Monday, July 30, 2012

Let's see--about that hospital run


Here is the note I sent the hospital about my mother's and our experience. I thought you might be interested:

...Regrettably, there were many things about my 94-yr-old mother's three-day stay that did not impress us and even alarmed us.

My sister and I have cared for her for 16 yrs--and we are old, too, with health and joint issues.

Thurs AM, Mom was uncommunicative and vomited. She also could not speak--garbled. She lives in a group home five mins from us--we decided to let them call the EMTs. We wanted her at BD Hospital--which is in her Advantage Plan. They insisted they were not allowed to take her there because there was no "neuro facility." We ended up at (your place)--where they said she had irregular heartbeat, which they named as atrial fib--I have that, hers might be, who knows. They made no mention of her speech in triage (the neuro part). I was the one who asked about TPa (big-time clot buster)--the doctor sort of blew it off--must be within 4 hrs, who knows how long ago this started, etc.

Although she had heart issues, they put no leads on her--I had to ask. They let her drink water, then many hours later, would not give her any Jello or pudding--it was way past lunch. They told us the ER had no food--which we know is not true. The CT scan showed normal aging. They wanted to admit her--out of network--this was a hassle, which I hope was settled that her plan would cover it. There was no need I could see for her to be at your hosp, but whatever. She had a UTI--and we think this accounted for much.

Upstairs (many hrs later), we spoke to Dr XYZ, went over the DNR options, and we never saw him again. We did have confidence in him, tho--at least he spoke with us.

We repeatedly asked to speak to the hospitalist Dr ABC--we saw him strutting around the nurses ordering MRIs for everyone, he saw us outside her room, never came over. We never saw Dr EFG, the neurologist, either.

There were issues over her swallowing--they did a bedside test and the therapist could not recommend soft foods without a modified barium swallow--which we reluctantly agreed to, and she passed and then could spoon up her own food soon after. Basically she had an expensive test to eat Jello.

She is home now--talking much better, wobbly, ate her own dinner last nite.

We talked to the hospice people but don't think she is there yet--may get a home health aide to help her caregiver.

I would like to praise two people...her nurse A kept in touch with my sister and me and when she said she would call, she did. We appreciated that. A man in the ER named B watched me all day hanging on the walls to walk and when it was time to go to the upstairs room, he turned up with a wheelchair and insisted I ride. That was great.

Otherwise, your treatment of us oldies--I would give it a C.

I am also calling records and getting her chart, readers--do you always do that? Good idea.

PS--That pix is not my mother. My Mom looks like Betty White.

Epilogue--Some VP from the hosp sent me a certified letter saying basically--nuh-uh, we did everything perfectly. I don't know why I even bother to complain. Older people will never be respected. He completely ignored that his hosp was a so-called Stroke Center and no one ever mentioned stroke, and also that the hospitalist doctor told the nurses (at least they said he did) not to page him to talk to family. He told this VP dude that oh, gosh, he didn't know any family wanted to talk to him. He SAW us.

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