My Poor Mom - this is sad...

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by PVLady, Aug 24, 2005.

  1. PVLady

    PVLady New Member

    The past weeks have been a nightmare. My mom was saying she was very sick "all over" and her feet were swollen so I took her to the emergency room.

    They admitted her to the hospital for tests. Right off the bat, I told them she had degenerative disc disease and fibro and was a long time patient of the doctor on staff who is the head of the "pain management department".

    I gave them photocopies of the pain meds she was taking and told them she had to have her pain meds or she would go in withdrawal. Also, her pain would get out of control.

    During her entire stay they consistently undertreated her pain. She suffered beyond belief. They completely ignored the info I gave them on her pain meds.

    One day I came in about 5 pm to find her in a state of panic. She had just returned from having a colonscopy and they were preparing to take her at 6pm for a MRI and a "contract dye test" - this on the same day.

    I told the nurse "she can't have more tests today, she is exhausted" - they said "no, she has to go" - fortunately the orderlies overheard me and said "she does NOT have to have the tests today, just say the word". So I said "I am saying the word" and they rescheduled her for the next day.

    Well, the next day I get a phone call - "your mom have appendicitis and we have to take her to surgery". I was shocked but believed them. She then had a "appendectomy" - after the surgery they called me and said, "the appendix was normal" and we don't know why surgery was done - also we saw nothing wrong inside her adomen".

    I then come to the hospital to find they have tied her down because she is trying to get up. I went in and she was in such pain and in extreme anxiety.

    I was constantly going to the nurses to explain she needed her pain meds. It seemed if I was not there asking, she would not get them.

    They finally discharged her last Sunday with a severe bladder infection. She was complaining of terrible bladder pain which they ignored. I took her the next day to her "pain management" doctor who ran a test and discovered the infection.

    Once started on the antibiotics and back on her regular pain management meds, she is comfortable now, but this had been a terrible strain and trauma on a 89 year old woman.

    I have hired a private nurse to stay with her 24/7 since she lives in an "assisted living" home. They are great and she is improving each day.

    When I took her to her regular doctor he was furious and said "go to the hospital to have them kill you".

    I have never seen him so angry. He asked me for names, dates and to write a letter to the nursing administrator.

    I asked several times for my mom's pain doctor to be called in for a consultation for her pain which the attending doctor would not do.

    I promised my mom, I will NEVER take her to that hospital again. And if she ever has to go to the hospital again, I will make darned sure I have her pain doctor in from the very beginning.

    It is shocking how the medical community is willing to allow people to suffer and continue to under treat pain.

    In my mom's case when I knew they were not treating her pain, I gave her Lortabs. I did tell the nurse, so they would know.

    Once I came in the have a nurse tell me "your mom is being abusive to the nurses" - I went in to find her hysterical in pain. She was so mad at them and I can't blame her.

    "Before" going to the hospital she was on 1 and 1/2 Lortab 10/500 4 X a day, Lidoderm pain patches 3 every 24 hours, Neurontin 300 mg 4 X day, Predisone 5 mg day, Soma at bedtime, and Darvon with the Neurontin for "extreme pain". All of these meds were stopped at the hospital.

    Before, she was pretty much controlled with her pain. Can you imagine, going to the hospital and them stopping all her meds? She would get an occasional Vicodin or shot of Tordal.

    Treating pain is a "speciality" and the medical community seems to completely disregard it.

    Trust me, I won't let this happen again.

    If anyone here is on a pain med regimen, and you have to be admitted to a hospital, make sure you have them call your pain doctor in for a "consult" to continue managing your pain treatment while you are in the hospital.

    They are the ones who have to ask for the consult, you cannot do it. If I would have insisted, it would have saved so much of my mom's suffering.

    As I said, next time this will not happen. No one, including the elderly need to suffer.

    [This Message was Edited on 08/25/2005]
  2. rileyearl

    rileyearl New Member

    I'm so sorry about the way your Mom was treated. It sounds like she had the bad luck to get a whole crew of careless, thoughtless doctors and nurses. Thank heaven for that one orderly. I hope she continues to improve back home. And I hope there is some action taken against the hospital, so no one else has to suffer like that.

    There's something about how older people are treated that really angers me. My 80 yo father had surgery recently and my mother is his voice, since he's had several strokes. She is a little shrill and the nurses pretty much dismissed her. After she told them he was not doing well the first night after surgery, they ignored her and he ended up in the OR again to redo the surgery. The whole second surgery could have been avoided if the nurse had listened to my mother and called the surgeon for advice. I think if I had been there, I would have insisted on speaking to the nursing supervisor on duty in the hospital that night.

    Take care. Here's a hug ((()))

  3. 69mach1

    69mach1 New Member

    i certainly hope no one i care about is treated like that.

    i'm sorry for your mother having to go through such a horrendous ordeal.

    i can't believe they cut her opened for a bladder infection,
    then they put her in restraints, i've had uti's and they are very painful and you feel liek you have to jsut sit on the pot aldaylong and the fever.

    on to better days for you both,

  4. PVLady

    PVLady New Member

    What happened to my mom can happen to anyone here, irregardless of age. If you are on pain meds and go to the hospital, you need to make sure you continue to receive your pain treatment.

    These days doctors are so afraid of being sued, they probably did the surgery to make sure they were not missing something.

    If they had called in her pain doctor for the "consult" he would have known what was wrong.

    He was furious over the surgery - I was shocked at how angry he was.

  5. heartinheaven

    heartinheaven New Member

    It makes me so angry to hear other people going through this ordeal with the very people who are supposed to be helping you. I have went through this several times myself, now I take my pain meds with me and take them myself if they do not give them to me!

    My wife is a very compassionate nurse and I asked her why so many health care givers ignor pain issues with incoming patients. She said that now days there are so many people coming in just to get a fix on pain meds that some Dr's and nurses believe that they are just glorified drug pushers.

    That is not a valid excuse, especially when there is documentation of past pain issues and an active paitent advocate such as yourself giving information to the health care workers. My wife is a bull dog for me now when I go in the hospital or ER (ED as the like to be called now). But still, there are often delays.

    I glad you mom made it through and God bless you for being there for her!

    Blessings and prayers
    H Michael
  6. Rose_Red

    Rose_Red New Member

    They gave her surgery she didn't need? At the very least I would talk to a lawyer. Hospitals are a business and the only thing that will ever change policy is hitting them in their pocketbook.

    What happened to your mother is disgusting. Unfortunately, at her age, nore hospital trips can be expected. Get a copy of the Patients Bill of Rights and memorize it.

    I've found that if they know you're not intimidated by them and you know your rights - they tend to tread lightly. When it comes to my relatives in hosiptals I'm like a pit bull. I saw way too much during the years I took care of my Godfather. He was too sick and weak to take care of himself.

    As far as ER's releasing you when your still sick - yuppers. I had chronic tonsilitis for over year. Went to the eR wih a 104* temp. Told them I didn't want augmentin because it didn't work the last time I tried it (2 weeks before). Well, I was a 'problem' patient - even as sick as I was I didn't just go with the flow. They didn't bother to check my vitals before they released me. I got home and I had 104.5* temp. I called the ER nurse and told her. I also suggested that she make a note of it because if I had to go back to the ER it would be to a diff. hospital. They called me twice a day until my fever broke after that.
  7. Adl123

    Adl123 New Member

    I'm so sorry about your mom. Your story made me very sad, angry and scared.

    It seems that many doctors think that when they see grey hairs, a person's brains are gone, with the color.

    You are a good daughter. This was a hard lesson,but I'm sure it has put you on the alert, and now nothing even close to this will be able to happen again.

    Hugs and prayers,

    p.s. When my mom was sick, I found out that hospital will do nothing that is not directed by their own attending
    physician. This includes all doctors who are not on the hospital's list.Many will not listen to the family. Once, after my mom had surgery, the doctor would not even tell me anything about her, or meet with me, or talk to me. She was in dementia, and he couldn't even tell!!- or rather - I think he was afraid to speak to someone who could think. I needed to know certain things, as I was her caregiver, and there was no way I could find out, at least not from him. I empathize for your frustration . Terry
    [This Message was Edited on 08/25/2005]

    This place made a lot of mistakes. I think there should be an investigation. Terry
    [This Message was Edited on 08/25/2005]
  8. Countrymom

    Countrymom New Member

    Good Lord above that your mother has you. What a wonderful person you are to be there for your mother like that. How awful that you had to see her go through that and that you had to endure it as well.

    I had a thought about why they thought she had appendicitis, maybe they pressed on her belly and it elicited severe pain? She could have been in pain from the bladder infection and it mimiced appendicitis pain? I really don't know, just a thought. That hospital needs to have some inservices on kindness and listening skills. I would definately make an appointment and go in and talk to them in person, it is harder to ignore that way.

  9. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    I am so sorry for you and for your Mom. Bless her heart. there is no excuse for someone to have to suffer like this. I know you suffered just as much seeing this happen.

    I hate hospitals. We have one of the most posh hospitals around and the care there is so substandard. I hope I never had to go there.

    Love, Mikie
  10. nina2

    nina2 New Member

    That is horrific! That poor woman was tortured and I would never step back into that hospital again unless I had a lawyer with me.

    That treatment was a disgrace to the medical profession and I would turn them in to the state.

    At 89 years old it is frightening as is to have to be hospitalized , much less under those conditions.

    My dad is 86 years old, a 4 time cancer survivor and has been hospitalized at least 8 times in his elderly years and never had to undergo treatment like that.

    I am repelled at the unprofessional manner in which your poor mom was treated, and I am so sorry that your mom had to go through it.

    It's a blessing that she has you.
  11. ophelia_immortal

    ophelia_immortal New Member


    I am appalled... I am a 23 year old Fibro patient who is probably in a lot less pain (and certainly a lot less vulnerable) than your mom, and I would have a conniption if even a 1/4 of that had happened to me (or anyone I love, for that matter).

    I don't think that I can even express to you how angry your story makes me. I was in the medical field as a patient care tech in the burn unit in my county for a while, and my entire family is full of nurses. None of US would have let that kind of nonsense slide, and I am pretty ticked and SO sorry that the nurses taking care of your mom didn't step up to the plate and fight for her. The kind of compassion-less behavior displayed towards your mom would NEVER have happened with any of us standing watch. Even as a TECH, I told residents (and sometimes nurses) where to shove their bologna and to give my patient their freakin meds.

    I am sorry to go on this huge diatribe about my life and experiences. I just hate it when doctors and nurses think that their proverbial s--- doesn't stink. It just irritates me.

    Sadly, your mom's story isn't a rare one. The elderly in this country don't get treated in the manner they deserve. The men and women who have fought for our country, whether it was by staying home to raise children, working their fingers to the bone at a career, or fighting on a battlefield, are too often discounted and seen as a waste of energy. It is atrocious, and I AM SORRY.

    Seriously, and with our full hearts, my family and I apologize on behalf of the medical community. You both deserved so much more.
  12. allie42

    allie42 Guest

    This is for Mikie, I guess. We had a very similar experience as PVLady, only it was with our mother's twin sister whose medical care we were asked to oversee after our mother died. She was discovered to have cervical cancer at 92 (!). Don't know how long she'd had it, but she refused surgery and decided since it might be designed to prolong life, she would not accept cancer treatment. My sister tried to explain to her that some cancer treatment is done to help alleviate pain, but she still refused. However, the pain very soon took over. Her doctor, like the nurses and case doctor in PV's case, refused to give her anything but the barest minimum in pain medication. What we were told by our mother's medical team is that doctors are restricted by law as to how much and how frequently pain medication is given in hospitals and nursing homes.

    What they advised, since our mother had had a massive stroke was that we call in hospice who was not nearly so restricted, and that they would be able to care for our mother's comfort level in a way the "regular" medical profession could not.

    Has anyone else been told this?

  13. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    I don't know whether hospitals and docs are restricted or not. Before I got to the end of your post, I was going to suggest Hospice care. It can be done at home for those not needing the higher level of skilled nursing care. It can also be done in a hospice facility.

    Hospice workers and volunteers are God's angels on Earth. They do make the patient comfortable and do not worry about addiction as one is dying from a terminal condition. It is so ludicrous to me that docs and hospitals even worry about how much pain med it takes to relieve the pain of a terminal patient. We do better by our pets than the hospitals do by us.

    My heart breaks for anyone who has to suffer like this, especially the elderly.

    Love, Mikie
  14. fivesue

    fivesue New Member

    Pain, unnecessary surgery, missed bladder infection. This is an unacceptable situation.

    I am glad to know your mom is doing better, and thank you for posting this. It gives me pause to plan how to treat hospital visits for my MIL, my parents, and my husband and myself...and anyone else I can help.

    I just don't get what's going on in medicine. More and more I am frustrated with the doctors I see and their attitudes. We aren't bad people because we are in pain. It would seem that compassion would be the result rather than cynicism and indifference. Just don't get it.

    Take care, and give your mom our best. I'm so sorry she had to endure that horror.

  15. kbak

    kbak Member

    I find your story very disturbing. This is something I have seen over and over again. There are many good people in the health care field, but there are many now that are very apathetic.

    Even my GYN mentioned to me that he was very unhappy with the care given at the hospital he's affilated with. Everyone now needs an advocate if they have to be hospitalized, especially the elderly.

    I am so sorry your mother suffered like that!
  16. JLH

    JLH New Member

    This is soooo sad. So very sad. I hate that your mother was treated this way. You have educated us all on how to make sure this doesn't happen to any of our loved ones.

    Thank you,
  17. PVLady

    PVLady New Member

    for the kind words. Yes, you cannot imagine the stress I had and emotional pain. I just kept telling them she needs her pain meds - also I felt like a criminal going in the giving her Lortabs.

    It was so sad when I took her to her pain specialist doctor the next day after she was discharged from the hospital. She kept telling him "you just don't know what I went through!!!!"

    Her doctor looked like he wanted to cry. He is also my pain specialist and I saw him today.

    He asked me to document everything and write a letter to the hospital administrator. He wants a copy of the letter and is going to go himself and confront the hospital with the letter of how his patient was treated - especially how they refused to call him in for a consult when I asked for it.

    Bottom line, you have to look out for yourself and your loved ones. Yes there are some compassionate good medical people, and sadly many callous, cruel ones also.

    I promise my mother this will NEVER happen again. She is better but this took alot out of her and she is still very traumatized. She was tortured, truly.

    If any of you, young or older are on a pain treatment regimen - I suggest if you have to be hospitalized, you immediately ask that your pain doctor be called in right in the beginning to oversee your pain treatment.

    Right now I have hired caregivers 24/7 to try and help my mom get over this with lots of TLC. Also, she is getting all her meds right on time.

    It is hard for someone 89 to handle this - This incident makes me want to be a hospital "ombusdman" for patients. I would just roam the hospital, interviewing patients to see if everything is ok.

    If not, I would report it to the management - document everything, etc. I have read "under-treatment" of pain is epidemic in hospitals - now I have seen first hand how true this is.

    I know my mom will be ok, but I worry for others who have no family members to look after them.

    [This Message was Edited on 08/25/2005]