Grandma and The Hospital

I haven’t blogged since last week because I had to rush my grandmother to the emergency room unexpectedly. Grandma is “just fine” now, according to her, and we are still not sure what exactly happened. We hope to know more this week. She is still not up to par and something obviously isnt working right.

But I want to convey the process we experienced. Its alarming to me that as a nation, we all focus on quantity of healthcare, instead of quality. Care for the masses no matter what. Fund it, limit the heck out of it and then give it to everyone. That is the best solution.

Grandma has Medicare with Advantage. She has worked her entire life and saved and scrimped like only a survivor of the Great Depression knows how. She has been the caregiver of two husbands with extensive medical histories. She deserves the best care at this time in her 84 year old life.

Last week, we rushed to urgent care, got things under control and then when they decided to admit her to the hospital, we waited four hours for a bed.

Once she got to the hospital finally, we met our nursing team. The floor was full, obviously, and we are certain they had more pressing issues than ours, so we would wave them off and send them on their way. The one time we tried to explain to the nurse that grandma’s veins were shot and painful to get blood from, and the nurse gave me a deadpan look and said “really?”, incredulious that we would say such a thing. While trying to provide the nurse with information, I had offended, and in turn was given offensive treatment. To the nurses’ credit, they did a wonderful job of pulling blood samples.

The doctor finally came in and spent 10 rushed minutes with us, checking his pager and phone twice while still having conversations with us about the relatively serious test he wanted to run. On Wednesday he said we would have to wait until Friday to have her procedure. Then after the procedure she would have to stabilize for a day or two before they would send her home.

She had her test on Friday, sure enough. It provided no information so they immediately discharged her with instructions to see her general practitioner within a week. Wait, I thought you said…

It was frustrating that our medical team said one thing and then did another. This “episode” resulted in no diagnosis. While we do realize that does happen, no attempt was made to find another explanation. What she was admitted for was explored and no answer was found. Done moving on. No other possibilities could be explored by this medical team. We had to go to another medical team to have the next set of questions asked.

At one point the doctor told us that he has a stack of files on his desk that he will never read. It was up to us to inform our medical team each and everytime. They simply dont have time to read up on every person they see.

In my most humble opinion, I think we need to allow our medical community to work smarter, not harder. They are already working hard and we, with our new healthcare bill, will be asking them to work even harder. With Medicare Advantage being phased out, Im even more concerned about our senior population and the care they will receive in the years to come.

There has to be a solution to this…

Thoughts? Comments?

February 28, 2011 7:30 pm Published by