Healthcare

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Nodack
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Healthcare

Post by Nodack »

I hate starting a new thread. I went through several pages of threads and didn’t see healthcare and wanted to tell my story.

Many of you have heard me talk about my slightly crazy right wing mother who worships Trump. Well this story isn’t about Trump. It’s about healthcare. My mother is 87 and has COPD. She physically gets up and walks around just fine. She just gets out of breath real quick and is on oxygen pretty much 24/7 now. One night at 3am she goes to the bathroom and has a fall where she breaks her femur. She goes to the hospital where they perform surgery and put a long metal plate down her leg to address the fracture.

A couple of days later they transferred her to a rehabilitation place to make room in the hospital. The doctor tells them she cannot put any weight on her leg for at least ten days and after another x-ray. Before the ten days is up we are informed that after ten days at the rehab place her insurance stops paying and she will be kicked out. We are told you can protest and maybe they will give her more time. We did and they didn’t. We protested again and they denied again so, after ten days they pushed her to the curb of the place in a wheelchair where we picked her up and took her home.

She can’t walk or use crutches. My sister drives down from Colorado to help. My wife and her trade off shifts of taking care of her since she can’t do anything by herself. She was just given the ok to start putting a little weight on her broken leg. She with help manages to get into a wheelchair and to the bathroom. They do start to send a rehab person every other day to help her do some exercises. One day she doesn’t feel like doing exercises and my wife persisted so, my mother in anger grabs a walker and takes off on it by herself angrily and has another fall.

Paramedics come and take her to the hospital where they do x-rays to make sure nothing is broken. Turns out she just fell on her ass and nothing is broken. She has a big bump on her ass that hurts her real bad. They send her back home where she is in a lot of pain and everything hurts. Her good leg hurts more than the bad leg. her whole body seems to be in pain. We give her Tramadol I think it’s called and she turns into Sybil. Starts accusing my wife of trying to poison her and stealing her meds. Calls her a fake. My wife is the nicest person on planet earth and has been taking off work just to take care of my mother so that kind of stung. We get her off that drug and she returns to normal mentally at least.

A week passes. My sister goes back to Colorado. I step in as the other caregiver and my wife and I almost never see each other. She works and then cares for my mother. I work and then I care for my mother. When the schedule doesn’t work I or her call off of work and care for my mother. She is at the point where she wears diapers and we cut them off her and put a new on on when needed. When it’s #2 it isn’t pretty. I have seen and done things no son should ever have to see or do.

4am this morning my wife is on duty at moms and mom complains of chest pains. My wife calls 911. The paramedics come and take her to the hospital. The hospital right by her house has a two hour wait so they take her to a different hospital. They check her out and come to the conclusion that she has COPD, a failing heart and there is nothing they can do. My wife mentions all the pain she has been in since her last fall and they go what fall? She tells them about the fall she had a week earlier. They decide to check her out and ran a scan. They came back and told my wife that my mother has 5 fractures from that fall earlier that week. Her pelvis, groin, femur below the previous fracture and someplace else. That’s why she has been in so much pain. I guess they didn’t catch all those fractures the first time at the other hospital.

I guess I made this thread to vent. What does that say about our healthcare system when you just kick an elderly woman with a broken leg with insurance that cannot even stand out of rehab because the insurance company doesn’t want to pay for it? She goes home and has another fall and breaks five more bones. How does a hospital take an x-ray and to look for fractures and fails to see any fractures, let alone FIVE fractures?

We were talking about putting them in assisted living. We know they aren’t interested at all but we cannot continue to sacrifice our lives so they can stay home. We also checked on prices for in home care. 24/7 care by one person is $300,000 a year. Assisted living at an assisted living place for her and her husband who is also on a walker starts at around $6000 a month for a one bedroom apartment.

Rule number one. Never grow old.

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Split T
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Re: Healthcare

Post by Split T »

Man that really sucks Nodack, I’m sorry you had such a terrible experience. I work in healthcare, specifically in orthopedics and see a lot of patients like your mother. Dealing with insurances and rehab facilities, while always difficult, has gotten worse since covid and is the worst part. I agree something needs to change there. Very sorry again and hope your mom finds better treatment moving forward.

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Mori Chu
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Re: Healthcare

Post by Mori Chu »

+1 to what Split T said. So sorry to hear all of that, 'Dack. My thoughts are with your mom and her recovery. Ugh, what a mess having to deal with the health care system here. You're right that we were overdue to have a thread on it. I personally think that we should have Bernie-Sanders-style universal healthcare here in the US, but we can have that debate or not as folks see fit. I just think it's dumb that the richest country in human history cannot take care of the basic health and well-being of all its citizens. Yeah, it'd cost a lot, but we throw $780 billion at some bomber plane or aircraft carrier like it was nothing, so something tells me the cash is there if we want to use it. I think we'll get there someday if we don't slide into Trumpist authoritarianism.

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Superbone
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Re: Healthcare

Post by Superbone »

Ugh, so sorry that you have to deal with all of that, Nodack. I assume your mom and her husband don't have money to pay for assisted living?

I just went through the week of hell myself with two stints in the ER. I'm pretty sure I had two kidney stones. First went in on Monday and they saw the stone in a CT scan. I finally got relief later that afternoon and was sure it had passed through the kidney as that's how it felt the one previous time I dealt with a kidney stone about 7 years prior. Then have another miserable night Tuesday but got through it with the hydrocodone they had prescribed.

I feel pretty good Tuesday but start feeling bloated stomach pain as I hadn't had a bowel movement since Sunday night. I go to CVS and buy and use a stool softener and laxative. The pain continues to increase that night so I go back to the ER as I don't know what to do. After an x-ray and another CT scan, they tell be I'm constipated and possibly have a bowel obstruction. However, later the good news is that I don't have a bowel obstruction but that they found a kidney stone. They give me more stool softener and laxative and then a new doctor comes in and gives me the option to go home. He says to use an enema if necessary. So, I do go home as I'm feeling better.

I go home and finally use the enema yesterday evening. It does a little something but not much. At 9 pm, I'm exhausted and go to bed. I wake up 6 times in the first 3 hours. The first three to urinate as they fill you up with fluids at the hospital. And then I finally have my first natural bowel movement breakthrough. That one followed by a couple more. I wake up about another 3 times throughout the night and finally get out of bed at 8:30 am. I was down 5 pounds since I got back from the hospital yesterday afternoon. Most of it water weight from the hospital. I'm finally feeling back to normal.

Speaking of our healthcare, yeah, it's pretty spotty. They had me in two different temporary rooms on Wednesday. One of the nurses there told me that 95% of the rooms were full and that they were waiting for them to open to get me up there. And I guess that is normal. I never did make it to one of these rooms but I'm glad they didn't have to run any procedures on me.
"It should burn. It'll probably burn forever. But last season is done." - James Jones

"I don't think I've ever been that angry shooting a basketball." - Cam Johnson

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Nodack
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Re: Healthcare

Post by Nodack »

Sorry to hear about your problems Superbone. I’ve seen a lot of that bowel blockage thing in family members and diverticulitis. A brother in law got that, waited too long and had to have part of his coven removed. He had colonoscopy bag thing for six months before they reattached his pipes. My mother got it about a year ago and went right in where they gave her antibiotics and cleared it up right away. Lesson learned. Don’t wait to get help.

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specialsauce
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Re: Healthcare

Post by specialsauce »

Nodack wrote:
Wed Aug 31, 2022 9:43 pm
I hate starting a new thread. I went through several pages of threads and didn’t see healthcare and wanted to tell my story.

Many of you have heard me talk about my slightly crazy right wing mother who worships Trump. Well this story isn’t about Trump. It’s about healthcare. My mother is 87 and has COPD. She physically gets up and walks around just fine. She just gets out of breath real quick and is on oxygen pretty much 24/7 now. One night at 3am she goes to the bathroom and has a fall where she breaks her femur. She goes to the hospital where they perform surgery and put a long metal plate down her leg to address the fracture.

A couple of days later they transferred her to a rehabilitation place to make room in the hospital. The doctor tells them she cannot put any weight on her leg for at least ten days and after another x-ray. Before the ten days is up we are informed that after ten days at the rehab place her insurance stops paying and she will be kicked out. We are told you can protest and maybe they will give her more time. We did and they didn’t. We protested again and they denied again so, after ten days they pushed her to the curb of the place in a wheelchair where we picked her up and took her home.

She can’t walk or use crutches. My sister drives down from Colorado to help. My wife and her trade off shifts of taking care of her since she can’t do anything by herself. She was just given the ok to start putting a little weight on her broken leg. She with help manages to get into a wheelchair and to the bathroom. They do start to send a rehab person every other day to help her do some exercises. One day she doesn’t feel like doing exercises and my wife persisted so, my mother in anger grabs a walker and takes off on it by herself angrily and has another fall.

Paramedics come and take her to the hospital where they do x-rays to make sure nothing is broken. Turns out she just fell on her ass and nothing is broken. She has a big bump on her ass that hurts her real bad. They send her back home where she is in a lot of pain and everything hurts. Her good leg hurts more than the bad leg. her whole body seems to be in pain. We give her Tramadol I think it’s called and she turns into Sybil. Starts accusing my wife of trying to poison her and stealing her meds. Calls her a fake. My wife is the nicest person on planet earth and has been taking off work just to take care of my mother so that kind of stung. We get her off that drug and she returns to normal mentally at least.

A week passes. My sister goes back to Colorado. I step in as the other caregiver and my wife and I almost never see each other. She works and then cares for my mother. I work and then I care for my mother. When the schedule doesn’t work I or her call off of work and care for my mother. She is at the point where she wears diapers and we cut them off her and put a new on on when needed. When it’s #2 it isn’t pretty. I have seen and done things no son should ever have to see or do.

4am this morning my wife is on duty at moms and mom complains of chest pains. My wife calls 911. The paramedics come and take her to the hospital. The hospital right by her house has a two hour wait so they take her to a different hospital. They check her out and come to the conclusion that she has COPD, a failing heart and there is nothing they can do. My wife mentions all the pain she has been in since her last fall and they go what fall? She tells them about the fall she had a week earlier. They decide to check her out and ran a scan. They came back and told my wife that my mother has 5 fractures from that fall earlier that week. Her pelvis, groin, femur below the previous fracture and someplace else. That’s why she has been in so much pain. I guess they didn’t catch all those fractures the first time at the other hospital.

I guess I made this thread to vent. What does that say about our healthcare system when you just kick an elderly woman with a broken leg with insurance that cannot even stand out of rehab because the insurance company doesn’t want to pay for it? She goes home and has another fall and breaks five more bones. How does a hospital take an x-ray and to look for fractures and fails to see any fractures, let alone FIVE fractures?

We were talking about putting them in assisted living. We know they aren’t interested at all but we cannot continue to sacrifice our lives so they can stay home. We also checked on prices for in home care. 24/7 care by one person is $300,000 a year. Assisted living at an assisted living place for her and her husband who is also on a walker starts at around $6000 a month for a one bedroom apartment.

Rule number one. Never grow old.
Terrible man. Insurance companies are the devil on Earth and our system is broken. So sorry about your mom

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Indy
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Re: Healthcare

Post by Indy »

Health insurance is just a way for capitalists to take billions and billions every single year out of the system for themselves. Healthcare would literally be hundreds of billions of dollars cheaper in the US alone if we just had a single payer system.

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Nodack
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Re: Healthcare

Post by Nodack »

Here is a sad update. They have decided that my mother won’t be able to recover from her injuries and are going to send her home for hospice care. She does have COPD bad and heart issues along with her several fractures and is in a lot of pain but, she wants to live.

We went through this with my aunt who we cared for in her final years. She got pneumonia that turned into heart failure. They kept draining her lungs and finally sent her back home with us for hospice care where we had to feed her drugs like morphine until she passed.

I keep thinking that if the insurance company allowed her to stay at rehab instead of kicking her out, she probably wouldn’t have had the fall at home and they wouldn’t be sending her home now for hospice care. They would just be sending her home.

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Indy
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Re: Healthcare

Post by Indy »

I am so sorry, Nodack. Yeah, sending her home likely shortened her life and that really sucks.

I read recently that you are much more likely do die in 5 years if you cannot balance on one leg for 10 seconds. It was just one of those catchy/viral things going around, but it really comes down to those falls and what it can mean to have a pelvis fracture or a head injury from it. My uncle passed away last month from a fall in his house and he was only 60 (but had several knee replacements due to an injury in his 40s).

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Superbone
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Re: Healthcare

Post by Superbone »

Really sorry to hear what you're going through, Nodack. Hang in there best you can.

As far as the elderly and falls, I've been noticing that pattern for quite a while now. It's very oven the beginning of the end. My dad died not too long after he fell. And same thing for my 90 year old aunt which is why I'm in Phoenix this weekend for her funeral. Her watch was supposed to alert 911 but it didn't work and she ended up laying on the ground way too long.
"It should burn. It'll probably burn forever. But last season is done." - James Jones

"I don't think I've ever been that angry shooting a basketball." - Cam Johnson

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Mori Chu
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Re: Healthcare

Post by Mori Chu »

So sorry to hear that, Nodack. Infuriating to think that she could be doing better if she had received better medical care.

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Nodack
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Re: Healthcare

Post by Nodack »

Indy wrote:
Fri Sep 02, 2022 4:54 pm
I am so sorry, Nodack. Yeah, sending her home likely shortened her life and that really sucks.

I read recently that you are much more likely do die in 5 years if you cannot balance on one leg for 10 seconds. It was just one of those catchy/viral things going around, but it really comes down to those falls and what it can mean to have a pelvis fracture or a head injury from it. My uncle passed away last month from a fall in his house and he was only 60 (but had several knee replacements due to an injury in his 40s).
I have experienced taking care of my aunt and uncle in their final years and now my mother and step father, I am so aware of that balance thing. Once they can’t stand up and walk on their own it goes downhill fast. That is a big reason why I do exercises just about every day including squats and balancing on one leg at a time for periods of time. My step father can barely get up and walk on a walker and has had numerous falls and somehow only gets bloody elbows from it. He is one bad fall away from the end.

This brings up another point. My right wing brother who I suspect is in a group like the Oath Keepers is a little more cynical than me thinks once they get to a certain age and are suffering that they should end their lives. He has given his children orders to end his live in whatever means necessary when he gets to that point. I told him his kids love him and wouldn’t do that.

Another point is that at that point in time they become a burden to society. I suspect one reason they are sending her home to hospice is that the costs of keeping a frail elderly person alive when they are near the end of life is very expensive. They all can’t see, hear or walk well and everything hurts. Spending hundreds of thousands of dollars in hospital care only to have them die a short period of time later could be seen as a big waste of resources and a burden on society. Let’s face it, most of the costs of medical care for the average person comes in the later years when the body starts breaking down.

Take my step father for example. He has been a heavy smoker his entire life and there is no way he would agree to quit. His arteries are clogged. He can barely walk on a walker. A year ago we had an expensive surgery to replace the main arteries in his legs to get more circulation happening. He refused to do any rehab and went right back to his old habits. He is no better off today than he was a year ago after the surgery. That was a waste of resources and money.

The used to say the Eskimo’s put their elderly out behind the igloo when they are no longer able to contribute to society and became a burden. What is the humane way to deal with this issue? I guess in our society the doctors sort of make that decision because most of the time the family will want to keep their loved ones alive at any cost.

My personal take is sort of like my brothers. If I get to the point where I am suffering and my prognosis for recovery is slim to none, I think I would prefer to be put out of my misery. When my dog gets to that point they just give it a shot to knock it out and then another shot that ends it and they do it right there with the dog in your arms. It’s sad but, it’s quick and painless. When my uncle died in hospice care he was in a hospice home with 8 other people and they took care of him and one day he just didn’t wake up. When my aunt went to hospice care at our home she was in bad shape with her lungs filling with fluids from the failing heart. They stopped feeding her and just gave her drugs to sedate her and just let nature take it’s course. Not eating told the organs to start shutting down eventually. I don’t agree with this approach. It delays the death somewhat, but makes the family suffer watching your loved one slowly wither away in front of you until they pass a few days later.

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Superbone
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Re: Healthcare

Post by Superbone »

Well said, Nodack.
"It should burn. It'll probably burn forever. But last season is done." - James Jones

"I don't think I've ever been that angry shooting a basketball." - Cam Johnson

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specialsauce
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Re: Healthcare

Post by specialsauce »

Nodack wrote:
Sat Sep 03, 2022 10:39 am
Indy wrote:
Fri Sep 02, 2022 4:54 pm
I am so sorry, Nodack. Yeah, sending her home likely shortened her life and that really sucks.

I read recently that you are much more likely do die in 5 years if you cannot balance on one leg for 10 seconds. It was just one of those catchy/viral things going around, but it really comes down to those falls and what it can mean to have a pelvis fracture or a head injury from it. My uncle passed away last month from a fall in his house and he was only 60 (but had several knee replacements due to an injury in his 40s).
I have experienced taking care of my aunt and uncle in their final years and now my mother and step father, I am so aware of that balance thing. Once they can’t stand up and walk on their own it goes downhill fast. That is a big reason why I do exercises just about every day including squats and balancing on one leg at a time for periods of time. My step father can barely get up and walk on a walker and has had numerous falls and somehow only gets bloody elbows from it. He is one bad fall away from the end.

This brings up another point. My right wing brother who I suspect is in a group like the Oath Keepers is a little more cynical than me thinks once they get to a certain age and are suffering that they should end their lives. He has given his children orders to end his live in whatever means necessary when he gets to that point. I told him his kids love him and wouldn’t do that.

Another point is that at that point in time they become a burden to society. I suspect one reason they are sending her home to hospice is that the costs of keeping a frail elderly person alive when they are near the end of life is very expensive. They all can’t see, hear or walk well and everything hurts. Spending hundreds of thousands of dollars in hospital care only to have them die a short period of time later could be seen as a big waste of resources and a burden on society. Let’s face it, most of the costs of medical care for the average person comes in the later years when the body starts breaking down.

Take my step father for example. He has been a heavy smoker his entire life and there is no way he would agree to quit. His arteries are clogged. He can barely walk on a walker. A year ago we had an expensive surgery to replace the main arteries in his legs to get more circulation happening. He refused to do any rehab and went right back to his old habits. He is no better off today than he was a year ago after the surgery. That was a waste of resources and money.

The used to say the Eskimo’s put their elderly out behind the igloo when they are no longer able to contribute to society and became a burden. What is the humane way to deal with this issue? I guess in our society the doctors sort of make that decision because most of the time the family will want to keep their loved ones alive at any cost.

My personal take is sort of like my brothers. If I get to the point where I am suffering and my prognosis for recovery is slim to none, I think I would prefer to be put out of my misery. When my dog gets to that point they just give it a shot to knock it out and then another shot that ends it and they do it right there with the dog in your arms. It’s sad but, it’s quick and painless. When my uncle died in hospice care he was in a hospice home with 8 other people and they took care of him and one day he just didn’t wake up. When my aunt went to hospice care at our home she was in bad shape with her lungs filling with fluids from the failing heart. They stopped feeding her and just gave her drugs to sedate her and just let nature take it’s course. Not eating told the organs to start shutting down eventually. I don’t agree with this approach. It delays the death somewhat, but makes the family suffer watching your loved one slowly wither away in front of you until they pass a few days later.
I can promise you the cost of keeping someone alive has nothing to do with the decision for recommending hospice. It’s entirely based on the futility of treatments.

If pumping you with fluids and treatments isn’t going to prolong your life (with any meaningful quality left that is) but only have you hooked up to monitors, lines and getting invasive uncomfortable treatments for the remaining time you have left, that is completely inhumane. There is a point where we could keep someone alive for an additional few days but it is pure torture for them and not the right thing to do. At some point quality of life matters too.

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Nodack
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Re: Healthcare

Post by Nodack »

Yes. I think they should give the patient the option of ending their lives. In the old West Cowboys loved no one more than their horse but, when it fell and broke it’s leg they immediately shot it in the head so it wouldn’t suffer. Putting them in hospice to suffer their last days in pain or drugging them up with Morphine so they won’t feel any pain while you wait for their organs to shut down seems slightly inhumane. Why not just end it like we do with animals? We all know Jack Kevorkian and the trouble he got in doing this approach. Was he wrong?

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