Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Stay healthy

Jay asked me yesterday to post close-ups of the other four blocks on my Hawaiian quilt so I'm adding them to this post although I'm babbling about something else. This is sort of a report-in type of post today. I'm really not trying to criticize, just telling it like it is.

Yesterday Tetsu came home in a very bad mood. I could have predicted this yesterday morning. My sympathetic inquires to how the day went only brought a little of his irritableness onto me so I haven't heard all the details (and probably don't want to know!) Yesterday Tetsu took his mother to the University hospital in the next city over.

Tetsu and I had already had a "discussion" about his mother going to the University hospital. She's been in the private hospital for nearly a month (remember, the one wanting the fanny wipes) and Tetsu had never spoken with a doctor about what was going on. Is Tetsu strange or the hospital? Messages were passed from the doctor (I guess) through Tetsu's mother and her word was that the hospital could find nothing wrong with her so maybe she needed to be checked out by an ear, nose and throat doctor. And she wanted the best so that meant she wanted to go to the University hospital.

Yes, the hospital she's in now will give her a form of introduction. No, they will not take her to the hospital themselves nor arrange for transportation nor someone to accompany her. She wanted to go by stretcher since she couldn't walk. No, says both Tetsu and the hospital, no such vehicle available. Go by wheelchair. She didn't think she'd be able to do that but as it turned out she could.

So, Tetsu took the day off yesterday to take his mother to the hospital. Lots of forms to be filled out for having her released for the hours she'd be out of her bed. He got her to the University hospital at 8:00. She sat in her wheelchair until 1:00. The nurse checked her ears. The doctor looked at the results and declared her fine. She was with the doctor for three minutes.

This is pretty normal. When you go to a major hospital like this you have to be resigned to spending the day there and waiting. There is a very loose appointment system (come on this day) but only for continuing patients. For first timers you just go stand in the line and wait your turn. Hopefully you can get there early enough so that your wait isn't very long. I guess 8:00 AM isn't early enough.

Tetsu isn't thrilled with the hospital waiting room system but he knows that that is how it goes and everyone else there is resolved to the wait. Tetsu's mother should know that this is the way it is, but she is sick and old and can no longer think of anything but her own pitiful situation. So she kept bothering the nurses, kept complaining loudly, started blaming Tetsu for not getting some action, and in the end was crying and had worn herself out with all her anger and resentment.

I can hardly blame her though her complaining and negativeness can be wearing. Sometimes I think the hospitals make people sick rather than cure them. To spend 5 hours sitting in a wheelchair when you feel bad and then have the doctor shrug and say there is nothing wrong! She might have had a stroke right there and proved everyone wrong. I know Tetsu came home and took two aspirin for his headache so the hospital certainly wasn't good for his health either!

No one wins in this situation. The patient is sick and tired, the doctors are overworked and can't spend time with any one patient, the hospitals are filled with irritated nurses and office people taking the brunt of a lot of people's impatience.

I'm going to try and stay healthy.


Katie said...

I remember the many hours I spent with my dad for medical appointents. It is not ever easy but it sounds like this was especially hard. So where is you DML now? Hope she and DH are getting some rest.

Linda said...

My heart goes out to all of you! Sounds so frustrating!
The pictures are beautiful!!!
Good luck with everything!!

The Calico Cat said...

How frustrating, I hope everything works out...

Shasta said...

That certainly would be frustrating! As you said, on everyone's behalf. I've spent time in emergency rooms, and had to deal with long waits, so I can definitely relate to this situation.

Mrs. Goodneedle said...

Thinking about you all and sending good thoughts your way as you endure these annoying frustrations.

The Calico Quilter said...

Poor MIL and Tetsu and you. It's a no-win situation; I feel for her, having to sit there 5 hours. I hope she is better soon and back home.

I have noticed that emergency rooms here in the States are making strides in helping the patient and their family be comfortable and informed. When my Mom went into the hospital for a few days last year, the emergency room assigned us a patient care coordinator, who helped us maneuver through the hospital system, chase down information and generally smoothed the way so it wasn't so hard on her. Even small things help. When I had to call my brother and couldn't get out because my cell phone didn't have good coverage in that part of town, he handed me his from the hospital and said, talk all you need to. It was the patient coordiator's whole job just to make a hard situation as easy as possible. I hadn't run into this system before and was impressed. It was a simple thing but very effective.