Monday, January 15, 2007

Less Meds = More Care?

I know that healthcare in the US needs major reform, but never has it effected me so much as now when I have to watch Grandma go through all of this needless discomfort because the State of Illinois and their regulations per dispensing medication to patients in assisted care facilities.

Yesterday Grandma couldn't control her hands or movements, so we spent the time just wheeling around Hillcrest about 50 times. She was communicating fairly well, and I asked her if my mom had been out yet and she said "no."

She has a new roomate, Bernice, who is very nice. She is a far cry from Selma, who was wheelchair and bedridden, and moves around by herself and goes down to the far dining hall for her meals. I asked Grandma about Bernice, and she says "I don't think she likes me." Then I asked why but couldn't get an answer out of her. So I asked her more questions "Do you snore?" Grandma: "No." Me: "Do you talk to her?" Grandma: "No." Me: "Do you run into her with your wheelchair?" Grandma: "No." Me: "Well then why do you think she doesn't like you?" Grandma: "I don't know!" I told her that wasn't a good answer, and that is her cop out if you start asking too many things.

After about the 50th or so time around the facility we went over to one of the TV areas and she saw a newspaper on the table and she asked me "What does that say?" I asked her if she wanted to read the newspaper and she said yes. After we sat down she ran her fingers all over the paper, as if she was reading braille, and I read articles to her. When it was time to turn the page she had a hard time controlling her arms to do so, and it took about 5 minutes for her to get coordinated enough.

I had to leave before lunchtime but I figured my mom would be coming out to help. She kept saying how hungry she was, but this time I wasn't going to cave in and give her some chocolate before lunch. I really wanted her to eat a good meal. Mom called me later to say that she ate most of everything and that she was really hungry. She wasn't able to feed herself or use her spoon because of her jittery-ness though.

Mom said that Diane (one of the nurses) wants us to tell her about Grandma's condition and reactions whenever we can. That way maybe we can move things along quicker and get her back on a regular medication schedule.

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Blogger Karma said...

That is really frustrating about the medication. I'm surprised that there aren't other medications that she can be given or that there can't be some exception made. It sounds as if the rule is there to keep people from getting addicted, which shouldn't be an issue for someone with a terminal illness??? It seems like she's handling it pretty well though, which is wonderful.

2:23 PM  

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