I just have to vent today, and I'm going to write a real article on another site about this soon, but . . .
Today my mother is in danger of her life, and it's her doctors that are doing it to her.
She tried to get out of the way of someone pushing a grocery cart at her on Saturday and was unexpectedly backed up against a checkout stand, lost her balance, and fell on her rear end. About 36 hours later, her blood pressure was high and she decided to go to the hospital. She has problems with her blood pressure, and her doctor put her on a completely no-salt diet.
So when she gets to the hospital, they diagnose her with hyponatremia, and they start her on a saline IV. Her saline levels don't go up fast enough and they up her IV rate. Now she has fluid in her lungs because they pushed too much IV fluid and they are worried she will suffocate.
In the meantime, because she fell, they want to put her on a walker or in a wheelchair. This is a woman who last year painted the entire outside of her 3-bedroom ranch house and this year is painting the cathedral ceilings in her den.
And all this could have been averted if they had just given her a bag of potato chips. But her doctor is telling her to cut back her salt even more (she already can't add any, so now they're telling her to cut back on certain foods that naturally have sodium in them). So how is she supposed to maintain her saline levels if she's not allowed to eat salt?
And the doctors and nurses are now warning each other that even though she is 81, she is alert and cognitively functional.
My father went through a similar situation a month ago. He had an aggressive kidney cancer and while we were waiting for the diagnosis he was treated like an invalid (the hospital was encouraging him to get a walker or wheelchair). This is a man who at 88 years old gets on the roof to use a broom to sweep out the gutters and mows his 1/3 acre lawn with a gas push mower. He has tinnitus and because of his hearing they treated him as if he had Alzheimer's or senile dementia. They completely ignored everything he said.
And they didn't want to treat his cancer. They suggested "watchful waiting," i.e., go home and wait to die. I went to the internet (thanks, Yelp!) and found a doctor willing to remove his kidney with laparoscopic/robotic surgery. 5 weeks later and my father is back to his old self.
So this afternoon when my mother was supposed to be going home I am going to be praying by her bedside that she survives this "treatment" at all. (And my mother frets because I'm unwilling to go to the doctor, and upset when I talk about moving somewhere they have real health care, like the Czech Republic.)
Sorry for the rant. I must get it out of my system before I end up causing a scene at the hospital.
It turned out the fluid was around her lungs, compressing them so much that she couldn't inflate them with normal breathing. They removed one and one-half LITERS of fluid that was just clogging up her chest. So far they haven't told us what they are planning to do differently so my guess is they will do the same thing again because that is their only bag of tricks.
For heavens sake, let the woman eat some Cheetos or something and let us take her home.