Wednesday, September 09, 2009

When Hospice Folk Are Idiots

On the phone today with the hospice rep whom mom's nursing home called in to help E.'s sister Esther deal with the fact mom is dying. We called the hospice rep after she'd left the unit so we could talk frankly about Esther's state of denial.

First question, however, was what can you do to deal with mom's pain? Oh the nursing home is handling that, the rep said. Your mother is moaning and groaning because that's what people with dementia do. No pain medicine needed!!

After some euphemistic what-the-fucking, we told the rep she didn't know what she was talking about, not so euphemistically. So that was a quick phone call. But what to do? Mom is in pain. The nursing home is dithering and evading. Oh what to do?

Esther's daughter in Dallas made us proud. She told Esther to tell the nursing home folk that they could call 911 or she could call 911 but someone was going to call 911 and get mom to the hospital.

I felt somewhat embarrassed. Here was direct, effective and compassionate action, though apparently the nursing home has easily hurt feelings and won't let mom come back. But that's a problem for later.

Turns out -- duh! as they used to say back in the day when you and I were young -- that Mom has a temperature and an infection, which the hospital will get after toot sweet. Maybe mom will end up plugged in and her end prolonged, which I wanted to avoid. But as long as they deal with her pain, we can deal with ours.

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