Thursday, June 9, 2016

Changes: Dealing with an elderly parent (6/9/16, part 4)

Thursday June 9th, 5pm: They have decided to let mom go home from the hospital. I don't know how, or who could have attempted to hold a conversation with her and not noticed something is wrong. I'm angry at the process; bitter towards the situation; exhausted from hours upon hours spent in phone calls every single day this week. Ultimately I have no say in anything and I'm beginning to wonder who is really ever on the side of the patient's family......a thousand questions and no answers.

My update to friends at 5PM, as I'm feeling agitated and concerned and frustrated:

"7 hours and 19 phone calls later....I think I was able to encourage the the patient advocates to noticed that mom can't make very good choices right now. I've mentioned that she told someone my husband was out to kill her, that the devil is in her house and that despite us being there on Sunday she's told the nurses she hadn't seen me in months. This morning they agreed to go back up to her room and ask her again to sign the paperwork so I can talk to the doctors.

In the meantime mom calls me and complains how she hasn't been told anything, has no info from the doctors and how confusing it all is. I say well mom, that's why I hoped to be able to speak with your doctors but you wouldn't sign the papers. She says I'm crazy. Says that if they had told her what it was for of course she would have signed them. She refers to the staff for the 8th time as incompetent. I say I'll ask them to bring them back so she can sign, to which she agrees.

Fast forward another hour and a half, the Patient Services folks haven't been there with the paperwork. Mom calls back and says she's been cleared to go home in a little while, and literally five minutes later the supervisors walk in and ask her to sign the papers which of course she refuses because she is now leaving. They go back to their office and call me stating "my concerns are their concerns" and that she shouldn't really be alone at home, and someone will be there right? No....because I had no idea she was going home, but WHEN did their concerns show up in the last few days? NO ONE is helping us. And, following four days of juggling pet sitters and people to come in and care for her 3 dogs and 1 cat, finally this morning I'd managed to get a hold of the person who boards her dogs - and they were just picked up at 1pm. So now they won't be home when mom arrives back at the house and I can't say for sure which day they can be re-delivered. Again, we made what we thought was the best call to ensure the animals would be cared for but if I could have spoken with a doctor perhaps I would have known she was being released. But her repeated refusals to sign are shutting me out. (by the way I'm not there in VA because I just got home from mom's a few days ago and I can't go right back)

The supervisors tell me they would be worried about mom being home alone, which I agree with - and as someone with no rights I can't get any information. Maybe, I say, she shouldn't have been cleared to go back home and perhaps MY concerns are valid and yet being ignored. Maybe now she can go back home and turn on the heat instead of the AC so it will be 85 degrees in the house and the dogs will be panting so she can call other people and tell them the dogs are dying. The hospital staff COULD have helped to stop this because any conversation you have with mom clearly shows you are not speaking to a sane person. How are they overlooking that?"

Mom arrives home and calls five people in a panic before deciding to call me, asking everyone where her dogs are. I explain, and over the next then minutes I have to explain it 3 more times because she keeps forgetting. She's hyper and overly agitated and proceeds to tell me about the conference she just attended, where she was in another city, and about the hotel she stayed in. I remind her she was in the hospital, she says yes, later on but first the conference. No. There was no damn conference I repeat; of course I shouldn't be angry but she has no idea how she even got home and I'm furious.....

"Life on Delmarva" • #delmarvausa