Saturday, September 12, 2009

Health & Wealth

Alexander cuts the Gordian Knot, by Jean-Simon...Image via Wikipedia

As I wrote earlier in the week, our niece slashed the Gordian knot when she advised her mom, who is caregiver for E.'s mom, that if E.'s mom is in terrible pain and the nursing home staff shrugs and says those suffering from dementia (which mom isn't) groan as if in pain.

But we are wise and know they aren't.

Our niece's advice was elegant in its simplicity. Ask nursing home staff to call 911 and do it yourself if they won't. So Esther did. When mom got to the hospital, the admitting doctor looked at her and about six seconds later said: "Dehydration. Massive infection."

They are treating. No prognosis yet. A family friend called E. this morning and reassured her that the friend has asked the nurses to let her know if they think mom's death is imminent, so the other daughters can be summoned. Aforementioned family friend thinks Esther, the caregiver, will be in denial to the end.

Finally, mom seems to be getting proper treatment, and that made me think about the very rich like Howard Hughes and Michael Jackson who are able to afford not just the very best treatment but also the very worst from quacks and charlatans who will play to their patients' psychological weaknesses. Jacko hired his own death panel, and he got what he paid for.

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