Can we talk..?


As I have spent a great deal of time visiting (many, many) doctor’s with my mother recently, I have noticed that the older (or more frail, in mother’s situation) the patient, the more the nurses, etc. seem to talk to her in “baby talk”. P-uh-lease!! Just because my mother doesn’t weigh much more than your infant doesn’t mean she doesn’t understand what you are saying.

HELLO!! My mother doesn’t weigh that much more than your infant..shouldn’t you be rushing and frantic to find out why??

Yes, I make sure she eats. DUH! What, do you think I lock her in her room and not let her out until I have nothing better to do than sit in a doctor’s office to ask why the hell does she weigh 64 lbs? Do you not realize, btw  -that 2 weeks ago here in your office she weighed 69 lbs.? Seems like this would be a very challenging case to take. I think Dr. House would be trying to figure it out by now…

So far, this is what I know- she does not have cancer in her lungs, breasts, thyroid. Nor does she have it anywhere that can be looked at through a colonoscopy and an endoscopy.  So, where do we go next??? Anyone?

While we are on the subject…anyone have any advice on broaching the assisted living topic?

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One response to “Can we talk..?

  1. I hear you. Yes, WHY do nurses talk to the elderly like they are tiny toddlers? As far as assisted living…is your mother able to dress herself, live pretty much ‘independently,’ and bathe herself? The assisted living places are many times like an apartment complex for elderly “retired” folk. They feature activities (which they will schedule mom for nearly ALL) and they have prepared meals and housekeeping services. They do not all have a medical personnel on duty 24/7. Be very sure that if something were to happen and resuscitation or other emergency medical aid WOULD be provided, or NOT provided, depending on any DNR orders you may already have in place. This would be a very critical detail not unknown to be buried in the fine print. Some facilities are NOT required to provide this care and they do not. It is a complex living arrangement in some places. Then there are regular nursing homes, etc. “Assisted living” usually means it is meant for people who need minimal assistance with daily living activities. I hope this was of some help. I would definitely research the various types of elder care options for your mom. As for bringing the topic to her, you know her better than anybody and you know how you might or might not be able to discuss this with her. If you do not have a durable power of attorney already, that might be a good start on the whole topic of ‘end-of-life’ issues, etc. She might even suggest assisted living once you are discussing whether to have a Do Not Resuscitate order or a legal durable power of attorney…then if she is amenable to the option perhaps you could visit a facility nearby to take a tour, etc. If she cannot make any reasonable decisions you may just have to take things into your own hands there.
    I wish you the best of luck in getting the right type of care for her and in bringing her weight loss into focus at the doctor’s. Sometimes older people tend to lose interest in eating. As long as she isn’t obviously failing to thrive or seem very ill, it may be a normal metabolic change? Has she been checked for diabetes or other metabolic issue? 64 lbs is awfully low.

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