Follow
Share

I would like to hear others stories about advocating for a parent solo. When you are the primary and only caregiver for a very sick mother and am told by my own mother that she feels like she is dying and for me to call the paramedics immediately. I do what she demands and an hour later the nurse calls me to come and pick her up that she has been released, I was so frustrated and not to mention, ill myself, that I raised h--l when I got to the ER. She was spiking a 101.8 fever and had been throwing up with diarrhea. The doctor tells me that all her tests are negative but meanwhile she is as weak as a kitten and can not lift her head off of the pillow. You really have to advocate for your loved one when you know she is very sick but is putting on a brave face for the medical staff. After reexamining her, the doc finally decided to admit her for 1 or two days to run more tests. I was in tears as I left the hospital. Anyone else relate? And what was your outcome?

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Find Care & Housing
Unfortunately, it's not just the doctors and nurses. It's also health insurance or medicare who second-guess the medPro's observations and decisions. God forbid they recommend overnight observation in an elderly patient, if there's "no good reason" (read: the vital signs show no indication of a problem, despite other observations). It's more than infuriating.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

All they want to do is stabilize the patient and get them out of the hospital so the patient doesn't get something worse. Hospitals no longer want to take responsibility for less than only the sickest patients. Especially flu cases because they don't want this to quickly risk a spread to other staff or patients. They merely hydrate the patient and try to get the fever down and then out the door they go. Yes you do have to advocate for the patient and yourself!! I had a friend who was on a cancer ward and they were trying to release her early...good news except she was very weak, not eating, dehydrated and ended up collapsing and vomiting and they said, well we'll hydrate her and try to release her in the afternoon. I gave it to the drs outside her room and said no way I was taking her until she could walk up the hall and back without collapsing. They kept her another day and a half but only because I insisted.

My opinion is that hospitals don't want anything to happen on their watch, so they want to get rid of the patient as quickly as they can.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Yes that is true too, they assume the worst, one of the visits the doc walks in and instead of hello it was ewwww she doesn't look good. my mom is very thin and gaunt looking but has maintained that way for last 8 ys she lost a bunch of weight when we put her on dementia meds and has maintained at this thin state since just fine. At the new ER I bring her in for her bone problems and the darn dr sed she is in dying stages and I have a month to six, I should find a nursing home for the remainder. OMG...I lost it till I had the sense to ask him how he came to that conclusion (two days later). it was her appearance! well we are at almost 6 mos and she is just fine, here with me! Less bone issues!
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

You absolutely have to insist sometimes. They will all too often assume that the person was weak and debilitated before coming in with the urgent condition, and may seem to not even believe you when you explain that before this ER visit my Mom could turn herself over in bed and went to the bathroom by herself, or talked in normal complete sentences, or whatever. Seriously - I see a lot of families either do cell phone video so there is a good documentation of what baseline is, and even post pictures of the person before they got ill in the room just to remind healthcare workers what the expectations are. My mom used to not want me to stay with her in the hospital but I would stay very nearby most all the time until I knew that everyone knew what was and was not going on with her. I always stayed with her in the ER, and the ones we went to here in AR treated us well, I realize we were very blessed. We did not get treated as well in some other hospital and post acute settings, but I then did my best to get us out and make sure we went elsewhere in the future.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

A hospital here in Tucson released my MIL and she was having a stroke. She lived alone and had went to the hospital by ambulance. My husband picked her up and spent the night with her. He called the ambulance again at 4AM. The EMT said "This is a stroke." "We know."
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Yes you have to be there with them especially when they have dementia....
In one of our earlier incidents I had to follow the ambulance up, but I was in my jammies so I told em I need 10 minutes to get dressed and I'd be right behind them. When I got there the DR was in with mom already (shocking in itself cuz I have never had one in room that quick before, usually you sit there for eternity) anyway I proceeded to tell him the situation and issue. first off mom has not been in the kitchen or cooked a meal in 10 ys, and past year she lost her ability to walk and is wheelchair bound. The dr report read that she was in kitchen cooking and fell.....not what I told him happened that she wiggled out of her wheelchair in the living room and dropped down straight on her butt, recovering from a broken hip I needed that all checked out. the only thing I can figure is he asked her with leading questions and she answers yes, or agrees, to please., cause she would have never come up with that story on her own...she doesn't do stuff like that. But it surely was not at all close to what I told him had happened. It is all over her records that she has dementia and discussed with them everytime. So anyway he must have tried to talk to her in that short amount of time I wasn't there and took that for the case. Not what I told him happened! if you could here the rest of what happened it would shock you, but that is just small clip of why someone in the know must be there with them.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Gladimhere, thank you for responding. I could not get to the ER until later as I was sick with the flu. You are right that someone needs to be there with her to explain her symptoms otherwise they will send her home. When I did arrive, I was emotionally drained and had to insist they admit my mother for a couple of days to insure she was well enough to come home. We are the voice of our parents especially those with dementia who can't even remember why they are in the ER. Very difficult situation when you are fighting this battle alone with no help from family or relatives. I, too, get sick but have to keep going for the sake of my mother. Exhausted in Virginia.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

And that is the last and I would say least of the stories incedent 1-3 would curl your toes......I did finally get an attorney that sed he would look at the files for me, just couple weeks ago! That is the next battle with the elderly and frail, they have no litigation value either....there is no lost wages ie damages, in a person who is 86 and in her condition...I spoke to enough lawyers in my dads case that I just gave up but this time I was not going to. I called and called atty offices till I got one thru the bar asscn referral service actually. But this guy ATTY sed it doesn't matter about what is in it for us, if they were negligent they should be held accountable. we may not be able to do anything but at least he is willing to talk to me and review the cases. I wish I had some darn time to get him his stuff he needs.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

For a second there I thought you were describing our local hospital here in the States. My dangerously high B/P was diagnosed as overuse of the B/P machine. We quickly left with that diagnosis after woman in the 40th week of her 4th pregnancy, having been told she was fully dilated that afternoon came in with acute abdominal pain. Instead of taking her up to labor they told her not to push while they paged the OBGYN. Another patient came in unresponsive after a cardiac arrest & the EMTs had been doing CPR for 20 mins but were told to stop. They protested wanting the patient shocked and the nurse told them to keep out of it she made the decisions here. the Dr finally wandered over and agreed to the shock if they really thought it would do him any good. His total exam of me consisted of having me squeeze his fingers. When we got home I looked on the state licensing site to see if he was infact licensed to practice medicine. Surprise he was. All I can say is educate and advocate.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Juju, I'm appalled. Just appalled. I wish I was also more surprised, though.

glornorth, I'm going to try something. Back later...
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

I unfortunately have had a string of horrific incidents with our ER here,It is infamous for errors and even killing people. and sure messed up with us on 3 consecutive visits. It even went past the ER, as my Dr recommended other options as urgent care rather than the ER if possible or another hospital although a significant distance, Well those options yielded no better service honestly the other ER incident 4 in 4 months was better but still a nitemare! incident 5 two months later thru the urgent care and GP also was an absolute nitemare...I dragged my mother around with I spiral fracture of the tibia for 2.5 weeks (urgent care with xray, GP who sent me for CAtscan, that did no good cuz they looked at the wrong area, who sent me to orthopedic specialist who didn't even try and sent me back to gp who sent me to xray again once I insisted that something be done she is in agony. Well sure enough called and sed they found a break I should come back in for a splint then take for another xray need another view then wait for orthopedist to be available sometime next week.....I then calmly flipped out an took charge. I called the orthopedist and calmly demanded they fit us in tomoro as it has been over two weeks and we had already been there once...I will not put my mother in n out of car 3 more times over another week with an umproperly diagnosed fracture...well they took her and did it all there xray exam and cast in one visit and this orthopedist, looked at my initial xray and confirmed what I saw once they showed me the break I pulled out that xray and said there it is right there and she is yup, that's it..... the break was there from day 1.

I know I am venting quite a bit to you but when it comes to the elderly my dear I believe we are on our own to know and demand the care they deserve....

It is my biggest fear with respect to mothers health now, just being able to trust dr;s n hospitals that are out of control! I found thru requesting all her record about these ordeals they show a whole different light of the situation....most doctors I believe aren't even listening.. when I read the transcripts of so called assesments in the ER they are not even close to what is being discussed and not anywhere near what is printed on your release paperwork it is truly scary and sad to say I know how to read xrays and the sound of a bone breaking now every incident we learn but at the cost of our loved ones pain and suffering and in some cases life!!!! OMGOsh lord help us all!!! if this is the norm as Imho!
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

glornorth-
You say they called you to come and pick her up? Why was it that you were not there with her? Yes, it is necessary to advocate, but is very hard to do if you cannot see what they are doing for her. More info, please.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.