About Me - But It Really Isn't
How do we forget that it's not "about me"? In an attempt to gain a little information, a few supporters who feel the same, and maybe a little revenge; I selected this topic for several reasons. Most importantly because of the person who really rocks my world . . . my mother, the beautiful woman in this picture.
The first was with an intent to try to raise the bar on the quality of senior health care facilities and communities through exposure and realized sensibility that something is broken within the system and needs to be fixed, badly and quickly.
More importantly is to bring awareness and reality to the forefront of how we treat seniors, and how it needs to be recognized and addressed. After all, they just want to be happy and live it up!
We need to be happier, (or at least act like we are), and let it reflect in our actions toward our fellow man. Seniors seem to be the brunt of bad attitudes and bad actions and it is just plain wrong, and sometimes just a little inhumane.
Human beings just don't treat other human beings this way no matter what the age. I would love to see more seniors live it up and not be victims of anger, frustrations, and blame.
My hope is to educate those who take care of and provide for seniors across America, and find some expertise and compassion when dealing with the older citizen and their families and friends. A small dose of humor goes a long way!
It is my biggest desire to stop, or at least make a difference in, nurse negligence, elder abuse neglect, and patient abuse in health care facilities, and even in private homes. Seniors are an important part of our heritage and our lives. Besides, we all get there sooner or later! So it IS about me, and it's about YOU.
I don't profess to be an expert, I don't have any special education in this area, nor do I proclaim to know more than you. The thing about me is, I merely want to make a difference in how we go about our days in the treatment of others; specifically the older people we are in constant contact with like our parents, our partners, and our friends.
I am, however, smart enough to realize when you give of yourself, you receive much more than you give. It's heart-warming; an emotion we should all feel daily, don't you think?
In this area, I have had more recent experience than I wanted; while it's not about me, not all the experience end results lived up to even my most remote expectations. In fact, it fell so far below par, in my opinion, it makes me dizzy just thinking about it.
I believe that we have strayed so far in excess and self-expression that we have forgotten the very basic human care factors in the world; those of "love one another". "lend a hand", and "take care of each other" and "love unconditionally"; all very basic human factors, right?
It seems we have also trashed and forgotten humor and compassion in our love. We need to forget "about me" and focus on those that need our time and sensitivity. We have forgotten how much joy we bring to others just by the sound of our voice, or the touch of our hand; how comforting that can be to someone who has a need for that very thing. How selflessly we used to offer these without hesitation or condition. There we find respect, the respect we give others and the respect for those we love the most that earns us our respect for ourselves!
My Personal Experience
My mother had her third back surgery due to an auto accident. The surgery went well and after 2 days in the hospital; she had to be moved to a convalescent-type facility for rehabilitation. Medicare days limits were used, so she had to leave the hospital. As upset as I was, this wasn't about me, this is now a serious injustice! How can they kick this patient out of the hospital because Medicare tells the hospital, "Time's Up"!?
They kicked her out of the hospital late at night, threw her in a large van with bad shock absorbers with a driver who took the speed bumps as though they were not there at all. This was an excruciating ride for her to begin with since she had been sick all day anyway, still recuperating from the anesthesia and an overload of medications on an empty stomach!
They took her to a dark and dingy facility and left her there after they found her a bed. At 8:30 AM the next morning, she called me. She was crying and very upset and in horrible pain. All she could say was "please come and get me from this terrible place"! It couldn't hurt any worse if it was about me!
I inquired about my mother, they didn't have her registered in this facility. "She is not here, you must be mistaken". I informed them that she had been transferred in during the late night from the hospital and to please look for her or call to find out where she had been taken.
They were so cold and uncaring! And the only thing that mattered to them was that they caught up on each other's gossip due to the shift change that was taking place. Those going off duty could care less, and those coming on duty knew nothing. Those left over were the patients and one irate lady looking for her mother, and no one assisting or even caring whether she made it there or not.
Cold And Uncaring - Who Is To Blame?
I had called the hospital up until 10 PM the night before and they still hadn't moved her, I was sure it wouldn't happen until the next day. Wrong! Anger was all around me just then! But I was determined to keep a cool head. I just wanted to find my mother. Wouldn't anyone? I tried to stay focused.
To make a long story short, I walked the halls hoping to catch a glimpse of my mother, or for her to see me and call out to me. After a few minutes up and down different halls unassisted, I spotted her red overnight bag at the end of one hall. There was my mother, in a corner bed, and had been like that since 1:00 AM.
She had called to an orderly who just kept walking to get the nurse. She had asked that person for a pain pill, food, water, to go to the bathroom; she never saw that person or anyone else the rest of the night and early morning. It had been a gruesome and cold ride to the facility in the back seat of that van, and she was in a world of hurt. The anger about me was close to rage, but again, I composed myself. I just wanted to get her out of there.
Of course, now I got everyone's attention when I started to take her out of there. I was threatened with a law suit, and read the riot act against doing so. They could not release her until the doctor said to. I told them to go ahead and call the surgeon NOW because he would be very interested to know up until a few minutes ago, they didn't even know they had his patient and had no paperwork for her.
While I was being threatened with lawsuits and illegal practices of removing patients without physician approval, I had to remind them of the rules and definitions of nurse negligence, elder abuse neglect, and patient abuse; and once again it changed and was about me, too. They were messing with someone I love dearly! There was really nothing they could do about it now. Too late! No "do overs" were allowed! Too late for breakfast, too late for a bed pan, too late for pain medications, and too late to care about how much trouble they would have if I reported this story to the news media, hospital authorities, and her attorney handling the accident; but especially her surgeon. Too late to make amends of any kind.
After a short bout of "tit for tat", the good news is that I DID get her out of there, she is fine, and I've cooled off since then. However, this experience left me very skeptical and very bitter about the care and treatment of seniors and especially the lasting inhumane effect this kind of treatment has on us. I'm soon to go into my golden years, so this IS about me, and it's about you, too. I'm hoping, united, we can make a difference and change this. I would love to hear your stories like this.
I'm still confused where the real blame lies. The idiot behind the wheel who does everything except stop at a stop sign and plows into another persons car in his haste to find a ball game on the radio; talk or text on his cell phone, the laws that allow him to do both with no regard to other human life?
The facility that doesn't have enough nurses, and the lack of discipline of the nurses using their time more efficiently instead of gossiping, catching up on each other's lives instead of attending to patients lives; the hospital for overloading and under staffing these health care facilities;
Or the whole federal system that kicks surgery patients out of the hospital after two or three days because they don’t have enough beds, it costs too much for them to stay, or because "that's just the way it is" with Medicare. Where is the "caring" in Health Care for seniors?
A System Broken - Can We Fix It?
Something is broken. I think it starts with humanity - I think if we don't start thinking about how we treat each other, we are in for a long sad life on this old earth. I think we need to get back to basics and what is important. What do you think? We need to give more of ourselves to the care of our elders. It needs to be more about me; and more about you. We need to take it more personally and especially take it seriously.
We need to see many more seniors living it up!!! We need to fight back and make sure the golden years are truly golden and happy. And we need to give so much of ourselves to the happiness of our fellow man it becomes a huge priority in our lives automatically, without thought. No one can break the bonds of brotherhood. Let's take it back, one senior at a time! It's our duty to see that the senior years are happy ones.
May the hand of a friend always be near you, May God fill your heart with gladness to cheer you. May you have the senior years you deserve. Seniors live it up!
Go to Seniors Live it Up Home Page from the About Me page.