Monday, March 12, 2012

Aunt Kathryn's Slow Recovery

My sister is very slowly getting better. A cough seems to be the only thing left from the pneumonia, unfortunately she developed thrush from being on the antibiotics. Her poor mouth is very sore. There is a very effective treatment, but you have to take it for it to work and Kathryn is in so much pain that she didn't want to have anything in her mouth. The poor staff at the group home were quite beside themselves looking after her.

In the past month Kathryn has been to the hospital 3 times, the family doctor twice and had a doctor into the group home. They have been so worried about her refusal to eat or take her medicine. The hospital and the doctor say she is fine, even though she has lost over 20 lbs since the beginning of January. All her blood work came back normal, and she is drinking lots of juice and water so she isn't dehydrated.

I've had her home for the weekend, and she is beginning to eat quite well. But as the doctor said to me, I use common sense when caring for her. She's in pain, so I give her Tylenol. At the group home they only give her what is prescribed for her, they can't experiment or give her something unusual. Also, they give her everything that is prescribed (vitamins, minerals etc) when they could be held until she is quite on the mend. Her mouth is very sensitive and I think she can feel or taste the different crushed medicines.

What gets me is there is some one on the group home staff who is not using any common sense. They take her to the hospital because she is not eating or taking her medicine, and they want the hospital to admit her. The hospital doesn't admit her as she is not in need of acute care, so the next day the staff send Kathryn to her day program, even though the hospital visit was from 6 pm to 12:30 am and she missed 5 hours of her usual sleep (isn't sleep total vital when you are trying to recover from an illness????).

In my mind you can't have it both ways. Either she is too sick to be out of bed, or she is well enough to attend the day program. I honestly think it is all about money and the attempt not to have to pay staff to care for my sister during the day, she had already been home for 3 weeks.

I gather from the conversation with the doctor that they also wanted to know how to force my sister to have her medication and to eat. My sister is the most stubborn person in the world, and she is not going to take anything if she doesn't want it. And really, a lack of her medication is not going to kill her. And though she has lost some weight, she is well hydrated and her body is not under too much stress. She just needs time to heal. For some reason the staff or person doesn't believe this even when they hear it from 2 or 3 different doctors. I think they were trying to find a new doctor who will agree with them. Luckily the family doctor put in writing that she is never to be forced to take food or medicine and that they are to give her another week to see how she is doing. I know one of the ladies is very opinionated, and she seems to believe in miracle cures of medicine. If you are not completely well, the medicine isn't working and must be changed according to her, I can see this lady not being pleased with my sister's slow recovery.

But I have never really been too worried about my sister as she has never looked as bad as last year when Denis and I arrived home. My sister's eyes tell the truth and her eyes have told me she is just under the weather. Hopefully, with the coming of spring she will finally shake all of this and get back to good health.

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