E.R.

Don’t ever be sick or old and don’t let anyone you care about get sick or old. Definitely do not do anything that requires health care beyond band-aids on a holiday weekend.

I just spend 6 hours in the ER with my mom.

Short background.  Though only 76, her liver has not been working as it should. This has led to multiple symptoms. She looks like a picture of a starving African child. Distended belly, frail, sticks for arms and legs. She can barely walk with the help of a walker, her legs do not want to move. She needs help getting out of bed or out of a chair. It has been like this for months now. Best as we understand from multiple docs is that this is the rest of her life and she can only be treated to make her more comfortable.

Why the ER today. One leg has been getting numb and her ability to walk has decreased further. Her doc is on vacation. There is no where else to go on a holiday weekend. She needs more than the doc-in-a -box clinics that have sprung up can provide. Plus, while she is weak of body, she is still strong of will. I wanted to take her last night but she refused over and over. I was not ready to carry her over my shoulder. Unfortunately, she was in pain through much of the night and that convinced her to finally call at 6 am to have me come get her. My step dad has taken over full time care duties but moving her and dealing with the docs and the hospital is no one person affair.

I was at her house by 6:30 but it was almost an hour before we were able to get out of the house. Anyone who has dealt with and aged infirm parent can identify.

Checked in and in a bed at the ER by 8:15. Then the waiting begins. It was not busy there when we arrived so I had hoped things would progress quickly. I was delusional. Eventually a nurse comes in and asks the same questions the nurse at admitting asked. Sometime within an hour and a half a doctor comes in. Though this hospital and my mom’s doc are all part of the same group, he has no info on her. Therefore, he starts by ordering basic blood work and an X-ray. The blood is eventually taken and the sign in the room promises results in one hour. The sign writer is as delusional as I am.

So you sit. And sit. and sit. You get the picture. Over the course of the next 6 hours promises about next steps are made by nurses but nothing happens. At the 5.5 hour mark the doc walks in, gives us two minutes in which he tells us she will be admitted over night, answers his cell and walks out. At least four times in this version of No Exit we are told they will try to reach her regular doctor who I know is out of town because I spoke with his partner last night who had no more knowledge of my mom’s file than the ER doc or you do.

They admit her, my sister comes for the second shift and I get to go home for the day physically and emotionally drained.

About 48facets
What you read is what you get.

3 Responses to E.R.

  1. Frank says:

    My gosh, that is just not right. You probably saw that film of the lady they let die in the waiting room for ER, passed out on the floor. I’m so sorry about your mom, both for her wait and for her condition. That is just not right — live a good life and then get that kind of treatment.

    Thinsg should be so different…sadly, the story remains the same.

  2. Pax Romano says:

    Sorry man, I know exactly how this feels… have done ER’s with one parent or the other, several times these past few years … they should call them, “Wait Forever Rooms”.

    Get some rest, and I hope your Ma is feeling better real soon!

  3. LK says:

    I’m sorry to hear about your mom. I hope they can make her feel more comfortable soon. I too have been in various ER’s with family members at odd hours. I believe that unless it is Mon-Fri 9-5, non-holiday, it is hard to get any attention there. Hence the waiting. But do we ever seem to go to ER’s during normal business hours??

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