Friday, June 24, 2011

weary defined

I'm sittin' here in my office/living room with the dogs looking out at gray skies that have at least kept the heat down. Looks like there may be some rain on the way as well. Bring it on, I say. The better to take naps by :) The three humans here at Casa Poops are all carrying very heavy emotional loads right now what with the flooding and the aging parents and what not. MY BF's father is entering the world of nursing homes today as an Alzheimer's patient in a last resort to try to keep their mother's sanity and health a bit longer. We have discussed the wisdom of popping in unexpectedly to see what's up, and with five of them in the rotation I imagine that will happen pretty regularly. My parents are still fumbling along together doing the independence dance. I truly understand that nobody ever wants to leave their home, but sometimes there are limits as to what can realistically happen with aging people. Blindness, dementia and bad knees don't mix. I have given that one to Big Ernie because, at this point, it's not my decision but theirs. When somebody falls or burns the house down, ya'll be a witness that I tried to be pro-active and got shot down in a blaze of glory by two of the toughest minded people I've ever known.

Ronni Bennett is an elderblogger from way back in the day when me and Hoss first met and he was famous for being one. She had a post today by a geriatrician speaking about the small number of those specialists available to handle the aging population that is baby boomers. I believe it was 6,000 in the entire country, serving millions. There is an art to dealing with the elderly in a healthcare setting and unfortunately most of that is payment based and corporate driven. The more people with ailments you can run through the cattle call that is office hours, the more job security you have. Hospitalists now see the inpatients in most facilities and they have little access to patient history for first time admits. At one point I was pretty consumed with improvements in end-of-life care because of what I have seen as a provider. Sometimes more is better, but sometimes more just means more money for Medicare to avoid litigation. In other words, if ya'll aren't gonna have the foresight to appoint a DPA for healthcare, everything (and it's brother) will be done to save your life. Living wills are nothing new, yet most people don't have one because they think it will never happen. Guess what? WRONG!

Wrapping up a life well lived with dignity should be within reach for everybody. Unfortunately so much of our medical costs go to diagnosis and treatment that there's nothing left for palliative care or "death panels" as the GOP calls them. That's your fault Frist et al. Choke on it while you're shoveling coal. My interest began with a Bill Moyers piece that I watched by chance on a Friday night alone, featuring the practice of palliative care. Basically, it is a belief in non-interventional driven comfort care for a dying patient. Not a death machine. Not a handful of pills, though I certainly admire the states that allow it. My uncle had Lou Gehrig's disease and about six months into his disease, he died...which is really unusual. What I'd like to think is that Big Ernie saw fit to take him before the suffering got so extreme. Doesn't really matter what the cause of death was, ya know.

My friends are still at the trauma unit of The Med, fighting for his life. Folks from here in the 'burg have been making trips when they can and it looks pretty grim. The bar will likely be sold and some of the faithful are gathering there in support of their struggle, wishing them well. Most of us are just praying. Aren't I just a little ray of sunshine today????? I've been looking for my late uncle's kiddy wooden bat so I can smash something. Yep. It's serious.

I see a nap with my name on it coming up shortly. Loveya. Meanit.

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