Friday, August 01, 2008


Update on the Mama Drama, for the half dozen people who still hang around here (there are more than a half dozen, but the comments come from a faithful few): My mother is back in the nursing home, somewhat worse for wear. She was diagnosed with a bleeding ulcer (the same one she was diagnosed with in April) and sent "home." I made I can't tell you how many phone calls, trying to get someone to pay some goddamn attention to her other medical issues, to no avail. I was dismissed. I could rant on about the state of health care in this country and how we treat our elderly, but I am too tired.

It just fucking sucks. It sucks on a level that is mindblowing, if you haven't seen it up close, you wouldn't believe it. I am smarter than the average bear, I know my way around the system and I am not shy about making phone calls, and I cannot get anyone with an MD after his/her name to give a shit about this patient. She's an 82 year old hot potato, suffering from very miserable and debilitating health issues*, that ARE NOT BEING ADDRESSED. I do not expect her to be 60 again (she does) but I would like an explanation of WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON HERE.

*edited: I am totally aware that half of these issues may originate in her head, but that doesn't make it right to dismiss all of them, and stick bandaids on symptoms and high-five each other - "Oh, hey, we identified the source of the internal bleeding! She has an ulcer!" when she told them this herself 3 months ago. She needed 2 units of blood all of a sudden, when they'd been checking her blood regularly, and it's blamed on an ulcer spotted in April? I ain't no doctor, but...HUH?

I got paid yesterday, paid basic bills (mortgage, phone, etc.) and will have to take money out of my very depleted savings to make it to my next payday, because I don't have enough cash to put gas in Baby. Baby is not a gas guzzling SUV. She is giving me a very earnest 30 mpg on the commute. The cost of the commute is killing me, but there are no other jobs so I have to do it. I am looking at having a really big garage sale in a few weeks, because I really have to make some money and get rid of shit. Everything looks like something I'll have to pay to move at this point.

My yarn stash is much smaller, and will get smaller still, because buying yarn is so far down the priorities now, it's like something from another lifetime.

But I survived this week, and I survived July, and August is a new month, a new moon, and maybe, just maybe, I'll catch a fucking break this month. Not holding my breath....


diann said...

OK, I'll 'fess up. I read regularly but rarely comment. You are, however, an absolute care-giving saint. I don't know how you do it (well, yes I do know how you do it, but how you stand it is another issue altogether!) and I admire you for it.

I had great hopes for the new GI doctor, and I would be sorely tempted to demand an explanation and some satisfaction. Pitch a fit, make him answer questions. You and your mom deserve it.

/diann (

Bess said...

Hang in there, gal, and know we're all rooting for you.


KatyaR said...

Has your mother seen a gerontologist? I wonder if someone like that could help sort out some of her age-related issues.

I admire your tenacity because I know how much all this is taking out of you. I hope you have a restful weekend.

ellen said...

I am so sorry this is proving so hard to resolve. I think this is a reflection of our health care system as a whole - when a person's health becomes a profit center challenging diagnoses seem to be not worth the effort. On to someone who just needs a quick heart bypass! I veer between rage and dread when I hear about these things happening.

Janet said...

How frustrating.I'm watching your little animation of you pulling your hair out, and it occurs to me how appropriate it must be. So sorry.

Catherine said...

Ellen, I think that's exactly right. They've run all the basic tests they are willing to run on an 82 year old, and that's as much as they are willing to spend to find an answer. The nursing home staff is great, they are paying attention, but the doctors are phoning it in.

Catherine said...

I am no saint. I am fueled by my bad attitude. I can't stand stupid - if my mother is the one being stupid I direct my wrath at her, but seriously, there's a lot of stupid going around here and hers is mostly out of exhaustion and frustration. If I felt nobody gave a crap about what I was saying (and I'm getting there) I might start lying to them too. The professionals have no excuses - I am so sick of reciting her medical history I am considering putting it on CD and just handing it to them, but they'd use it as a frigging coaster. They all act like, "Oh, wow, really?" then do nothing and hop in the Mercedes to go home to Windermere or wherever. (Neighborhood of doctors and pro golfers.) And this is a lucid private pay patient with good insurance and an involved family member - what the hell happens to the many elderly who don't have any resources?

Anonymous said...

They have stopped caring about most people who have age related diseases because it DOES NOT PAY TO! Let me help you tear out THEIR hair, I will fly down there and hold them down - those rat Bustard doctors. I've got two I have to take care of here, for a friend, and then I'll fly down and help you. I will make my own reservations.