Wednesday, March 15, 2017

The Medical Rant revisited

Good Surgery . . . Rugged Recovery
It is totally amazing how the surgery . . . process leading up to the surgery; the actual surgery; immediate after-surgery care . . . is so well planned and carried out. Unfortunately, the phase between the after-surgery care and the recovery phase . . . the planning for the after-surgery state of affairs and issues . . . is almost non-existent.
The Disregarded Patient – The Forgotten Step
Step 8 – What happens after the patient leaves the hospital?
Once patients hit the second step-down ­bed, it becomes a race to get them out of the support and protection of the institution.
Unfortunately, they forgot that most people do not fit into the scenario they present in the video.
This is especially true for the patient who does not live in the city. To their credit, the staff are well versed in the resources available in the immediate community. Unfortunately, they seem totally unfamiliar with resources and restrictions outside their areas.
The only service area that reached out to resources in Lethbridge was the Pharmacy. They forwarded a list of all the prescriptions to the pharmacy in Lethbridge. Unfortunately, again it was an attempt but not complete. The omission of pain medications created considerable unnecessary anxiety. Also, neither the Family Doctor nor the Internal Specialist was notified about prescriptions.
Fortunately, in our case, for the most part, we tend not to just sat back and let things happen and pursued every avenue we uncovered to get the right help for what we needed. I think we have figured out which doctor to contact for what and who you don’t ask in regard to which issues.
For example, Fred has a weekly blood test to adjust one particular medication which is cardiac related. The results go to two different doctors (the Family Doctor and the Internist-Cardiac guy) and they both call to give him the results and directions for the coming week. We have tried to tell them we only need to hear from one (preferably the Internist) to no avail so we just let it happen.
We now have relationships with 5 different doctors and a bunch of other care-providers:
1.      The Cardiac Surgeon – who we have not seen since the surgery
2.     The Internist – who we go to with the heart stuff here in Lethbridge
3.     The Renal Doctor – he does various tests and monitors the kidney function – responsible for functioning from the kidney to the bladder.
4.     The Urologist – again does various tests and monitors the bladder and catheter – responsible for functioning from the bladder through the urethra.
5.     The Family Doctor – supposedly co-ordinates things – Supposedly is the operative word here. Unfortunately he does not seem to get information from the other service providers.
Provincial Health Services:
a.      Home Care nurse
b.     Home Care workers (in twice a day to do the physical stuff)
c.      Dietician
d.     Cardiac Rehab Program
That’s all I can think of right now.
Individually, each service seems to have competent and well trained staff . . . BUT . . . as a care-giver or patient . . . it feels like the patient has been left out of the equation. The patient is there to give the doctors something to work on.

The after-care procedure feels much like taking a car in for service. After the car is hooked up to the diagnostic machine and the gas and oil are checked, a specialist takes over to suggest which specific module needs to be repaired or replaced.

My poor aging body and mind are having a difficult time keeping up with everything!!
But we will not surrender!!!