Well I am happy to report I finally got a doctor who spent an hour reading Dad’s history and realized he needs to be assessed by a pulmonary guy and some heart issues addressed before they are thinking of him going to rehab. He may need a bipap machine permanently. And this guy put him back on an antibiotic since the chest x-ray and co2 levels were worsening again.
Of course, had they kept him the FIRST day I brought him in there, actually done blood gases and checked him out properly rather than taking him off the antibiotic after ONE night, and sending him home (after he’d been delusional and so sick all night), he’d have a much better chance of making it now. The delusions were due to sky high CO2 levels. And of course, an oral antibiotic wasn’t doing it and he gradually worsened back into the same situation. With good care, he wouldn’t be nearly this sick.
I should have appealed that and fought it but they had told Dad he could go home and I would have had to fight more than the hospital at that point.
Folks, you need to be aware that your primary care doctor who knows you intimately can no longer admit you or have any say in your care. When you arrive in Emergency, they do the very BARE MINIMUM insurance-driven garbage and throw you right back out. Now before you quickly blame insurance companies, think again. Had they done thorough checks of my dad, like blood gases when someone was that sick, he would have met the insurance requirements to stay easily. In the meantime, Medicare was calling me saying I had a right to appeal this–called me TWICE– and the nurses were quietly giving me phone numbers to call. (Though if folks think health care will improve by giving Medicare to all, think again. There are fewer doctors, almost no good ones, and care will be rationed. You want the GOVERNMENT to be in charge? If you think it will improve, I have swampland in Florida you can buy for a great deal.) At any rate, this was completely doctor negligence and error, not the insurance companies.
Never go to a hospital without an advocate who has some familiarity with health issues and who can stay with you most of the time if you value your life. And don’t be afraid to appeal and challenge them, use case workers who can be helpful. And don’t let them patronize you and talk of social workers and hospice when THEY need to be forced to do their jobs.
Luckily for me, I finally got a great doctor by chance there who realized they were missing all this. I had planned to tell the other idiot that he had two choices: he could put my dad back on that antibiotic and start giving him good care or I’d leave and head straight to our elder attorney’s office. I didn’t have to do that, but I am not yet sure they haven’t cost my dad his life with their negligence. I plan to let them know their care was sub-par at best and negligent manslaughter at worst. And I am a woman who is NOT intimidated by anyone (some of them hate me), so I shudder to imagine how people handle this who are less assertive.
They decided he was 89 and didn’t plan to give him decent care. Put him in hospice and let him go. The doctor who did care was older and I sure hope he gives his partner a few choice words here.
Another point to consider. Up here in Traverse City, Munson health care system has no competition. Downstate Michigan, the care is much better in the last ten years or so, maybe longer, because they DO have competition and I believe better doctors overall. You can almost tell how it’s going to go by their attitudes right out of the gate. The same problem happened in Marquette, Michigan where there was one hospital, the only game in town.
But even downstate 30 years ago, they nearly killed me by squeezing an infected finger, red streak up my arm, sending me home while I was yelling at them. By morning, my arm was twice it’s size up to the shoulder and even after seeing an infectious disease specialist who asked me why i wasn’t in the hospital, it still took them another SIX hours to get that antibiotic into my body. All while they tried to put the wrong wrist band on me. A day later, they tried to give me my room mate’s (an old lady) heart medicine. I asked them: what is THIS? Oh, sorry. Just why are you giving me these new pills??
Things have improved in downstate hospitals since then.
But you need to question EVERYTHING.