Can you reach your food, glasses or call light with that broken right arm, Sir? AKA America, this is what you’re paying excessive amounts of money for.
I’m a registered nurse.
In 2009 I had to go to Texas to be with my father who had been admitted to one or our nations ‘esteemed’ health care facilities. It was not a nursing home, this was a hospital. He died eventually, having never been able to get the hell away from the hospital. I could only enforce handwashing so many times by his nurses and CNA’s that worked with him. He was immunocompromised from his medicines and they were lazy. (honestly, I know the difference between lazy and busy-keep in mind that I’m a nurse). They finally gave him an infection that killed him. That was the final cause of death, but also listed on the death certificate was malnutrition. I took this and wrote it back then, but it seems like the whole episode should be revisited from time to time.
Feel free to check out the set ‘Goodbye America’ as well as the set about Texas. The whole dying process was recorded there in Texas-as well as some attempts (bad ones) of mine to get some artistic shots…couldn’t focus on them very well...
My father couldn’t use his right arm due to a previous fracture (created when they removed the tumor that had been in the bone for 5 years and had gone undiagnosed-the doctor never looked at the xrays he had ordered)
He could not sit up without assistance due to weakness and malnutrition. See where this table is in relationship to where he is? His meal is on that table.
Probably a good thing because at least 12 times during my time in Texas they served him food that is forbidden for dialysis patients (yes, food that could have killed him). Everyone including the case manager and charge nurse just giggled when I asked them ‘WHY?’ They rolled their eyes and said, ‘Oh, we go around and around with dietary all the time’. I said again, “Why?” They had no answer. Attempts to go up the chain of command in the hospital were equally as futile and infuriating.
I wondered when I initially got to Texas how he gotten so skinny…I wondered why he was so weak. He wasn’t in the hospital that long before I got there and he was able care for himself completely prior to admission. I wondered why the nurses hadn’t told me he was back on dialysis in my frequent phone converations with them. I wondered why they had failed to mention that he was curled in a fetal position covered with scabies and non verbal…(this was the state I found him in when I arrived-at the time of the above photo he had improved slightly and I had treated him myself several times for the scabies)
Also on that table: his dentures, glasses, and phone and call light. (about two weeks later they completely lost his dentures and said it was ‘impossible’ to have a dentist come fit him and make a new pair. They also lost his glasses and hearing aids.)
How long before you would go crazy? How long before you’d die? How long would you be able to fight for yourself despite being ill and trying to ‘heal'? Why should I feel terrible because I couldn’t stay at the hospital 24-7? Aren’t they responsible for ANYTHING? (Actually they forced me to leave during the night times.)
He had great insurance. His bills are paid. And there were a LOT of them. Staggering amounts of money were thrown into this miserable team of idiots that was meant to help him improve. Healthcare has officially now become wealthcare.
I will never have anything elective done in this country. I will go overseas again and again. (I had a hip replacement a year after my father died-in India…and I had an amazingly good outcome AND experience and it cost less than a fifth of what they would have tried to bill me here in this ‘land of the free’.)
If I ever end up a victim of health care, I hope to die quickly before they can steal my dignity and slowly and inhumanely snuff out MY fire.