Dying with dignity shouldn’t be so difficult

The last week my mom’s health has taken a steep decline. Barring some miraculous turnaround, it is fair to say she is actively dying.

Hard to believe this photo was taken just a little over a month ago.

Hard to believe this photo was taken just a little over a month ago.

While I have prepared myself for this moment, and have seen it coming for awhile, what I didn’t necessarily expect was how difficult it would be to just allow someone to die in peace and comfort.

I literally had to run all over town just to get prescription paid medicine for my mom. I know new regulations on controlled substances took effect this year, but frankly, if an addict wants narcotic pills they are going to get them no matter what. In the meantime, those who are legitimately in pain have to suffer.

The doctor made me go in person to pick up the prescription. They said they required a family member to pick it up, even the nurses at the home care agency my mom uses were forbidden from picking it up. Guess it’s good I just arrived in town! There is no way my mom could have made it to the doctor’s office.

There are plenty of pain-ridden people who live alone, what do these poor souls do?

And while I don’t necessarily want my mother to waste away in a hospital setting, I am surprised that the doctors keep sending her home from the ER. Uncontrollable pain, emaciated, can barely ambulate … I mean, geez, what does it take to be admitted to the hospital these days? The doctor told her she didn’t qualify for an inpatient stay under the new strict guidelines.

So we are starting hospice, but her overworked doctor has to sign off on it. I’m not too hopeful that it will be done quickly. While her doctor was off last week, my mom had no pain medicine and being cut off cold turkey really sent her health reeling into a death spiral.

So much red tape and regulations are getting in the way of treating people who are suffering with some form of dignity.

Family caregivers shouldn’t be left feeling helpless and devastated as they watch their loved one suffer needlessly.

I hope we can work together to advocate for better end-of-life treatment.

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3 Comments

Filed under Awareness & Activism

3 responses to “Dying with dignity shouldn’t be so difficult

  1. I am truly sorry to see how difficult the health care system is making things for you. I hope the hospice people can help turn this stress around. I had such a hard time with mom though she was in the hospital. But for dad, and especially with hospice, both for the days in the hospital and most of all in the hospice facility, the difference was tremendous. The hospice kept dad pain free his entire stay for the time form his heart attack until he passed three weeks later. I believe the state and community you live in makes a huge difference too. I am thankful our local hospital works so closely with both palliative care and hospice. That was what made things so much easier for dad here than they had been for mom in the southern state where she spent her terminal hospital stay. I hope the doctor can sign off quickly on hospice for your mom.

  2. thefeatheredsleep

    I admire your posts and your fierce honesty so very, very much.

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