My mother is 79 and has been in and out of the hospital several times over the past 2-3 months and she has cancer (CLL). The good thing is that she is in remission still. We have been through a terrible ordeal and probably millions of people go through similar things as far as healthcare. I want to share our story with you because I can't express enough how important it is that you keep your eyes and ears open......you could save a life...maybe your own.
Since this is a very long story I will shorten it as best as I can without too much extra detail. If I don't I will probably find myself face down asleep on the keyboard in the morning.
Momma had polio when she was 8 and ever since I can remember she has suffered at times with her legs hurting. About 5 years ago she had shingles and was told it had settled in a nerve (may be moms southern lango for some medical term). At any rate the pain was severe. After she moved up here it wasnt long before she was diagnosed with CLL, Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia. She's gone through serveral chemo treatments and is in remission right now. Mom told me her Primary care Dr. thought she was crazy (her words) and wanted her to see a shrink, well her CA Dr. told her that it was quite common and he didnt think she needed an appt. So..she cancelled it. It hasn't been that long since pops died and then her being diagnosed with CA so when she would talk about him visiting her we, and her Dr. didn't put too much stock into it, not until she fell in the basement and eventually pressed her lifecall button. Well the ambulance crew came out and even though mom continued to talk about being in the basement on the floor, she didnt want to go to er so they didnt take her. (wrong) Mom didn't have a basement! Well Charlie (my son) and I took her to the er because she was weak, sore and confused. They admitted her and after the usual battery of tests, mri, cat scan, xrays, bloodwork, etc, and a couple of days in the hospital they decided that the confusion was due to her not taking her meds right and gave her a dx of taking too many pain pills then discharged her to go home alone. I guess to overdose herself. I took her to her family practice Dr. with severe leg pain and complaining of bumps.......well of course she had already heard that mom was a pill popper so brushed her off.....hmmm...a few days later...turned out to be another case of the shingles. Well after that we had several more trips to the er, main complaint, seeing things that werent there. They didn't pay any attention to me and I guess the little child size people with no faces were still normal sightings and would not refer her to a psychiatrist but since she was living with me, "exactly how many pain pills are you giving her everyday?" so here we go again with same dx. I took her to her family practice dr. and she also told her this was normal, (the one that missed a good case of shingles). I made many attempts to have them refer her but was finally told that the dr. couldnt make the referral and mom would have to do it. I questioned that and was told that too many kids, when their parents get old try to send them away, etc etc.. well I couldnt believe that any of this was happening but kept going forward. I eventually took her back to the family practice Dr. with very low bp readings.They are always either high or low, once in a while her bp looks normal. Not forgetting the treatment I received over the phone by her I was determined to "open her eyes". At first she said, I told you that was normal and I should let my sweet mother have her comforting visions. "Mom, tell her some more", well the story about the little lady that lived in the back of her scooter chair made her almost fall off of HER chair and she called me into the hall. As soon as the door was closed she loudly told her assts, "Its True, make that referral asap!" They were surprized and one even said, "We didnt believe you: and there was laughter. I have never been treated that way before in my life and by professionals that took an oath to work in the medical field. I started to cry, not squalling but I felt so much heartache and betrayal. "All I wanted was for my mother, however much time she had left here, to have a happy, peaceful and normal life, I don't understand." Nothing was said and nothing was expected. I dont know if the appt was ever made because soon afterward mom took a swift downward spiral with her health, she couldnt walk by herself with her walker or with her cane...and her little visitors were still around.....off to the er again. I must mention that her Oncologist gave her Ritoxin the day before she started going down hill. She did have some side effects during the procedure and I am concerned that she may have some major ones now! Well back to the hospital stay, finally the nurses I guess got too weirded out and a psychiatrist was called in. He dx her with depressive psychosis, a condition that can occur when someone is very depressed for a long time without treatment. He put her on meds and wala....no visitors...and much less pain in her legs by the way. So this was her brand new dx...along with a dx of muscle weakness (a sympton, not a dx). Well to shorten this story more, I took her to Columbus to a different hospital and they kept her over night for dehydration....she wasnt eating or drinking enough because it would just wear her out. I starting feeding her...she was hungry. Her vision had worsened (more double vision) and with the symptoms her ophthalmogist referred her to a neurologist, along with her CA dr. She missed the appt becasue she went by ambulance with a pain on her right side that felt like a broken rib. They decided to treat her for a heart attack, 2nd dx, muscle weakness. continues next post ----->>>