Monday, May 31, 2010
I have posted this picture before - this bottle opener means SO much. In honor of it being Memorial Day I will re-tell it's origin and journey. My Dad was captured the last seven days of WWll. They were held prisoner in a barn. For some reason they had beer and opened their bottles with this bottle opener. My Dad hung the bottle opener on a nail, outside a window on the second floor. When the war ended and they were released the bottle opener stayed on that nail. Twenty-five plus years later my parents returned to Germany. My Dad found the barn in which he was held captive which was now a restaurant. He went upstairs to the second floor loft and reached out the window and retrieved the very same bottle opener he had placed there over 25 years before. Amazing huh? I am so honored to have it displayed in a glass case in our home. I in memory and honor of my Dad salute all of our military that fight and protect and sacrifice for our freedom.
I spent yesterday afternoon with my Mom - giving my sister a much needed time away. We are all on high alert as decisions are made and procedures planned and options discussed. My Mom and I watched a beautiful Memorial Day concert from Washington.
amazing huh? My Mom and I cried quiet tears of honor and hope, fear and joy, loss and gratitude and on and on..........our emotions were on high. I watched her breathe as she eventually drifted in to a gentle sleep - a steady rhythm - a soft rise and fall - a peaceful rest. And so this morning - a new decision was made. My Mom said she felt free and relieved. I listened intently as she spoke - "I cannot turn my body over to that machine - I do not want the procedure and I feel so free now that I made this decision - (she went on to say) and they are just going to have to find another way to build a 'site' in my arm so I can have the other type of treatment, and if not, then so be it" ........ and there it was - the decision was made. I felt a mix of emotions but easily felt her sense of freedom and power over her own life. I honored her lovingly. I felt a twinge of sadness as the reality of narrowing options became clear - and yet the freedom in her own power of choice over-shadowed my sadness. Oh this is such a difficult time. Faith is tested, beliefs and values about life and death and after-life are swirling in my soul - my mind spins, my heart soars and then sinks - races and then quiets - I am overwhelmed.
Today, I am going to feel the sunlight on my face. Someone I love told me to enjoy the sunlight-and so I will. I am going to grill myself an 'official' Memorial Day hamburger. And I am going to grill one for Gracey-Blue too. I am going to play my favorite music - and watch a movie too. Skipp is working - the day is my own. Well, as much as it can be - my mind wanders easily - my heart feels deeply - fear overtakes me - and I know - I am alive.
and FYI, the following is an example of some of what we are dealing with in regards to our 'Health Care System' - and quality patient care issues. This is the letter I emailed to 'patient relations' at Yale New Haven Hospital........
To all concerned:
It is with great dismay, concern and outrage I write to you today. On Friday, May 28th, 2010 My 86 year old mother was treated horribly at the blood draw/EKG section at the Physicians Building - 2nd floor-, 800 Howard Avenue. I report the following as a formal grievance:
We were given pre-op paperwork for a blood draw, EKG and chest X-ray following our visit at the kidney transplant clinic on the 4th floor of the Physicians Building in preparation for surgery necessary for dialysis. This, in of itself is overwhelming for anyone, let alone my weary, and brave 86 year old mother. We arrived at the 2nd floor blood-draw/EKG suite and were told it would be about a 10 minute wait. My Mom was called and her blood was drawn. She reappeared in the lobby area saying that no one could do the EKG and we were told by the receptionist to have the chest X-ray done on the first floor and then return and that by then someone would be able to do the EKG. On our way to the first floor my Mom was VERY upset as she explained that the staff was arguing over who ‘should’ do her EKG, and they were bickering as they argued back and forth, each telling the other they were not going to do it and that someone else should do some work for a change, etc. . This is appalling and my mother was visibly shaken and upset. Also, my Mother walks with a rollator/walker, as do I. This ‘extra’ trip back to the EKG area was unnecessary and showed no consideration for the patient, Louise.
We returned to the blood-draw/EKG suite and were told someone would be with my Mom, Louise, shortly. We waited. I heard the receptionist say three times, “Louise is back”. A technician came out and the receptionist said, “Louise is back for her EKG”. The technician said, quite righteously and justifiably, “I’m not gonna do it, let someone else do some work around here” and she walked off. By now, my mother began to cry - I now begin to react and advocate for my mother and said to the receptionist - “My 86 year old mother is crying - crying!, NO patient should ever here staff fighting over doing their job AND they were fighting about who was going to do her EKG before and they are still fighting over it now - this is an outrage - who is going to do this EKG for my Mom?” I was VERY upset as was my Mom as she sat next to me sobbing over how she was being disregarded. I asked the receptionist for the supervisors name, and number which she wrote down for me. The EKG was finally done.
This treatment is “ABUSE OF THE ELDERLY”. I shudder to think what would have happened if I were not there to advocate for her. I cannot believe the lack of professionalism and lack of regard for a patient, an elderly patient - she felt very abused due to their lack of compassion and refusal to provide the service she was there to receive. She was dismissed with NO regard. This is abuse. This is incomprehensible. This is completely unacceptable.
I implore you to look in to this matter. Clearly, some of the staff at the blood draw/EKG suite should NOT be working with patients. The way my Mom was treated is shameful - their refusal to happily provide her the service is abuse, clear and definite ‘abuse of the elderly’.
I trust I will be informed of a response that outlines the action taken to deal with the abusive staff that harmed my mother and also what is being done to prevent this type of abusive treatment to ever happen again. I do expect a written apology to my Mother.
Can you even imagine? Like I said above in the title of this post, "This and That"...and so I have written, "This And That" Good Lord!
Posted by Gail at 9:25 AM