Monday, January 25, 2016


My oldest sister, Ruth, is having some health issues. She has been battling infections of one form or another for the past two months. In and out of hospitals and rehab facilities. Just when things start to look up, wham, another set back. This last one was very concerning. She was doing very well, off the antibiotics, doing a bit of pt and then.....confusion, hallucinations, wont eat, swearing (not my sister). That was bad enough, however, her daughter couldn't get anyone to acknowledge that there was a problem, never mind how we can fix it.

She tried calling the doctor at the rehab facility....Thursday phone call, Friday,... no phone call, the Admin phone call....talks to a doctor who thinks she's doing ok...really, she's having conversations with my father whose been dead for 19 years, check her for a UTI...She tells this guy "I will be there tomorrow morning, what time are you going to be there?"...She meets him at 9, his hands in his pockets, telling her Ruth is doing well...9am asks for one of those machines to help measure lung function, the things you blow into to move the ball....I got there at 10, no plastic to the nurse, Ruth wont eat asks for oxygen...they need a doctors order???....11 no oxygen yet, have a call in to respiratory...11:30...MY MOTHER IS IN DISTRESS SHE NEEDS OXYGEN!!!...12:00, in walks Joe, the repository supervisor, Takes Ruth's oxygen level, 86...listens to her rattled breathing, orders a chest x ray and starts the flow of oxygen, brings in the plastic puffer thing....then asks us questions....the look of horror/concern on that mans face was beyond what anyone could imagine....he started asking for names, if you don't have names he wants times.....FINALLY someone will listen...

A little to her healthcare proxy, her daughter insisted on bringing her back to the hospital she started at, she is there right now, waiting in the er for a room.

Now we can worry about her, not the care or the lack of care she will be receiving.

 Heaven help those elderly who can't advocate for themselves, or don't have someone to advocate for them.