Thursday, March 27, 2014

Report from Pillville

This week's wrap-up:

The vascular surgeon: My mother quit smoking 17 months ago. This means that, given her post lung cancer ration of 10 cigarettes a day, she has consumed approximately 5,100 fewer cigarettes than she would have if she still smoked. Unfortunately, the circulation in her legs and feet is worse than ever. The good news is that she's in less discomfort than she used to be. For whatever reason, she's not regularly waking a couple of time per night with pain in her feet. On the advice of her doctor, we are watching and waiting.

The cardiologist and the chemical stress test: First the I.V.. Then the injection of the "special medicine without side effects that won't make you feel any different, but will allow detailed pictures of your heart." Okay. Then 3 glasses of water---this was more difficult for my mother than the I.V. Then the imaging which has to be done while the patient remains silent and lies perfectly still with arms above the head. Then another test. Then a break for lunch and a nap in the car. Then another set of images in the same uncomfortable position. Total time: 5 hours.

For me that equalled a lot of time reading email and scrolling through Facebook. And then there were the magazines:

Somebody in that office has a life when the lab coat comes off!

And now for the final story in Pillville tonight. The doctor's office again failed to successfully complete the paperwork required by Medicare for the hospital bed.

The medical equipment place called me yesterday afternoon to tell me they received a FAX from the doctor, but the information was not written in a clinical note And it failed to state that the patient required frequent changes in position. AND.....the doctor didn't sign it. As a final twist, the person who was handling my mother's case at the medical equipment company has quit. The person who is now handling the case will call the doctor's office tomorrow. I'm considering a crowd funding scheme as a publicity stunt.

Meanwhile, the vascular surgeon suggested a new primary care doctor. And one of the office staff at the cardiologist's raised her gorgeously penciled on eyebrows to the moon when I told her about the bed predicament. "Completely unacceptable," she said three times in a row. She told me that hospital beds are usually ordered by the primary care physician, but that I should give the cardiologist's  medical assistant a call.

Time. All of this takes sooo much time and mental energy. This afternoon M and I went to get groceries, and after we'd unloaded the cart, I realized I'd forgotten my wallet. I think my brain might be a tad bit radioactive. I might need a subscription to that Smithsonian Travel Catalogue.


N2 said...

"It's a great life if you don't weaken," as my mother used to say. Hang in there. You are courageous.
x0 N2

Ms. Moon said...

I read an interview with Barbara Kingsolver a few weeks ago and the thing that I took away with me from it was a thing she used to tell her children. It wasn't the typical, "You can do anything!" crapola but instead, "You can do hard things."
Girl. You are doing hard things.
Over and over again.
No doubt you forget your wallet now and then. It's a wonder you remember to go to the store at all.