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Mom had a heart attack, then a 5 way bypass in Dec. 2010. As she was recovering from the surgery, she had a stroke. This is when my caregiving journey began.

She went to the same hospital system where she had the surgery for 18 months before we moved her a few hours away and found a new doctor. The internal medicine internist who asked to be her doctor met her as she was in the CICU recovering from her surgery. So she knew that Mom had gone through the surgery. At no point did any doctor recommend that Mom see a cardiologist. There were no follow-ups specifically about the surgery, although Mom was prescribed meds for high blood pressure, diabetes, thyroid, and aspirin.

Mom had an episode this week (leg felt “wooden”) and ended up in the hospital for about 24 hours. The doctors are in disagreement on if she had a TIA or not (did every test you can think of), though all agree she is a high risk patient. They’ve asked why she didn’t see a cardiologist in the past 2 1/2 years. So did I drop the ball here by not asking about a cardiology follow-up? Am I wrong to expect that the experts would direct us/her on such a matter?

Mom has always avoided doctors and now goes to them because all us kids want her to. So it isn't easy. Her doctors recommended other things in the past few years like a colonoscopy, osteoporosis tests, mammograms, pap smears. No one ever mentioned seeing a cardiologist. I'm a bit upset about it.

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The community where Mom will be moving has doctors on site and I am going to give them all of her records and then let Mom and her doctors take care of her care. She will be in a place that has continuing care so if Mom decides not to take care of herself, she will have as much of a safety net as I'm able to get in place with the limited resources available. But I still want to see the discharge papers just to know. Thank you for the insight, vstefans.
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First of all, if you did not get a cardiology referral because either an internal medicine specialist thought he or she could handle the aftermath of an MI well enough without one, OR because Mom was recommended one but weaseled out, it's not your fault. Getting the records may help you, but a good competent primary care physician should be your guide as to where to go next and how best to prevent or delay further strokes and MIs. Hope this works out better soon.
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I will do that vegaslady. Been pondering this all evening. My brother who took Mom to his home from the rehab facility has since gotten divorced and is incapacitated and unavailable so asking him what happened isn't possible. My sister and her husband took Mom a few months later but my sister was pregnant at the time and was letting our brother handle doc appointments. I'm becoming convinced that there was follow-up recommended but none of them took it seriously. Finding out what the discharge papers say will help calm my mind.
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Ask the hospital for copies of her previous CICU stay and discharge papers. They probably did recommend a followup with a cardiologist.
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Pardon the pun, but I don't think it fell through the cracks. I think she swept it under the rug. And if she's like my MIL, she hid the bills for it too.
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Yeah, this is bothering me enough I'm looking for the papers. And asking my siblings. It is very possible that Mom pooh-poohed whatever the doctors were telling her. And of course we kids were all in confusion about the sudden disability to Mom. So it's highly likely this fell through the cracks.

Part of our larger issue is mom's life-long irresponsibility when it comes to her health. Well, actually, in her whole life. So here's one more consequence. Sigh.
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I'll bet if you can find her discharge papers, there were instructions on who to call for follow-up within a week or two. My MIL told the discharge planner "Oh, I have a cardiologist that I see" She was flat out fibbing and had no intentions to see a specialist.
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I guess what I'm wondering is why the cardiologist who did the surgery didn't schedule follow-up. I was out of state for about the first 6 months so it might be possible that he did and my other siblings didn't take Mom. But in that same time period, they did take Mom to other doctors. That's what confuses me - why no cardio follow-up took place initiated by a doctor. Wouldn't that be standard procedure?

Mom went to a great hospital part of a university. World class teams, yada yada. I just want to know for my own peace of mind if I'm crazy to think someone who knows how all this works (as opposed to me who's never had heart problems) should have told Mom to come back to see him to make sure all was okay.
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If she was in the Cardiac ICU, her treatment definitely involved a Cardiologist. If she had a heart attack and bypass, somewhere in her past is a cardiologist. Either she doesn't want to see him or she has forgotten who he was. So, now with a TIA, there would be a Neurosurgeon or Neurologist in the picture. If you moved her, and never found a primary until she landed in ICU because she does not like doctors, I won't say you dropped the ball, you just have a patient who prefers minimal treatment.
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We tend to believe we are the only one that knows whats best since we are there all the time but we need to listen to the doctors, they are the pro's in that area, not us and it can be hard, so just have patience and godbless !!!!!!!!!!you will be okay!
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