Sunday, November 19, 2006

More Bad News

There’s nothing like a loved one’s medical crisis to throw some cold water on a self-deprecating party.

D’s 86 year-old Mom is in the hospital again, this time she went into kidney failure. What’s even more upsetting is the way things were handled (or not) by the staff at the assisted living facility we moved her to earlier this year.

D’s sister was on the phone with her and asked her to find her doctor’s phone number. Mom put the phone down and never picked it up again, so his sister called the front desk and asked them to go check on Mom. When they went up to her room they found her sitting in her own waste in her chair, semi-conscious. They didn't even call D’s sister back, they just cleaned her up and left her there!!

After a couple of hours his sister called them back and heard the story so she drove to the facility. When she arrived she tried to get Mom to the bathroom but she was so sleepy she could barely stand, so she called a non-emergency ambulance to get her to the hospital. The EMTs were very concerned because her pulse and blood pressure were very low, so they ended up turning on the lights and getting her to the ER. They had her in the ICU overnight but moved her to a regular room this morning. Today she had a blood transfusion and her counts are normal enough that they aren’t going to do dialysis.

Later it came out that the staff did notice that she was a little sleepy the past few days and didn’t want to go to the dining room to eat, but noone alerted family or her doctors. I understand that when you work in a place like she lives you see a lot and probably nothing phases you, but the staff should know enough about each resident to know when something is out of the ordinary for them. What’s the point of living in an assisted living facility if all they do is bring you pills twice a day and make sure you take a shower?

Before all of this happened I had planned to go to a classical choral music concert to hear the lovely and talented Coloratura sing. It was glorious, and I was glad to be lifted by the beauty of the music, if only for a short time. She seemed genuinely touched that I came, and it was also good for me to make someone else’s day.

1 comment:

  1. My thoughts for you and D's family. Glad his mother is doing better. - Kym