Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Beginning of Change | Dealing with an elderly parent (6/7/16, part 2)

June 7th (AM), part 2: With mom transferred to the hospital after a short stay in the ER, we breathed a sigh of relief that she was being admitted. I tried to move ahead and began reaching out to connect with anyone who could understand our situation and hopefully, be receptive to it. Learning on the second day of her hospital stay that she had not signed the papers needed for me to speak with her doctors, I wound up talking with Patient Services.

You can read part 1 here - http://delmarvausa.blogspot.com/2016/06/beginning-of-change-dealing-with.html

I reached a wonderfully nice woman who listened to my story. She explained that while it can be very frustrating, they have legal implications of course and that the patient's privacy was their priority, which of course I understand. She did however offer to go over and talk to mom and ask if she'd like to sign the paperwork needed to give me access to her medical info. I was pumped; figuring that mom would sign; I could speak with doctors and surely they would notice her increasing confusion.

My update to friends at 11:AM: "Five calls so far today, not counting three I had to ignore from mom because I was on the phone with other people trying to get information about her. She is telling me ridiculous stories and they can't be true but I've explained that to 3 different people today and none of them until the last one could even listen to me. Thank God for the kind lady in patient services who is going to go visit mom and see if she will sign the necessary papers so we can get information about her medical situation."

As the day dragged on with over five hours spent on the phone trying to arrange pet sitters for mom's dogs, locate her primary doctor and a host of other inquiries, my head began to pound. If this was the SECOND DAY of asking endless questions to which there seem to be no answers, how am I going to deal with this situation long-term I wondered. But it must get easier, once the correct information and paperwork is in place I thought to myself, and sucking down Exedrin at least kept the pending migraine from exploding into a full-blown "needing an ice pack issue".

The representative from Patient Services called back and it was the first of many times I'd be blindsided that week. Mom had refused to sign the papers, saying she didn't feel it was necessary for me to know anything. Now I assumed there was note on her file or perhaps hospital chart stating that she'd refused my access to her info.....and I fumed. Here went day two of 7+ hours of phone calls and repeated attempts to have mom's pets cared for, obtain details of doctors who apparently no longer existed and to cap it off, no way to get updates from the hospital. But that's what she did, not them, not me, and again, I feel I was reasonable through the whole process and all the conversations about understanding exactly where the administration folks were coming from.

Sprinkled throughout the day were calls from mom staying she was surrounded by incompetent people, that she was going to check herself out, and mentions of the conference she had just attended. There was no conference and I hoped desperately that she would say these things to the nurses or doctors who might then realize we do actually have a situation which has gone from bad to worse.

Patient services it appears, is working in her "best interests" as they have stated many times today. I can't help but wonder though....who is working in our best interests? The family - when confronted with an unreasonable and angry person - can only do so much.....

"Life on Delmarva" • #delmarvausa