Saturday, July 27, 2013

It is not okay...

After what was possibly in the top 5 worst days of my life, here are few thoughts about my day spent at a Los Angeles County hospital.

-It is not okay to make a patient wait 6 months for an appointment that you required, only to ask the patient, "Why are you here?" We were there because you demanded it.  You tell me why we were there.

-It is not okay to tell the patient, who has waited 6 months for this appointment, that you cannot help them because you don't have any lab or test results. You scheduled the appointment, it was your job to ensure that you had what you needed. 

-It is not okay to tell the same patient that all of the completed tests and lab work was a waste of time because you don't share info with other parts of the County, even though it is the same Health Care system.  That is not my problem.  If you wanted tests done before we arrived, you should have ordered them from a place that shares the results with you. 

-And because you had no test results, it is not okay to patronize the caretaker and tell her, "I guess I'll have to take your word for it that she even has Alzheimer's."  You're going out on a limb there Doctor, because I actually think that she just has a head cold.

-It is not okay for the doctor to hand a donut to the patient and look at the caretaker and say, "I'm not offering you a donut because you need to lose weight."  Although, without his obviously divine insight, I might never know that I am fat. 

-It is not okay for the doctor to become frustrated with the agitation of an Alzheimer's patient, and then turn to the caretaker and nastily ask why the caretaker didn't bring anything to distract the patient. It is not okay to then sarcastically suggest that "maybe a lollipop will calm her".

-It is not okay to make an obviously agitated Alzheimer's patient sit through 5 different doctors asking the same questions over and over. 

-It is not okay to escort the patient to the ER for expedited tests and labs and then make the patient sit in a room for 9 hours for the results.  I am still trying to figure out what was expedited.  I have never gone to a regular lab and been made to wait 9 hours.

-It is not okay to hook up an IV line to the patient when there is no indication that she will need it, only to remove the unused line 8 hours later.  This caused the patient pain and forced the caretaker to physically restrain the patient to keep her from yanking out the IV.

-It is not okay to tell the caretaker that all of the tests are done and then become irritated when the caretaker allows the patient to go to the bathroom.  Done means done. And, because of that oversight, the method used to get urine for the test was unnecessarily cruel.

I understand that hospitals are short-handed.  And to be fair, I met some amazingly kind nurses today.  But, only one out of the five doctors today saw people.  The rest saw a patient and her caretaker.  I walked into the appointment today with a feeling of hope and excitement that we were finally going to get some new help.  I left feeling exhausted, humiliated, sore from a never ending battle and defeated.  And it is not okay.

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