who had just cleaned her up and the bedding too. But she didn't get a bed pan. She was just going to put the depends on her. WHAT? And I was thinking...and LEAVE her in them too?

So I asked her to get a bed pan because she is going to have another accident. She moved so slowly looking through the drawers and then slowly out of the room. If that were me..I'd hustle to get a patient one! And my mother couldn't wait and so the bedding had to be changed again. And my mother felt awful about it.

I stayed until 9pm... until I felt comfortable leaving her... which I really don't. I made sure they knew I'd be around at different times stating I had an odd schedule. I just don't want them thinking they can count on family visits being predictable... for obvious reasons.

I stated that my mother has always raved about nursing care in the hospital and this is the first time I ever heard her say she didn't think the staff cared about anyone and she hasn't even been there 24 hours yet. in reality that incident happened after only 3 1/2 hours of being there. Another nurse apologized profusely...and said it usually isn't like that, but some people work harder than others. She also told my mother sweetly that they want to take good care of her.

I believed her.. but actions will speak louder than words.

If my mother ends up needing long term care... I just can not picture her in a place like that. I can not. So...I am going to call the other places the hospital social worker recommended and go check them out. Maybe I will put her on a waiting list.

I only went with this one because I wanted to keep continuity with her physician... and if she had to be hospitalized she'd go back to the hospital she likes.

In the end it is my mother's decision but I think I need to investigate all the options. Maybe I need to give it a chance. I did like most of the people.

I have a meeting with someone over there tomorrow and then I will follow up with the social worker.

I wanted to take Saturday off to do some important things that NEED my attention and now...I don't know if I should skip a day going over there. I can't bare to think of her being neglected. The staff that was on tonight didn't have any kind of pad on her nor did they know she was not able to walk yet. Don't they take report????

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Trancendence


Meditative Pachelbel with Ocean

I LOVE this one! Can I please go there ...now. :)

I think if I ever had to have the urology surgery..the big one...they should play Pachelbel's Canon in D Major for me in the OR. I think it is the most inspiring classical piece that causes me to want to transcend all challenges, believing all things are possible and feeling all the beauty and goodness in creation... and to feel love... both giving and receiving. This piece affects me so profoundly like it is moving through me, in me and around me...elevating me upward to something better. It reminds me of love, hope, peace and joy.

Understandably...I have been feeling stressed to the max, drained and sad. I have been letting recent events consume me and am lacking balance. I know more than ever ...I have to get back on track and take care of me too. Yet that sounds so selfish as compared to what my mother is going through.

Then again...if I don't find some balance... I won't be any good to her or anyone else. Balance is key. I know this...haven't been doing it and am feeling more overwhelmed than ever. There is so much to do, plus visiting her and I hate leaving her. I am not eating right at all and I was doing so well. I am not drinking enough nor am I sleeping well.

Right now as I sit typing here at the computer...my longer than shoulder length hair is sticking straight out from my head...all the way around. I'm just sayin...

Anyway, while perusing my blogroll... I decided to play my link to this Pachelbel's Canon in D Major site where there are 50 versions of it. I decided to play #10 and upon hearing it...I felt all the tension fall away from me. The power of music is amazing. I haven't listened to them all yet.
I miss the sonific song spot I had on my sidebar (they had to close) that played a beautiful version of Pachelbel's Canon in D major with ocean sounds. I used to play that on repeat and never tired of hearing it.

I don't like all of them but it's interesting to hear the different versions. #49 is nice. I love piano music. I truly get lost in Pachelbel's Canon in D Major. :)

Then I had images of mom alone in the hospital and my heart broke all over again.

I apologize for talking about this so much.

I will be writing the humorous posts again. I actually have one... but not ready to post it yet.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

66 Cents

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What would you do for 66 cents?

After I left the hospital tonight, I decided to buy gas. I was excited to see it had dropped. It was
$3.25 per gallon at a gas station not far from the hospital.

But I decided to go 2 towns away to the Quick Check. On my way... I saw one gas station was selling gas for $3.29 a gallon. Then Hess was also $3.25 a gallon.

Drum roll please...... Quick Check was selling gas for $3.19 a gallon. So I filled the tank. I got 11 gallons. I calculated my savings. 66 cents! Now factor in the additional wear and tear, gas and oil. How much did I actually save?

Sometimes...it's just the principal of it all. I am going with the best price. They want my money and I am more willing to give it to the most competitively priced product...providing it is the same if not better quality.

Then of course I had to back track home... and so I may have broke even or less... but I paid $3.19!

What would you have done?

Monday, October 6, 2008

Planning Ahead

I was encouraged last night but when I woke up this morning...all the concerns about my mother hit me like a ton of bricks. I was so happy to see her sitting up in bed and doing all the things she can for herself that I was hoping it meant she'd get out of bed soon. But the reality is that she is still weak. I really am floored that this happened like this. I guess that's life...especially in the elderly population. Truth is... anything can happen to anyone at anytime. Ii knew she was slowing down, but I guess because of the good physical and labs... it takes me by surprise.

And I am just sad about all of this... and wasted time between us. I so much want her to come home and I think she understands that she does have to let us, especially me assist her.

I spoke with the social worker today who informed me that Mom had her PT this morning. She is unable to sit up without assistance ...nor can she transition from the bed to a chair. She tired easily.

I was encouraged though that she is able to ring the bell for assistance and is mentally alert.

The social worker did bring up rehab to build her strength. She asked my mother how the rehab went for her and she deferred to the PT therapist for the answer. Hmmm.

I stated that I will not even mention rehab because if it comes out of my mouth it will be jaded for her. She thinks Dr is God and so they should not let her know she can refuse (and really-given her physical condition she can't) and should approach it with her as a way to facilitate healing so she can come back home. When she brings it up to me...I will assure her we are loving and caring for her cats... which I do anyway. Also I will faithfully go over to see her. I will mix my visits up for different times of the day so staff never knows when I am showing up. I have heard that if there is a possibility of patient neglect...it helps for family to keep an alternate visiting schedule so they can't assume they show up 2pm everyday and so have things ship shape at that time.

Then the decision was where? She gave me 3...which I think are the top 3 but then her doc only has privileges at place #4. One place has a brand new wing and is close to another hospital. I think the sub-acute place he has privileges at is alright but if she needs long term care...I have not heard good things.

So She gave me the obligatory 3 recommendations and said they place patients in all of them including #4. She said there is a waiting list for longterm care facilities but not #4. Of course what does that say?

If indeed she is only there for 3 weeks and can come home after that...then I would rather she have the continuity of care with her doctor that she trusts and knows. He also knows her very well and if anything has to be tweaked with her meds or whatever... he knows her the best... for maybe 15 years... or so..not sure. Also, if she had to be readmitted into the hospital...she would be transported back and he would be her physician.

I think it is key to have continuity of care, particularly when the physician is familiar with the patient and knows how to work things both physically and psychologically... and I think it is an emotional safetynet for the patient as well as physical. It's bad enough when all these new and often unpleasant situations are thrust at a patient and I think the continuity can have a calming effect and be a catylist for a sense of security in a difficult situation. Physicians may not be family... but in some ways they can know more about the patient then family and what they as a patient need at that time. Hopefully the physcician and family are coordinating their efforts and that is what I am trying to do now. I do appreciate that he listened too me a couple of weeks ago and that he listened last night. In the end...of course he knows what is best for her... but at least I know he took what I said to heart.

So... what would you do? Would you try to keep continuity of care with the physician who knows all about her and she very much likes... or go for the better facility? And are they really better? I don't know.

I am praying she can come home again. I shouldn't project ahead negatively...but it is difficult not to because I have to plan too. It all breaks my heart. And I have to try to not let emotion cloud my knowledge of what is best for her.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Encouraged... Sort Of and Other Things

We celebrated younger son's 20th birthday at my mother-in -law's today because I have just been too busy to get ready to entertain. It was a fun afternoon, Chris liked his gifts, the food was good and Devan still maintains her position in the family as the official cake tester. She dips her finger into the icing (becomes her piece) tastes the icing and announces to all that the cake tastes good and so we can then all have a slice. I got it on video this time. :)

After the party ...we were going up to the hospital to see mom. I warned Devan that her Great Grandmother wasn't going to look like she usually does because she has been sick and still needs to get better. Devan drew her a cute hospital picture that we taped to the wall.

I was pleasantly surprised and encouraged to see mom sitting up in bed, doing her word puzzles with her glasses on and watching TV. What a change! For two days she hardly opened her eyes, couldn't do ANYTHING for herself and I thought I was losing her. I had been crying on and off since Friday morning.

She talked with us, was feisty with me, could feed herself and use the remote... and combed her hair. She is still tired but more like herself.

I brought up her Tabu powder and thought the scent might evoke a positive response in her since she loves the perfume so much. (way too strong for me) She was happy to see it and I dusted her lightly with it on her shoulders and neck thinking the scent would perk her up and it did. I also brought her a tube of her rose red lipstick to apply when she is ready. And she perked up seeing that too.

I think it is important to bring things that will evoke positive memories and responses in the patient.

We all had a nice visit with her. Devan put a latex glove on and was pretending to be a doctor working on a patient in the empty bed next to Mom. Uncle Chris assisted her.

After everyone left, I went down to nurses station to get something for Mom and saw her doc there writing out orders and so went over to him to see what he was thinking now that she looked better.

He informed me that her heart rate was down to 70 (I think that was it) and they also got rid of the fluid. He will be starting PT for her in the morning with the hopes of building her strength back up. I asked him what he was thinking about her coming back home now...because he had agreed with me 2 weeks prior that a nursing home would not be good for her.

He is thinking about having her go to a 21 day rehab program at the subacute place. I think that would be great. I asked if people come back out of those places when they are like her. He said...if they are going to they will do it at the end of the rehab...if they don't around then then they are not usually able to. He also expressed concern regarding how she is taking her meds.

I know she has been frustrated with heavy diuretics and if I heard him correctly she cut back on her own. She told me she takes one and when I loaded her meds I only gave her 1 but it is supposed to be 1 1/2 and I went with what she said without reading the bottle.

I think if she knew her not being compliant was putting her at risk for a nursing home that she would agree to let me fill a 7 day pill box. Plus I am going to check every day where I just assumed it was alright.

I asked if she is able to come home (which I actually doubt at this point) could he keep her a couple days more so I could keep doing things in her apartment because she doesn't let me when she is there (although she is going to have to), but he said that depends on Medicare. He also said she could refuse going to rehab. I said she thinks he is God and he laughed at that. I said I know she sasses him sometimes to which he stated that she is stubborn.

I stayed and watched the news with her but when I saw she was falling asleep... I decided to go.

I felt better about leaving at 19:00 tonight. Still not easy..but I did feel better about it.
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Saturday night I stayed until 21:45 because I couldn't bear leaving her. They didn't chase me out. One of the perks in having worked there...plus... I was helping her with things.

I had gotten her washed up and encouraged her to drink. I had to hold the cup. When the nurse came in I asked what she ate for dinner and upon hearing she didn't eat anything stated she needed to get nutrition into her. I said the dr had recently said if she doesn't want to eat when she is home, that she should drink ensure or slim fast and requested that she get an order for that. I said she might need to be hand fed because I had to do that the night before because she was so weak.

I think it is so important for patients to have someone to be a patient advocate on their behalf. The nurses are good there, but seemed short staffed and also seemed to have a lot of high maintenance elderly patients. I think if a patient isn't able to ring for assistance or articulate what they need that they can sometimes be overlooked. Not because of intentional neglect but because the staff is so busy.

Older son, Jon...came in to see her last night and we got her talking for a bit by asking her family questions that only she would know and that got her engaged. I was holding her hand sitting close to her just watching her. I felt so sad and I said "You have to get better, please get better so you can come home mom." Her eyes were closed but she said"Stop harping." I said "What?" She more annoyed said "Stop HARPING on me!" I said I just wanted her to get better.

I know this is her way sometimes...she just gets snappy with me. But even after all these years it hurts and quite frankly...I don't understand. I mean...if I heard one of my children or anyone pleading for me to get better... if I could muster words... I'd tell them "I will" or think of something encouraging because I would worry about them worrying.

And then part of me was mad inside and the other part hurt.

I have been beating myself up for being a bad daughter... but I think usually (there are exceptions) you will have the relationship with your adult children that you cultivate when young as well as how you are with them generally as adults. I do try. Sometimes not hard enough. I know it is NOT all my fault.

I just know... I want to make this time count for something better. I know I am going to have to be the strong one...even though I secretly want to crumble like a little girl and run away.

So I came home more light hearted tonight. Reality is setting back in but I am not as sad or discouraged as I was. Time will tell and I guess I will know a lot more this week. I will call the social worker tomorrow to get some Ideas about longterm care and what her options are if we have to go that route.





Friday, October 3, 2008

Behind the Curtain

Amidst the emotional turmoil I was experiencing wondering if my elderly mother was declining right before my eyes in the ED... I did hear something amusing. I can say this because I am saying it as something witnessed as a patient family member. While I was talking with another staff member near the nurse's station... another nurse told the ED doc that the patient stated she is allergic to Motrin and needed something stronger for the pain. The look on her face was priceless... as was his.

I got a warm fuzzy because I immediately thought of all the blogging docs and their posts on drug seekers and the subsequent comments and that reminded me of blogging... which I love... hence the warm fuzzy feeling thinking of this hobby and the funny/interesting posts.

I never saw the patient but did hear her use the F word and question why the F she was there if they weren't gonna do anything. I am sure all the med folks could fill in the blanks for the rest of said patient and male companion's conversation.

The irony of it all didn't escape me either. My mother seemingly declining ...gasping for air so weak she couldn't move or open her eyes... and this woman, obnoxious, boisterous complaining about her pain.

You never know what is behind the curtain... but if you did...would you still behave like a JERK?

Another Emergencty Call

I received another emergency call from Lifeline alerting me my mother was being transported to the hospital this morning. I called her apartment and spoke to one of the squad members. She had fallen off the sofa (I don't understand why) Long story short... when I got to the ED... she looked gray, seemed out of it and was gasping for air. She seemed to deteriorate after getting there then it reversed but she was never herself the entire day and slept all day in the ED. It was a very long day. Same ED doc on as when she fell last time and he still recommends nursing home. I had hospital bed delivered to her apt today. Too much to say now and I am too tired. I cried so much on and off that my eyes feel funny and I have a mild headache and just need a good night sleep.

I am fortunate that being around my former hospital co-workers was like being around family and so amidst tears there was laughing. Isn't it always that way around ED staff when you work there? They invited me back to their new break room and I had some real cups of coffee. I've missed it and them. They all helped today to be more bearable. Her PCP came up and she is admitted fro next couple of days and we will see what happens from there.

When I left her tonight in her room...while tired...she was more like herself... but weak. They're so busy on med floor that I woudn't leave her and it took them 2 hours just to get the intake info and I was her advocate for water, blankets, etc....including going to nurse's station to inform them Mom's roommate was vomiting.

I will be back with more detail another time.

It feels good just to blog a bit.