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Tag Archives: hospital

The Queen and the Grape, Part III


My brother Mark graciously offered to come up from San Francisco today to sit with Mom and be the texting pipeline to Trish (wife), Susie (Mom’s sister) and Jimmy (other brother) so that I could take the day and work on the kinks in my back, get some work done for work. I agreed and jumped at the offer. He knows I am persistent in getting text messages out to the collective  when I receive ... Read More »

The Queen and The Grape


This story is not fiction and the names have not been changed to protect the innocent. April 1, 2014, April Fools Day. I wake up to three calls on my cell which came in between 2:03 a.m. and 2:21 a.m. That’s not normal. The first thing that went through my head is “Mom.”  Sure enough, I call to retrieve my voice mails. They are from a nurse at Sutter Roseville Medical Center; Mom was taken ... Read More »

Tell Us: How Would You Improve the ER?


The New York Times published an article today called “Emergency Rooms Are No Place for the Elderly.” The article references a document called “Geriatric Emergency Department Guidelines” created by American College of Emergency Physicians, The American Geriatrics Society, Emergency Nurses Association and Society for Academic Emergency Medicine. The organizations recommend changes in emergency rooms to better serve the elderly, including: Geriatric-trained physicians and nurses on staff; Education and training for staff “to ensure high-quality geriatric ... Read More »

Heart Attack From a Spouse’s Perspective


My husband was recently in the hospital for a light heart attack. Here are things that went through my head. Be afraid. Be very afraid. “Please let him be okay. Please let him be okay…” (These were my thoughts during my husband’s cardiac catherization. During the cath my chest hurt. When the nurse called to say he was doing okay, my chest stopped hurting. ) Cardiologist: “It was a light episode. We’ll put you on ... Read More »

She Just Couldn’t Stay Away


On January 7th I posted a blog with the title “First trip to the doctors this year.” Well, I’m here to tell you, she just couldn’t stay away. That’s right on Tuesday, January 14th, Mom and I went to a normal follow-up appointment with Mom’s primary care physician (PCP) to have him check out several issues. Foremost was her gaining 16 pounds in just under a week, which also came with severe swelling, labored breathing ... Read More »

Hello, 2014!


Boy, am I happy to see you.  I don’t want to offend 2013 but between us, I am happy to see 2013 go.  I mean, 2013 had its good moments but it also had its challenges. Lots of challenges. Wow, lots and lots of challenges. Let’s just say the countdown to 2014 was more about saying goodbye good-riddance to 2013 (not that I actually made it to the countdown but I made it to countdowns ... Read More »

Tell Us: When Have You Deferred on a Doctor’s Recommendation?


Recently, during one of our member chats, we discussed a doctor’s recommendation that you knew was not right for your caree. You may have understood the reason for the doctor’s recommendation and you knew you had a better solution. Which leads to quandary: Follow the doctor’s advice or follow your gut. So, I’m curious: When has a doctor made a recommendation that you knew wouldn’t work but you followed anyway? Or, when did a doctor ... Read More »

You Mean, Besides the Cancer?


As a doctor walks through a hospital, he is master of all he surveys. He‘s the Lion, and everyone in the pride defers to him. The nurses, the technicians, hospital staff and pharmacists, all well educated themselves, await his arrival, follow his “orders”. And the hospital itself is spread over acres. Most hospitals offer complimentary valet parking, because it‘s cheaper than sending out search parties for patients who have lost their cars. The complex is ... Read More »

We Didn’t Make It To Tuesday… We Made It To The ER Instead

Sunday Hubby and I went to rehab to visit Mom for her birthday and try to bring her a little cheer. At her request I had made a lemon cake with buttercream frosting (her favorite). We brought all the cards that came to the house for her and also brought her flowers and a small planting of Paperwhites for her to enjoy while they grow. She was so pleased to see us and enjoyed the ... Read More »

Guidelines Help with Difficult Medical Decisions


I often talk with family caregivers about difficult decisions they face as their family member declines because of a chronic illness or disability. A physician or medical team presents the family caregiver and other family members with treatment recommendations, leaving the family caregiver to wonder: “How in the world do I know which option is the right option?” Now, family caregivers have a go-to resource which offers insights about the appropriateness of treatments and tests: ... Read More »

On a Serious Note (Hug a Loved One), Part III


On a Serious Note (Hug a Loved One) III: Mom’s little Princess Taffy decided that 3:30 (a.m.) was the perfect time to need to go out and patrol the perimeter of the backyard, after she had already used my office/spare bedroom. I received an update on Vincent and they were correct in determining that Vincent does have a defect with his heart that when he exerts himself it can cause the heart tissues to expand ... Read More »

What Constitutes An Emergency?


So, today we get a phone call from scheduling and after I’ve already discussed that I want the surgery to be scheduled after Thanksgiving they are telling us that November 22nd is when the doctors want it because it is a life or death situation and the sooner the better. EXCUSE ME? Am I misunderstanding something? I know this is a life or death situation. It has been since Sept 11, 2012 when ALL OF ... Read More »

On a Serious Note (Hug a Loved One), Part II


Don’t stop the hugging just yet. First a thank you to everyone who sent well wishes, prayers and concerns for my nephew Vincent who just yesterday while running the San Francisco Marathon. When he was steps from the finish line, he face planted during a heart attack at age 24. The latest out of the University San Francisco Hospital where he is with family is that, since he was so close to the finish line, the ... Read More »

Mom and Her Secret

Mom in DisneyLand

I received a call from my Aunt Susie on Saturday regarding my mom and some medical issues she is having and has yet to tell me or my brothers about. In the past she had both knees replaced. The right one was replaced twice because she did a lot of damage to it when she twisted it stepping up onto a curb six months after the first replacement. We know that over the past 18 ... Read More »

Unexpected Changes


In my last posts I was speaking about how we thought Smokey was getting better, in pain, but getting better. After a routine MRI to check to see how much the area had healed, we get a call the next day to get to the ER Immediately. And so we have been here since Friday. But nothing much has happened that we could not have done at home, except, of course the slew of tests ... Read More »

Doctors’ Appointments, Hospital Stays: What’s Your Record?


Mary, one of our fans on our Facebook page, shared an article about caregiving that appeared in Quad-City Times. The article, A Generation in Transition: Caring for Elderly Loved Ones, begins with these two paragraphs: In one 10-day period, Jill Teats drove three of her elderly loved ones to 18 doctor’s appointments: There were eight appointments one week, 10 the next. From the Teats home in rural Erie, Ill., that represented about 19 hours of ... Read More »

Seven Ways to Manage Stress


During one of her appearances on Your Caregiving Journey, Dr. Elizabeth Lombardo, author of A Happy You, Your Ultimate Prescription for Happiness, explained that, when we reach a level of stress that’s too high, we can’t think straight. Picture rating your stress along a scale of 1 to 10, with a 10 being the highest stress level. When you hit a 7 or higher on the scale, you reach irrational thinking. Think about it. Remember ... Read More »



On September 8 I participated in our local hospital’s 9/11 Memorial Fitness Challenge. Online registration closed the preceding Friday night, tying me for the sixth-oldest participant in a field of 116. Twenty-eight more people registered at the door, though I don’t know what their ages were. My partner was sleeping when I took off at around 6:30 in the morning. Before leaving home I had a fabulous breakfast of 1/2 cup dry old-fashioned oatmeal mixed ... Read More »

On Pneumonia Watch

How bad can it be? He's got a shake & a puzzle!

I am not an alarmist. I think I’m pretty practical and level-headed. Even a realist when warranted. With Robert, I do have to be on alert with his health since he can go from having a slight cold to the ICU with pneumonia and septic shock in a matter of hours. Well, we’re at the “slight cold” stage. Yesterday, he had a little bit of nasal congestion and a slight cough. Today, he also had ... Read More »

Caregiver Bloopers: Mom’s Appointments, Vicodin, Viagra and Volkswagens


As a family caregiver you probably spend more time at your caree’s hospital than they do. You are also wondering why a image of Julio Iglesias is on this post. Just keep reading. I hope this brightens your day and makes you laugh. You are the one that has to go get medications when they run out. You have to take forms to the correct department. You have to resolve billing errors. You are also ... Read More »

“Patient Whiz” App Review


My review of the newest app, “Patient Whiz.” Happy Memorial Day. I hope everyone is have a wonderful and safe day. Denise at asked me to review the app, “Patient Whiz.” In past blogs, radio shows, Google Hangout, email and so forth you have heard me mention that one of the best pieces of medical information you can take to your appointments is a binder with all your caree’s medical history, medications, etc in ... Read More »

Recommendations to Improve Care Transitions


Last week, the United Hospital Fund, a health services research and philanthropic organization whose primary mission is to shape positive change in health care for the people of New York, announced an agenda of ten action steps to improve transitions in care for family caregivers and carees. A transition could be from a hospital to a rehab center or from a rehab center to home. Family caregivers of seriously and chronically ill persons are poorly ... Read More »